Ronald Reagan, In His Own Words
From Movies to Speeches, Hear 'The Great Communicator'
Ronald Reagan's ability to connect with audiences, whether as a movie actor or the nation's 40th president, earned him the nickname the "Great Communicator." Hear and watch key speeches and other memorable moments from Reagan's career:
Listen to an audio montage of Reagan speeches aired on Morning Edition on Reagan's 90th birthday.
Listen to Reagan deliver his famous line from the 1940 movie, Knute Rockne, All American.
Listen to Reagan's Oct. 27, 1964, "A Time for Choosing" speech on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
Watch a video clip of Reagan from a 1967 appearance on the TV Western Death Valley Days.
Hear Reagan's comments after narrowly losing the Republican nomination to President Gerald Ford in 1976. "The cause goes on," Reagan says. "...there are millions and millions of Americans out there that...want it to be a shining city on the hill."
Listen to Reagan's definition of a depression in the 1980 presidential campaign.
Listen to Reagan, in the Feb. 23, 1980, debate in Nashua, N.H., angrily declare that he is "paying for this microphone." That was his reaction to the moderator's decision to cut Reagan off in a dispute over allowing additional candidates to participate in the Reagan-funded debate with George Bush.
Hear Reagan, in his second presidential debate with incumbent Jimmy Carter, Oct. 28, 1980, ask Americans: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"
Listen to Reagan, in his first inaugural address Jan. 20, 1981, say that in dealing with the nation's economic ills, "government is not the solution to our problem; goverment is the problem." Or hear his complete inaugural address.
Listen to Reagan's Aug. 3, 1981, threat to fire air traffic controllers who went on strike.
Hear Reagan predict in a June 8, 1982, speech to the British House of Commons that "the march of freedom and democracy...will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history..."
Listen to Reagan refer to the Soviet Union as the "evil empire," in a March 8, 1983, speech to the National Association of Evangelicals.
Watch or listen to a part of Reagan's March 23, 1983, Oval Office address unveiling the Strategic Defense Initiative.
Hear Reagan joking into a microphone on Aug. 11, 1984, that the United States would "begin bombing (Russia) in five minutes."
Hear Reagan's barb, in an Oct. 21, 1984, presidential debate, that he would not make Democrat Walter Mondale's "youth and inexperience" an issue in the campaign.
Listen to Reagan's second inaugural addresss Jan. 21, 1985.
Listen to Reagan's Nov. 13, 1986, denial of an arms-for-hostages deal with Iran.
Hear Reagan acknowledge a "mistake" in the Iran-Contra affair in comments March 4, 1987.
Listen to Reagan's June 12, 1987, speech at the Brandenberg Gate, in which he demands that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev "tear down this wall."
Hear Reagan's farewell address to the nation, Jan. 11, 1989, in which he said the so-called Reagan revolution "made a difference."