Reagan Library Plans Centennial Celebration of Gipper's Birth

Thursday, 11 Mar 2010 05:18 PM

By John Rossomando

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A yearlong celebration of Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday next year will acknowledge his historical legacy, says John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

The foundation, headquartered at the Reagan library and museum in Simi Valley, Calif., has slated a year of special events to salute the 40th president’s Feb. 6 centennial.

“It’s only been 20 years since he’s been in office, and he’s already a historical figure,” Heubusch told Newsmax.TV. “He is so for a number of very key reasons. He was just good, solid, honest, conservative individual who dedicated his life to his country and who has left a legacy that America enjoys to this day.”

Reagan inspired such admiration that people consistently rate him as No. 1 or No. 2 on their list of great U.S. presidents.

Americans should remember his contribution and promote his legacy throughout his centennial year, both at the Reagan library and in their hometowns, Heubusch said.

“Things he strived for as president of the United States are things we should be striving for as Americans today,” he said.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan has been active in the planning and will play an important role in the centennial events, Heubusch said, adding, “She’s the guiding force behind this library.”

Private donations will cover all the costs of the celebration, he said. “We are not asking for anybody to dig into their pockets and support this with a penny of their taxes.”

Kicking off the year’s commemoration will be a Rose Bowl Parade float dedicated to Reagan’s legacy Jan. 1. Heubusch estimates 40 million people will see it.

Other tributes will include events galas, military celebrations, and the coast-to-coast relay of the Reagan Freedom Torch from the library in Simi Valley starting on Feb. 6 to Washington, D.C., where it will arrive on July 4.

The main events will happen on Feb. 5 and 6, surrounding the actual centennial of Reagan’s birth, Heubusch said. One of the year’s highlights will be the Feb. 6 ribbon-cutting for the new Reagan Museum. A concert at the Hollywood Bowl will be another top event.

Those interested in participating in the Feb. 5 and 6 events can enter a sweepstakes to win an all-expenses-paid trip for two. Entry deadline is Friday.

“We’ll pay for your hotel, pay your airfare, and give you some spending money,” Heubusch said. “And you’ll be able to be there right in the front row of all the activities.

“It will be a very special weekend for the lucky winners.”

More information about the sweepstakes and other centennial-related events can be found at www.reagancentennial.com.





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