Ronald Reagan, the United States' 40th president, died on June 5, 2004, at the age of 93 of pneumonia, a complication of Alzheimer's disease. He was at his home in Los Angeles. "The Reagan Diaries," which chronicle his day-to-day life during his two terms of office in the 1980s, will be released on May 22. This is the first time a U.S. president's diaries have been released. The following is an excerpt.
Tuesday, June 17
[Met with President Julio María Sanguinetti of Uruguay.]
This afternoon we astonished the press with a news break of a perfectly kept secret. I took Chf. Justice Burger, Justice Rehnquist & Judge Scalia into the press room to announce Burger's resignation, Rehnquist's nomination to succeed him & Scalia's nomination to take Rehnquist's place on the court.
A meeting with John P. & Don R. on my proposal for a proposed treaty with the Soviets to share the S.D.I. if & when it is a reality & to then do away with I.C.B.M.'s. John seems to want to sneak up on it in phases, etc. I'm holding out for a simple plan — yes or no.
[State dinner with entertainment by Dave Brubeck.]
Wednesday, June 18
Our U.H.O. friends Salero, Rebolo & Cruz (Nicaragua) were in for a meeting. They are here to lobby Cong. on aid to the freedom fighters.
Then a meeting with Bishop Dario Castillon of Colombia. He's supportive of what we are trying to do in Central Am. I think he was relieved to hear though that we have no plans for armed intervention. He believes that at least 840 of the 900 bishops in Latin America are supportive of what we are trying to do.
[Gathering for flag awards.]
A photo with officers of the Nat. Homebuilders Assn. Then a meeting with Sec. Shultz. Two subjects — Soviet's & S. Africa. He believes it is one turn to move with a proposal to Gorbachev. On S.A. the problem is once again harsh language in the Cong. which may force me to veto something.
[Videotapings. Thursday, June 19: morning briefings; report from Mrs. Reagan that Director of Drug Abuse Policy Office Carlton Turner was feeling ignored by Department of Justice and was ready to quit, the president asked Regan to intervene with Meese; congressional meeting on Contra aid obviated by vote call; lunch with Vice President Bush; photo sessions with staff and candidates; flew to New Jersey for speech to high school students and parents; commented, "I came away feeling ten ft. tall. I like people"; returned to W.H.; drank liquids in anticipation of following day's medical checkup.]
Friday, June 20
The check up after a couple of hours in the office & then off to Camp D. It was a long spell in the hospital, winding up with the Cat scan. Everything was A-OK & the Dr. on the Cat scan said my insides were 25 yrs. younger than my age.
[Saturday, June 21–Sunday, June 22: walks and swimming; returned to W.H.]
Monday, June 23
A half hour interview with 3 members of L.A. Times. It was wide ranging & I hope I didn't give them any possible distortion material. Then the issues briefing lunch. We made a decision that I would ask to appear at noon tomorrow before the House of Reps. to make a speech in support of aid to the Contras. Don called Tip & reached him on a golf course. Tip refused to let me speak to the House. I'm going to rub his nose in this one. We are sending a copy of the speech to every rep.