|Reagan 101: Things You Might Not Have Known|
|By JILIAN FAMA||Feb 6, 2013, 11:33 AM|
On February 6, 1984, on his 73rd birthday, President Ronald Reagan said, "Birthdays are special moments, and you've given me one today. But I must tell you, even though this is the 34th anniversary of my 39th birthday, those numbers don't faze me at all. I believe Moses was 80 when God first commissioned him for public service. And I also remember something that Thomas Jefferson once said. He said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I've stopped worrying."
Reagan, at age 69, was the oldest person elected to a first term. That's the same age Hillary Clinton will be if she elects to run for president in 2016. Reagan would have celebrated his 102nd birthday Wednesday. Here are some things to remember about the 40th president:
As a young boy Ronald's nickname was "Dutch." The nickname was given to him by his father, Jack Reagan, because of his Dutchboy haircut.
He played football, was a popular baseball radio announcer and local newspaper columnist based in Des Moines, Iowa.
Reagan was no stranger to the limelight even in his early years. In college he acted in school plays and at age 26 he was offered a $200 per week contract by Warner Brothers, where they were impressed with his screen test. Following his big break, Reagan appeared in 53 films in the following two decades. He went on to become a spokesman for General Electric, president of the Screen Actors Guild and governor of California.
Regan married two different actresses and had a daughter and a son with each. Reagan first married Jane Wyman with whom he had Maureen and Michael; his second marriage was to Nancy Davis, who also acted, and with whom he had two more children named Patricia Ann and Ronald Prescott.
Reagan enlisted in the Army Reserve and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He was denied for overseas duty in World War II at age 30 because of nearsightedness. He served in the Army Air Force's Motion Picture Unit during the war, helping produce over 40 films.
Reagan is the only U.S. president to have divorced his wife. Reagan and Jane Wyman divorced in 1947.
President Reagan was known for his penchant for Jelly beans. His favorite Jelly Belly flavor was licorice. In 1967, he started eating "pectin" jelly beans made by Herman Goelitz Candy Company in order to kick a pipe-smoking habit.
His love for the little treat became so well known that in 1981 three-and-a-half tons of Jelly Bellies were shipped to the White House for Inaugural festivities. The popular flavor of Blueberry was created for president's inauguration to accompany red and white jelly beans for the festivities.
Ronald Reagan was left handed. James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Henry Truman, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were also lefty commander in chiefs.