In July, 2008, Dixon, Illinois created the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission to coordinate events honoring President Reagan in 2011, who was born on February 6, 1911.
Ronald Reagan called Dixon home from the ages of nine to twenty-one (1920-1932). He returned to Dixon many times after moving to California, and then to Washington D.C during his presidential years.
When we realized that many people who grew up with or had met President Reagan over the years were still living, we decided to create a Reagan Centennial Oral History project to record their stories. We solicited the Dixon Historic Center (now the Northwest Territory Historic Center) to video-tape our interviews.
We also coordinated with Dr. Mark DePue, Director of Oral History at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
We were able to interview high school classmates, a lady who was saved by Reagan when he was a lifeguard, writers, historians and his son, Ron Reagan. As of 2015, six of the people who were interviewed had already passed away. In other words, our project could not have been more timely. We hope you enjoy the personal stories of President Reagan; we certainly enjoyed gathering them.
Chairman, Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission