- 68,000 more file for unemployment — in one week
- Michigan bans in-state insurers from covering abortion
- Nancy Pelosi tells Democrats to pass budget: ‘Embrace the suck’
- Key Obamacare official: Last two months much harder than anyone hoped
- Sen. Mike Lee: We must stop ‘the prez’ from acting like the queen
- George Bush consoles Alabama kicker Cade Foster: You will be stronger
- Megachurch pastor with ties to Obama commits suicide
- WaPo to readers: Send us your ‘gun violence’ stories for Sandy Hook anniversary
- U.S. threatens Ukraine with sanctions over dispatch of riot police
- Canada doing away with door-to-door mail delivery by 2018
Archives shows rarely seen Reagan documents in DC
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Ronald Reagan’s handwritten changes to his “Evil Empire” speech, his correspondence with Mikhail Gorbachev and a bronze cast of Moscow’s Kremlin from the onetime Soviet leader are going on rare public display at the National Archives.
The first items illustrate Reagan’s foreign affairs philosophy of “peace through strength,” said Sharon Fawcett, head of the Archives’ Presidential Library system. Future items will focus on Reagan as a communicator, his Western roots and his personal style.
“President Reagan spoke in a way that the American people could understand,” Fawcett said of the 40th president, who died in 2004 at age 93 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for nearly a decade.
Elected in 1980, Reagan first declared the Soviet Union an “evil empire” in a 1983 speech before the National Association of Evangelicals in Florida to argue against a “nuclear freeze” on both the U.S. and Russian sides that Congress was considering and some religious groups had endorsed. Reagan didn’t believe the Soviets would honor such an agreement.
Reagan Presidential Library Chief Archivist Mike Duggan said the president’s handwritten changes to the speech show he was intimately involved in communicating about foreign policy at a time when some said the former Hollywood actor was simply reading from a script.
The phrase would be repeated in politics and pop culture, making it one of the Republican president’s best-known lines.
“But at the same time, he was willing to say ‘Let’s keep talking, let’s keep talking,’” Duggan said.
One change Reagan wrote into the speech explicitly sought to keep an open dialogue.
“This does not mean we should isolate ourselves and refuse to seek an understanding with them,” Reagan wrote in between lines of typed text, crossing out other language. “I intend to do everything I can to persuade them of our peaceful intent.”
They include the first-ever public display of Reagan’s “talking points” prepared for his meeting with the new Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze in 1985 as well as a letter from Gorbachev in 1986 concerning the lack of progress in negotiations. The bronze cast of the Kremlin was a gift from Gorbachev after Reagan’s visit to the Soviet Union in 1988.
That will show visitors the evolution from Reagan’s “evil empire” message to another signature phrase from his foreign policy: “Trust, but verify.”
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Inside the Ring: China targets Global Hawk drone
- Creator of 'Selfies at Funerals' blog retires after Obama flub: 'Our work here is done'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Headlines from Associated Press and around the Internet
Positive propaganda for a nation in peril.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow