A much larger celebration was held today at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, which ABC Radio and NPR reported on it--I was listening to the radio on the drive home. As far as mainstream media presence, I only encountered a photographer and reporter--very nice folks, by the way--from the Quad Cities' Dispatch-Argus. Click here for their report. And courtesy of the paper, you will see me checking my email on my Android phone here inside the Reagan birthplace.
As for the Marathon Pundit report, all of the photos for this post were taken this afternoon.
Ronald Reagan, An American Life.
But the Reagans moved out of the apartment when "Dutch" was three months old, so can hardly expect to remember what was below him when he came into the world. He was born above a bakery. The bank purchased the building in 1919--the Reagans did their banking there.
Ronald, as well as his older brother Neil, were born in bedroom pictured above. None of the furnishings in the Tampico apartment are original, but they are period pieces. From the window of that room you can see the Reagan mural.
The first floor of the Reagan birthplace has been restored to look as it did almost 100 years ago. Visitors are lining up for the first day issue of the Reagan forever postage stamp--"tellers" are assisting them.
The Reagans' second home in Tampico was on Glassburn Street. If you are in the market for an historic home, then head to northwestern Illinois, the Reagan house is for sale. In Edmund Morris' largely discredited Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan, the author noted when Ronald and Nancy visited Tampico in 1990, the occupants at the time "had no desire to welcome him." He added, "Judging by the number of major appliances on the stoop, they were not Reagan Republicans." Of course the Gipper would never have uttered anything like that.
The Reagans moved around a lot. After leaving Tampico, they lived on Chicago's South Side, Galesburg, and Monmouth, before returning to Tampico in 1919. Reagan's father Jack came back to manage the H.C. Pitney Variety Store, where he worked when Ronald was born, During their second stint in Tampico they resided above the shop. When he was living in the White House, Reagan liked to quip that he was "living above the store again."
The birthday party was held in the Tampico Historical Museum. When I saw that cake, I told a volunteer, "It's so beautiful, it's a shame to cut it." Along with cake, punch and coffee were served. Tired from the drive, I downed two cups of java.
The Tampico centennial celebration would not have been possible without the hard work of volunteers--most of them elderly. On the left is one of them, Geri Cassenes of nearby Prophetstown. She explained to me that the rows of seats now housed in the museum are from Tampico's since-closed movie theater--and she sat in one of them while watching Gone With The Wind in 1939--its first run. On the right is Kelsey Vandike of Peoria.
|Happy birthday, Ronnie!|
Tampico is where he lived above the store.
Look for a few more Reagan posts in the next few days.