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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Red hair

Natural red hair occurs naturally in just under 2% of the human population. - approximately 140 million people. It occurs more frequently (2–6%) in people of northern or western European ancestry, and less frequently in other populations.

The highest concentration of redheads is in Scotland with 13%, followed by Ireland with 10%.

Red hair appears in people with two copies of a recessive gene on chromosome 16 which causes a mutation in the MC1R protein.

The redhead or "ginger gene" is recessive and can remain hidden for generations.

40% of Scots carry the "redhead" gene.

Having red hair isn’t the only thing that makes some redheads unique. According to science, they are also most likely to be left handed because, both characteristics (having red hair and being left handed) come from recessive genes, which like to come in pairs.

Studies have demonstrated that people with red hair have different sensitivity to pain compared to people with other hair colors. Red-haired people are less sensitive to electrically induced pain, but are more sensitive to thermal pain.

Most natural redheads will have brown eyes, followed by hazel or green shades. The least common eye color among red haired people is blue.

Each strand of red hair is generally thicker than other shades which compensates for the fact that redheads have less hair. On average, flame-haired people have only have 90,000 strands of hair while blondes have 110,000 and brunettes 140,000.

Red heads probably won't go grey as red hair retains its natural pigment a lot longer than other shades. So people with flume hair will probably instead go to rosy-blonde colors, then to silvery-white rather than grey.

The hair color "Titian" takes its name from the artist Titian, who often painted women with red hair.

Source Immortal

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Recorder (musical instrument)


Small recorder-like flutes, apparently of Asian origin, were known in 11th-century Europe.

The earliest existing recorder was found in a castle moat near the town of Dordrecht in the Netherlands. The castle was inhabited from 1335 to 1418.

The term "recorder" appeared in England in about 1400. The instrument name "recorder" derives from the Latin recordārī (to call to mind, remember, recollect). The name is likely derived from the role of the medieval jongleur in learning poems by heart and later reciting them, sometimes with musical accompaniment.

By 1500 the recorder had acquired its present form with seven finger holes and a thumb hole, and the instrument was played in chamber music in groups (families) from sopranino to great bass.

The medieval recorders were played in choirs, but had such a limited range that several were needed for each song.

King Henry VIII collected recorders: Before he died in 1547, the English monarch had acquired 76 of them, which would have been played by the royal professional recorder consort and other recorder masters when the King himself wasn’t playing them.

William Shakespeare talked about recorders in his play Hamlet (Act III scene ii, Hamlet: ("Ah, ha! Come, some music! Come, the recorders!")

John Milton referenced recorders in his poem Paradise Lost. (Book I: "Anon they move. In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood. Flutes and soft recorders."

During the baroque period, the recorder was traditionally associated with pastoral scenes. Henry Purcell, Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Philipp Telemann, Johann Sebastian Bach and Georg Frideric Handel all incorporated the instrument into their compositions often to suggest shepherds and imitate birds in their music.

By the end of the 18th century the instrument had been superseded by the transverse flute, The recorder, with its lack of range and volume, didn’t stand a chance against the bold sound of a flute piercing through a concert hall. As the 19th century progressed, the recorder was phased out of the modern orchestra altogether.

The recorder was revived in the 20th century as a school instrument and for playing early music, and several modern composers have written for it.

Recorders have historically been constructed from hardwoods and ivory, sometimes with metal keys. Around the middle of the 20th century they underwent a cheap, lightweight transformation when plastic recorders were developed. Such recorders are easy instruments to play simple music and many elementary schools use plastic recorders to teach music to children.

By Sarah Stierch 


Paul McCartney is a notable fan, incorporating the recorder into the Beatles song "The Fool On The Hill" and some of his solo pieces.

A recorder was used on the intro to Led Zeppelin's legendary track "Stairway to Heaven."

Recorders are made in different sizes. The soprano recorder is the size of recorder which is usually played in schools, also known as a Descant. The largest is the sub-contrabass recorder, which stands 8 feet tall.

Various recorders. By Mussklprozz - copied from German Wikipedia

The sopranino is the highest pitch, and the contra bass the lowest.

The lowest note of most recorders is either C or F. This is the note that is heard when the player covers all the finger holes and the thumb hole.

Sources Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999,  Comptons Encyclopedia, Mental Floss 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Record player

Leon Scott de Martinville invented the "Phonautograph", the world's first phonograph. He delivered his design in a sealed envelope to the French Academy in early 1857 and on March 25 of that year, he received French patent #17,897/31,470 for his device.

The phonautograph only created visual images of the sound and did not have the ability to play back its recordings. Scott de Martinville's device was used for scientific investigations of sound waves and proved useful in the study of vowel sounds. However, it wasn't commercially viable.

An early phonautograph (1859). The barrel is made of plaster of paris.

Several phonautograms recorded before 1861 were successfully played as sound in 2008 by optically scanning them and using a computer to process the scans into digital audio files.

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville made the oldest known recording of an audible human voice on April 9, 1860. He recorded an unknown woman on his phonautograph machine singing the French folk song. Au clair de la lune".  A  ten second clip was retrieved from the original soot-covered paper phonoautograph recording by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California in 2008.

The phonograph was accidentally invented in 1877 by Thomas Edison while trying to record telegraph signals. His device was the first machine that was able to both capture and reproduce analog sound.

Edison's first phonograph recorded onto tinfoil cylinders had low sound quality and destroyed the track during replay so that one could listen only once.

Edison cylinder phonograph, circa 1899

A redesigned model using wax cylinders was produced soon after by Alexander Graham Bell. Sound quality was still low, and replays were limited before wear destroyed the recording, but the invention enjoyed some popularity.

Edison incorporated various elements into his Phonograph that would become staples that can be found in recording devices to this day.

Edison's intention was to market his Phonograph as a business dictation machine. The concept of recorded music didn't cross his mind.

A 'G' (Graham Bell) model Graphophone being played back by a typist 

The "gramophone", playing gramophone records, was invented by Emile Berliner of Washington DC in 1887, using seven-inch, single-sided discs. In the early years, the audio fidelity was worse than the phonograph cylinders marketed by Edison Records.

From the mid-1890s until the early 1920s both phonograph cylinder and disc recordings and gramophone machines to play them on were widely mass-marketed and sold. The disc system gradually became more popular because of its cheaper price and better marketing by disc record companies. Edison ceased cylinder manufacture in the autumn of 1929, and the history of disc and cylinder rivalry was concluded.

On April 1, 1928, the first gramophone that could automatically change records, Victor's "Automatic Orthophonic," went on sale.

The record player was the successor to the gramophone, following the advent in the 1920s of the use of electricity in the recording and reproducing processes. It was essentially a turntable, pick-up, and arm which reproduced the music or other sounds recorded on discs (gramophone records), usually through its own amplifier and speaker.

A 1930s portable wind-up gramophone from EMI (His Master's Voice)

The radiogram was a single device capable of both receiving radio broadcasts and playing gramophone records. It was developed during the 1930s, with the wider domestic use of radio sets and electricity, and incorporated a record player which made use of the radio's amplifier and speaker. Popular for its convenience and for aesthetic reasons, it was the forerunner of the music center.

In 1955 The Chrysler Corporation launched high fidelity record players for their 1956 line-up of cars. They discontinued it six years later.

By the 1960s, cheaper portable record players and record changers which played stacks of records in wooden console cabinets were popular, usually with heavy and crude tonearms in the portables. The consoles were often equipped with better quality pick-ups.

The 1970s saw the inclusion of a deck for playing compact cassettes as well as a record player and receiver, and the term music center came into common use.

Sources Compton Encyclopedia, Europress Family Encyclopedia 1999

Friday, 14 July 2017

Record (music)

The gramophone disc record was the primary medium used for music reproduction until late in the 20th century.

The phonograph was the first machine used to capture and reproduce analog sound, and was invented by the well-known inventor Thomas Edison in 1877

The entire contents of the first gramophone record was Edison saying five words "Mary had a little lamb." Edison recorded the disc on December 6, 1877.

In 1887 Emile Berliner of Washington DC (inventor of the microphone) patented a gramophone that played flat discs. It represented a marked improvement over Thomas Edison's recording cylinders and gave birth to the recording industry.

Emile Berliner with disc record gramophone

Berliner's "Master Disc" was a 125mm (5 inch) rubber disc, recorded on one side only, with the song lyric printed on the reverse side. Later, the rubber was replaced with Shellac made from crushed Malaysian Beetles.

Berliner later patented a Matrix system for making unlimited copies of the disc from a "master".

Early disc recordings were produced in a variety of speeds ranging from 60 to 130 rpm, and a number of different sizes. As early as 1894, Emile Berliner's United States Gramophone Company was selling single-sided 7-inch discs with an advertised standard speed of "about 70 rpm."

The electrical phonograph standardized the speed at 78 rpm. Most 78s were 10 inches in diameter, with a playing time of about four minutes.

Examples of Congolese 78 rpm records

The first classical music was recorded in 1888. Because the quality was so appallingly bad, many classical musicians were loathe to record fearing their reputation will be hurt..

The Victor Talking Machine Company was founded in 1901 by Eldridge R. Johnson, who had previously made gramophones to play Emile Berliner's disc records. They used the "Nipper " trademark. (a small dog listening to large horn speaker), which came from a painting by English artist Francis Barraud and titled "His Master's Voice." Emile Berliner had seen the picture in London and took out a United States copyright on it in July, 1900.

Italian opera singer Enrico Caruso was one of the first music stars to make phonograph records. In 1902 Caruso asked the Gramophone & Typewriter Company for £100 to record ten arias in Milan and the London head office cabled back "fee exorbitant, forbid you to record". The tenor went ahead and the discs made thousands of pounds for the record company.

Caruso's 1904 recording of "Vesti la giubba" from Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci was the first sound recording to sell a million copies. This was at a time when it was cheaper to buy tickets to see the tenor live.

Enrico Caruso with a phonograph c.1910s

The Odeon label released the first ever long-playing album in 1909 when it released the "Nutcracker Suite" by Tchaikovsky on four double-sided discs in a specially designed package.

In 1920 the first 'Race' Records appeared. The release of Mamie Smith's "Crazy Blues" marked the first time a black singer had appeared on a Blues record. The popularity of the recording alerted the music industry to the profitability of making records by and for African Americans.

The first 33rpm long-playing record was demonstrated by the RCA Victor company in New York in 1931, but the players were so costly the venture failed.

The "1937 Hindenburg Disaster" was probably the most tasteless record of all time. It included a commentary of the actual disaster.

Solomon Linda's Original Evening Birds' 1939 single "Mbube" was probably the first African recording to sell more than 100,000 copies.

The first gold record was presented to Glenn Miller on February 10, 1942 by his RCA Victor label in 1942 to celebrate the sales of over a million copies of "Chattanooga Choo Choo". At this point, a gold record was simply a promotional tool for record companies to honor their artists.

In 1939, Dr. Peter Goldmark and his staff at Columbia Records and at CBS Laboratories began to address problems of recording and playing back narrow grooves and developing an inexpensive, reliable consumer playback system.

Nine years later, Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3 LP ("long playing") record at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on June 18, 1948. The new format allowed listeners to enjoy an unprecedented 25 minutes of music per side, compared to the four minutes per side of the standard 78 rpm record.

The first LPs were 10 inches in diameter, but 12 inches became the standard size, with 16-inch discs used for transcriptions.

Rare Columbia 7 inch vinyl  33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove ZLP from 1948

The first twelve-inch LP was Felix Mendelssohn's "Concerto in E Minor" by Nathan Milstein on the violin with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Bruno Walter.

Unwilling to accept and license Columbia's system, in February 1949 RCA Victor released the first 45 rpm single, 7 inches in diameter with a large center hole.

Arthur Fiedler demonstrating the new RCA Victor 45 rpm player and record in February 1949.

Shellac was replaced by plastic vinyl, which is less fragile, as the standard material

The first ever vinyl 45 records issued by RCA Victor were color-coded according to genre – black for pop music, midnight blue for musical theater and operettas and classical music on red.

Soon, the 45, the record with the big hole in the middle, would change the pop music business. RCA even manufactured a record player that played only 45s - with a large spindle that made "stacking wax" real simple and automatic.

Singles fuelled the jukebox craze and became the basis for the first pop charts. The craze for rock 'n' roll music swept all before it, with stars like Elvis Presley building international fan bases.

On April 12, 1954, Bill Haley recorded "Rock Around the Clock" at Pythian Temple studios in New York City.  At the time, Billboard magazine compiled charts in three different categories: Best Sellers in Stores, Most Played By Disc Jockeys, and Most Played in Juke Boxes. "Rock Around The Clock" topped all three becoming the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts.

One casualty of this "war of the speeds" between Victor and Columbia was the old style 78s that rapidly began to disappear. In 1955 Billboard announced that seven-inch, 45-rpm singles were outselling 78-rpm singles for the first time in the U.S.

In 1967 the New York Times reported about a noise reduction system for album and tape recording developed by technicians R. and D.W. Dolby. Elektra Record's subsidiary, Checkmate Records became the first label to use the new Dolby process in its recordings.

In 1999 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced the biggest-selling artists of the century in the United States: The Beatles had sold the most albums (106 million), Garth Brooks was the best-selling male solo act, and Barbra Streisand the best-selling female. Elton John's "Candle In The Wind'97" was the best-selling single of the century, and the best-selling album was The Eagles's Greatest Hits 1971-1975.

The phonograph record has made a niche resurgence in the early 21st century – 9.2 million records were sold in the U.S. in 2014, a 260% increase since 2009.

The groove on a vinyl record is on average around 500 meters long.

Sources Nfo,  Compton's Encyclopedia

Thursday, 13 July 2017


The word 'recipe' comes from Latin 'recipere' - 'take' as most Roman recipes start with 'Take.. ' and go on to list the ingredients.

A 3,900-year-old poem honoring the Babylonian goddess Ninkasi contains instructions for brewing a beer, which happens to be the oldest known written recipe.

The ancient Egyptians painted hieroglyphics showing the preparation of food.

The first recorded fish recipe (a fish salad based on marinated and spiced carp) came from China in around 1300 BC.

Marcus Gavius Apicius was a well known Roman gourmet and epicure who lived sometime in the 1st century AD, during the reign of Tiberius. He wrote ten books on the art of cooking which were later summarized in De Re Coquinaria ("On Cookery").

Apicius' recipes featured numerous spices including pepper, which were intended to preserve the food, aid the digestion, and improve the flavor of the dull Roman fare. "Sprinkle with pepper and serve" was the last step in a recipe for diced pork and apples from one cookbook.

Apicius, De re culinaria, an early collection of recipes.

More than half of Apicius' recipes included honey.

Marco Polo brought back with him from China a recipe for making sorbets (fruit flavored water ice) . He taught his fellow Venetians to make the sorbets by running a mixture of water and potassium nitrate over containers filled with the substance to be cooled.

King Richard II of England asked his chefs to compile a recipe book. The result was Forme of Cury, which was published in 1390 (“Cury” is a term for cooked food). It consisted of 196 recipes, several of being for soups and pottages, which were poured over bread that had either been toasted or dipped in liquid.

Title page

In her younger days when she was a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn created a recipe for a small tart with an almond, curd cheese and lemon filling. Henry VIII was so pleased with her confection that he named Anne maid of honour.

Best known for his prophetic utterances, Nostradamus published in 1555 a recipe book, Excellent er Moult Utile Opuscule a tous necessaire qui desirent avoir connaissance de plusieurs exq uises recettes (An excellent and most useful little work essential to all who wish to become acquainted with some exquisite recipes). Included were recipes for various fruit jams such as cherry, lime or oranges made with ginger, honey, cooked wine and sugar.

Shakespeare gave a recipe for pies in A Winter's Tale including mace, nutmeg, ginger, prunes, raisins and saffron to color it.

François de la Varenne, originally learnt to cook in the kitchen of Catherine de Médici's cousin, Marie de Médici. In 1651 he wrote Cuisinier Français, which was the first book to establish cooking rules, to present recipes in alphabetical order and to include instructions for vegetable cooking.

The first curry recipe in English appeared in Hannah Glasse's The Art Of Cookery in 1747.

American food began to distinguish itself from its European and British origins at the end of the 18th century. Cooks were creating new recipes reflecting the use of the continent's many native ingredients, such as cranberries, maize and squash. There was soon an abundant and varied American cuisine.

Isabella Beeton (1836–1865) was an English journalist and editor, who wrote the cookery column for her husband's The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine. She is best known as the writer of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, which was initially serialized in 24 monthly installments, in the magazine. Of its 1,112 pages, over 900 contained recipes, which were plagiarized from other works, or sent in by the magazine's readers.

Presentation of fish dishes from the book. By

Count Pavel Stroganov of St Petersburg was a noted gourmet as well as a friend of Alexander III of Russia. A recipe called Beef Stroganoff had been in the Count's family for some years and was brought to the notice of people in his circle due to his love of entertaining. A chef, Charles Briere, who was working in St. Petersburg introduced the dish to the general public when he submitted the recipe to L 'Art Culinaire in 1891.

The disabled principal of Boston Cooking School, Fannie Farmer, wrote The Boston Cooking-School CookBook in 1896. Farmer was the first person to standardize the methods and measurements of her recipes, rather than such vague terms as "heaping spoonful", assuring reliable results to her readers.

The French artist Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 –1901) was also an excellent amateur cook.He created such original recipes as plums in rum and grilled grasshoppers, seasoned with salt and pepper.

Bagels were brought to the United States by immigrant Polish-Jews. By the 20th century a thriving business was developing in New York City. Their recipe for bagels was fiercely safeguarded for many years.

Colonel Harland Sanders owned a small restaurant and petrol station in Corbin, Kentucky. He served to travelers the recipes that he had learned as a youngster including one for fried chicken. By July 1940 Sanders had finalized his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe with a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices. Although he never publicly revealed the recipe, the Colonel admitted to the use of salt and pepper,

KFC original recipe chicken in bucket

Flamin' Hot Cheetos were first created as a result of a batch of crunchy Cheetos at the Frito-Lay factory not getting dusted with cheddar cheese. A Mexican janitor took the botched batch home and added chili powder to them. He then pitched this recipe to the CEO, who loved the idea.

The secret recipe for Dr Pepper's soda is protected as a highly valuable trade secret. It is reported that only three people have access to the formula, which is kept in a locked vault at company headquarters.

Source Food For Thought by Ed Pearce

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The real McCoy

A couple of different explanations have been given for the phrase "the real McCoy," meaning an authentic product: They are:

The US welterweight boxing champion Charles "Kid" McCoy was challenged by a man in a bar to prove he really is the boxing champion. McCoy flattened him and when the man came round he declared that he was indeed the real McCoy.

Kid McCoy Wikipedia Commons

In the late 19th century Scottish Mackay whisky was considered so good, that it was exported to Americans and Canadians with a Scottish background. The name was corrupted by some to "McCoy" but many expatriate Scots insisted on only drinking the real thing or "the real McCoy" rather than imitations.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan was born to Jack and Nelle Reagan on February 6, 1911 in a small apartment building in Tampico, Illinois.

Family photo including, older brother Neil, Reagan  (1916-17)

His father was a Roman Catholic of Irish descent and his mother was a Protestant of English and Scottish descent.

Ronald had an older brother, John Neil Reagan (1908–1996), who became an advertising executive.

Ronald Reagan was a lifeguard during high school and saved 77 people’s lives over seven summers.

1920s. As a teenager, in Dixon, Illinois

At Eureka College, a Christian church school in Illinois, Ronald Reagan successfully participated in sports, drama, and campus politics. He was a varsity guard on the football team and was captain of the swimming squad; he also participated in track and field.


Trying to launch a career in show business, Ronald Reagan auditioned for radio station WOC in Davenport, Iowa, by improvising play-by-play commentary for a football game. He was hired to announce the University of Iowa football games for ten dollars a game, and by the end of 1932 he became a staff announcer.

The next year Reagan was transferred to an affiliated station, WHO, in Des Moines. An announcer there until 1937, he also wrote a sports column for a newspaper. Among his duties was broadcasting Chicago Cubs baseball games from ticker tapes.

In 1940, Ronald Reagan was selected as the man with "the most nearly perfect male figure" by the University of Southern California's Division of Fine Arts.

Reagan had a successful career in Hollywood. His first screen credit was the starring role in the 1937 film Love Is on the Air. He appeared in 53 movies in total.

Ronald Reagan almost died on the set of the 1951 comedy Bedtime for Bonzo when his co-star—a chimp—strangled him by pulling on his tie.

Reagan was President of the Screen Actors Guild twice, from 1947 to 1952 and again from 1959 to 1960.

Reagan's last movie was a 1964 movie The Killers.

Throughout his movie career, his mother, Nelle, often answered much of his fan mail.


Reagan enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the cavalry on May 25, 1937.

During World War II, Reagan was separated for four years from his movie career. He was ordered to active duty for the first time on April 18, 1942. Due to his poor eyesight, Reagan was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas.

His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as a liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office.

In January 1944, Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the Sixth War Loan Drive, which campaigned for the purchase of war bonds.

Capt. Ronald Reagan at Fort Roach

Regan  was reassigned to the First Motion Picture Unit on November 14, 1944, where he remained until the end of World War II.

While with the First Motion Picture Unit in 1945, Reagan was indirectly involved in discovering Marilyn Monroe. It was he who sent out the army photographer that first discovered the actress.


Reagan first met his first wife Jane Wyman while filming Brother Rat in 1938. He asked Wyman to marry him at the Chicago Theatre.

They were married on January 20, 1940, at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather church in Glendale, California.

Reagan and Jane had two children: Michael (adopted) and Maureen Reagan.They had a third child, Christine Reagan, who was stillborn.

With wife Jane Wyman, 1942

After arguments about Reagan's political ambitions, Wyman filled for divorce in 1948. The divorce was official the following year.

Reagan was the first president of the United States to have been divorced.

In 1949, months after divorcing Wyman, Reagan met the actress Nancy Davis. She had been accidentally listed as a communist and asked Reagan in his capacity as President of the Screen Actors Guild to help her.

After Reagan helped Davis, the pair began dating. Three years later, Reagan asked Davis to marry her in Beverly Hills, California.

They were married on March 4, 1952 at the Little Brown Church in the Valley (North Hollywood, now Studio City) San Fernando Valley. Actor William Holden served as best man at the ceremony.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan on their wedding day, 1952

As Nancy Davis, she made 11 films between 1946 to 1959. Hellcats Of The Navy (1957) was her penultimate movie and the only one in which she appeared with her husband.

Reagan and Nancy had two children, Ron and Patti Reagan.

Their marriage would last until Reagan's death in 2004,


Ronald Reagan was raised as a member of the Disciples of Christ denomination, and considered himself to be a Presbyterian in the "born-again" tradition.

Reagan attended church his entire life, from the First Christian Church on S. Hennepin Avenue in Dixon, Ill. in the 1920s, to churches in Iowa in the 1930s, to varying churches in California in the mid 20th century.

When he was the governor of California Reagan generally attended Presbyterian church services at Bel-Air Presbyterian Church, though once he became president he rarely attended church. He cited security reasons.

Reagan's favorable policy towards Israel as President was very much influenced by the dispensationalism teachings of John Darby, which was all the rage in the United States in the 1980s.

He also believed that America was preordained by God to develop into the great freedom-loving, democratic nation it had become.


Ronald Reagan was very fond of Jelly Belly candies. When he became president, Reagan's passion for these jellybeans was a marketing dream, and he inspired the company to produce the blueberry flavour. As red and white colored jellybeans already existed, this meant the three colors of the American flag could be served in jellybeans at Reagan's inaugural party.

First Lady Nancy Reagan spent $200,000 on new china for the White House. She said they really needed it.

During his time at the White House Reagan had as pets Lucky, a Bouvier des Flandres dog, and Rex, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

The energetic Lucky, the President's first dog, was sent off to the Reagan Ranch after dragging Nancy Reagan across the White House lawn one too many times.

The more docile Rex replaced Lucky. Rex was treated to a lavishly decorated doghouse, which included framed portraits of Ronald and Nancy.


Reagan was very active in politics near the end of his acting career and was originally a Democrat. In 1962 he changed to the Republican party.

During the 1964 presidential election, Reagan supported Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. He made a famous speech called "A Time For Choosing" to support Goldwater In the speech Reagan spoke against government programs and high taxes.

He was the Governor of California from 1967 to 1975.

Before winning his president election in 1980, Reagan ran unsuccessfully for president two times in 1968 and in 1976.


Ronald Reagan was the American president from 1981-89. He was inaugurated, at age 69 the second oldest person elected president of the United States behind Donald Trump who was elected at age 70.

Inaugural parade (January 20, 1981).

Two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, DC, hotel by John W. Hinckley Jnr on March 30, 1981. White House press secretary James Brady, a Secret Service agent, and a District of Columbia police officer also were wounded.

John Hinckley claimed that he attempted to kill Ronald Reagan in order to impress the actress Jodie Foster.

Reagan was taken to hospital with a severe chest wound that required emergency surgery. As he was brought into the operating theater, he smiled at the surgeons and quipped "Please assure me that you are all Republicans." A surgeon who was a liberal democrat replied, "We're all Republicans today."

The Secret Service agent that saved President Reagan's life became a Secret Service agent after seeing a movie starring Ronald Reagan as a Secret Service Agent.

Ronald Reagan was 3,761 votes shy, in Minnesota, of winning every state in the 1984 Presidential Election.

Reagan is sworn in for a second term as president by Chief Justice Burger in the Capitol rotunda

Ronald and Nancy Reagan allowed the astrologer Joan Quigley to dictate the American presidential agenda, including the take-off times for Air Force One.

President Ronald Reagan signed The Tax Reform Act of 1986 backwards, writing his last name first. The action was legal, though apparently unprecedented in U.S. history.


Ronald Reagan changed his Bel Air retirement address of 666 St Cloud Street to 668.

In Los Angeles after leaving the White House, early 1990s

On November 5, 1994 former President Ronald Reagan published a letter to the U.S. people announcing his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. It is not known how many of his infamous verbal mishaps when he was president were early signs of the condition.

Reagan, suffering from Alzheimer's, would clean his swimming pool for hours without knowing his agents were replenishing the leaves in the pool.

Reagan died on June 5, 2004 at his Bel Air, Los Angeles home from pneumonia after a ten year battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 93 years old.

Source Compton's Encyclopedia