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Reagan's 100th birthday: 10 defining moments

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Ronald Reagan is sworn in as governor of California on Jan. 2, 1967. His 1964 speech in support of Barry Goldwater caught the attention of influential California Republicans, who then urged him to run for governor.


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2. Barry Goldwater endorsement speech (1964)

In 1964, Reagan unofficially entered politics when he campaigned for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Reagan traveled the country, giving a speech so eloquent and emotionally evocative that it convinced influential California Republicans that he was the man to run for governor in 1966.

In the speech, "A Time for Choosing," Reagan laid out policy views that would define his presidency, from support for laissez-faire economics and limited government to a hard-line stance against the Soviet Union.

He also rejected calls for peace with the Soviet Union, because he considered it immoral to leave people to languish under Soviet rule.

“We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb,” said Reagan, “by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, ‘Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we're willing to make a deal with your slave masters.’ "

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