Goodbye, Nancy
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Politics and Activism

Goodbye, Nancy

Heaven took back one of its Angels

Goodbye, Nancy

On March 6, the world lost an amazing woman. Nancy Reagan lived a glorious 95 years on this Earth. She was a role model for women everywhere. Besides being the first lady, she worked with the Senior Corps, started the "Just Say No" advertising campaign, and much more. She was an actress, author, and fashion icon. Most importantly, she was a strong woman. She cared for her nation, community, friends, and family.

On July 6, 1921, Nancy came into the world. She started in New York, then moved to Maryland, and finally Chicago, Illinois. Her mother was a radio actress and her step-father, who she would always refer to as her father, was a neurosurgeon. No doubt both played roles in her professional and political life.

Before she became an actress, she took work as a sales clerk as well as a nurse's aide. In 1940, she appeared in an ad to raise money to fight polio for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. The ad was a success and more funds were raised because of it. She got her start in acting thanks to her mother's connections in the theater industry. After acting in a road tour and Broadway musical, she went to Hollywood to pursue television acting. Starting with some small supporting roles, she worked her way up in the business to become a star. It was during her career as an actress she met her future husband, Ronald Reagan.

The Reagans had four children -- two from Ronald's previous marriage and two from their marriage. Nancy was very dedicated to her family. She treated her step-children like they were hers. She cared deeply for her husband. After an attempted assassination of her husband, she took on the role of protector because she said she could not imagine life without him. Though not every family was perfect, she did quarrel with her children on several occasions, she did eventually reconcile with them.

Her first venture into politics was when her husband became the governor of California. After living in the Governor's mansion for about four months, she made the controversial decision to move her family to a suburb while a new mansion could be constructed. The move was due to the original mansion being labelled as a firetrap, and she thought it would be best for their family to move. The leased house they lived in was self-financed. While she was the First Lady, she spent much of her time organizing charities and dinners. She brought the Foster Grandparents Program into popularity and even spread it to Australia. Her dinners were often held for prisoners of war and Vietnam War veterans.

When her husband became President, she went straight to work on making the White House more suitable for a family, as it had fallen into disrepair over the years. She believed it would be better to fund the renovations through private donations rather than the taxpayer dollars. These renovations were the start of Nancy's belief in the formality of the White House.

It was as her tenure as First Lady of California that she became the Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year and was described as a model First Lady. She became a frequent topic of press photographs. As First Lady of the United States, she was noted for her sense of fashion. She became so well known for her fashion sense that she was often compared to Jacqueline Kennedy.

Nancy was also known as a very influential First Lady. She was a feminist, describing the movement as being able to choose what you want to do. She became a proponent of stem cell research. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy, more women across the U.S. went to get mammograms that year.

The "Just Say No" campaign is perhaps what she is most well known for. Personally, I was involved in one of these clubs when I was in elementary school. These after-school programs were meant to inform children of the dangers of drugs as well as keeping them away from drugs and crime. She championed a drug enforcement bill that her husband signed into law. She even brought it to an international scale talking to the UN General Assembly as well as inviting other First Ladies of other nations to talk about drug laws and trafficking.

Nancy continued her philanthropic activities after her family left the White House. It was then that she also began to pen her memoirs. When Ronald began to suffer from Alzheimer's she acted as his caretaker up until his death in 2004. It was her husband's death that lead to her firm position on stem cell research.

Nancy Reagan was an amazing woman. No one can deny that. She was an American through and through. I know she is happy now that she has reunited with her Ronnie. The world shall miss you. Goodbye Nancy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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