The 36C Buck Stops Here

So vows the President, warning, "We have to face the truth "

Ronald Reagan normally sleeps soundly, but he woke up worried at 4 a.m. last Wednesday. Neither of the two drafts that aides had prepared for the TV speech he was to deliver 41 hours later—his first from the White House—sounded quite right to him. So the President got up in the predawn darkness to scribble on a yellow legal pad, beginning a painstaking rewrite that continued later with the help of speechwriters and ended only five hours before he went on-camera in the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!