The Gipper Says Goodbye

As a new cast moves onstage, the Reagans leave to a standing ovation

Ronald Reagan hesitated for a moment in the cool luminance of the Oval Office, his last minutes as President ticking by. Tears welled in the eyes of the few aides who surrounded him, but Reagan was busy reaching into his coat pocket as he fished out a white laminated card.

The President looked up, some of that gentle mirth tugging at his mouth even in this melancholy pause on his way out of power. "Who do I give this to?" he asked quietly. He held up his authentication card for the launching of nuclear missiles, the card that must be inserted...

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