The Presidency: The Gipper's Final Flight

After an impossible-to-imagine journey, a clan returns to California

The sinking California sun turned soft red and a breeze ruffled the hillside when Ronald Reagan was laid to rest on the magnificent stage created for his last bow. As the final taps floated out over the shimmering Pacific Ocean, Nancy Reagan held the flag from his casket close to her. She was worn but still resolute from the long week of farewell.

His body had ridden the dark caisson up to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, and the riderless horse, with Reagan's boots turned backward in the stirrups, had walked behind it. Tens of thousands of people queued up...

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!