From Actor to Politician: 1966, Ronald Reagan's Pivotal Year

1966, Ronald Reagan's Pivotal Year
Bill Ray / Time life Pictures / Getty Images

The Campaign Begins
By all accounts, Reagan was a reluctant candidate. His biography on the website of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library recounts that "Reagan had never given a thought about running for public office. 'I'm an actor, not a politician,' he claimed." But after traveling the state for six months and feeling the pressure of his backers, he agreed (with Nancy's approval) to throw his hat into the ring. Here, the candidate and his wife ride in a parade in early 1966, shortly after the official announcement was made.

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