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Celebrating Young America’s Foundation’s 15th Anniversary of Preserving and Protecting Rancho del Cielo


Dear Friend,

“A

Place to See the Real Ronald Reagan” is how a Washington Post headline described Rancho del Cielo. Although few reporters had seen the private quarters of President Reagan’s ranch prior to April 1998, most instantly recognize that it is overflowing with our 40th President’s character. What a tragedy it would have been if the Reagan Presidential home had not been saved for future generations. We would have lost the opportunity to see and understand the significance of the setting that shaped so many decisions that affected our nation’s history in the crucial 1981 to 1989 era. Itt is unlikely that an American President would surmise that future generations would come to know more about him and his times by visiting his private home. The White House is more likely to come to mind. Yet, the White House changes with each President. So Mount Vernon, Monticello, Montpelier, and other Presidential homes are where Americans go to learn about their occupants. Our nation’s efforts to save the homes of its chief executives would be irreparably undermined by missing the site of the most important President of the twentieth century. The Reagan Ranch is more than a Presidential time capsule. It is an ideal venue to pass on his ideas to future generations. Ronald Reagan had a vision for America that was motivated by big, powerful principles. He told us in his first inaugural address, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” To the new President, it was “time to check and reverse the growth of government.” He continued, “It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment.” President resident Reagan had a clear understanding of the threats Socialist ideologies and modern day terrorism posed to freedom. He believed it was essential for our leaders to develop winning strategies to thwart these threats. Ronald Reagan’s principles are just as important today as they were in 1981. They are timeless. And they need to be taught to each generation. This was President Reagan’s message in his final address from the Oval Office. He warned us that we must do a better job teaching our children an informed patriotism. President resident Reagan worked with Young America’s Foundation for more than 20 years. He was eager to pass his ideas on to new audiences. It is fitting, then, that the leadership and supporters of Young America’s Foundation acted quickly and with sacrificial efforts to save this historic site. This issue of Libertas celebrates the Foundation’s 15th anniversary of preserving the Reagan Ranch and tells of President Reagan, his beloved Rancho del Cielo, and how we are utilizing the Ranch to pass on President Reagan’s principles to future generations.

Sincerely,

Ron on Robinson President


LIBERTAS 1 5 th R e a g a n R a n c h A n n i v e r s a r y I s s u e

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Young America’s Foundation and My Father’s Ranch Young By Michael Reagan, Author By

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Saving Rancho Del Cielo Saving By Nicole Hoplin, Vice President By

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How ow Rancho del Cielo Advances Our Conservative Movement Today By Jessica Jensen, Editor By

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A Journey Through Reagan Country By Matt Bloise, National Journalism Center Alumnus By

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The Reagan Ranch Center: A Schoolhouse for Reaganism By Andrew Coffin, Vice President and Director of the Reagan Ranch By

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The Reagan Ranch: Visiting History at a Personal Level By Newt Gingrich, 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives By

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Rancho del Cielo, Ronald Reagan, and the U.S. Secret Service By Danielle Fowler, Young America’s Foundation Alumna By

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A Student’s Reflections on the Reagan Ranch By Patrick Casten, Young America’s Foundation Alumnus By

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Meeting eeting Ronald Reagan By The Honorable Jim DeMint, President, The Heritage Foundation By

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Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney Headline Reagan 100 Celebration By Kate Obenshain, Author and Young America’s Foundation Alumna By

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John Wayne’s Daughter Reflects on Her Father, Ronald Reagan, and Rancho del Cielo By Bryant Conger, Young America’s Foundation Alumnus By

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On the Cover: Since 1998, Young America’s Foundation has preserved and protected Ronald Reagan’s ranch, Rancho del Cielo.

Also in This Issue: Town and Country Magazine Features Patti Davis’s Article on Rancho Del Cielo—page Cielo—page 6, 6, Bill O’Reilly Visits the Western White House—page House—page 8, Learn More About Ronald Reagan and His Ranch—page Ranch—page 42

th Foundation’s 15 Anniversary Celebrating Young America’s Rancho del Cielo of Preserving and Protecting

Libertas, the Latin word for liberty, is a publication of Young America’s Foundation which highlights the programs, events, students, staff, and supporters of the Foundation. You may contact Libertas and Young America’s Foundation by writing to: Young America’s Foundation, National Headquarters, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170; calling 800-USA-1776; or visiting yaf.org. Editor: Jessica Jensen; Publisher: Ron Robinson; Publication Design: Jonathan Briggs; Assistant Editors: Amy Brooker, Cheri Cerame, Patrick Coyle, Anthony Hadford, Nicole Hoplin, Brendan Pringle, and Nicole Tardif. This document and all herein contents, images, stories, graphics, and design, fall unto copyright © 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Young America’s Foundation, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Any use of Libertas’ Libertas’ content without the written permission of Young America’s Foundation is prohibited.

Young America’s Foundation Board Of Directors Ron Robinson President of the Board Ronald Pearson Vice President of the Board Frank Donatelli Secretary and Treasurer of the Board T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr. Wynton C. Hall Thomas L. Phillips Peter Schweizer James B. Taylor Kirby Wilbur Reagan Ranch Board Of Governors Frank Donatelli Chairman Judge William Clark Co-Chairman Edwin Meese Co-Chairman Robert F. Agostinelli Governor George Allen John Barletta Dr. Suzanne Becker Lisa M. Buestrin Robert Cummins Becky Norton Dunlop Robert Giuffra, Jr. Timothy S. Goeglein Ambassador Patricia L. Herbold Eric & Nicole Hoplin Marty Irving Harold Knapheide Mark Larson Al & Bette Moore Governor Bill Owens Doug & Pat Perry Thomas Phillips Dr. Robert Ruhe & Lee Shannon Fred & Ruth Sacher Richard & Jane Schwartz Craig Shirley Owen & Bernadette Casey Smith Barbara S. Waddell National Journalism Center Board Of Governors Thomas Phillips Chairman Kellyanne Conway Terry Eastland Rich Lowry Alex Marlow Matt Robinson Tom Winter


Preserving My Father’s Ranch by M i ch a e l R e ag a n , a u t h o R

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t has been 15 years since Reagan Ranch Center are also Young America’s Foundation where students have access purchased my father’s beloved to the ideas and training that ranch home, Rancho del Cielo, are sadly absent from their after the federal and state own classrooms. In settings governments failed to preserve that reinforce rather than this national treasure. Without undermine conservative values, the dedicated preservation efforts our young people are given of Young America’s Foundation, the tools they need to protect our nation would have lost one liberty and lead our country. of our greatest Presidential sites. Rancho del Cielo has The Ranch was where my also become a place for father liked to unwind from the conservatives of all ages to come stresses and spotlight of public and pay respects to my father. Michael Reagan and his daughter, Ashley, visit Rancho del Cielo. life. “No place before or since Indeed, the Western White has ever given Nancy and me House has become a mustthe joy and serenity it does,” he said about the Ranch. see historic site for our leaders today. Vice President Dick Without its preservation, younger generations would not W Cheney; Governors Scott Walker, Sarah Palin, Mike Pence, be afforded the opportunity to walk in my father’s footsteps Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry, George Allen, and Jan Brewer; at Rancho del Cielo and gain a better understanding of his Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Jim DeMint and Mike life and lasting accomplishments. Lee; Speakers John Boehner and Newt Gingrich; Secretary Young America’s Foundation is committed to teaching Y Donald Rumsfeld; Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Sean young people about the ideas that my father held dear: Duffy, and Tom Tancredo; and Congresswoman Michele individual freedom, a strong national defense, free Bachmann are among the many leaders who have visited the enterprise, and traditional values. The Ranch and nearby Reagan Ranch in recent years.

Michael Reagan, his daughter, Ashley (left), and his wife, Colleen (right), participate in Young America’s Foundation’s fall student conference in Santa Barbara, California.

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Michael Reagan and Lou Cannon prepare to go live on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes.


And when these leading conservatives A visit, they realize why my father was so inspired by his beautiful California ranch. They understand why, as he wrote himself, it was the place he went to “think things out.” Like Washington’s Mount Vernon and Lik Jefferson’s Monticello, Rancho del Cielo reflects—in a way no other place can—so much of what my father believed and the values for which he stood. “There’s something about the wild scenery and serenity of the ranch and the easy gait of the horse beneath me that I find particularly relaxing. And while I loved living in the White House, I must confess that nothing in this great wide world of ours quite compares to having a home on the ranch,” The Reagan family at Rancho del Cielo in 1985. Pictured from left to right: Michael Reagan, President he said. Reagan, Cameron Reagan, Colleen Reagan, Ashley Reagan, Nancy Reagan, Ron Reagan, Doria Reagan, Paul Grilley, and Patti Davis. (Photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.) Thanks to the work of Young America’s Foundation, polls gauging the relative Bette Moore, Rich and Helen DeVos, and John Barletta have popularity of American Presidents have shown steady dedicated their time, resources, support, leadership, and increases for Ronald Reagan since 1998. knowledge to this cause. We are blessed by their continued What is even more amazing about the Ranch project is W and steadfast partnership in this project. that it has been done with voluntary contributions because As we celebrate this 15th anniversary of the Reagan Young America’s Foundation accepts no coerced tax dollars Ranch project, I offer my heartfelt thanks to all those who for any part of its operation. have supported Young America’s Foundation in this noble While I cannot possibly thank everyone who has made W endeavor. My father would be so pleased to know his the Ranch project possible, I would be remiss if I did not beloved Rancho del Cielo has and will continue to inspire point out the dedicated efforts of several individuals who young people with the principles he spent his life advancing: have been key leaders in the Foundation’s efforts to preserve freedom, free enterprise, and limited government. and protect my father’s ranch home. Attorney General Thank you. Edwin Meese, Judge William Clark, Frank Donatelli, Al and

Michael Reagan addresses young people from around the country at the Reagan Ranch Center.

A frequent participant in Foundation programs, Michael Reagan hosts his radio program live from the Reagan Ranch Center in downtown Santa Barbara.

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Patti Davis Highlights Rancho del Cielo Visit in Town & Country Magazine The November 2012 cover sTory iN Town & CounTr T y magaziNe featured the Tr Reagan Ranch in an article by President Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis. A Town & Country contributor, Davis visited the Ranch in 2011—her first time back since Young America’s Foundation saved the Ranch in 1998. The article includes several photographs of key moments in Ranch history, including the 1981 signing of the Economic Recovery Tax Act. It also features Davis’s personal anecdotes from her time spent at the Ranch. As she notes, the article tells the “story of a daughter returning to a place her father loved with all his soul.” Da recalls the Ranch as her “father’s refuge, his sanctuary; [the place Davis that] fed his soul.” She also underscores the Foundation’s preservation efforts, noting, “The house has been maintained exactly as it was when my parents owned it.” Like so many of Young America’s Foundation’s visitors, Davis was struck by how the Ranch continues to embody her father’s spirit and character: “This is how he comes into my dreams, I thought—in ranch clothes, whistling softly while he tends to the horses. I almost believed I could walk out the door of the tack room and find him there, boots crunching on the gravel, horses tethered to the railings.” At the end of her visit, Davis concludes, “I remembered what I’d always known about the ranch, At and what my father knew as well: It goes with you. It’s impossible to leave it behind and not hold fast to it in your memory and your heart.”

The November 2012 issue of Town & Country magazine features Patti Davis’s article about her return visit to Rancho del Cielo.

Patti Davis visits her father’s beloved ranch home for the first time since Young America’s Foundation saved the Reagan Ranch in 1998.

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“I knew something was missing, until I added Young America’s Foundation to my will”

Dear Conservative,

Are you worried about America’s future? Some say America has gone too far down the path of big government and redistribution to return to our freedom-loving roots. But remember, many Americans felt similar despair in the late 1970s. Then Ronald Reagan changed everything. He used conservative ideas to turn the country around. If you came of age before 1980, you experienced America’s revival firsthand. Young people lack this experience, so they are vulnerable to the distortions and lies advanced by the Left. Indeed, polls routinely tell us young people are becoming more supportive of leftist ideas, despite failures of socialist and redistributive schemes witnessed during their lifetime. Young people deserve the opportunity to understand conservative ideas and lead America in freedom. Young America’s Foundation is the premier conservative organization specializing in developing young leaders and reaching new audiences with your principles. YAF saved Ronald Reagan’s ranch, the Western White House, 15 years ago. Now we protect the Reagan Ranch as a Presidential property and place to inspire young people with conservative ideas. We are the leader in our field, providing young people with breakthrough opportunities including national conferences for high school and college students, Young Americans for Freedom chapters, leadership programs at the Reagan Ranch and Reagan Ranch Center, National Journalism Center media internships, and the largest campus lecture program in the Conservative Movement. We have a successful formula for reaching high school and college students. We simply need to expand our programs to reach young people on an ever-increasing scale. That’s why I’m asking you to please consider including Young America’s Foundation in your estate plans.

You will have peace of mind knowing your estate is under your control— not the government’s—and will be used to help young people.

I urge you to ask your attorney to add this bequest language to your will: “I give, devise, and bequeath to Young America’s Foundation, tax identification number 23-7042029, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170 (insert percentage, amount or nature of gift, or remainder of estate) to be used for educational purposes (or to support the Reagan Ranch Fund).” I want to personally thank any conservative who is considering an estate gift. Please call me at 800-USA-1776 at any time. Thank you and God bless you. Gratefully,

R Robinson, President Ron Member, Ranch in the Sky Legacy Society

I knew something was missing, until I added Young America’s Foundation to my will. Now I have peace of mind knowing my estate is under my control, not the government’s. And since YAF is a 501(c)(3) organization, my gift is tax-exempt. I can think of no better use of my life’s earnings than to help young conservatives.

You can receive a free Estate Planning Guide when you call 800-USA-1776 and mention this ad. Ask for Kimberly Martin Begg, Esq., vice president & general counsel.

www.yaf.org 800-USA-1776 The Reagan Ranch Center 217 State Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101 National Headquarters F.M. Kirby Freedom Center 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170


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Bill O’Reilly Visits Rancho del Cielo bill o’reilly, hosT of The o’r ’ eilly FaCTo ’r T r To on the Fox News Channel, toured the Reagan Ranch with Foundation Vice President Andrew Coffin and President Reagan’s longest serving Secret Service agent, John Barletta. O’Reilly was in Santa Barbara for his Bolder and Fresher show with Dennis Miller. Like many visitors, O’Reilly was surprised Bill O’Reilly highlights his Reagan Ranch visit during The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News. by the humbleness of the ranch house. Following his visit, O’Reilly opened his television program by describing his ranch visit. He told his audience that the Ranch reminded him “that Ronald Reagan was a modest man who based his public policy and his life on common sense.” O’Reilly ’Reilly also highlighted his Ranch visit in his nationally-syndicated column and on BillOReilly.com. He wrote: Last week I ambled on up to the late Ronald Reagan’s ranch high in the mountains of Santa Barbara County. Called Rancho del Cielo (Ranch in the Sky), it comprises 688 acres and one very small home. In fact, I was very surprised by how modest it is....It is obvious that Ronald Reagan didn’t care about amenities. He wanted to ride his horses, chop his wood and get in some alone time. My visit to the ranch confirmed that Mr. Reagan was a regular guy who valued basic things.

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly (middle) visits Rancho del Cielo with Foundation Vice President Andrew Coffin (left) and President Reagan’s close friend and Secret Service agent, John Barletta (right).

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To Preserve and Protect: Young America’s Foundation, Ronald Reagan, and Saving Rancho del Cielo By Nicole Hoplin, Vice President

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oung Action Conference America’s (CPAC) and were Foundation proud to host newlyhas a long history elected President with Ronald Ronald Reagan for a Reagan. In 1962, memorable dinner then television host banquet in 1981. At of General Electric that banquet, Reagan Theater Ronald stated, Reagan joined Fellow the YAF national citizens, fellow advisory board, conservatives, eventually becoming our time is now. YAF’s honorary Our moment has national chairman, a arrived… position he retained If we carry the until after his day and turn Presidency. In 1974, the tide we can the Foundation hope that as long sponsored Clockwise from top: Students visit the Ranch and learn about Ronald as men speak a nationally Reagan. Foundation President Ron Robinson meets with President Reagan of freedom and syndicated radio in 1993. Members of the Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Board of Governors those who have program featuring and team gather in front of the main ranch house. (Pictured from left: Richard Kimble, Tim Goeglein, Ambassador Patricia Herbold, Ron Robinson, protected it, they California Governor Helen and Rich DeVos, Frank Donatelli, Tom Phillips, Nicole and Eric Hoplin, will remember Ronald Reagan. Kate Obenshain, and John Barletta.) us and they will Governor Reagan’s say, ‘Here were addresses, focusing the brave and here their place of honor.’ on a variety of issues including taxes, crime, and foreign policy, helped strengthen the future President’s national These words are now inscribed on Freedom Wall at the reputation. Reagan Ranch—a place of honor for all those generous In the mid-1970s, Foundation leaders, including Americans who stepped forward to preserve the Reagan President Ron Robinson and Secretary/Treasurer Frank Ranch and protect freedom. Donatelli, helped establish the Conservative Political Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue 9


Young America’s Foundation preserves Rancho del Cielo as it was when President Reagan resided there.

YAF and the Reagan White House

Conservative Student Conference in Washington, D.C. In 1993, President Reagan addressed the conference, saying, “Young America’s Foundation has been a refuge for students seeking an alternative to the politically correct environment enforced on many campuses. I know the conference will send you back to your campuses better informed, motivated, and trained. Your work is vital to the future of the nation.”

“The government has been taken over by YAFers,” opined liberal columnist Molly Ivins in 1981, after Ronald Reagan’s victory. The New York Times reported in 1981 that nearly 50 YAF members had been appointed to the White House staff alone! In his book, A Generation Awakes, Wayne Thorburn catalogues the YAF alumni who put their careers aside to serve our country. Individuals at the White House included: speechwriters Dana Rohrabacher and Tony Dolan; Frank Preserving Rancho del Cielo Donatelli as assistant to the President for political affairs; In 1998, when President Reagan could no longer care James C. Roberts as the director of the White House Fellows for the Ranch because of his ailing health, it stood in Program; Ken Cribb (now a Young America’s Foundation danger of being lost completely. Local, state, and federal director) assistant to the President for domestic affairs; and authorities all failed to act and save Becky Norton Dunlop (now on the this precious property; in the end, Reagan Ranch Board of Governors) In 1998, the Foundation Rancho del Cielo was saved by as a screener of potential hires at took on a great Young America’s Foundation from the office of Presidential personnel; a purchaser with no regard for its among many others. responsibility, but we historic value. Many YAFers also served elsewhere did not do it alone. Our It was the appropriate step in in the Reagan administration. These supporters rose to the the Foundation’s relationship with included: Michelle Easton at the President Reagan to come forward Departments of Treasury, Justice, challenge and helped us during his time of need to protect and Education; Don Devine as the save the Reagan Ranch for the place he loved so much. After all, director of the Office of Personnel Ronald Reagan had been there for Management; Richard Abell at the future generations. countless young Americans over the Peace Corps; Mark Levin at ACTION; years, inspiring and supporting their Carol Dawson Bauman at the budding conservatism. Department of Energy; James V. Lacy Young America’s Foundation saw an extraordinary at the Department of Commerce; James Meadows at the opportunity to save an important piece of American history Department of Agriculture; Steve Some at the Department and, at the same time, exponentially increase our ability to of Labor; and so many more. fulfill our mission. For Young America’s Foundation, whose During each year of his Presidency, Ronald Reagan own history and ethos is tied directly to President Reagan, hosted briefings at the White House for Young America’s saving the Ranch offered an unmatchable opportunity Foundation’s student leaders attending the National th 10 Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15 Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue


to protect his ideas and advance conservative principles. In 1998, the Foundation took on a great responsibility, but we did not do it alone. Our supporters rose to the challenge and helped us save the Reagan Ranch for future generations. One supporter’s assistance in particular cannot be overestimated. John Engalitcheff’s bequest John Engalitcheff, born helped Young America’s a Russian prince, worked Foundation save the Reagan his way through college Ranch. and later pioneered the development of air conditioning coils found in the building systems of Madison Square Garden, the Seattle Space Needle, and the St. Louis Arch. After being driven from his homeland during the Communist revolution, John Engalitcheff vowed to do whatever he could to fight communism, especially as it related to the Soviet Union. He admired Ronald Reagan’s tough “Peace through Strength” strategy and, at the same time, endorsed Young America’s Foundation’s quest to educate young people about the dangers of communism and collectivism. John Engalitcheff was also a guest of

Young America’s Foundation during the 1981 CPAC when Ronald Reagan addressed the conference. Before he abruptly passed away, John Engalitcheff made provisions in his estate for Young America’s Foundation. His generous bequest, in addition to lead gifts from F.M. Kirby and Tom Phillips, enabled Young America’s Foundation to step forward during Ronald Reagan’s time of need and save his precious home. We know John Engalitcheff would be proud to realize what his support accomplished for the man who brought communism to its knees. Rancho del Cielo is a place for young Americans to understand and be inspired by Ronald Reagan’s principles and character—today and for generations to come. Many generous Americans helped Young America’s Foundation preserve and protect the Reagan Ranch. Less than two years after saving Rancho del Cielo, Young America’s Foundation and our most dedicated supporters and friends retired the note on the property. The Reagan Ranch is the centerpiece of Young America’s Foundation’s student outreach programs. Preserving this property allows us to bring young people to the Western White House—to use it as a tool to teach these future leaders about Ronald Reagan. This bold undertaking fosters the virtues of individual freedom, limited government, patriotism, and traditional values in America’s future leaders. In teaching young people about Ronald Reagan’s accomplishments, Young America’s Foundation instills the very ideas that have been the core of our mission since our founding.

Before the Western White House José Jesus Pico, a Spanish settler who established his homestead in the Santa Ynez Mountains after leaving Mexico, built the original adobe home on the property in 1872. Rancho de los Picos not only provided sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Valley below but also supplied ample land for growing crops including beans, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and watermelons—even producing grapes that were made into 900 gallons of wine annually—and for raising hogs, chickens, cattle, and horses. The Ranch remained in the Pico family for 70 years until 1941 when José Pico’s son, Joe, sold the ranch to Santa Barbara County surveyor Frank Flournoy for $6,000. Tip Top Ranch, as Flournoy then renamed it, transferred hands only one other time, to Raymond and Rosalie Cornelius in 1955, before Ronald Reagan’s close friend, Bill Wilson, showed Governor Reagan the property in 1974. Governor Reagan purchased Tip Top Ranch in 1974 for $527,000. In his biography, Ronald Reagan wrote, “From the first day we saw it, Rancho del Cielo cast a spell over us. No place before or since has ever given Nancy and me the joy and serenity it does.” Ronald Reagan so admired the Ranch that he found it appropriate to rename it for the third time. Rancho del Cielo, or “Ranch in the Sky,” became a private haven for Governor and later President Reagan—a retreat for contemplative study and reflection during some of the nation’s most difficult times. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue

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The Reagan Ranch Today: How Rancho del Cielo Advances Our Conservative Movement By Jessica Jensen, Editor

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resident Reagan Reagan administration said, “It officials, members is up to us, to of the military, work together and many others for progress have been to and humanity, the Reagan so that our Ranch, but grandchildren, Young America’s when they look Foundation sees back at us, can Rancho del Cielo truly say, that as much more we not only than a scenic preserved the site—although flame of freedom, its views are Thousands have visited the Reagan Ranch since the Foundation saved it in 1998. Through but cast its certainly the Ranch, we inspire and teach future generations about Ronald Reagan and his lasting warmth and light breathtaking. accomplishments. further than those A trip to who came before us.” the Reagan Ranch is an unforgettable journey to the awe Young America’s Foundation stepped in to save President inspiring landscape and humble home which—to President Reagan’s Western White House, Rancho del Cielo, in the Reagan—represented freedom and opportunity and the very spring of 1998 to preserve it as a “flame of freedom”—a principles upon which this country was founded. living monument to Ronald Reagan which passes on his For young people—many of whom were not even ideas and lasting accomplishments to future generations. born when Ronald Reagan was President—an afternoon President Reagan committed himself to reaching young at Rancho del Cielo can teach them more about Ronald people with his ideas—a goal that is also central to the Wilson Reagan than they will learn throughout their entire Foundation’s mission of ensuring that increasing numbers academic careers. of young Americans understand and are inspired by the They learn about hard work and its rewards, as they see ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free the fence posts he constructed with his bare hands and visit enterprise, and traditional values. the tack barn in which he spent so many hours preparing his Today, the Reagan Ranch—accompanied by the horses for trail rides. Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center in downtown Santa They discover the importance of modesty and generosity, Barbara (see page 23)—is a place of inspiration for as they explore his small adobe home, simply adorned with thousands of visitors each year. Numerous conferences, Western artwork, his favorite books, and the well-worn seminars, training programs, and special events take place in furniture of a beloved dwelling. the beautiful stretch of central California that Ronald Reagan And as they take in the majestic views and valleys called home. cherished by President Reagan, these young visitors come Students, supporters, media personalities, authors, to understand what President Reagan meant when he

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recognized God’s role in America’s destiny: I’ve always believed that there was some plan that put this continent here, to be found by people from every corner of the world who had the courage and the love of freedom enough to uproot themselves, leave family and friends and homeland, to come here and develop a whole new breed of people called American.  You look at the beauty of it.  God really did shed his grace on America, as the song says.

A trip to the Reagan Ranch is an unforgettable journey to the awe-inspiring landscape and humble home which—to President Reagan— represented freedom and opportunity and the very principles upon which this country was founded.

For conservative leaders and more seasoned activists, a journey to the Ranch reignites their passion for advancing freedom and reminds them of why they support our shared cause. Senator Jim DeMint commented, “Ronald Reagan was always a man I wanted to know. After visiting his ranch—

now protected and preserved by Young America’s Foundation—I feel like I do.” Governor Sarah Palin echoed this sentiment: “There are hundreds of places that bear his name, but the Ranch is one of the few where truly, when you are there, you can distinctly feel his spirit.” Young America’s Foundation’s student programs at Rancho del Cielo include high school and college conferences; topical seminars on current issues such as the threat of radical Islam or the economy; our annual retreat for our top student activists; and more. The Foundation also provides our President’s Club and Rawhide Circle supporters with opportunities to visit Rancho del Cielo and attend special events in recognition of their gifts which make preserving and utilizing the Reagan Ranch possible. Various programs include the celebration

Notable Visitors to Rancho del Cielo

Governor Sarah Palin

Helen and Rich DeVos

Attorney General John Ashcroft and his wife, Janet

Senator Ron Johnson and his wife, Jane, Senator Ted Cruz, and Foundation President Ron Robinson

Governor Rick Perry and his wife, Anita

Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista

Governor Scott Walker and his wife, Tonette

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Students explore Ronald Reagan’s adobe ranch home.

of President Reagan’s 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act— which was signed into law at the Ranch—the President’s Club Reagan Ranch Weekend, and the Rawhide Circle Retreat, among others. Such events draw leading conservatives who educate, encourage, and motivate audiences—young and old—with Ronald Reagan’s values and ideas. Foundation speakers at the Reagan Ranch and Reagan Ranch Center have included Vice President Dick Cheney; Senators Ted Cruz, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson; Governors George Allen, Bobby Jindal, Bill Owens, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Scott Walker; Speakers John Boehner and Newt Gingrich; Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Edwin Meese; Secretaries Bill Clark, Jack Kemp, and Donald Rumsfeld; Congressmen Sean Duffy, Tom McClintock, Patrick McHenry, Ed Royce, and Joe Wilson; Congresswomen Michele Bachmann and Jaime Herrera Beutler; best-selling authors Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, Brad Thor, and Michelle Malkin; and many more. Young America’s Foundation also welcomes students

from local schools and partners with like-minded groups to host their leadership, board members, and supporters at the Reagan Ranch. Such organizations include The Heritage Foundation, The Fund for American Studies, Focus on the Family, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, Young Britons’ Foundation, Marriage and Family Foundation, Citizens United Foundation, Eureka College, Royale Energy, The Phillips Foundation, Eagle Publishing, Media Research Center, Challenge Foundation, and others. Continuing Ronald Reagan’s deep appreciation and respect for our servicemen and women, Young America’s Foundation welcomes sailors and officers at the Ranch when their magnificent aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan, ports in Santa Barbara. The young soldiers not only visit the Ranch home, however. They also volunteer their time and energy to help trim trails, clear brush, repair structures, and perform other tasks that President Reagan so enjoyed during his time at Rancho del Cielo. These and other programs, events, and special visitors

It is Young America’s Foundation’s hope—our vision—that all who visit Rancho del Cielo depart with an increased desire to protect and advance freedom, knowing that it is, as he told us, special and rare.

help Young America’s Foundation ensure that Ronald Reagan’s ideas and lasting accomplishments inspire the next generation of young leaders. It is Young America’s Foundation’s hope—our vision— that all who visit Rancho del Cielo depart with an increased desire to protect and advance freedom, knowing that it is, as he told us, special and rare. Perhaps, the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said it best when she stated, “We have one beacon to guide us that Ronald Reagan never had. We have his example.” And what an honor it is for Young America’s Foundation to preserve the home—the Ranch in the Sky—that truly exemplifies the great leader who led the Conservative Movement and changed our world for the Young leaders from around the country visit the “Western White House” where they gain the better. inspiration and courage needed to advance freedom on their campuses.

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Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue


A Journey Through Reagan Country B y M at t B l o i s e , N at i o N a l J o u r N a l i s M C e N t e r a l u M N u s

onald Reagan’s spirit is alive in Southern R California—in the movie lots where he worked and the buildings and streets that now bear his name—but nowhere is his memory more keenly felt than in Santa Barbara. Reagan bought Rancho del Cielo—his “ranch in the sky,” as he called it—during the last year of his governorship of California, and he retired there in the early President Reagan meets with Si Jenkins, fellow riding partner and owner of Jedlicka’s Saddlery in Santa Barbara.

State Street in downtown Santa Barbara

1970s. The historic home, now preserved by Young America’s Foundation, was his personal anchor and an invaluable retreat away from the White House, where he spent nearly an entire year of his Presidency. He preferred to spend his time in the mountains above Santa Barbara, but any visitor to the city can still find the Presidential imprint in the places he went, the restaurants he frequented, and most of all, in the people he knew. (continued on page 17)

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A Journey Through Reagan Country

Mcconnell’s Ice creaM

(Above) Michael Vierra, McConnell’s master ice cream maker and plant manager, displays a giant tub of the company’s famous ice cream. (Left) The Santa Barbara News-Press reports on President Reagan’s request for jellybean ice cream from the local company. The treat was dubbed “Ronnie’s Delight” by McConnell’s Ice Cream.

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A Journey Through Reagan Country

No institution better invokes the memory and ideas of the 40th President than the Reagan Ranch Center, Young America’s Foundation’s West Coast hub located on lower State Street. In addition to preserving Rancho del Cielo, the facility—formerly the historic Neal Hotel which was renovated and reopened as the Reagan Ranch Center in 2006—hosts around 80 events for students, supporters, and guests every year with a staff dedicated to instilling students with the philosophy of freedom. The 22,000 square-foot building houses a two-story Reagan Ranch Exhibit Gallery that includes, among the memorabilia, his famous blue Jeep with the “Gipper” license plate and the rustic table on which Ronald Reagan signed the largest tax cut in American history at his ranch in 1981. The state-of-the-art displays also feature selections of his speeches, radio addresses, and interviews from the Reagan Ranch, and even an interactive bookcase—replicated after the bookshelf in the ranch home—that gives insight into the writers that shaped his thoughts. The Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Gallery is open to the public Monday through Thursday. In addition to the institution dedicated to commemorating his lasting accomplishments, Reagan emerges in the shops and streets of Santa Barbara. A letter from the President adorns the wall of McConnell’s Ice Cream, thanking them for supplying the dessert for a barbecue at the Ranch, and his portrait can be found at Harry’s Plaza Café— where Secret Service agents would unwind. The late Fess Parker, a fellow actor and friend from the Hollywood years, constructed the sprawling DoubleTree Hotel on Cabrillo Boulevard and named one of the conference rooms in Reagan’s honor.

Fess Parker’s DoubleTree resorT esor Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort boasts a special meeting space called “The Reagan Room” in the well-known hotel just steps from the Pacific Ocean.

Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort

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A Journey Through Reagan Country

The nuggeT

(Above) A framed “Presidential Seal” hangs on the walls of The Nugget and describes the Summerland, California, restaurant as the “unofficial Western White House Retreat.” (Above Right) President Reagan enjoys a meal in the “Presidential Booth” at The Nugget with the restaurant’s owners, Doug and Sally Taylor and Josiah Jenkins.

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Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15 Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue

(Left) The Nugget is rich in Reagan memorabilia, including this signed “Presidential check” accompanied by a photograph of President Reagan and his close friend and Secret Service agent John Barletta.

The Nugget’s “Presidential Booth” includes dozens of photos of President Reagan at Rancho del Cielo and elsewhere.

In addition, a quaint barbecue restaurant in Summerland called The Nugget retains the “Presidential Booth” that Ronald Reagan would occupy during his frequent visits. The President formed a great number of friendships during his time in Santa Barbara, many of whom have made their own impact on their city. Jedlicka’s Saddlery first opened its doors in 1932 and was already a legendary outfitting store for everything Western when Ronald Reagan came to town. Owner Si Jenkins began working in the store in junior high as a sweeper, and after a few years of college and a tour in the military, he’s still there, managing the overflowing collection of belts, boots, jeans, and hats for every size and taste, including the tan Stetson models favored by Reagan. He first met the then-governor of California as a fellow member of the local riding group, the Rancheros Visitadores. “He was a kind, easy person,” Jenkins remembers. “He wasn’t stuffy at all. He was kind of modest. He’d ride along with a lot of big shots—guys he thought were bigger than him.” The Rancheros rides were defined by their easy-going nature, he said, when people from all stripes got together, hashed out the events of the day, and got into a respectable amount of trouble. “One time the guys were standing around, and one guy was playing around with a rope. He threw it around a port-a-potty and when the President went to the john, [he] pulled the slack. He came out of there and said, ‘I’ve been in tighter spots than this.’” Mr. Jenkins served as Governor Reagan’s appointee in the California Department of Agriculture and kept in touch with the President over the years through mutual friends. John Barletta—the Secret Service agent who oversaw the President’s ranch detail and who, today, serves on the Reagan Ranch


A Journey Through Reagan Country

JeDlIcka’s saDDlery (Left) Jedlicka’s Saddlery in Santa Barbara supplied riding clothes and equipment for President Reagan and his Secret Service detail at Rancho del Cielo.

(Left) Si Jenkins, owner of Jedlicka’s Saddlery, began working at the outfitters as a “sweeper” when he was a young boy. (Above) President Reagan and Si Jenkins developed a life-long friendship, first meeting through the local riding group, Rancheros Visitadores. (Below) Si Jenkin’s office at Jedlicka’s Saddlery includes an extraordinary array of photographs from his days riding with Ronald Reagan.

Board of Governors—first came into Jedlicka’s before the 1981 inauguration to outfit fellow agents for their new cowboy commander-in-chief. The store supplied the riding equipment for President Reagan’s entire horseback Secret Service detail, providing saddles, harnesses, and clothes for around 50 riders at the Ranch. The President continued his involvement with the Rancheros and remained an avid participant in their music, picnics, and morning rides, right up until his health began to fail. 19


A Journey Through Reagan Country

Firestone Vineyards

Firestone Vineyards’ founders (from right), Kate and Brooks Firestone, visit the Reagan Ranch with friends.

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Firestone Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley

A statue of him now stands by their camp at Janeway Ranch, near Lake Cachuma. It was also in the Rancheros that the late President first became acquainted with Brooks Firestone, an entrepreneur who took a tremendous risk by quitting his family’s legendary tire company in Ohio and moving across the country to start a winery. Mr. Firestone began his operations in Los Olivos in 1972, making him the first winemaker in the Santa Ynez Valley at a time when Napa and Sonoma had cornered the market. “It took us about 15 years to make the thing start to work,” he remembered. “We were in a new area, and it’s tough to sell wine. We were the first winery in Santa Barbara County, and the winery didn’t really hit until the mid-1980s. Nobody in the Santa Ynez Valley made wines.” A surprise win at a blind-tasting contest in San Francisco and another at an international spirits competition in England put Firestone Vineyards on the map and exploded the fledgling company to prominence. “It was a good wine at a good price,” he explained. The success of Firestone Vineyards started a new center of gravity for California wines, with more talented winemakers coming to the valley. “We had a very talented group of people come into town—some very good winemakers and very good vineyards.” Today, the Santa Ynez Valley boasts dozens of wineries that continue to grow to meet the demand. One of the early supporters was, not surprisingly, Mr. Firestone’s fellow Ranchero. “When the President would come to town, there was an organization that helped facilitate the press and his staff,” he explained. “They would put together a sort of gift basket for everybody, and the wineries always took their turn submitting wine to go into that basket. One time I was in Hawaii visiting a friend, it was


A Journey Through Reagan Country

Thanksgiving, and it had been my turn to submit the wine. I picked up the phone and [a voice] said, ‘This is the White House calling for Mr. Firestone.’ I thought it was a joke, but they convinced me it wasn’t! It was the most amazing conversation I ever had in my life.” A short conversation with President Reagan followed, who thanked Mr. Firestone for the cabernet sauvignon and lamented that he was unable to ride because it was raining at Rancho del Cielo. The President left a definite impression with him and other riders. “He was a real person. Always was,” Firestone noted. “He was a very pleasant man, very considerate, a very talented individual, a good rider, and a good neighbor. He was the kind of person you would want to know.” K Kenneth Boxer, 52, didn’t share a deep love of riding with the President. He was a 20-something reporter for two radio stations and began moonlighting as a waiter to help pay the bills. He began covering the President when he was in town and later became close friends with his press secretary, Larry Speakes. Mr. Boxer became a regular with the President’s entourage, attending the yearly barbecue for the press corps in Hope Ranch and later visiting the President after he left office. “He was just like what you figured a grandfather would be,” Mr. Boxer said about Reagan. “Here he was, the most powerful man in the world, and he would talk to you like you were the most important person. A great storyteller, always had a joke; the kind of guy you would go and have a beer with. Some may not have agreed with his policies, but they knew where he stood.” It was during these years that Boxer began to reconsider a career in journalism and thought more heavily about the restaurant business. “The only place I was making money was

Palazzio (Right) Palazzio, a popular Italian restaurant on State Street in Santa Barbara, is well-known for its “Presidential Tiramisu” which was also enjoyed by Ronald Reagan. (Below) Palazzio owner Kenneth Boxer meets with Ronald Reagan in his Los Angeles office in 1994.

(Below Right) President Reagan’s letter to Boxer includes his thanks for Boxer’s recent visit and states, “It is always nice to be remembered by my friends in Santa Barbara.” (Below) Kenneth Boxer (left) and members of the Palazzio team take pride in their connection to President Reagan.

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A Journey Through Reagan Country

the restaurant, and I was The Foundation’s good at it. I realized I had private preservation eagan ounTry our a knack. You do it yourself of the home allows a if you think you have a tour unobstructed by M c c onnell ’ s I ce c reaM shot at it, and that’s what velvet ropes or throngs 201 West Mission Street happened.” He became of tourists, inviting a Santa Barbara, California a restaurant manager, sense that the man could (805) 569-2323 and later opened the walk in at any moment. www.mcconnells.com Village Grill in Montecito, The surrounding land, featuring a menu of too—all 688 acres of Fess Parker’s DoubleTree resorT esorT Florida-style Caribbean his ranch—have been 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard Santa Barbara, California food. It closed after three meticulously preserved. (805) 564-4333 months. He called his ranch an www.fessparkersantabarbarahotel.com “open cathedral,” a place “People didn’t like it,” from which he gathered said Mr. Boxer. “People The nuggeT his strength, and it’s wanted simplicity and 2318 Lillie Ave impossible to visit without value. I shut the doors Summerland, California understanding exactly of Village Grill on a (805) 969-6135 what he meant. Wednesday, and two JeDlIcka’s saDDlery The President made days later we reopened as 2605 De La Vina Street a lasting impression on Palazzio.” Santa Barbara, California our nation and the world, Despite the havoc of (805) 687-0747 including the countless suddenly preparing Italian www.jedlickas.com Californians he would cuisine almost overnight, meet during his time in the restaurant has become FIresTone VIneyarDs and around Santa Barbara. an institution in Santa 5000 Zaca Station Road His vision, values, and Barbara, known for ample Los Olivos, California (805) 688-3940 lasting accomplishments portions and the selfwww.firestonewine.com live on in the Reagan serving wine station. The Ranch Center on State pride of the establishment PalazzIo Street, at the Ranch home remains the Presidential 1026 State Street he loved, and in the stories Tiramisu, served to Reagan Santa Barbara, California told by the community and his staff at his Los (805) 564-1985 members and business Angeles office on February www.palazzio.com owners he inspired. His 25, 1994, during one of own love of the Golden Mr. Boxer’s visits with the State is, however, best President. A congratulatory summarized in his own letter with a picture of words: Reagan hangs at the “During the eight years entrance, and the owner we lived in the White is renowned for regaling House…I never stopped guests with stories of the Rancho del Cielo missing California… President. California, I like to say, For those lucky enough isn’t a place, it’s a way of life.”1 to visit, perhaps no place in the world meticulously preserved by Young better epitomizes the life and spirit America’s Foundation exactly the 1 R Reagan, Ronald. An American Life. (New of Ronald Reagan than his majestic way Reagan kept it, from the books York: Simon and Shuster, 1990), 389. Rancho del Cielo, still waiting for its lining the walls and the hat resting by absent owner on the sun-crowned the door to the “Liberty Bell” shower hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. The head in the bathroom and jar of surprisingly modest ranch has been jellybeans in the living room.

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The Reagan Ranch Center is Young America’s Foundation’s “Schoolhouse for Reaganism,” allowing the Foundation to reach increasing numbers of young people with Ronald Reagan’s lasting accomplishments and values.

The Reagan Ranch Center: A Schoolhouse for Reaganism by A n d r e w Co f f i n , V i ce P r e s i d e n t a n d D i r e c t o r o f t h e R e ag a n Ra n ch

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oung America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center stands tall on the busiest street in Santa Barbara, adjacent to the much traveled Highway 101, next door to the Santa Barbara train station, just two short blocks from the beach, and in the shadow of the Reagan Ranch. There could not be a more ideal location to draw people to learn about the conservative ideas championed by Ronald Reagan. With four floors of classrooms, banquet and conference space, a modern boardroom, a movie theater, exhibit galleries, and a library of conservative resources, the Reagan Ranch Center is a state-of-the-art facility that brings conservative ideas to life. The Reagan Ranch Center is an essential complement to the Ranch and the Foundation’s programs nationwide. It is here that we share the

story of the Ranch and its place in history with the public at large. This is also where students have access to the ideas and training that are sadly absent from their own classrooms. In a setting that reinforces—rather than undermines— conservative values, students are given the tools they need to protect liberty and lead our country. Jenna Burkey explores the Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Gallery to learn about Ronald Reagan, his lasting accomplishments, and the “Western White House.”

A Tribute to Ronald Wilson Reagan The Reagan Ranch Center serves as an important tribute to the life and leadership of Ronald Reagan. This unique facility would not have been realized if not for the vision of many great Americans who gave key gifts to ensure that the Reagan Ranch Center was completed. Many stepped forward, at all levels of support,

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The Reagan Ranch Center’s Exhibit Gallery and Education Center includes interactive displays and state-of-the-art Reagan Ranch exhibits that bring Ronald Reagan’s ideas and words to life for visitors—young and old.

but there are a handful of leadership gifts that came at critical moments for the project and deserve special recognition. In the early stages of development, a gift from Lee and Helen Lovaas to establish the David Louis Bartlett Outreach Center helped get the project off the ground. Named in honor of Helen’s beloved brother, the Outreach Center is at the heart our educational programs. Two years after acquiring the building that would become the Reagan Ranch Center, when progress was largely at a standstill, Al and Bette Moore stepped forward and became the primary building sponsors. Al and Bette made this heartfelt decision while spending a weekend with more than 500 energetic young people at Young America’s Foundation’s West Coast Leadership Conference in Santa Barbara. (The Moores later helped preserve the Reagan Ranch when they sponsored the Tack Barn Acre and also helped the Foundation acquire an adjacent ranch.) Rich and Helen DeVos then took us into the home stretch with a magnificent gift, completing the final construction phases of the Reagan Ranch Center. (The DeVoses would later expand

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Governor Sarah Palin

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on this support with a significant gift to the Reagan Ranch endowment.) Once the building was occupied and the infrastructure investment made, it was essential that the Reagan Ranch Center be opened and outfitted for student and public outreach. A new friend in the Santa Barbara community emerged— someone captured by the unique role the Center could play on California’s central coast. Wendy McCaw, owner and publisher of the Santa Barbara News-Press, stepped forward to sponsor the Welcome Center—an important component of the Reagan Ranch Center, often serving as a visitor’s first experience with the Reagan Ranch.

Training Tomorrow’s Leaders Young America’s Foundation is the largest conservative student outreach organization in the country and the only such organization with offices on both the East and West Coasts. Week after week, high school and college students from around the country visit the Reagan Ranch Center to attend conferences,

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Secretary Jack Kemp

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Michelle Malkin

Michael Reagan


Susan Allen, former first lady of Virginia, meets with young students following a special premier and reading of her children’s book, The Remarkable Ronald Reagan: Cowboy Commander in Chief.

Foundation students and supporters gather in the Center’s entryway next to a 5,000-pound section of the Berlin Wall—a special exhibit sponsored by Harold Knapheide and his family.

seminars, and leadership retreats. They are eager to learn more about conservative ideas. The Reagan Ranch Center provides Young America’s Foundation with tremendous facilities to pass on President Reagan’s ideas. Some seminars focus on the nuts and bolts of campus activism, giving students the tools needed to influence their peers and hold effective events on their own campuses. Other seminars examine the great thinkers who influenced Ronald Reagan—conservative giants including Russell Kirk, Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and Frank Meyer. Still others cover the most pressing issues of the day and introduce young people to conservative solutions. Reagan Ranch conferences and seminars feature some of the brightest minds and leaders of the Conservative Movement such as Vice President Dick Cheney; Governors George Allen, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Scott Walker; Senators Ted Cruz, Jim DeMint, Ron Johnson, and Mike Lee; Speakers John Boehner and Newt Gingrich; Congresswoman

Michele Bachmann; Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; President Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan; and best-selling authors Michelle Malkin, Brad Thor, and Ann Coulter, among others. The Reagan Ranch Center is also open to general community audiences. The monthly Reagan Ranch Roundtable luncheon series welcomes prominent conservative leaders to Santa Barbara. Designed especially for the central coast community, the luncheons advance the principles that Ronald Reagan championed and expose new audiences to our mission. Students, supporters, and new friends gather to hear from speakers such as Jonah Goldberg, Dennis Prager, Karl Rove, Ben Stein, Ambassador John Bolton, Nonie Darwish, John Stossel, and many others. Holly Burwell was just a high school student when she attended her first Young America’s Foundation Reagan Ranch conference. Her words speak volumes: “I have always been taught to measure a lifetime by the number of lives that have been changed because of it. Young America’s Foundation can add one more life to their count: mine.”

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Senator Ron Johnson

Governor Scott Walker

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Governor Bobby Jindal

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Reagan Ranch Board of Governors Chairman Frank Donatelli leads Vice President Cheney and his daughter, Mary, on a tour of the Reagan Ranch Center Exhibit Gallery and Education Center.

The Reagan Ranch Center provides us with exciting opportunities to reach young people, such as Holly, and to activate them for decades of conservative leadership.

Sharing the History of the Reagan Ranch Rancho del Cielo, President Reagan’s home for 25 years and the Western White House during the height of the Cold War, embodies the life and ideas of Ronald Reagan. The Exhibit Gallery and Education Center at the Reagan Ranch Center helps Young America’s Foundation share the important lessons about Ronald Reagan’s life and character found at the Ranch. These galleries feature original Reagan Ranch artifacts matched with state-of-the-art, interactive, multimedia exhibits that highlight the history of Ronald Reagan’s quartercentury at Rancho del Cielo and the accomplishments of his Presidency. A massive, 5,000 pound section of the Berlin Wall greets visitors as they arrive at the Reagan Ranch Center, reminding the world of Ronald Reagan’s role in eliminating this assault on

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Governor Tim Pawlenty

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human dignity and freedom. The President’s famous blue Jeep Scrambler, complete with the “Gipper” license plate sits in the center of the gallery, flanked by a selection of Ronald Reagan’s favorite books, an original saddle, and a chainsaw owned and used by President Reagan. More than six hours of dynamic multimedia exhibits provide access to exclusive speeches, interviews, radio addresses, and original video presentations. The centerpiece of the gallery is a 28foot-long interactive timeline table that gives users the ability to explore the “Western White House” during the 1980s. The galleries also feature several unique collections on display, including the Lorraine Wagner Letter Collection—a nearly 300piece collection of letters written by Ronald Reagan over a 50year period—and the Russell D. Sibert Collection, featuring rare Reagan-related memorabilia and commemorative items. The Reagan Ranch Center is designed to engage visitors of all ages. Young children can earn their “Junior Secret Service Clearance” by completing a fun and educational scavenger hunt. Students better understand the context and significance of the

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Ann Coulter

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Joseph Phillips

Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint


Students from around the country gather in the David Louis Bartlett Outreach Center to participate in the annual fall student conference at the Reagan Ranch Center.

High school students explore the wealth of conservative resources in the Tom & Randall Phillips Library and Media Center in the Reagan Ranch Center.

historic sites they will see at the Ranch itself, and older visitors are reminded of how their lives were changed through Ronald Reagan’s leadership.

Alumni groups from Grove City College, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Eureka College (Reagan’s alma mater) and international groups such as the Young Britons’ Foundation and International Young Democrat Union (founded by President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s) have also utilized the Reagan Ranch Center.

A Hub of Conservative Activity The Reagan Ranch Center has become a hub of conservative activity on the West Coast. Not only home to Young America’s Foundation staff and programs, the Center is utilized by like-minded organizations, private foundations, and educational institutions as a place to meet, share ideas, and gain inspiration. Since the Reagan Ranch Center opened its doors in 2006, Young America’s Foundation has been honored to host the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, Citizens United Foundation, the Phillips Foundation, Eagle Publishing, Bruce Eberle and Associates, Royale Energy, National Right to Work, The Fund for American Studies, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the Liberty Fund, and the Heritage Foundation, among other groups, for board meetings, events, and conferences.

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Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

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Striking a Spark President Reagan said, “There is a flickering spark in all of us, which, if struck at just the right age, can light up the rest of our lives.” That is why Young America’s Foundation saved the Reagan Ranch, and that is why the Reagan Ranch Center is so important. The Ranch and Ranch Center are the showrooms to share President Reagan’s ideas with future generations. Much more than an encounter with history alone, Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch programs strike a spark in the lives of young people, activating them for decades of conservative leadership for our country.

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Stephen Moore

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Lt. Col. Oliver North

Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

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The

Reagan Ranch: Visiting H

By New t Gi N G r ich,

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allista and I were fortunate to have the chance to visit the Reagan Ranch while filming a documentary produced by Citizens United about President Reagan called Rendezvous with Destiny. Destiny. Itt was an extraordinarily enlightening experience— after actually seeing the Ranch itself and listening to stories of “Ronnie and Nancy” at home, we came to truly appreciate the mutual

Author A N d 58 th Spe SpeA A k er of the u .S. S. h o u S e of r e pre S e N tAt ive S

“The Ranch was like a goldmine for an historiancitizen to explore, learn, and think.”

Speaker Newt Gingrich addresses a special gathering of Young America’s Foundation’s President’s Club supporters and local students at the Reagan Ranch Center.

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love and respect that bound them together so closely. Even after all the years I Even spent studying and working with President Reagan, I found myself learning entirely new things about his life. The Ranch was like a goldmine for an historian-citizen to explore, learn, and think. I was first struck by President Reagan during his days as a citizen-actor, and I remember how his first great speech, “A Time for Choosing,”

was a clarion call in 1964 to young conservatives. He encouraged an optimistic, principled, and bold vision of America’s future, and his first race for governor in 1966 was a brilliant success for modern conservatism, as Reagan’s positive message helped him beat a two-term incumbent governor in California. His debate with Senator Robert F. Kennedy on CBS in 1967 proved that he could defend America’s honor and

President Reagan’s son and talk radio host, Michael Reagan, tours the Reagan Ranch Center with Callista and Newt Gingrich.

Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue


g History at a Personal Level principles and decisively win against the rising star of the Kennedy family. RFK is even rumored to have commented after the debate, “Never put me on television with Reagan again; it is impossible to match him.” Over ver the next few decades, as a member of Congress, I had the chance to work with both candidate Reagan and President Reagan, but now that I was at his home, I suddenly began to reassess

some of my assumptions about the man and to deepen my understanding of his character. The Ranch is small and simple, with a level of intimacy and comfort that makes it a stark contrast to the White House. When walking around the living room, kitchen, family room, bedroom, etc., I knew that I was in a place where this very famous, busy couple retreated to simply be themselves. Clearly, the Reagans were

Talk radio host and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson greets Speaker Gingrich prior to emceeing the breakfast in the David Louis Bartlett Visitors Center.

unique people—there is a pattern of Western pictures, gear, and furnishings throughout the Ranch that testifies to Reagan’s bond with the American West and the traditions of the cowboy, the Native American, the working man, and the cavalry. In fact, I learned that Reagan himself had served in the cavalry in the Army reserve and that his horsemanship owed a considerable debt to the U.S. Army. Reagan could have Reagan

Speaker Gingrich visits Rancho del Cielo to tour the President’s home and film part of his film, Rendezvous with Destiny.

continued the movie star lifestyle, moving among the great, the rich, and the powerful. Instead, he chose a small ranch house—a home that many would call small, quaint, or humble. Callista allista and I highly recommend a visit to the Reagan Ranch. It plays a significant part in our film, Rendezvous with Destiny, Destiny, and it will help anyone who visits better understand one of our greatest Presidents.

Newt and Callista Gingrich stop near the entryway to the Reagan Ranch.

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In 2011, during the 100th anniversary year of Ronald Reagan’s birth, Young America’s Foundation supporter Mary Dell Pritzlaff stepped forward with a special gift to preserve the United States Secret Service (USSS) Command Post Acre at Rancho del Cielo.

Through Ms. Pritzlaff’s generous support, Young America’s Foundation not only made vast improvements to the USSS Command Post structure but also learned more of the USSS history at the Reagan Ranch. Without Ms. Pritzlaff’s vision and perseverance, this special building would not be

The Secret Service Command Post’s “ready room” is depicted in this Polaroid, one of only four known photos of Rancho del Cielo’s Command Post taken during Presidential years.

what it is today. Young America’s Foundation is grateful for Mary Dell Pritzlaff’s sacrificial gift to sponsor this important piece of Presidential and Reagan Ranch history.

Rancho del Cielo, Ronald Reagan, and th Young America’s Foundation Restores Important Part of Reagan Ranch History By danielle fowler, young y America’s foundation Alumna

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fter the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Congress directed the Secret Service to protect the President of the United States. Today, protection remains a key mission of the United States Secret Service, and Young America’s Foundation is honored to preserve a small, but significant, part of the USSS’s history at the Reagan Ranch. The Foundation cannot accurately share the history of the Western White House without revealing the history of the Secret Service at the Ranch as well as the agents’ unique relationships with President Reagan. During uring and after his Presidency, Secret Service agents protected President Reagan at his ranch retreat in the hills above Santa Barbara, California. Their vigilant presence allowed Ronald Reagan the luxury of leaving Washington to visit his beloved “Ranch in the Sky” for brief periods of time. The Ranch, however, proved to be unlike any other assignment that these agents had encountered (or would encounter again), as they protected the Commander-in-Chief on 688 open acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Valley. It was at the Ranch where the President enjoyed some of his favorite—but potentially dangerous activities—including horseback riding, chopping wood, and clearing brush. U Upon arriving at Rancho del Cielo, Secret Service agents quickly realized that this assignment was especially unique due to the character of their protectee, President Ronald Reagan. President Reagan personally welcomed each new agent to Rancho del Cielo. 30

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President Reagan meets with a shift of special officers and special agents at the Reagan Ranch in 1987.

nd the United States Secret Service Special agents protect the President on his 688-acre Ranch using one of the earliest models of Humvees created by AM General.

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He would also visit with the agents between activities, inquiring about their families and other details about their lives. The President even enjoyed afternoons in the Secret Service Command Post where he would watch football games with the off-shift agents. (He often brought his own microwaveable popcorn to enjoy!) President resident Reagan understood and respected the role and purpose of the USSS agents at the Ranch. Agent John Barletta—now a member of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors—notes in his book, Riding with Reagan, that the President would not leave for his afternoon Ranch activities until the “afternoon boys” (afternoon shift) arrived. USSS Agent Ron Bodigheimer echoes these sentiments: “He understood what our job was. He understood the relationship between the agents and what our needs were…He made himself available to us as far as being able to protect [him]… He was a gentlemen at all times.” USSS Agent Bob Caughey notes, “Of all the assignments I had as a special agent in the U.S. Secret Service, this was the most challenging and rewarding in my 28-½ year career.”

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n preserving the Reagan Ranch, Young America’s Foundation ensures that future generations understand President Reagan’s accomplishments and values. The Secret Service Command Post plays an important role in this mission. It not only shares key components of the Presidential history of the Ranch, but it also offers visitors a glimpse of Ronald Reagan’s character and humility. Foundation supporter Mary Dell Pritzlaff also wanted to give life to this rich history through her sponsorship of the Secret Service Command Post acre at Rancho del Cielo. She understood that preserving the building was important, but

The newly restored “Gun Room” in the Command Post is complete with replicas of the original firearms used by the Secret Service agents at Rancho del Cielo.

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preserving the history was vital to better understanding the character of President Reagan. Subsequently, ubsequently, through Ms. Pritzlaff’s generous support, Young America’s Foundation’s goal of the Command Post restoration became twofold: preserve the structure of the Command Post while conveying to visitors—and young people, in particular—the special relationship between the USSS agents and President Reagan. The project began with structural improvements to the building. The Navy Seabees built the USSS Command Post and many other support buildings on the Ranch in 1981. Following the guidelines of the President, the Navy Seabees constructed temporary structures that could be easily removed following the Presidency. President Reagan had observed former Presidents using their Presidency as a way to improve their private retreats, and he did not want that to be said of his property. In 1989, the Seabees removed all the buildings and infrastructure with the exception of the USSS Command Post which remained to support the Secret Service in postPresidential visits. In 2011, through Ms. Pritzlaff’s generous support, Young America’s Foundation began structural repairs to address issues that would have prevented long-term preservation of this 1980s prefabricated building. Initial improvements included ceiling reinforcement, rebuilding of roof tresses, sealing roof leaks, and replacing dropped ceiling tiles and light fixtures. W While the building was undergoing repairs, the Foundation team brainstormed ways to better convey the history of and relationship between President Reagan and the Secret Service. The project began by seeking out those involved and by gathering their stories.

The Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club and Motorola Corporation helped Young America’s Foundation acquire replicas of the original communication equipment used by the Secret Service agents at the “Western White House” in the 1980s.


Several everal former USSS agents, Navy Seabees, and others shared their stories, providing the most accurate and thorough history of the Secret Service at the Ranch to date. Like a puzzle, each story added a new piece of history that was previously missing. Through these accounts, interviewees also identified artifacts and produced photographs and documentation. Young America’s Foundation also located and acquired Young items for the Command Post to bring these stories to life. Unlike the other buildings on the Ranch property, the Command Post was empty when the Foundation acquired Rancho del Cielo in 1998. Thankfully, several USSS agents stepped forward and donated original items they used when serving the President at the Ranch. USSS Agent Barbara Riggs, one of the designated riders that rode horseback with the President, donated her leather shoulder gun holster, belt holster, and a microphone and earphone device used for direct communication with the Command Post. USSS Agent and Ranch Range Master Frank Pericola gifted his jacket worn while on duty at the Ranch. John Barletta, President Reagan’s longest serving Secret Service agent, assisted with this project from beginning to end, providing contact information for key USSS agents and arranging meetings with several of these agents. He spent time with the Foundation team making certain that no details were overlooked. Mr. Barletta also donated a USSS riding saddle, his riding clothes, and several office items including his rolodex, framed certificates, and photographs. He also produced the only known photograph of President Reagan in the Command Post. Several everal other agencies stepped forward to assist with the Command Post interpretation. Local law enforcement replicated

all the original firearms for the gun room, including a long barrel and short barrel Remington 870 shotgun, the UZI submachine gun, and the Smith & Wesson .357 revolver. Navy Seabees built an exact replica of the gun cabinet used to store the firearms. The local Santa Barbara Amateur Radio Club also worked with USSS agents to identify and acquire replicas of the Command Post radio and video equipment—including a donation of highly sophisticated radio equipment—from Motorola Corporation. Young America’s Foundation’s team located and acquired Young the original Humvee used by the Secret Service at the Ranch. The vehicle has been restored to its original 1980s model condition. Prior rior to the restoration of the Command Post, Reagan Ranch visitors would only make a brief visit to the then-empty Command Post. Today, the building is an important part of Ranch tours for students, supporters, and special guests. Several rooms are completely outfitted with artifacts. Guests can even listen to USSS agents share their stories of their time protecting the Commander-in-Chief. This important Reagan Ranch restoration project was made possible through the generosity and selflessness of many who wanted to help preserve Ronald Reagan’s lasting accomplishments and character for future generations. As John Barletta notes, “What brought them together is Ronald Reagan… He was our best protectee in the Secret Service.” Young America’s Foundation is especially grateful to Mary Young Dell Pritzlaff for her vision and generous sponsorship of this important project. Today and for years to come, young people and all Reagan Ranch visitors will know the vital role of the Secret Service at the Ranch and have a better understanding of the man these brave men and women so loyally served.

Special Agent John Barletta’s desk in the Command Post is outfitted with many original items—graciously donated by Barletta—including his gloves, rolodex, and hat.

(From left) Retired Secret Service Agent John Barletta, Congressman Sean Duffy, Mary Dell Pritzlaff, Governor Scott Walker, Tonette Walker, Rachel Campos-Duffy, and John Pritzlaff gather near the plaque recognizing Ms. Pritzlaff’s sponsorship of the Command Post Acre at Rancho del Cielo.

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“A Pilgrimage All Young Conservatives Should Take” Reflections on my Visit to Rancho del Cielo B y Pat r i c k c a s t e n , y o u n g a m e r i c a’ s F o u n d at i o n a l u m n u s

Foundation student leader Pat Casten (third from left) enjoys a mountain-top view near Rancho del Cielo during the Foundation’s Club 100 retreat—an annual program recognizing the nation’s top campus activists for their work advancing conservative ideas at their schools.

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s the airplane broke through the clouds, I was finally able to see what prompted Ronald Reagan to spend 349 days of his Presidency at his ranch in Santa Barbara. To T the west, was the vast Pacific Ocean peppered with offshore oil rigs and small boats. To the east was one of the most breathtaking sights I had ever seen: a small city tucked into the mountains just 90 miles north of Los Angeles. My journey to Santa Barbara was the culmination of my my work as a campus activist at Lake Forest College in Illinois. I was joining 22 other students who

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“The retreat was one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career.” were rewarded for our work advancing conservative ideas on campus with a visit to Rancho del Cielo for Young America’s Foundation’s Club 100 Reagan Ranch retreat.

Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue

Our weekend began with lunch at the Reagan Ranch Center where we were soon acquainted with each other and shared stories of our campus activism. It was remarkable to learn how similar our campuses were, underscoring how much liberalism has reared its ugly head on college campuses but also showing that there is hope for every campus. The retreat included campfires at El Capitan Canyon, lectures, and sessions with conservative leaders including author Mike Adams, Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson, President Reagan’s friend and Secret Service agent John Barletta, and


Foundation Director Kirby Wilbur. We enjoyed the beauty of Santa Barbara while learning about the importance of passing on the ideas and accomplishments of my hero, Ronald Reagan. In keeping with a weekend modeled after the life of Ronald Reagan, we rode horses in the mountains above Santa Barbara and enjoyed the beautiful views of the Channel Islands. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the program was our trip to the Reagan Ranch. After an arduous van ride we reached the Ranch, and I was taken back by the humble and authentic nature of the Ranch. Walking through the house itself, I was especially moved by the book collection—a window into President Reagan as a person. The Reagan Ranch is a pilgrimage that all young conservatives should take

(Above) During an interview with Foundation Vice President Patrick Coyle, Casten shares stories of his campus activism with supporters attending the Foundation’s President’s Club weekend at the Reagan Ranch. (Left) Pat Casten unveils Lake Forest College’s new veterans’ memorial—a project he conceived and spearheaded during his senior year at Lake Forest.

Pat Casten meets Foundation speaker Karl Rove at CPAC in Washington, D.C.

to truly appreciate Ronald Reagan and how he built and grew the Conservative Movement. Although I have read several books about President Reagan, I did not fully understand who Ronald Reagan really was until I visited the Ranch.

The retreat was one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career. I learned much more about Ronald Reagan’s life, met prominent conservative leaders, and made like-minded friends from across the nation.

About Pat Casten

About Club 100

Pat is a graduate of Lake Forest College in Illinois. After attending Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference, Pat organized the Foundation’s 9/11: Never Forget Project and Freedom Week activities on his campus. He worked with the Foundation and his school to bring seven conservative speakers, including Governor George Allen, Fred Barnes, Dinesh D’Souza, Bay Buchanan, and Lt. Col. Scott Rutter, among others. Pat also spearheaded efforts to design and raise the funds for a permanent memorial to Lake Forest alumni who served in the military. For his efforts to advance conservative ideas on his campus, the Foundation awarded Pat with a trip to the Club 100 Reagan Ranch retreat and recognized him as a Gretchen Brooks Campus Leader.

Club 100 is Young America’s Foundation’s activist rewards program that systematically thanks students for promoting conservative ideas on their college campuses.  Points are accrued by hosting Foundation speakers, organizing a campus initiative, or attending a Foundation program. Student activists who earn 100 points or more throughout the school year are rewarded for their work with a trip to the Reagan Ranch. ——————————————————————————— To register for Club 100 or for more information, contact Young America’s Foundation Vice President Patrick X. Coyle at 800-USA-1776.

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Meeting Ronald Reagan B y t h e h o n o r a B l e s e n a t o r J i m d e m i n t, P r e s i d e n t, t h e h e r i t a g e F o u n d a t i o n

Students and supporters line up to meet with Senator DeMint and receive copies of his book, Saving Freedom, at a Foundation event at the Reagan Ranch Center.

Senator Jim DeMint motivates students and supporters at a special breakfast at the Reagan Ranch Center.

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n my mind, Ronald Reagan was always a great President, but after visiting the Reagan Ranch, I know he would have been a great friend, too. I never had the chance to meet Ronald Reagan in person. I came to Washington years after he left the White House. Byy that time, he was more of an icon than a real person. I knew him as the man who won the Cold War and defeated communism. His photo was in homes, offices, and museums all around the country. He was a legend. It wasn’t until I walked the same dusty paths he walked and stepped inside his home that I realized he was also a regular guy. Even though he was the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, he preferred to do chores himself rather than calling on a handyman to do it for him. He laid the stone patio, piece by piece, outside his home. He chopped up used telephone poles to build fences around the property. Rather than purchasing a king-sized bed for his and Nancy’s bedroom, he pushed two small, twin-sized beds together and bound them with plastic ties. If you walk down a horse trail that provides a striking view of the distant Pacific Ocean, you’ll see an old rock where the President carved his and Nancy’s initials inside a heart.

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Senator DeMint is inspired by his journey to Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo.

The most striking thing about visiting the Reagan Ranch, however, is the sense one gets with how comfortable Ronald Reagan was with himself. For many people, especially those who achieve great recognition and fame, it’s a very hard thing to be alone. They’re constantly seeking approval, praise, and consultation from others. Not ot Ronald Reagan. When he had to make a tough decision, he often retreated to his Rancho del Cielo—“The Ranch in the Heavens”—to think. It’s where he talked to God. He once said, “Riding on one of the tree-lined trails, or gazing up at the western skies, well, there’s no better way I know of to sort out a problem.” The Ranch is where Ronald Reagan became real to me. Before I came to Santa Barbara, I knew many things about Reagan’s political life but little about how much he loved God, his family, and this beautiful nation. Ronald Reagan was always a man I wanted to know. After visiting his ranch—now protected and preserved by Young America’s Foundation—I feel like I do.


governor sarah Palin and vice President dick cheney headline reagan 100 Birthday celeBration By Kate Obenshain, Author and Young America’s Foundation Alumna

Reagan Ranch Board of Governors Chairman Frank Donatelli interviews Vice President Dick Cheney during the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend closing dinner banquet.

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n February 4 and 5, 2011, Young America’s Foundation held an historic celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth. Students, loyal Foundation supporters whose generosity made the event possible, and luminaries from the Conservative Movement gathered together for the gala event. Governor Sarah Palin and Vice President Dick Cheney headlined the weekend-long program as the keynote speakers for Friday and Saturday evenings, respectively. Their presence, combined with the celebration itself, led to the largest event held at the Reagan Ranch Center in Young

Governor Palin pauses to look out over the Santa Ynez Valley during her visit to Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo.

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1) Governor Palin reflects on the importance of advancing freedom and preserving Ronald Reagan’s ideas during her nationally broadcast keynote address at the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend. 2) Governor Palin and her children—Willow, Bristol, and Trig—enjoy a morning at the Reagan Ranch. 3) Students participating in the Summit to Restore Freedom on Campus energetically greet Governor Palin.

America’s Foundation’s history. Overflow seating was opened up to accommodate more than 350 attendees at the Reagan Ranch Center. Press from across the country vied for coveted spots in the main ballroom, with Fox News, C-SPAN, C-SP and CNN broadcasting Governor Palin’s and Vice President Cheney’s speeches live. Additional press reporting on the weekend included Time magazine, CBS News, New York Times, ABC Radio, AP, Bloomberg, Christian Broadcast Network, Politico, Reuters Photo, Santa Barbara News-Press, Los Angeles Times, Washington Examiner, Examiner, Washington 38

Times, and other outlets. Prior to her evening address, Governor Palin and members of her family visited Rancho del Cielo with Young America’s Foundation President Ron Robinson, Vice President Andrew Coffin, Kate Obenshain, and President Reagan’s close friend, riding partner, and retired Secret Service agent John Barletta. During her rousing speech in the David Louis Bartlett Outreach Center, Governor Palin reflected on her afternoon at the Western White House: I cannot tell you how really

Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue

humbling this is for my family and for me to get to be here. Today, out ut at the Ranch, it was simply overwhelming and inspiring…There we were riding horses along the trails that he had cleared, feeling feeling the breeze in my eing able to feel that warm face, being southern air overhead...I knew instantly why Ronald Reagan loved that Ranch. I knew instantly why it was he felt so inspired in that place. The Ranch is unmistakably the home of a western conservative


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4) Governor Sarah Palin addresses more than 350 attendees at the Reagan Ranch Center for Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend. 5) Andrew Coffin, Foundation vice president and director of the Reagan Ranch, offers remarks to Reagan 100 attendees during a special session held on the lawn of Rancho del Cielo. 6) Foundation supporters (from left) Beth Burger and Bebe Carlisle explore Ronald Reagan’s adobe ranch home. 7) Radio host and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson interviews veteran ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson, who made an unexpected visit to the Reagan Ranch during the weekend celebration. 8) Dozens of media outlets gather inside

the Reagan Ranch Center to cover the keynote addresses by Vice President Dick Cheney and Governor Sarah Palin.

who celebrated our pioneering spirit. Today, there re are hundreds of places that bear his name, but the Ranch is one of the few where truly, when hen you are there, you can distinctly feel his spirit. This is his home of course. This home was his refuge—his still point in a turning world. Young America’s Foundation was also honored to welcome Reagan administration alumni, including Attorney General Ed Meese, Frank

Donatelli, T. Kenneth Cribb, Judge Bill Clark, and Michelle Easton for the program. Other special guests included authors who have written extensively on President Reagan: Peter Schweizer, Lee Edwards, Lou Cannon, Wynton Hall, and Craig Shirley. Best-selling novelist Brad Thor, movie director Stephen K. Bannon, talk radio host Mark Larson, Foundation Director Kirby Wilbur, the Wall Street Journal’s John Fund, and President Reagan’s close friends Dennis LeBlanc and John Barletta also participated in the weekend’s events.

Surprise guest and occasional Reagan-nemesis Sam Donaldson arrived at the gate to Rancho del Cielo in hopes of being able to commemorate the anniversary. He was greeted by Foundation President Ron Robinson who noted that Donaldson’s presence was a testimony to President Reagan’s broad appeal, both as an individual and a visionary. As part of the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend, Young America’s Foundation also welcomed more than 40 students from across the country to learn how they can become stronger (continued on page 41)

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1) Students from around the country meet with Governor Sarah Palin at the Reagan Ranch Center during the Summit to Restore Freedom on Campus—a three-day-long seminar hosted in conjunction with the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend. 2) Vice President Cheney speaks with loyal Foundation supporter Wendy McCaw. 3) Radio host and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson interviews President Reagan’s close friends, Dennis LeBlanc and retired Secret Service agent John Barletta. 4) (From left) Filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon, Kate Obenshain, bestselling author Brad Thor, and author and Foundation Director Wynton Hall participate in a Reagan 100 panel on “Freedom’s Future.” 5) Students participating in the Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend review their photos with Governor Sarah Palin.

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Foundation Premieres Film, still Point in a turning World: ronald reagan and his ranch Young America’s Foundation unveiled our film, Still Point in a Turning World: Ronald Reagan and his Ranch, in Santa Barbara during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth. Written and directed by Stephen K. Bannon, the film is the definitive examination of Ronald Reagan’s beloved ranch and its reflection of his philosophy and values. Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo, the “Ranch in the Sky,” was not just a respite from the chaotic world that his Presidency encountered but also a living embodiment of the timeless values he held dear. The Ranch was where hard work and self-reliance showed themselves in the principles he championed for all Americans: freedom, prosperity, and victory. Given unprecedented access to both the Ranch and the Foundation’s film archives, the filmmakers explored Rancho del Cielo as few have, giving viewers a glimpse of why it “cast a spell” on the man who became one of the greatest Presidents in American history. After viewing the film, one student attendee noted, “The movie showed how the Left belittles our country and its great people. Reagan’s words, on the other hand, were so empowering...that I cried.” To order a copy, call 800-USA-1776.

activists on their respective college campuses. The Summit to Restore Freedom on Campus, sponsored and attended by Bill Campus and Nan Bensyl, drew students from Furman University (South Carolina), Santa Fe College (Florida), Indiana University, DePaul University (Illinois), the University of MassachusettsAmherst, University of California, Los Angeles, and other campuses

nationwide. Participants attended the Reagan 100 Celebration panels and dinners and also gained valuable campus activism advice from Foundation President Ron Robinson, Foundation Director Peter Schweizer, Vice President Patrick Coyle, and Reagan Ranch Board of Governors member Mark Larson. The weekend concluded with the screening of Young America’s Foundation’s film, Still Point in a

Turning World: Ronald Reagan and His Ranch (see related story above)— above)—which Governor Palin referenced in her speech. The Reagan 100 Celebration Weekend provided an inspiring and memorable weekend for all involved, and Young America’s Foundation especially thanks the supporters who made the weekend’s events possible.

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Learn More About Ronald Reagan and His Ranch

Remembering Reagan is a captivating photographic journey through Ronald Reagan’s life and career. The book by Reagan advisors Charles Hobbs and Peter Hannaford includes many images from the President’s days at Rancho del Cielo. (Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1994)

The Remarkable Ronald Reagan: Cowboy and Commander in Chief is a fun, colorful look at Reagan’s fascinating life for readers ages five to eight. The book, by Susan Allen—former first lady of Virginia—highlights Ronald Reagan’s humble beginnings as the son of a shoe salesman, to his years in Hollywood, his life as a rancher, and his time as 40th President of the United States. (Publisher, Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2013)

Young America’s Foundation’s film, Still Point in a Turning World: Ronald Reagan and His Ranch, is the definitive examination of Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo and its personification of his philosophy and values. Explore the Ranch as few have in this moving film and see why it “cast a spell” on the man who became one of the greatest Presidents in American history. (Available for purchase on yaf.org)

In his book, Riding with Reagan, Secret Service Agent John Barletta shares personal memories about protecting the President at Rancho del Cielo. (Publisher: Citadel Press, 2005)

Reagan advisor Peter Hannaford provides a fascinating portrait of the Western White House throughout his book, Ronald Reagan and His Ranch. (Publisher: Images from the Past, Inc., 2002)


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Rancho del cielo, John Wayne, and the Fight FoR FReedom today Photography property of Aissa wayne

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A young Aissa Wayne enjoys time with her father, John Wayne, on the set of The Alamo.

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n 1947, newly elected Screen Actors Guild President Ronald Reagan found himself in the middle of a turbulent union meeting. Emboldened by the growing pro-Soviet sentiment in Hollywood, leftist activists were in the middle of a loud and aggressive campaign coordinated by Communist sympathizers to seize

control of the union. In the midst of the chaos, Ronald Reagan heard a call for adjournment to end the attempted takeover. When the leftist bloc demanded the identity of the person who moved for adjournment, Ronald Reagan immediately looked to John Wayne and said, “Why, I believe John Wayne made that motion.” John Wayne immediately stepped forward and bellowed, “I sure as hell did.” Within minutes, the meeting was over, and the radical campaign had been thwarted. Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue

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Ronald Reagan were good friends, in part, because they To millions of Americans, including President Reagan, T shared those conservative principles that withstand and John Wayne championed the courageous American transcend the test of time. individualism of the characters he played and the causes Visiting Rancho Del Cielo was a great reminder of the V he advocated. A staunch opponent of communism and man that Reagan was and of the principles he advanced. a fearless supporter of freedom worldwide, John Wayne struck up a 30-year friendship with Ronald Reagan which When Young America’s culminated with President Foundation’s students and Reagan’s visit to Wayne’s supporters visit the Ranch, childhood home in Winterset, they often gain a deeper Iowa. understanding of President Young America’s Y Reagan’s character and Foundation had the pleasure principles. What new of hosting John Wayne’s impressions of our 40th daughter, Aissa Wayne—an President did you leave author and accomplished with after your tour? attorney—and her Oscarwinning husband Scott he Ranch tour was Conrad, along with their conducted by a great team of “yaffers” who told friends, Kurt and Dana Dietel, many intimate stories about at Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Reagan’s character and about Cielo. Aissa Wayne stops near the resting place of President his daily life on the Ranch. Young America’s Y Reagan’s longhorn, Duke, at Rancho del Cielo. Not only did I find the Reagan Foundation thanks Aissa for stories impressive, but the kindly sharing her thoughts way they were told and the on her visit to the Ranch, her He also said don’t ever consider enthusiasm expressed by father, Ronald Reagan, and the yourself “better” or “above” the staff was also inspiring. Foundation’s mission to reach These young people were very increasing numbers of young anyone else, and similarly, familiar with the man, and people with pro-freedom they shared his view about remember there is no one “better” ideas. America’s greatness. ———————————————— or “above” you either. “That’ll The simplicity and unaffected atmosphere of the Young America’s serve you, darlin’…” Ranch was striking. This was Foundation is honored home to the most powerful to have hosted a number man in the world, yet, the of unique and important furnishings could not have been more down-to-earth guests at Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo. What and humble. Even the bed was a simple bed that could sparked your interest in taking a tour? have been purchased from the Sears catalog. The kitchen y husband, Scott, and I learned about your organization was also basic and simple. I wondered how the Reagans from our good friends, Kurt and Dana Dietel. They managed to entertain heads of state with such basic described their visits to the Reagan Ranch with such positive amenities. It was apparent that they worked at keeping enthusiasm and showed their optimism about you, the their home theirs. They did not appear to need fancy generation of future leaders. We wanted to see, firsthand, appliances to deal with the occasional needs of public life. what this courageous group had banded together to achieve Their humbleness is on display at Rancho Del Cielo, as the and what the Reagan Ranch was all about. Reagans appeared to enjoy life’s simplicity. There is a peace I was impressed and encouraged by your determination about that concept. A large log-built holding fence for horses surrounds the to stand up and speak out for liberty, freedom, and the front of the house. This was hand-built by President Reagan, conservative principles advanced by Ronald Reagan—the yet another sign of the man and his independent nature. It same principles that have made America a nation of free was apparent that Reagan loved working with his hands— and prosperous citizens. As you pointed out, my father and

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building things and fixing things around the Ranch. It was most liberty and happiness for American citizens. a powerful juxtaposition to see the hard-working physical Today, and for more than 50 years, the Left has T side of the man whom I have always known as having a great promoted the concept that you should not be responsible intellect and graceful presence. or accountable for yourself and your actions and that we Horse-back riding was a large part of Ronald Reagan’s life. His are all collectively responsible for everyone else. Liberals are garage was filled with assorted tools for building, handy-work, promoting the practice of redistribution of individual wealth, and riding. He and Nancy, we detracting from the great were told, rode most every day American work ethic. together when they were at the My dad and Ronald M Ranch. Reagan were bonded by the A deeper understanding of fact that they both fought for Reagan, the man, was brought the principles of freedom and to light by the amazing Young liberty throughout their lives. America’s Foundation team Each man used his life’s work members who led our ranch to communicate and offer his tour. They shared Reagan part in the war between liberty Ranch stories with a certain and tyranny. We live in a free familiar confidence showing society today because of our a visceral understanding of parents and their parents. We President Ronald Reagan and owe our children the same. We his message. I so commend must speak out, fight for, and Young America’s Foundation Aissa Wayne appears in The Alamo in 1960 with do anything in our power Joan O’Brien and John Wayne. for advancing conservatism, to maintain our precious preserving the Ranch, and freedoms. bringing the true and deeper Just as my father remains meaning of its surroundings to When President Reagan an icon of the great American its visitors. was asked why he wanted President Reagan and your father had a lot in common. What are some of their shared values that stand out to you?

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principles and spirit, so does Ronald Reagan remain a symbol of American strength, humility, and honor.

y dad and Ronald Reagan were the kind of men that strived to be the best they could be to themselves, their family, and their country. They both had a pureness of heart and a relentless desire to make this place better after they were gone. I believe they achieved their goals. Both believed in God. Both believed in good and bad, right and wrong. Both chose to be on the side of good, not evil, and both had the courage to stand up against and fight evil at all costs. There was no other choice for these guys; they would always choose right over wrong. They would not ever allow words, semantics, or popular theory to distort their truths. My dad never refused to listen to another angle. He M explained how valuable it is to listen to others and to pay attention to the opposing theory. He used to say that listening and evaluating all sides inevitably strengthened his belief that the basic principles of conservatism produce the

to leave the peace and comfort of Rancho del Cielo for a shot at the White House, he said, “To protect what it represents, freedom.” How do you believe the Ranch communicates the sense of freedom that your father and President Reagan shared?

Del Cielo is a place where President Reagan made his home. There was nothing fancy there. But there were Rsignsancho all over of President Reagan’s greatness juxtaposed with his tremendous humility as a man. This was his humble home. He did much of the work on the Ranch with his own hands. Regarding humility, my dad always said, “Keep your R word…Tell the truth…It’s more valuable than any contract or law.” He also said don’t ever consider yourself “better” or “above” anyone else, and similarly, remember there is no one “better” or “above” you either. “That’ll serve you, darlin’…” These are simple lessons of kindness and courtesy toward your fellow man. What I learned is that we are all unique Young America’s Foundation | Libertas | 15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue 45


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(From left) Dede Wood, Kurt and Dana Dietel, Paul and Kay Lupo, Steve Wood, Linda Lee and Eric Baumgarten, and Aissa Wayne and Scott Conrad enjoy their visit to Rancho del Cielo.

individuals—responsible for ourselves and our family. If left to our own devices (with no government intrusion) we will do pretty well for ourselves, and we will willingly take care of those less fortunate. The Ranch reminds me of Reagan’s humility and his devotion to our great land. It is a reflection of the life of one of the greatest leaders of all time. Just as my father remains an icon of the great American principles and spirit, so does Ronald Reagan remain a symbol of American strength, humility, and honor. Both your father and Ronald Reagan had a tremendous impact on our country. Unfortunately, many university professors discredit the ideas that both men held and belittle the accomplishments of President Reagan. How do you believe Young America’s Foundation can play a role in fighting for conservative values on college campuses?

ou are doing this by maintaining an active and positive presence on college campuses throughout the country—by Yhosting lectures, conferences, and seminars which teach the positive message of true conservatism. It takes courage to be a thinker and to take a stand for what you believe when it is not popular. It requires no effort to adopt someone else’s ideas. There is no doubt that it takes courage to go “against the grain” in today’s climate. It takes courage to remain steadfast and strong in the face of today’s liberal media, left-wing textbooks, and radical professors being the so-called “mainstream” resources for information. It takes what my dad called guts. That’s what each of you have: guts. It’s also called “grit.” That’s what my 46

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dad had, and that’s what you have. You are helping to save our country. Two of the most defining qualities about Ronald Reagan were his inherent optimism and belief in the ingenuity of individual Americans. Are there any words of encouragement you would like to share with Young America’s Foundation’s student activists?

meeting the Foundation staff at Rancho del Cielo, I know how Young American’s Foundation and the students Ayoufter reach value and appreciate living in freedom and liberty. You understand why America is the greatest country that ever existed. Your work will contribute directly to protecting our country from collapse from the ideas of the elites, our enemies, and from those who are attempting to rationalize and marginalize our American principles. Today’s atmosphere can be confusing for young people T because it’s not popular to espouse personal responsibility, and often there isn’t much of a reward from their peers. The work Young America’s Foundation is doing, setting examples for today’s young conservatives, is so important. Young America’s Foundation’s activists are advancing the conservative principles upon which this great country was founded. You are preserving the chance for those who follow you Y to live in freedom, to utilize their talents, and to explore their unique ingenuity. You are paving the way for the free pursuit of individual happiness. Thank you for helping to promote our country, our liberty, and the American way of life. Thank you for having courage. You are an important part of the future. You are great Americans.


“The ranch was my father’s refuge, his sanctuary; it fed his soul...” — Patti Davis, Town and Country, November 2012

Rancho del Cielo was Ronald Reagan’s home for 25 years. It served as the Western White House for eight years. It is where President Reagan signed the largest tax cut in American history and hosted world leaders including Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher. Since the 1960s, Ronald Reagan worked closely with Young America’s Foundation because he understood that “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Given our long history together, it was natural for the Foundation to step forward in 1998 to save the Ranch as a Presidential home and site of inspiration for young people. President Reagan’s freedom philosophy continues to inspire young people through the Foundation’s programs at the Reagan Ranch, Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, and nationwide. We have been honored to work with three generations of Reagans and to use Rancho del Cielo to reach young people with President Reagan’s values and lasting accomplishments.

“The house has been maintained exactly as it was when my parents owned it...”

National Headquarters F.M. Kirbyy Freedom Center 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170 The Reagan Ranch Center 217 State Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101

www.yaf.org 800-USA-1776

— Patti Davis, Town and Country, November 2012

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You can ensure Ronald Reagan’s ideas are passed on to today’s young people. Young America’s Foundation Young America’s Foundation |To Libertas 2013 get| Winter involved, call 800-USA-1776 or visit www.yaf.org. | Libertas | 15 Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue th

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15th Reagan Ranch Anniversary Issue

National Headquarters F.M. Kirby Freedom Center 110 Elden Street Herndon, Virginia 20170 800-USA-1776 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

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resident Reagan signs the Economic Recovery Tax Act on August 13, 1981, from Rancho del Cielo, also known as the “Western White House.” The legislation launched the largest tax cut in U.S. history.


Libertas - Reagan Ranch 15th Anniversary Issue