Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Reagan’

The U.S. Secret Service provided security for Pope Benedict XVI at the Papal Mass in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2008. Although the agents have no official uniform and can be seen wearing anything from tuxedos to blue jeans, they are often identified by their dark sunglasses, listening devices, and lapel pins bearing the agency's gold star logo.

The United States Secret Service uses code names to refer to the President of the United States, his family, other officials, and places. Originally, these code names were designed to protect sensitive communications, back in the day before restricted communications were routinely encrypted. Nowadays, there is no need to keep these names secret. Nevertheless, The Secret Service who guards the First Family and other U.S. officials continues to use the code names for clarity, brevity, and tradition. (1)

The U.S. Secret Service Star Logo. The U.S. Secret Service protects the President and First Family, other officials of the U.S. government, and visiting dignitaries.

General Code Names

President of the United States:  POTUS

First Lady of the United States:  FLOTUS

Vice President of the United States:  VPOTUS

The Obamas

Barack:  Renegade

Michelle:  Renaissance

Malia:  Radiance

Sasha:  Rosebud

The Bushes

George W.:  Tumbler

Laura:  Tempo

Barbara:  Turquoise

Jenna:  Twinkle

The Clintons

Bill:  Eagle

Hillary:  Evergreen

Chelsea:  Energy

The Bushes

George H.:  Timberwolf

Barbara:  Tranquility

The Carters

Jimmy:  Deacon

Rosalynn:  Dancer

Amy:  Dynamo

Secret Service agents respond to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley Jr. on March 30, 1981. President Reagan took a bullet in the abdomen but made a full recovery.

The Reagans

Ronald:  Rawhide

Nancy:  Rainbow

The Fords

Gerald:  Passkey

Betty:  Pinafore

The Nixons

Richard:  Searchlight

Pat:  Starlight

The Johnsons

Lyndon:  Volunteer

Lady Bird:  Victoria

Lynda Bird:  Velvet

Luci Baines:  Venus


A motorcade carries President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy through the streets of Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Texas Governor John Connally and wife Nellie ride in front of the Kennedys.

Secret Service agent Clint Hill stood on the running board of the car behind the Kennedy’s limo.
Agent Hill heard the first shot that hit President Kennedy. Mr Hill is the figure in the famous Zapruder film of the killing which shows him climbing onto the back of the president’s limousine. “I heard the first shot, saw the president grab his throat, lurch left, and I knew something was wrong,” recalled Hill in the book, The Kennedy Detail. Jackie Kennedy can be seen crawling out the back of the car onto the trunk to get help for her slain husband, slumped in the seat.

Agent Hill got in the back seat with Mrs. Kennedy and the president and shielded them with his body on the way to Parkland Hospital.

The Kennedys

John F.:  Lancer

Jackie:  Lace

Caroline:  Lyric

John Jr.:  Lark

Other Individuals

Queen Elizabeth II:  Kittyhawk, Redfern

Prince Charles:  Unicorn

Frank Sinatra:  Napoleon

Pope John Paul II:  Halo

Sarah Palin:  Denali

John McCain:  Phoenix


The White House:  Castle

The Capitol:  Punchbowl


(1)  Source: Wiki “Secret Service Codename

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A photograph of Ronald Reagan as a young child. He is standing between his mother and older brother, Neil. Notice his Dutchboy haircut, from which he got the nickname, "Dutch."

A photograph of Ronald Reagan as a young child. He is standing between his mother and older brother, Neil. Notice his Dutchboy haircut, from which he got the nickname, "Dutch."

This is an excerpt from a CNN.com transcript, “A Look at Reagan’s Early Years,” which aired June 10, 2004, five days after the death of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. Reagan died at the age of 93, after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for more than a decade:

PHILLIPS (voice-over): Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was born in an apartment above a bank in this small town. Tampico, Illinois, known for beautiful farm country and great pie. Life here hasn’t changed much.

Ronald was the second son born to Nell and Jack Reagan, the first, Neil, was born two years earlier. Mary Ellen Goldson’s father delivered Ronald in this room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ronald got the name Dutch because when he was born, his father said, he looks just like a Dutchman. He was a big baby, chubby.

PHILLIPS: They would become childhood playmates.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it was fun with the ghost stories and the hide & go seek, cops & robbers. That was a lot of fun.

PHILLIPS: Ronald Reagan’s young life was centered on his mother, Nell. He adored her, and she was his moral guide. Dorothy Carlson remembers that bond.

DOROTHY CARLSON, REAGAN’S CHILDHOOD FRIEND: He had good Christian values, had a good Christian upbringing. His mother was a wonderful woman, and he attended Sunday school and church regularly. And living in a small town where everyone is friendly and knows everybody, I think it makes a difference in city living. And you have more of a care and concern for people, and I don’t think he ever forgot it.

KAGAN: Nell also passed to Dutch her love of the dramatic. Reagan would recall [that] he felt [that] performing was his mother’s first love. Nell taught her son [that] God had a plan for him. She taught him how to dream, and to expect those dreams to come true.

Ronald Reagan stands on the diving board in the Little 19 (Illinois private colleges) swim meet held at St. Viator in this March 22, 1930 file photo.

Ronald Reagan stands on the diving board in the Little 19 (Illinois private colleges) swim meet held at St. Viator in this March 22, 1930 file photo.

LOU CANNON, REAGAN BIOGRAPHER: I think that Reagan’s mother was the key to his development, to his maturation, to his successes as an adult human being.

PHILLIPS: Reagan’s paternal ancestors hailed from Tiperary, Ireland. His father, Jack, a shoe salesman, was a staunch Irish- Catholic Democrat, who hated bigotry and racism, supported working people and taught his sons the same. He was also an alcoholic.

CANNON: If you’re the child of an alcoholic, you see things you don’t want to remember, and you certainly don’t want to tell anybody. Its main impact on Reagan was to create a kind of inward part of him that was a very, very important part of his character.

PHILLIPS: But it was Nell Reagan who would teach her son tolerance.

CANNON: The biggest thing that you did was that she taught Reagan and his brother to come to terms with the alcoholism of his father, which was very, very hard on Reagan.

PHILLIPS: Also hard on young Dutch was his nomadic boyhood. The family moved often through several small towns in Illinois before settling in Dixon, a prodominantly working class farm town of 8,000 people.

CANNON: In these first four, five, six years, they moved all the time, and so Reagan didn’t have — form these friendships that you form with other children if you grow up in the same place.

PHILLIPS: Reagan was just nine years old when the family moved to Dixon. He thought Dixon was heaven, and liked to describe his childhood as a rare Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer existence, simple life, simple times.

In his seven years as a lifeguard, Ronald Reagan saved 77 lives and a set of false teeth.

In his seven years as a lifeguard, Ronald Reagan saved 77 lives and a set of false teeth. (1931 photo)

Dutch was a short, skinny shy kid who wore thick, horn-rimmed glasses and was only an average student. But as he reached his teens, a summer job would become a defining experience in his life, forever changing his self-image.

(on camera): Ronald Reagan was 15 years old when he became a lifeguard here at Lowell Park on the Rock River. And as the story goes, when his shift was up and swimmers didn’t want to get out, he would toss pebbles from here and yell “River Rat!!!” But that’s not the only way to get swimmers out of the water. In seven summers as a lifeguard, he would go on to save 77 lives [and notched a mark on a wooden log for every life he saved, he said in an interview].

(voice-over): Helen Lotten remembers something else Reagan saved.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One time while he was a lifeguard, a man came up to him that had been swimming and he said, ‘Will you please dive in? I’ve lost my false teeth.’ He said, ‘I dove in and I can’t find them.’ So Dutch dove in several times, and he got them, he got them and he gave them to him, and the man was so pleased he gave him $10. And he [Reagan] said, ‘That was the first time I was ever paid for doing anything.’

PHILLIPS: Ronald Reagan loved being a lifeguard. He would recall his days on Rock River with great pride.

Biographer Edmund Morris said in an interview that being a lifeguard left Reagan with a lifelong desire to save people.

Ronald Reagan in a cowboy hat, circa 1976

Ronald Reagan in a cowboy hat, circa 1976

In the last years of his life, Ronald Reagan, while suffering from the debilitating mental effects of Alzheimer’s, had the same “slow, unstoppable energy” of his youth. He remained active in these post-presidency years, taking walks through parks near his California home and on beaches, playing golf regularly, riding horses, and visiting his office in nearby Century City. (1) At his home, he would tirelessly rake leaves from the pool for hours, not knowing that the leaves were secretly being replenished by the Secret Service men. (2)

(1) Wikipedia. Ronald Reagan.

(2) Morris, Edmund. Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan. New York: Random House, Inc., 1999.

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Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos with U.S. President Ronald Reagan

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos with U.S. President Ronald Reagan

For most of you, the names Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos won’t ring any bells. But from 1965 to 1986, Ferdinand was the President and Imelda the First Lady of the Philippines. In those 21 years, Ferdinand, with Imelda’s help, managed to rack up an astonishing record of abuses common to dictators – human rights violations, assassinations, corruption, embezzlement of public funds – and held onto power through the imposition of martial law, the abolition of the constitution, and the appointment of political cronies, including Imelda, a former beauty queen, to prominent posts.

Finally, in 1986, a people’s coup toppled the Marcos regime and the Marcoses were forced to flee their palace and the country. They were given safe passage by the Reagan Administration to Hawaii. In the palace, Imelda left behind 15 mink coats, 508 gowns, 888 handbags and 1060 pairs of shoes, some say 2700 pairs. It was estimated that the Marcos family was worth $35 billion.

Three years later, still in exile in Hawaii, Ferdinand was dead at 72 of complications from lupus. Imelda wanted Ferdinand to be buried in the Philippines but his body was refused entry. So Imelda kept the body in a refrigerated mausoleum in Oahu, complete with soft music, wheeling him out over the years for a birthday party and an anniversary celebration. (1) The power company soon threatened to suspend power for the costly tomb when thousands of dollars in electric bills went unpaid but, at the last minute, a friend came forward and picked up the tab.

In 2001, twelve years after his death, the Philippine government allowed Ferdinand’s corpse to return to his homeland and Imelda with it. Imelda went to work building a tomb in the national cemetery where Filipino heroes are buried. But fierce opposition broke out and blocked the former president’s burial. Ferdinand’s remains were then temporarily housed at a mansion in Batac, Ilocos Norte Province, in an air conditioned room. Eventually the corpse was moved to their present location in the Marcos family mausoleum in the village cemetery in Batac.

Former First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos kisses the crystal coffin of her deceased husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos

Former First Lady of the Philippines kisses the crystal coffin of her deceased husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos

The once-ruthless dictator is now a shrunken fellow dressed in a barong tagalog and black slacks lying in a glass viewing case inside a refrigerated crypt in a stone room with soft lights and church music. He is on perpetual view. A steady flow of visitors file past him. There his restless corpse will remain, above ground, unless Imelda gets her way and the government relents, according him a government-sponsored burial with full military honors.

A visitor to the mausoleum says that the corpse of Ferdinand Marcos, according to Filipino burial tradition, lies shoeless in the coffin. He swears that Marcos’ face and hands, however, don’t look very natural, even for a corpse. Speculation is that the real corpse is under the glass coffin, and that the figure on display is a dummy. The family claims this is not so, that the corpse looks waxy because it has to be waxed periodically for preservation.

(1) Verdery, Katherine. The Political Lives of Dead Bodies. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000)


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