Reagan, Ronald, Administration of.
- Todd Steven Burroughs
Ronald Reagan (b. 6 February 1911; d. 5 June 2004), the former California governor who saw himself as protecting the “American way” against hippies and black radicals like the Black Panther Party and Angela Davis, opened his campaign to become U.S. president in August 1980 in Philadelphia, Mississippi. That was near a swampy area where in 1964 the bodies of three murdered civil rights workers had been found. The deaths of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, who were killed in 1964 during the Mississippi Freedom Summer—a massive campaign to push for the right to vote for all Americans—had shocked the nation. As a result of those deaths and others, Congress and President Lyndon B. Johnson had stepped up the fight that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Reagan chose the area purposely as a symbol of white ...
A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present.