January 11, 1989: President Reagan’s farewell speech

Most of us remember reading about presidential farewell speeches in our U.S. history class. I remember my high school U.S. history teacher discussing President Washington’s farewell address and the line about staying out of “foreign entanglements.”

The other memorable farewell speech was President Eisenhower and the reference to “the military-industrial complex.”  By the way, that speech is often misunderstood.  President Eisenhower was warning us about corruption, not having a strong military.

On this day in 1989, we watched President Reagan’s speech.  It was probably more emotional than political for those of us who got involved in politics because of the Reagan candidacy.  (I still have Reagan ’76 bumper stickers!)

He did say something that night that we should think about, as Steven F. Hayward reminded us:

“Reagan bestowed full credit on the American people rather than himself.”

Frankly, that’s the lesson future presidents could learn from President Reagan’s speech.  Accept responsibility for your mistakes, but give the people all of the credit.. We still love President Reagan 33 years later.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).