Today is the 107th birthday of President Ronald Reagan. To celebrate his life, we’re sharing five of our favorite quotes from the Gipper on freedom and the uniqueness of the American experiment.

 

Address to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, 1961.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

“We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

 

“A Time For Choosing,” 1964.

“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to.”

“This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.”

 

Ronald Reagan rides his horse “El Alamein” (gray Arabian) at his California Ranch, Rancho del Cielo. Source: National Archives and Records Administration.

First Inaugural Address, 1981

“If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before.”

“Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay the price.”

 

Farewell Address, 1989

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”

 

Opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, 1991

“I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.”

 

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