Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday...and yes, my daughter is named after him


110 years ago Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois. My oldest child's middle name is Reagan after the former President.

Before Reagan became President, he had a long career as an actor before he became the governor of California in the 1960s and won presidential elections in 1980 and 1984.

Here are 10 facts about President Reagan you may not know, courtesy of constitutioncenter.org:

1.Reagan really did enjoy jelly beans.According to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library,his favorite flavor was licorice. Reagan started eating jelly beans in 1967 as he was trying to quit a pipe-smoking habit. He switched to Jelly Bellies a decade later.

2. One food that Reagan didn’t like was brussels sprouts.This is according to the Reagan Library website. In her autobiography, Nancy Reagan said her husband wasn’t a fussy eater since he traveled on the public speaking circuit for decades, but he also didn’t like tomatoes.

3. Reagan’s nickname of “Dutch” was given to him at an early age by his family.Reagan’s ancestry is Irish on his father’s side and Scots-English on his mother’s side. The name came from his childhood haircut, among other things.

4. The future President’s last movie role was in the 1964 release,The Killers.Based on an Ernest Hemingway story, it was Reagan’s only role as a villain in a film, and it was the first made-for-TV movie. However,The Killerswas considered too violent for TV, and released to movie theaters instead.

5. The future President lost partial hearing in one earwhen he was hurt on a movie set in the late 1930s after a gun was fired next to his ear. Decades later, President Reaganwrote to Michael Jackson offering his supportafter Jackson was burned filming a TV commercial.

6. Ronald Reagan started out in life as a Democratand supported the New Deal efforts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Reaganofficially became a Republican in 1962, but he had grown more conservative during the 1950s as he toured as a General Electric spokesman.

7. Reagan was not the original choice to star in “Casablanca,”instead of Humphrey Bogart. The urban legend over the issue isdocumented on snopes.com, and it started with a paragraph in a Warner Brothers’ press release issued before the movie was made. Bogart was always expected to play the lead role.

8. In 1950, Reagan campaigned for Helen Gahagan Douglasin her bitter Senate race against Richard Nixon. A decade later, Reagan campaigned widely for Nixon in the 1960 presidential election against John F. Kennedy.

9. Ronald Reagan was the first person elected as President to have been divorced.He had married actress Jane Wyman in the 1940s and the couple was divorced in 1948. He married actress Nancy Davis in 1952. Donald Trump is the second President to have had a divorce prior to his election.

10. Young Ronald Reagan was successful as an actor and football player at Eureka College. But his most important role was a lifeguard at a local park in Illinois. The future president saved an estimated 77 lives in his summers as a lifeguard.