By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Sunday, March 6, former First Lady Nancy Reagan died Former First Lady Nancy Reagan died at her home in Los Angeles. Alabama’s leaders remembered Mrs. Reagan fondly. She was 94.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) released a statement: “I am saddened to hear of the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan. President and Mrs. Reagan were dedicated public servants and always prioritized helping those in need. During her time in the White House, First Lady Reagan served with remarkable grace and class. She championed the cause of Alzheimer’s research and was completely devoted to President Reagan during his final years battling the disease. Nancy’s steady devotion to President Reagan is one of the things we admire most about her. I join Alabamians and Americans in remembering Nancy Reagan’s life and honoring her service to our great nation.”
US Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) said in his own statement: “Nancy Reagan was a great wife and patriot. She and President Reagan’s well-known love for each other was one for the ages. She brought tremendous dignity and respect to the White House, while providing needed support to one of America’s greatest Presidents in his efforts to win the Cold War and restore American greatness.”
Sen. Sessions continued, “On a personal note, I often think it is too little appreciated that her historic leadership inspired millions of good citizens to rise up and take action to stop the catastrophic surging rate of drug abuse and addiction. It is a fact that her “Just say no” initiative which spread all over the nation was the key to the effort. Many scoffed, but after sustained efforts drug use started downward to levels that were half what they were when she started. Murder rates fell, serious crime also fell. Overdose hospital admissions plummeted, and the prevention programs concept resulted in less death, family breakup, and human loss. A generation of Americans, especially young people, benefitted from her achievement.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said, “Nancy Reagan was a patriotic American who helped inspire our nation. May she rest in peace and may God be with her family during this difficult time.”
State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) said, “The First Lady of the finest President in my lifetime has been welcomed into Glory.”
Speaker of the US House of Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said in a statement: “Ronald Reagan could not have accomplished everything that he did without his wife Nancy. As first lady, she brought a sense of grace and dignity to the White House. She roused the country to redouble the fight against drugs. And she showed us all the meaning of devotion as she cared for President Reagan throughout his long goodbye. She loved her husband, and she loved her country. This was her service. It was her way of giving back. And all of us are very grateful. So on behalf of the entire House, I wish to extend our condolences to the Reagan family and offer our prayers on the passing of a great American, Nancy Reagan.”
Mrs. Reagan was born Anne Frances Robbins on July 6, 1921 in New York City. After her parents separated she went to live with her aunt and uncle in Maryland. She became an actress in the 1940s and 1950s using the name Nancy Davis. She married Ronald Reagan in 1952 when he was the President of the Screen Actors Guild. They had two children together. Mrs. Reagan was the First Lady of California from 1967 to 1975 and was First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989.