Saturday, March 12, 2016

Honoring Nancy Reagan

In honor of Nancy Reagan, I want to share this article with you, written by Mr. Handsome's maternal grandmother. She and her husband and three children--one of whom is my mother-in-law--attended Ronald Reagan's first inauguration as part of their 4-H program. My mother-in-law was 15 at the time.

Ronald Reagan's First Presidential Inauguration
Tuesday, January 20, 1981

We had VIP tickets to the inauguration, and myself and my two daughters where pleased to be escorted to our seats by a member of the military. The day was overcast, but the temperature was mild for January.

First Lady Nancy Reagan wore a beautiful red dress and coat, making her and the new president easy
to spot on the platform and in parades. Barbara Bush, wife of Vice President George H.W. Bush, wore a bright blue ensemble. Leading up to the inauguration, the military band performed wonderful music.

Chief Justice Warren Burger swore in President Reagan while Nancy held the Bible. This was the first inauguration to be held on the West Front of the Capitol, toward the National Mall, allowing for better visibility.

Following the ceremony was a lunch in Statuary Hall, during which it was announced that the
American hostages in Iran had been released after 444 days of captivity.

Later that day, my husband, an attorney, was sworn in to practice before the United States Supreme Court. It was largely ceremonial, as he did not expect to practice before that august body, but it was still a great honor. Chief Justice Burger presided, and all the
justices were present.

We were also invited to a reception in the office of Minority Leader of the House Bob Michel, where we met a number Reagan's personal friends from his hometown in Illinois.

We toured the Senate Chamber and heard each of the 100 senators respond to a roll call vote. Ted Kennedy was present, and we were shocked to see that the back of his hair was completely uncombed. We later learned that this was a normal occurrence for him, as the TV cameras only showed the front of his head.

We visited the House of Representatives, where Bob Michel introduced a resolution about the release of the American hostages and one of the representatives from Georgia quoted Scripture in connection with the situation.

The Christmas tree near the White House was lit up to honor the hostages who had been released.

Top photo: Official inaugural picture signed by President Reagan
Remaining photos property of
1: Mr. Handsome's grandma, mom, and aunt with their military escorts
2: My mother-in-law and her siblings with Cubs baseball star Ernie Banks, whom they met at the inauguration
3: My mother-in-law and her siblings with Uncle Sam
4: Nancy Reagan and Ronald Reagan on the platform (notice Nancy's red dress)


  1. Great memories for your husbands family.

  2. Anonymous3/12/2016

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Love the pictures!
    Gods love and peace to Nancy Reagan.

  3. Anonymous3/13/2016

    Nice historical story and snap shots of the past. Thanks!

  4. Anonymous3/14/2016

    Love the pictures. Thankh for sharing and tell your mother in law thanks for letting us read it.
    I kind of remember it I was only 9 years old at the time.
    I'm six years younger then your mother in law.

  5. Anonymous3/14/2016

    I was happy to read that story. It was a good idea of Mr Handsome's mother's mother to record that special event. Did She write any other stories or memories that you all share 'round the family and to others also?

    1. Hmm, I'll have to think about that one. She does like to share stories and memories!