Sunday, February 6, 2011

Centennial Celebration of Ronald W. Reagan

A few years ago in a box of miscellaneous stuff purchased from an auction in Independence, Iowa there was an envelope containing an advertising agency's artwork for the city of Dixon, Illinois - a boyhood home of Ronald Reagan. In the material were Polaroid test photos (to determine exposure and aperture) used to copy original artwork for some project. This was a common practice before today's digital composition and publishing techniques.

In this collection was an instant photo of an illustration of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States drawn by P. Wingart (or Wingert.) On today's occasion of President Reagan's 100th birthday it is time to share the artist's work.

Many people around 42N country know that Reagan got his entertainment start on Davenport's WOC radio and later on Des Moines' WHO radio as an announcer. One of his first assignments at WOC in the early 1930s was to cover a University of Iowa football game in Iowa City by doing color commentary. Having played the game as a student at Illinois' Eureka College, Reagan knew what the players were experiencing and called it as such. WOC program director Pete MacArthur was so impressed by the way Reagan handled the description of game that he told the play-by-play announcer to "let the kid finish the game" during the third quarter of that Iowa game. Reagan completed the play-by-play for that broadcast and three more Iowa games as a sports announcer. In his the own words, "the kid was overjoyed." Happy birthday Ronald Reagan. Know that.


  1. How very interesting. I didn't know he had his roots in Iowa :) What fun to have found the Polaroid shots!

  2. I didn't know that! :) "color commentary"?