Ronald Reagan Part II: The Early Years

June 5th was the 12th anniversary of the death of Ronald Reagan. When the former president died in 2004, thousands upon thousands of Americans stood in line to pay their respects in the rotunda of the Capital Building --- including Glenn Beck. Ronald Reagan had a huge impact on Americans and the United States. People still talk about our 40th president --- the man, the president, the legend. In this series, we explore Reagan's early years, his conversion from Democrat to Republican, the path to his election, and how his policies brought back morning in America.

Ronald Reagan Part II: The Early Years

Ronald Wilson Reagan, born February 6th, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois. Nicknamed Dutch, he was the second son of Jack and Nelle Reagan. Jack was a shoe salesman with a thirst for liquor, a storyteller who loved to regale fellow drinkers at the local saloon. Nelle was a housewife who joined the Disciples of Christ, a Christian church staunchly opposed to the consumption of alcohol.

Jack's inability to hold a steady job forced the Reagan family to bounce from town to town. This really affected Ronald who got used to being alone. He loved to hang out in the woods, and he was very self-sufficient. Returning from school one day, he found his father sprawled out on the front porch, completely drunk and out of it. He went to his mother and said, "This is just horrible." His mother said, "Look, your father has an illness, and he really tries. And you have to be understanding of him." She said, "When something bad happens in life, that's because God is going to make something good happen down the way."

Like his mother, 11-year-old Ronald found a wellspring of hope and comfort in the Disciples of Christ and was baptized in the church on September 21st, 1922. By 15, he was teaching Sunday school classes and delivering the Easter sermon, developing his speaking and performance skills through the church.

By high school, Ronald was thriving as an A student, a member of the swimming and football teams, and one of the most popular kids in his class. In the summers, he spent his days manning a concession stand and lifeguarding a dangerous stretch of the Rock River, saving a reported 77 lives in his five years on the job. After high school, Ronald Reagan enrolled in Eureka College, earning an economics degree in 1932.

Reagan started out a staunch Democrat and supporter of FDR. Not yet politically active, he headed off to Chicago to find work in radio. Unable to land a job there, he wound up in Iowa at WHO radio in Des Moines where he made a name for himself announcing Chicago Cubs and the White Sox games. Fans were drawn to the way he could paint pictures of the games and the surroundings with his words.

In the off season, the Cubs would hold training camp in California. And Reagan made the trip with the team each year. In 1937, he met with an acting agent while there who got him a screen test with Warner Brothers. The studio liked him immediately and offered him a contract for $200 a week, many times what he had been making doing radio in Des Moines. Within just a few months, Reagan was appearing in his first movie, Love Is On the Air.

In 1939, he was cast in the movie Brother Rat. It was his most substantial role in a major film yet. But more importantly, for Reagan, playing opposite him was actress Jane Wyman who then was in the final stages of divorce. By the time filming ended, they were engaged. Reagan and Wyman married in January 1940 and had two children, Maureen, born in 1941, and Michael, whom the couple adopted in 1945, just a few days after his birth.

In 1944, Reagan signed a million dollar contract with Warner Brothers, which may have sparked the beginning of the end of his leftist ideology. Since the tax rate at the time was over 90 percent, he frequently and vehemently complained about the egregiously high taxes. Still, apparently not quite totally convinced yet, in 1948, he spoke out on the radio on behalf of the Democratic Party.

During the late 1940s, Reagan and Wyman divorced. They had grown apart during her rise to Hollywood prominence, as he started to fade. Meanwhile, Reagan was becoming more and more politically active. He was the president of the Screen Actors Guild and worked to distance the union from communist influence. He was also working with the FBI as an informant on communists and testified before the House Committee on un-American activities, but wasn't asked to name any names.

Reagan would later cite Democratic resistance to rooting out communism as one of the factors that drove him to the political right. Another factor was a young unknown actress named Nancy Davis, whom he met at a dinner part in 1949. Nancy came from a decidedly right-wing family, and with Reagan heading in that direction already, the relationship sped up Ronald Reagan's political transformation. The two were married in 1952.

In 1953, with his acting fortunes quickly disappearing, Reagan landed a job that would bring him into America's living rooms every week and secure his financial future over the next eight years as host of the General Electric theater. Listening to Reagan's speeches and performances, it becomes apparent why he became known as The Great Communicator. Eventually, Reagan's politics would interfere with the way he earned his living. He was fired as host of the GE Theater in 1962 for being outspoken politically.

During a speech, he referred to FDR's 1933 New Deal Program, the Tennessee Valley Authority, as one of the programs of big government. Undaunted, Reagan would later reiterate his point in his support of a candidate for president. As Ronald Wilson Reagan burst into the national political consciousness during the biggest speech of his life, up to that point.

View all serials at glennbeck.com/serials

How RFK's example can help our nation in the wake of Trump's attack

Rowland Scherman / Contributor | Getty Images

How did you feel last Saturday when you heard the news that a former president of the United States narrowly avoided an assassin's bullet by a mere few inches? Were you angry at the media for their constant demonization of Trump and his conservative contingency? Did you blame the left for curating a political climate that fostered an assassination attempt?

In his immediate reaction to the news, Glenn pointed us back to a similar moment in American history: April 4th, 1968—the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

"The best speech I've ever heard given was by RFK Sr. on the day Martin Luther King was killed" - Glenn

Robert F. Kennedy, the father of current independent presidential candidate RFK Jr., was en route to Indianapolis when he heard the terrible news. His security team, expecting violent outrage across the country, asked RFK Sr. to turn around and head back to safety. But as Glenn said, RFK Sr. believed in the good in people and demanded to give his speech. He arrived in Indianapolis Park late in the day, and he addressed the crowd of predominantly black campaign supporters.

There were no riots in Indianapolis that night.

The message RFK Sr. gave that night wasn't one of vengeance, hatred, or hopelessness, but of calm and goodness. He appealed to the best in people. He called for people to set aside their differences, anger, fear, and confusion and instead express love and compassion towards one another. RFK Sr. asked for wisdom and the pursuit of justice so that we might be resolute in our unity as the country faces another difficult chapter.

What we need in this country is love and wisdom and compassion toward one another.

Glenn has made a similar plea to our nation—a plea for unity and not to lash out in fear and anger. Don't use this time to blame your friends and family who disagree with you politically for what happened or to tell them "I told you so!" Instead, reach out with compassion and grace. This is a turning point in American history. Let's turn it upward, away from hatred and violence and towards unison and compassion.

Fortunately, President Trump walked away from his attempted assassination with very minor injuries. The bullet that wounded Trump's ear could have just as easily ended his life, and his survival is nothing short of a miracle.

Sadly, that miracle didn't extend to everyone attending Trump's ill-fated Pennsylvania rally. Three other people were shot. David Dutch and James Copenhaver, both Pennslyavia residents, are thankfully in stable condition. Corey Comperatore, however, tragically died after being shot while protecting his wife and daughter from the hail of gunfire.

“Corey died a hero."

Camperatore, a 50-year-old loving father and husband from Buffalo Township, Pennsylvania leaves behind his daughter Allyson, his wife Helen, sister Dawn, and many other friends and family. Camperatore was a man of service, having spent 43 years as part of the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Company and had worked his way to becoming the fire chief when he stepped down to spend more time with his daughter.

Corey Comperatore's firefighting gear outside the Buffalo Township Volunteer Fire Company. The Washington Post / Contributor | Getty Images

Corey's friends and family have nothing but good things to say about him, and judging by their testimonies, Corey's final heroic act was consistent with how the volunteer firefighter lived his life.

According to many people who knew Compertore, he was a true patriot who loved his country. He was a fan of President Trump. Compertore was very excited to attend Saturday's rally, which he expressed in his last social media post.

Corey_Comper/X

During his speech addressing the shooting, President Biden expressed his condolences to the Comperatore family, stating that "He was a father. He was protecting his family from the bullets that were being fired.”

Democrat Mutiny? These prominent Progressives and Democratic leaders DEMAND that Biden withdraw

NurPhoto / Contributor, Justin Sullivan / Staff, Cindy Ord / Staff | Getty Images

Biden is still taking hard blows from both sides of the aisle after his abysmal performance in last month's presidential debate. As Glenn pointed out in his post-debate coverage, Biden came across as so incompetent that it has made many Americans scared that, should the country face a major threat, Biden would be unable to respond to it. This includes many Democrats, who are finally admitting that Biden isn't as fit as they have been claiming for the last four years.

Many names have already been suggested as potential replacements for the Democratic nominee, but many people, including some Democrats, don't believe Biden should even stay in office for the election. Here are some prominent progressives and Democratic lawmakers who have called for President Biden's resignation:

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)

Tom Williams / Contributor | Getty Images

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Arizona)

NurPhoto / Contributor | Getty Images

Rep. Seth Moulton (Massachusetts)

Justin Sullivan / Staff | Getty Images

Rep. Mike Quigley (Illinois)

Pool / Pool | Getty Images

Rep. Angie Craig (Minnesota)

Anna Moneymaker / Staff | Getty Images

Rep. Adam Smith (Washington)

Scott J. Ferrell / Contributor | Getty Images

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (New Jersey)

Chip Somodevilla / Staff | Getty Images

Rep. Pat Ryan (New York)

Tom Williams / Contributor | Getty Images

Rep. Hillary Scholten (Michigan)

Bill Clark / Contributor | Getty Images

Senator Peter Welch (Vermont)

Bonnie Cash / Stringer | Getty Images

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Oregon)

Chip Somodevilla / Staff | Getty Images

BONUS: Actor George Clooney

Cindy Ord / Staff | Getty Images

These TOP 5 new technologies left Glenn SHOCKED

Peter Macdiarmid / Staff | Getty Images

Glenn has been covering some of the most groundbreaking, exciting, and often terrifying technological advances. Some new tech has the potential to make a positive impact. Some tech is just SUPER cool, like a flame-throwing robot dog. However, there is also a dark side to technology. Glenn exposes how some new technological developments, particularly in the realm of AI, pose serious ethical questions.

Here are the top five new technologies that Glenn covered that will make your jaw drop:

Anti-gravity device

This new technology developed by Dr. Charles Buhler and his team may change everything we know about transportation and travel. Described as "propellant-less propulsion" by Dr. Buhler, this technology appears to defy gravity and is potentially a way for people to travel into and through space without the need for rockets. It doesn't stop there either, this tech could be used to forever change the way we travel here on Earth.

Human embryo-powered supercomputer

To have massively powerful AI, something, which many people seem to have an invested interest in, you need a lot of electricity to power the computers that host the artificial intelligences. Naturally, this energy consumption upsets the environmentalists so in response a terrifying solution was developed. Bio Processors are essentially computer chips powered by human cells, specifically stem cells, which are predominantly harvested from embryos. These Bio Processors have a limited shelf life, meaning they need a steady supply of stem cells to keep the computers that use them operational. What could be more terrifying than an AI that eats human cells?

Voice-stealing AI

When ChatGPT came out in late 2022 its power and versatility took the world by storm. Suddenly, students had it write entire essays in mere seconds, and it was creating songs and poems with ease. The capabilities of the ChatGPT AI were as disturbing as they were impressive, but after a recent update, it took a hard turn towards disturbing. OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, decided to give the program a voice and tried to recruit famous actress Scarlett Johansson to lend her voice to the machine. After she declined the offer, OpenAI went ahead and released the update for ChatGPT featuring a voice that sounded eerily similar to Johansson's. While OpenAI claims it's a different, similar-sounding voice actress, the idea that a computer is going around with your stolen voice is terrifying.

Flamethrower robot dog

How could you possibly ever make something cooler than a flamethrower? Simple, strap it to the back of a robotic dog of course! Originally built to help fight forest fires (ironically enough) by creating backburns, Glenn pointed out that a pack of these bad boys patrolling your property would be the ultimate home defense. Nobody would come anywhere near your house if it was guarded by a few of these firey companions.

Wormhole-generating UFO's

It's been a decade since the tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. No trace of the aircraft or any of its passengers, except a few small pieces of debris, were ever found nor was an official cause of the disappearance ever given. There have been an infinite number of theories explaining what might have happened, but this one from investigative journalist Ashton Forbes might take the cake for the wildest. Forbes joined Glenn on his radio show and brought with him convincing video evidence that seemed to show the now-missing aircraft being circled by three mysterious orbs before suddenly disappearing in a flash of light. Does this video show the doomed aircraft being sucked into an artificial wormhole, or is it an amazing piece of hoaxwork?