President Ronald Reagan, Burdened by Budget Crisis, Happily Escapes Washington for a Day

June 24, 1983

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President Ronald Reagan, Burdened by Budget Crisis, Happily Escapes Washington for a Day
Typed Letter Signed
1 page | SMC 1483

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      Background

      It didn’t matter, in May of ’83, that Reagan’s poll numbers were soaring: in the Senate, trying to pass his budget, he was still a vote short. A bill raising taxes, reducing military spending and increasing domestic spending, had squeaked through instead, and Reagan was fit to be tied. But on Saturday, May 21st, he had to leave town, to speak at Seton Hall’s Commencement – and as he writes here, a day away proved a blessing…

      I had such a great day at Seton Hall I just had to let you know… and that's not easy when Congress is having at the budget... It really was a most enjoyable and, yes, inspiring day for me.


      Reagan, who worried beforehand that his prepared remarks were less than awesome, ad-libbed his address - and wowed ‘em. In his twenty-eight minute speech, he called for merit-based pay for teachers, prayer in the schools, private school vouchers, and less Federal spending on education: and for this was interrupted, five times, by applause. “Don’t get discouraged with the situation of the world,” he told the graduates, “things are getting better.”

      Presidents routinely feel trapped in the White House – and getting away, even on a grey foggy afternoon, to New Jersey, was a pleasure.


      Typed Letter Signed, as President, 1 page, quarto, The White House, Washington, June 24, 1983. To top Eisenhower White House Aide and prominent New Jersey Republican, Bernard M. Shanley.
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      THE WHITE HOUSE
      WASHINGTON

      June 24, 1983


      Dear Bernard:

      I know you told me not to answer but I had such a great day at Seton Hall I just had to let you know.  Thanks for your generous words.  You brightened my day considerably and that's not easy when Congress is having at the budget.

      I'm glad to learn of your historic tie to Seton Hall.  It really was a most enjoyable and, yes, inspiring day for me.

      Best regards,

      RONALD REAGAN


      Mr. Bernard M. Shanley
      550 Broad Street
      Newark, New Jersey   07102