Ronald Reagan has been an inspiration to countless millions the world over. Nicknamed the Great Communicator, he had the ability to deliver moving speeches that touched the hearts of the masses with their direct style, humor and sincerity. During his long career in politics, he gave a great many speeches – some of which rose to the level of greatness. Perhaps the most memorable phrase one recalls when thinking of Ronald Reagan comes from his speech of 6/12/87. Here in an address at the Brandenburg Gate (Berlin Wall) in Berlin, he uttered the phrase “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” to the thundering applause of all people who were free or sought to be free of tyranny.

But this is not the only great moment from his speeches.

Like many presidents who serve, there are tragic moments that must be dealt with – moments that help heal a grieving nation. And Ronald Reagan’s presidency was no exception. On 1/28/86, just hours after the tragedy he delivered the Address to the Nation on the Explosion of the Space Shuttle “Challenger” from the Oval Office. This speech was a poignant speech full of sadness at the tragedy that had occurred just hours earlier. But it was also an uplifting speech, giving the Americans and the world the face of courage in adversity and hammered home the bravery of these fine men and women who take enormous risks every day for the betterment of all mankind.

During this speech, he masterfully tied in the risks of exploration with the need for seeking out the unknown and he put the event in its proper place in history by pointing out that on this day 390 years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard his ship off the coast of Panama. That one line showed the value of the courage of these men and women and the risks that they take to help open up and explore new frontiers that will benefit all mankind.

Another example of his great speeches happened many years before he ran for the Presidency. It happened on 10/27/64. Titled “A Time For Choosing”, it was a televised campaign address for the Goldwater Presidential Campaign. This title was very appropriate and was the theme of the entire speech. In it Reagan explains to the American people who he chose to no longer be a Democrat but rather is choosing to embrace the Republican ideals of a small, non-invasive government that serves the people, not a large government that dominates and wears down the people’s greatness, creativity and desire to reach beyond themselves to become something greater than they ever imagined possible.

He railed against the constant growth happening in every department and how this growth of government was hurting, not helping, the great country of the United States of America. In his own words: “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”

Some of Ronald Reagan’s other greatest speeches include his speech on 5/28/84 where he delivered remarks honoring the Vietnam War’s Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery and his two speeches on 6/6/84 where he memorialized our brave soliders who gave their life on D-Day 40 years before.

And of course this list of great speeches would not be complete without mention of the speech on 1/11/89; Ronald Reagan’s Farewell Address to the Nation from the Oval Office. In this speech, you could tell that after eight years, he was still humbled by the great office of the Presidency of the United States and still swelled with the honor the American people gave to him, allowing him to serve them for the past eight years.

Ronald Reagan’s greatest speeches will be studied by students and historians for many decades to come, not only for their content but also for their sincere delivery style, a style that flowed naturally from him and touches the hearts of everyone who heard.

Ronald Reagan’s greatest speeches – twelve in total – have been gathered in their entirety as originally broadcast in the four volume DVD collection Ronald Reagan’s Greatest Speeches Four DVD Collection.

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