Reagan Assumes Presidency

Published: 1981
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
President Ronald Reagan is seen here being sworn in as the 40th President of the United States January 20, 1981 at the Capitol in Washington DC. Reagan's son, Ron (L); Reagan (2nd L); First Lady Nancy (C L); Senator Mark Hatfield (C R); Chief Justice Warren Burger (2nd R) and former President Jimmy Carter (R). (UPI PHOTO/FILES)

Nick Charles: On January 20th as the hostages were coming home, Ronald Wilson Reagan was sworn in as the 40th President of the United States. Marilee Cox reports he immediately set the tone of his Administration, calling for an era of national renewal …

President Ronald Reagan: "I, Ronald Reagan, do solemnly swear … "

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger: " … that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States … "

President Ronald Reagan: " … that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States … "

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger: " … and will, to the best of my ability … "

President Ronald Reagan: " … and will, to the best of my ability … "

Marilee Cox: "High noon January 20th, 1981, Chief Justice Warren Burger administers the Oath of Office to Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States. It is a ceremony with the usual fanfare befitting a Presidential inauguration, the first to be held on the Capitol's West Front, a symbolic gesture to Mr. Reagan's Western roots. There is time for the new President to revel in the history of the moment ... "


Marilee Cox: "'Hail to the Chief' is played for the new Chief Executive for the first time … "

"(Music and applause.)"

Marilee Cox: " … and President Reagan acknowledges the cheers and applause of the 10,000 or so spectators lining the Capital's West Front. In his Inaugural Address, President Reagan sounded a hopeful note. He called on Americans to begin an era of national renewal. He said it's time to realize, as he put it, 'we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams.'"

"In his speech, Mr. Reagan set out his priorities for the coming four years. Among other things, he set as a goal the control of the bureaucracy, as he put it, 'bringing the Government back with in its means' … "

President Ronald Reagan: "'The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks or months. But they will go away. They will go away, because we have the capacity now as we've had in the past to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom. In this present crisis, Government is not the solution to our problem; Government is the problem.'"

Marilee Cox: "Mr. Reagan quickly added it was not his intention to do away with Government; rather, he said, it was his intention to make that Government work.

"This is Marilee Cox."

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