A Stint in Las Vegas

Ronald ReaganLike other movie actors, Ronald Reagan saw his acting career begin to slump in the ’50s.  Fewer and fewer movie roles were coming his way, and many actors were turning to television.  Although a critic of television, Reagan was to follow this route, too.  But first, in 1954 he took a gig as a Las Vegas stand-up comic for a few weeks.  He also was a Master of Ceremonies, announcing a singing quartet, “The Continentals.”  Later that same year Reagan got a break. He landed a job as host of a weekly TV drama series, GE Electric Theater. The former movie actor joined the ranks of TV performers.  Unpredictably, his position with General Electric was to lead him into politics.

Part of his responsibility was to tour the United States as a pubic relations representative for GE, seeking out workers’ opinions. In making celebrity appearances at GE plants  he received a “political education.” During this time he switched his views from liberal to conservative and began speaking out against government regulation and wasteful spending. As it turned out, the job he probably would not have accepted if his acting career had still been on track proved to be an excellent training ground for this future role as president.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” — Ronald Reagan



Recipe: President Reagan’s Favorite Mac ‘N Cheese

Reagan maccheesePSPM


President Reagan’s 2nd Favorite Food

President Reagan’s passion for jellybeans is legendary.  It began in 1966 when he was running for Reagan CL jelly beansGovernor of California as part of his successful attempt to give up cigarette smoking.  As president, Reagan placed a standing order of 720 bags per month (306,070 beans), to be distributed among the White House, Capitol Hill and other federal buildings. He often presented visitors with a custom-designed jelly bean jar, made for Reagan by “Goelitz  Mini Jelly Beans,” manufacturer of “Jelly Belly,” Reagan’s favorite. He is shown here presenting a jar of red, white, and blue jellybeans to president-elect Bill Clinton.

Reagan’s 2nd favorite food (and undoubtedly favorite entrée) was Macaroni and Cheese.  Here is his favorite Mac ‘N Cheese recipe, contributed by Nancy Regan to : N* COOKBOOK of Sporting Tastes, Second Edition. © 1984 , Naval Academy Memorial Fund.

(This is my favorite cookbook. It is available from the Naval Academy Gift Shop, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD  21401.)

President Reagan’s Favorite Macaroni & Cheese

1/2 lb. macaroni
1 tsp. butter
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
3 cups grated sharp cheese
1 cup milk

Boil macaroni until tender and drain thoroughly. Stir in butter and egg. Mix mustard and salt with 1 tbs. hot water and add to milk. Add cheese, leaving enough to sprinkle on top. Pour into a buttered casserole, add milk, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes until the custard is set and the top is crusty.




Reagans at homePSPM