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Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Woman Who Came Before Nancy

To commemorate former president Ronald Reagan’s centennial, a lazy writer might note a number of ‘saves’ Reagan encountered as a lifeguard. The cynic might offer a graph of federal spending to spin in case of emergency. Instead, remember this one very human experience Reagan shared with the woman who came before Nancy.
In 1940, prolific screen actress and dancer, Jane Wyman, was newlywed to Hollywood’s B-list, Ronnie Reagan and the two started a family quickly. With one child at home and plans for another, over the next seven years, the Ronnie Reagan’s were headed full speed towards political leadership within the Hollywood in-crowd and beyond. Unannounced and lurking, the future soon held a dark challenge for the couple.

Still young in their marriage, the Reagan family was expecting a second child, baby Christine. Then everything changed when Wyman unexpectedly gave birth prematurely to baby Christine, whom expired within a day. Losing a child tested the Reagan’s partnership heavily. According to court documents, Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman were officially divorced less than two years later.
Love him or hate him, Ronald Reagan’s centennial celebration garners attention. Instead of squabbling over his decisions though, the white crows of the press should take this historic opportunity to commemorate and honor his lost baby Christine, because she never had the chance to be one of her daddy's favorite citizens.

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