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24 Best Photos of Ronald & Nancy Reagan’s Life in the White House

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The Reagan years in Washington, D.C. were glamorous — designer gowns, Hollywood celebrities, and White House parties were the norm. A president often celebrates these years with his family in tow, but Ronald and Nancy Reagan were different. Ronald came to the marriage with two kids, Maureen and Michael (his daughter Christine died shortly after childbirth) from his first union to actress Jane Wyman. When he married Nancy, they had two more children, Ronald Jr. and Patti Davis, but no one in the family was very close.

“The mark of this family is that everybody is distanced from everybody else,” Davis said in her memoir, The Way I See It, via The Los Angeles Times. “There was no glue in this family.” In fact, the older children from Reagan’s first marriage did not even know about their half-siblings until they were teens because they had been shipped off to boarding school and didn’t visit with their dad’s new family. So that’s why it’s hard to find photos of the entire Reagan clan together during Ronald and Nancy’s eight years in the White House.

From the two Bush administrations to the Obamas and the Trumps, family has always been a core part of a president’s time in Washington, D.C. With the Reagans, the couple had each other — and they were inseparable. Their love was never questioned, but they had a harder time holding their family together, and celebrities came around to the White House more frequently than their own children. After a year of feuding in 1984, the family broke bread over Christmas and Nancy issued an official statement, “It was a nice visit. There are no differences. All is resolved,” she wrote, via The Washington Post. “Everybody loves each other, and this is a wonderful way to start the New Year.”

Take a look back at the Reagans and their years in the White House with their family, who were there sporadically during his two terms.



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