World loses former 1st lady

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan passed away from congestive heart failure on the morning of Sunday, March 6 in her home in Los Angeles. She was 94 years old.

As Nancy had been the first lady of California before becoming First Lady of the United States, many of the California Bay Area locals had shared their thoughts upon hearing the news.

“I read about her death this morning. She was the former first lady of Ronald Reagan. It’s a sad loss,” said Los Medanos student Jordan Wysinger.

“I was saddened to hear that she died. I know a lot of people respected her,” remarked LMC English professor Sara Toruno-Conley.

“I’m sorry that she’s passed. She had a very exciting life,” said LMC President Bob Kratochvil.

Although Kratochvil wouldn’t reveal his age, he did admit to having lived through the time when Nancy Reagan was First Lady of the country and of California.

“I think she did bring a certain elegance to the White House, as did her predecessor,” added Kratochvil, referring to Jacqueline Kennedy, the first lady of the 35th president.

Nancy Reagan was most commonly known as one of the most influential first ladies in American history- one of her most noticeable deeds being the ‘Just Say No’ campaign in the 1980s.

“In all honesty, Nancy Reagan’s campaign ‘Just Say No’ is nothing more than a First Lady battling an issue that was relevant at the time of her husband’s presidency. Yes, she started a movement against drugs, but in reality, she was just doing her duties as First Lady,” commented Diablo Valley college student Bryll Marco, “Her fight against drugs continues on today and the only way to honor her efforts is to keep fighting the influence of drugs that plague our cities.”

Nancy’s ‘Just Say No’ campaign worked towards educating youth about the dangers of drug abuse. Her campaign had spread across the country and by 1984, there were more than 12,000 ‘Just Say No’ clubs established within schools.

Her efforts had dropped cocaine use in high school by one-third and decreased the use of marijuana by high school seniors from 10 percent to 3 percent by 1987.

Nancy was also remembered for her dedication to her husband and his career.

After the attempted assassination on Ronald Reagan’s life in 1981, Nancy unofficially declared herself her husband’s protector and habitually consulted an astrologist. Nancy would plan President Reagan’s speeches and meetings based on the advice she received from her hired astrologist.

LMC political science professor, David Zimny remarked that he found Nancy Reagan’s belief in astrology intriguing.

“There was no indication that the astrologer ever really had an impact on policy decisions, but still the idea for 8 years that an astrologer was exercising some influence over the White House was very interesting.” said Zimny.

After her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease sometime before 1994, Nancy had also become a powerful advocate for Alzheimer research and awareness, and later in 2004, a supporter of legalizing stem cell research to help find a cure for the degenerative brain disease.

“She was such a big part of the Reagan era. Republicans today look on Ronald Reagan as one of their greatest presidents and use his name a lot in appealing to voters,” added Zimny, “The large part that Nancy had in his campaigning and in her causes in the White House- that’s what I think she’ll be remembered for.”