President Reagan's death recalled for many his "Star Wars" defense proposals that gave the north Alabama space industry a long-lasting economic boost. For others, it stirs memories of his campaign speeches statewide.
Reagan, who died Saturday at 93 in California, unveiled his Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983 and the next year delivered a Fourth of July speech at Decatur's Spirit of America Festival before a crowd of about 30-thousand. Reagan that night made repeated references to governments that "crush" their citizens.
Reagan said: "The truth is that the totalitarian world is a tired place, held down by a gravity of its own devising and America is a rocket pushing upward to the stars."
During that 18-minute speech, Reagan also voiced his respect for Southern values, character and pride.