Digital Journal | February 4, 2014
The special relationship between world leaders President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is explored in a new exhibit at the National Churchill Museum on the campus of Westminster College. The exhibit, which opened in January, will be open on President's Day, Feb. 17, 2014 and runs through March 9.
"Through the use of pictures and artifacts associated with these great leaders, we are able to trace the influences that developed their character and personalities, their early political lives, their partnership on domestic and foreign issues and their legacy," says Dr. Rob Havers, Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum, and internationally known Churchill scholar.
Artifacts on display include photos, an American literature college essay written by Reagan, Reagan's honorary degree diploma from Westminster, gifts exchanged between their families, cowboy boots with the Presidential seal, a jelly bean clock, a satire piece with Reagan as Rhett Butler and Thatcher as Scarlett O'Hara, caricature teapots of Reagan and Thatcher, and more.
The exhibit was inspired by the research and newly published book, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan: A Very Political Special Relationship, by Dr. James Cooper, Senior Lecturer of History at Oxford Brookes University. He was the Fulbright Robertson Visiting Professor in British History at Westminster in 2012-2013.
Cooper draws the comparison that both world leaders emerged in the political arena as outsiders in their political parties at times of decline in their country's economies and a decline in world standing. Both espoused policies of less government intrusion, a conservative platform of lower taxes and balanced budgets and a firmer stance toward the Soviet Union.