Question: Eureka College alumnus Ronald Reagan evolved into a popular Hollywood movie/TV actor and then President of the United States. Since then, Reagan has made many lists as one of the top U.S. presidents in history and more recently, in a posthumous honor, “Conservative of the Century,” an award accepted by Sen. John McCain. Was Reagan president of the Young Republicans Club at Eureka College?

Answer: Conservative? A Young Republican? Hardly! Reagan actually was one of the most liberal, change-seeking students on the Eureka College campus in his day (he graduated in 1932) and was a registered Democrat until switching parties in 1962. It is said his second marriage — to Nancy Davis Reagan in 1952 — may have influenced his political development as Nancy's father was a doctor, a conservative and influential Republican in Arizona.

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