Related Letters and Papers
Change is difficult, even when you hold the most powerful office in the world. President Reagan was determined to see a world free of nuclear weapons. While he was not able to achieve this goal in his lifetime, others including his wife Nancy, are carrying the flame.
George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, William Perry, Op-ed,
Wall Street Journal, 2007
Ronald Reagan called for the abolishment of “all nuclear weapons,” which he considered to be “totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization.” Mikhail Gorbachev shared this vision, which had also been expressed by previous American presidents. Although Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev failed at Reykjavik to achieve the goal of an agreement to get rid of all nuclear weapons, they did succeed in turning the arms race on its head. They initiated steps leading to significant reductions in deployed long- and intermediate-range nuclear forces, including the elimination of an entire class of threatening missiles. What will it take to rekindle the vision shared by Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev? Can a world-wide consensus be forged that defines a series of practical steps leading to major reductions in the nuclear danger?
Governor Arnold Schwarzeneger Address, 2007
Mistakes are made in every other human endeavor. Why should nuclear weapons be exempt?….
After I became an American citizen, the thing that stands out so clearly in my mind is the Reagan-Gorbachev summit at Reykjavik. The leaders of the two most powerful nations on earth were actually discussing the elimination of nuclear weapons. Such a breathtaking possibility. I still remember the thrill of it. I’ll never forget the photos of a grim President Reagan as he left the summit after the negotiations broke down. Even though the negotiations failed, I think the very talks themselves reassured the world. The world saw that both nations desired to be free of the nuclear curse
Nancy Reagan’s Letter to George Shultz, 2007
Thank you for letting me know of your new effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons. It was always Ronnie’s dream that the world would one day be free of nuclear arms. He felt that as long as such weapons were around, sooner or later they would be used. The result would be catastrophic.”