Reagan centennial takes center stage

By Alan Levin, USA TODAY

About 100 miles west of Chicago amid fields of corn and soybeans, a very different celebration played out in tiny Tampico, Ill., the farm community where Reagan’s life began.

Reagan was born during a massive snowstorm in 1911 in an apartment on Main Street, and organizers of his birthday celebration feared that a similar storm might dampen the event, said Joan Johnson, president of the town’s historical society. Despite the more than 1 foot of snow that fell within the past week, several hundred people showed up, Johnson said.

Visitors shared cake and the local post office made arrangements to postmark special stamps depicting a double rainbow that appeared over the town on Nov. 3, 1980, one day before Reagan won election to his first term as president, she said.

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