breaking news

Child, age 2, found outside home unconscious; opioid overdose suspected

Throwback Thursday: When Ronald Reagan called to space from Dayton's Union Station


President Ronald Reagan kicked off a five-city train tour from Dayton’s Union Station in 1984.

Seeking re-election, Reagan said, “We’re taking the whistle-stop tour of ’84 to demonstrate that our government is once again on the right track and our national renewal is not going to be derailed.”

Reagan flew into Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Oct. 12, 1984, accompanied by then-U.S. Rep. Mike DeWine.

He was welcomed at Courthouse Square by newly planted flowers, a large blue and white banner that read “Montgomery County Welcomes President Reagan,” and a crowd of people, some who had been waiting since before dawn.

MORE ON PRESIDENTS IN DAYTON
» Jimmy Carter's 1980 Dayton visit had a dark side 

» When Abraham Lincoln spoke at the old courthouse
» When LBJ met crowds and cows at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds
» A history of presidential visits to Dayton

Former Ohio Gov. James Rhodes introduced the president to the crowd after taking Reagan’s opponent, Walter Mondale, to task for allegedly having a 13-year history of high blood pressure.

Reagan kept his speech to 15 minutes before heading to the train terminal.

There, the Ferdinand Magellan, a Pullman car built in 1928, waited for him to board.

The railroad car, named after the Portuguese explorer, was the only one ever designed for the exclusive use of United States presidents, according to a Dayton Daily News story published Oct. 12, 1984.

It was the same car that carried Harry Truman through Dayton in 1948.

It weighed 285,000 pounds and featured a rear platform with a loud-speaker system used by presidents to make speeches from the train.

Reagan climbed onto the platform and then turned to the crowd and told them he “had a phone call he had to take and they could listen in,” before stepping inside the car.

“Houston, Houston, this is Dayton,” blared the president’s voice over the loud speaker.

Reagan was on a special call to Commander Robert Crippen and the crew of the orbiting shuttle Challenger.

He reportedly told Crippen he was in Dayton about to take a train ride across the state while the astronauts orbited overhead.

“I think we can justify the slightly higher cost” of the shuttle by what it’s accomplishing, Reagan said. “Have a good safe journey home tomorrow and God bless you all.”

When he re-emerged Reagan, said to the crowd, “It was a little old-fashioned, like using a party line.”

“It’s quite a miracle we have up there and we’re going to have quite a few more miracles with the support of you,” he told the crowd just before the train left the station.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

County plans $6.5M move, expansion for youth drug treatment center
County plans $6.5M move, expansion for youth drug treatment center

A $6.5 million expansion and relocation of a Montgomery County in-patient treatment center to a nearby building should allow more youth — and particularly a greater number of girls — to get drug treatment closer to home, according to county officials. Montgomery County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to put $2.9 million toward the $6.5 move...
Misfits make for whimsical art
Misfits make for whimsical art

Why let music have all the fun with mash-ups? Art pieces offer their own style. “Debbie Loffing: Assembled Misfits,” now on display in the Chakeres Interactive Gallery at the Springfield Museum of Art, represents this. ››RELATED: COSI and libraries team up The Urbana artist has taken 24 figurines and given them...
Developer wants to build a ‘community’ in next step of Austin Landing
Developer wants to build a ‘community’ in next step of Austin Landing

The developer of Austin Landing South wants to create a “community” in the next step of the successful development located in southern Montgomery County. The “community” will be as good as the architecture, buildings, businesses, public spaces, roads and trails connecting it, said Larry Dillin, who heads VisCap Inc., the private...
Do you recognize this man suspected in Middletown business robbery?
Do you recognize this man suspected in Middletown business robbery?

Middletown police are hoping someone recognizes a person they believe robbed a Middletown business and could be linked to other crimes in surrounding areas, according to its Facebook page. Police said the man allegedly robbed an AT&T store, 2992 Towne Blvd., on July 15. MORE: Professor on baby death: Hard to know how common it is One man threw a brick...
Inmate climbs fence to escape Community Correctional Center in Lebanon 
Inmate climbs fence to escape Community Correctional Center in Lebanon 

UPDATE @ 6:01 p.m.:  The escapee from the Community Correctional Center in Lebanon did so just hours after he was brought to the facility on Ohio 63, Warren County sheriff's Sgt. Nick Marconi said.  Mark A. Hokanson, 34, of Clermont County, climbed a fence topped with razor wire to make his escape. Marconi said. Facility officials noticed...
More Stories