June 5, 2004 – Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, died after having suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for nearly a decade. Reagan was the first former U.S. president to die since Richard Nixon in 1994. At the age of 93 years and 120 days, Reagan was the longest-lived U.S. president in history until November 12, 2006, when his record was then surpassed by Gerald Ford. His seven-day state funeral followed. After Reagan’s death, his body was taken from his Bel Air, Los Angeles home to the Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California to prepare the body for burial. On June 7, Reagan’s casket was transported by hearse and displayed at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, then flown to Washington, D.C. on June 9 for a service, public viewing and tributes at the U.S. Capitol.
After lying in state for 34 hours in the Capitol rotunda, a state funeral service was conducted at the Washington National Cathedral on June 11, the day when President George W. Bush declared a national day of mourning. Later that day, after the service, Reagan’s casket was transported back to California for interment at the Reagan Presidential Library. The state funeral was executed by the Military District of Washington (MDW). Reagan was the first former U.S. president to die in the 21st century.
News of his death was heard and reacted to all over the world. And dignitaries, some friends and some enemies, all reacted with sorrow that a world leader such as Ronald Reagan was now gone.
As an example of the world view of his death, here is a BBC World Service Newshour report on the death of former President Ronald Reagan and the reactions being reported in London.
This day in 2004.