What Milk and Reagan have in common

Posted on 29 Jul 2010 at 3:45pm
Ronald Reagan

Harvey Milk and Ronald Reagan have something in common.

The California Legislature set aside two days this year as new holidays in that state appealing to two opposite ends of the spectrum.

Harvey Milk Day is May 22. And now, as of this week, Feb. 6 is Ronald Reagan Day. The first celebration of Ronald Reagan Day will be next February on his 100th birthday.

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the order this week at the Ronald Reagan Library with Nancy Reagan in attendance.

Both Milk and Reagan lived in California, but neither was born there. Reagan was from Illinois. Milk was from New York. Both began their political careers in California and both were targeted by gunmen. Reagan, of course, recovered.

Obviously, the similarities end there.

Although Milk lived in Dallas for a short time and Reagan didn’t, Interstate 20 in Arlington is named for the former president. Surprisingly little else in Texas is named for him — three schools, one in Grand Prairie, and a street in Hickory Creek. Nothing in Texas that I could find is named for Milk.

Plenty of things in Texas have the Reagan name, however, like Reagan Street in Oak Lawn. But that street and most things named Reagan are named for John Reagan (1818-1905).

John Reagan served in Congress as a representative and senator. He was also the first chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission. There’s a Reagan County, a square county in West Texas about 90 miles southeast of Midland, with about 3,300 people.

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