28 June 2005

Reagan Voted Greatest American

Well, the finally got it right. Too bad I had to read about it in the BBC on-line edition. In the Discovery Channel / AOL Poll, more than two million people cast their vote, and the Gipper came out on top.
Former US President Ronald Reagan has been voted the "greatest American" of all time by his fellow citizens. Mr Reagan, who died last year aged 93, topped a list of 10 contenders, which featured six former presidents. He edged out Abraham Lincoln, who abolished slavery, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Some of the most notable names of US history such as Albert Einstein and Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, did not make the top 10. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is the highest ranked female contender at ninth place, making her the greatest American woman. George Washington, the first US president who is considered the father of the nation, comes in at fourth place. Current US President George W Bush and his predecessor Bill Clinton, whose presidency was tarnished by the Monica Lewinski sex scandal, are both in the top 10.

Top 10 greatest Americans
1 Ronald Reagan
2 Abraham Lincoln
3 Martin Luther King
4 George Washington
5 Benjamin Franklin
6 George W Bush
7 Bill Clinton
8 Elvis Presley
9 Oprah Winfrey
10 Franklin D Roosevelt

More than 2.4 million Americans cast their vote by phone, text or e-mail in the poll, organised by the Discovery Channel and AOL. Some observers suggest the image of Mr Reagan, who was criticised as an intellectual lightweight during his presidency, has been enhanced following his death as millions of Americans cast a rose-tinted look back at his presidency.

His two terms in office (1981-1989) coincided with a period of economic prosperity, the crumbling of the Soviet bloc and a renewed sense of pride among Americans still reeling from the Vietnam War.
The Discovery Channel and AOL offered to hold a similar event for the greatest frenchman; however, there has yet to be one.

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