1969 January 7

Governor Reagan: Drive “Anarchists” and “Latter Day Fascists” Off California Campuses


Ronald Reagan made campus protests one of his major issues when he first ran for governor of California in 1966. On this day, he gave a frighteningly anti-civil libertarian call for the California legislature to drive political radicals, whom he labeled “anarchists” and “latter-day fascists,” off college campuses. Nothing came of this demagogic call. Reagan had become a vocal anti-Communist in the 1940s, testified before HUAC on October 23, 1947, and established a close relationship with the FBI (see April 10, 1947).

As president, Reagan was committed to a strong anti-Communist foreign policy, which led to the Iran-Contra scandal that engulfed his administration in its last years and included numerous violations of law (see October 5, 1986; November 3, 1986).

Watch Reagan order the California Highway Patrol and the Berkeley Police to the campus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpg0UfpuUAs

Learn more about Reagan’s attack on student radicals and his relationship with the FBI: Seth Rosenfeld, Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals and Reagan’s Rise to Power (2012)

Read about Reagan as Governor: Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power (2009)

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