September 26: On This Day in Eureka History

It was on this date in 1954 that Ronald W. Reagan made his first appearance as the host of GE Theater on the CBS television network. Reagan would hold this position (and serve as a GE spokesperson) for the next eight years.

By making the transition from movies to television at the same time when the television was quickly becoming ubiquitous in American culture, Reagan was able to become a nationally-recognized celebrity who had a large popular following. According to the Nielsen Ratings from the era, GE Theater did consistently well in the ratings, and Reagan was assured of a large audience for each week's program. In addition to hosting the program, Reagan also became the national spokesperson for General Electric and did hundreds of guest appearances on behalf of the Company.

On this date in 1996, Eureka College hosted conservative political commentator William F. Buckley, Jr., as a part of the College's Arts and Lecture Series. Buckley was the founder of National Review and served as its editor-in-chief until 1990. He also writes political commentary for the Universal Press Syndicate in a column that appears in more than 300 newspapers. For years he served as the host of the popular debate program Firing Line that appears on PBS.

Buckley spoke before a packed house in Becker Auditorium of the Cerf College Center. The crowd had waited patiently for Buckley to arrive after his connecting flight was delayed for nearly two hours [he was flying through St. Louis], but most thought the wait was worthwhile. Buckley soon wowed the crowd with his mixture of wit and intellect.