New exhibit at Churchill Museum takes a look at Reagan, Thatcher

The National Churchill Museum will be shining the spotlight on Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher over the next few months.

The museum is putting on a new exhibit, “Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher: Their Special Relationship,” Jan. 13-March 9.

Kit Freudenberg, the museum’s director of development, said the exhibit was inspired by the work of James Cooper, a Fulbright Scholar at Westminster College last year. Cooper wrote a book looking at the relationship between Reagan and Thatcher, and the impact they had on the political landscape in their respective countries in regards to domestic and foreign policies. He also developed the text for the exhibit.

In addition to Cooper’s work, Freudenberg said the museum decided to put together the exhibit because of the connection the two former world leaders had with Westminster College: Reagan spoke at the school during the dedication of the Breakthrough sculpture in 1990; Thatcher gave the Green Lecture in 1996.

“The third tie-in is Westminster College plays Eureka College (Reagan’s alma mater) in athletics, and every time they come here, the coaches have their players go through the museum,” Freudenberg said, noting National Churchill Museum staff returned the favor, visiting the Ronald Reagan Museum on the Eureka campus.

Photographs and items from the Eureka museum and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library will be on display as part of the exhibit, as well as items related to Reagan’s local connection — including his suit from the movie “King’s Row” on loan from the Kingdom of Callaway Chamber of Commerce.

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