A to Z of Statues – R is for Ronald Reagan

In my series of A to Z of statues I have already been twice to Liberty Square in Budapest.

First for Imre Nagi who led the Hungarian uprising of 1956 (since removed by the way by the Hungarian Nationalist Government of Viktor Orban in case it offends his Soviet pal Vladimir Putin) and secondly for Louis Kossuth who led the 1948 revolution against the Austrian Empire.

This time I am here for a statue of Ronald Reagan who is held in high regard in Hungary and elsewhere in Eastern Europe for his opposition to Russian control of Eastern Europe and his role in breaking up the Soviet bloc and Communist control of Eastern Europe.

The header picture is a street named in his honour in the Polish town of Nowa Huta near Prague.

In 2018 I stayed overnight in a hotel in Thetford in Norfolk and got to stay  in the Ronald Reagan room…

Removing Ronald Reagan from Liberty Square might be a step to far for Viktor Orban.

Ronald Reagan it seems is curiously popular. 2003 in a television USA viewers voted him the Greatest American of all time and in terms of Presidents alone that was ahead of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D Roosevelt and John Kennedy.

It makes me think about Mount Rushmore.

If they were doing it again now (2021) who would be the fab four I wonder.  Washington and Lincoln I predict would still be there but Franklin Roosevelt would replace Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald would  cruise in and most likely replace Thomas Jefferson.

At this time a lot of countries used a similar format to determine the greatest whoever.

There were also some odd results elsewhere, Russia voted for Josef Stalin (responsible for an estimated 60 million deaths), France for Charles de Gaulle instead of Napoleon or Louis XIV, Portugal for Antonio Salazar (a dictator), Spain for King Juan Carlos (now disgraced) and Canada for someone called Tommy Douglas who turned out to be Scottish. German viewers bypassed Otto Von Bismarck (voting for Adolf Hitler was not allowed) and voted post-war Chancellor Konrad Adenauer as the greatest German of all time.

Two predictable votes were Winston Churchill in the UK and Nelson Mandela in South Africa. In India voting for Mahatma Ghandi was not permitted on the basis that he would so easily win so it would be a pointless contest. The winner was B. R. Ambedkar, the ‘founding father of the Republic of India’.

In New Zealand viewers voted for the physicist Ernest Rutherford. In nearby Australia they had a hard time getting a short list of fifty and about 50% of those included were sportsmen. Personally I would have voted for Richie Benaud but the Australian public went instead for the bush poet Andrew “Banjo” Patterson famous for many things down under but mostly for the song “Waltzing Matilda”.

46 responses to “A to Z of Statues – R is for Ronald Reagan

  1. How would it go now in England? Any suggestions?

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  2. There was talk in some circles (not perfect circles by any means) of adding Donald to Mt. Rushmore. Although, now that it has been turned back to the Native American tribe with claims to the mountain, it may be wiped of even the current visages.

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  3. I’ll check if Ronnie’s still there when I’m in Budapest at the start of October.

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  4. RR the Gipper a great men and still is in my book. We need more like him today!

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  5. My late husband would have had something to say about removing Margaret Thatcher he had the utmost respect for her achievements, perfectly said by jfwknifton.

    I remember being ‘gob-smacked when the film star Ronald Reagan, became president. Since then I’ve come to realise that a lot of Americans are star-struck and that seems to override everything else. Donald Trump springs to mind, the awful Meghan Markle woman and her traitor husband Prince Harry, and let’s not forget James Cordon. We’re all open-mouthed wondering what on earth America sees in him!

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    • I am sorry but I am not a Thatcher fan at all. Destroyed our engineering heritage, sold off state assets and lined the pockets of the rich. Dreadful woman.

      It seems some countries have more respect for RR than perhaps we do,

      Prince Harry is a puppet with the cunning Markle pulling his strings.

      I haven’t really got an opinion on James Corden but I am not a fan.

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      • Haha, yes, I kind of guessed you weren’t a fan of Maggie. I wasn’t as bias as my husband, I saw the negative aspects as well as the positive. And anyway, I couldn’t stand her voice! (No logic there is there?)

        I totally agree with you about Prince Harry.

        Cordon’s fame in America is bizarre, over here he was so nondescript and now most of us cannot understand how and why he is so popular over there.

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      • His popularity is as bizarre as that of Ant and Dec!

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  6. Fascinating post and thank you for not choosing Ronaldo’s statue!

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  7. Fascinating – especially enlightening about Ronald Reagan

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  8. Interesting post, Andrew! Are you in Budapest now? Have you seen the bronze sets of shoes by the Danube River? Apparently, they represent people shot there who then fell into the river. I’d love to see a photo of that!

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  9. Anyone planning any statues of Our Present Incumbent here in the UK? I trust not …

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  10. One thing we haven’t mentioned in our current posts is the graffiti we regularly saw on the Greece mainland, but not so much on the islands since Crete. Lots of very pointed praise of a particular Englishman…often with the words “good guy” preceding his name….

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  11. I don’t suppose it could be Greek irony (re Boris), could it?

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