Ronald Reagan's stepped into a shop to buy a Valentine's Day card for his wife in 1983, never to do it again

It was February 14, 1983, and former President Ronald Reagan wanted to do something special for his wife, Nancy.

The 40th president had a plan and it included buying a card for Nancy, a tradition that he had followed for 29 years. However, those close to him advised against carrying out this mission.

The former president, who was newly sworn in, told his secret service agents that he wanted to head to a "nearby gift store" to buy a Valentine's Day card for his wife and he was informed that it could turn disastrous.

However, Reagan wasn't about to be talked out of it since it was a tradition that he had followed for 29 years, according to author Mark Weinberg.

Ronald Reagan with former First Lady Nancy Reagan. Source: Getty Images 

Weinberg, who wrote Movie Nights With the Reagans, revealed in his book, "Reagan could be very stubborn."

So the former president's secret service accompanied him to the gift store when they were on their way to the White House after an event at the US Chamber of Commerce. 

According to UPI, Reagan's limousine made an unscheduled stop a block and a half away from the White House and bought four cards for his wife.

He told reporters who were standing outside the store that he liked to "mix them up." He also revealed that he didn't find suitable Valentine's Day cards for members of Congress.

However, Reagan's visit caused quite a stir among lunchtime shoppers. "Aides helped him clamber over a snowbank left by a severe storm that dumped some 18 inches of snow on the capital," UPI reported. 

Former President Ronald Reagan gets a kiss from his wife Nancy on the occasion of his 89th birthday February 6, 2000 at their home in Bel Air, California. Reagan turns 92 on February 6, 2003. (Photo courtesy of Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation/Getty Images)

Reagan was scarred by this incident and swore he wouldn't venture out to a store again.

"That was when Reagan fully absorbed just how much his life had changed. The result of this excursion was not what he expected: total pandemonium," Weinberg revealed in his book, according to Page Six.

"That was just about the last shopping expedition outside the White House. It caused such a commotion . . . I never wanted to do that to a shopkeeper again," Weinberg recalled Reagan as saying.

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Rushali Pawar


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