After his brief stint in Hollywood, however, he switched to the right and and is known to have said, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."
Fans of Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. president, celebrate on Monday his 101st birthday at a ceremony at his Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
The ceremony includes a color guard, chaplain, a brass quintet, a 21- gun salute and the placing of an official White House wreath on Reagan's gravesite.
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who was a political aide in the Reagan administration, delivers the keynote address.
The celebration coincides with the state’s second Ronald Reagan Day that was enacted under a 2010 law written by former state Sen. George Runner.
SB 944 establishes Feb. 6 as a special day of significance in honor of Reagan, akin to other days celebrating naturalist John Muir, California teachers and the California poppy.
The bill did not create a state holiday and does not cost the taxpayers money.
“In these challenging economic times, we can learn much from our former governor and president,” said Runner, now a member of the Board of Equalization. “Ronald Reagan believed in the American people and he was confident that our nation's brightest days are ahead of us.”
Runner invited all Californians to visit www.facebook.com/ReaganDay to share a favorite memory, quote, photo or video of Reagan.
Twitter users are invited to tweet their memories using the hash tag #ReaganDay.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich called Reagan “a gracious, humble patriot” who “brought respect, dignity and principle to the state house and White House.
“Through his leadership, along with Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, the Berlin Wall collapsed, we saw the end of Soviet communism and the hammer and sickle joined the swastika on the junk pile of history,” said Antonovich, who served in the Assembly when Reagan was governor, was his representative on the Platform Committee at the 1976 Republican National Convention and his appointee to several federal commissions.