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May 20, 2021 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association released a new episode of the 1600 Sessions podcast today titled, “The Triumph of Nancy Reagan.” In this episode, Stewart D. McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association speaks with Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty about First Lady Nancy Reagan’s legacy and her new book The Triumph of Nancy Reagan.

Watch the full video interview here.

Tumulty discusses Nancy Reagan’s approach to Iran-Contra: “It is really Nancy Reagan who believes this calls for a complete shakeup of the White House staff. Her husband doesn't want to do it. They go round and round and round about this for weeks. You know, he's like, I'm not going to sacrifice other people just to save my own hide. At one point, he has heard the scream at her "get off my back!" Ultimately she wins.”

Tumulty continues, “The other thing she does, which is just as important. And I think maybe more important was bringing Ronald Reagan around to the point where he could admit to the country and admit to himself that he had, in fact, had traded arms for hostages and in a televised speech, once again, Nancy doesn't trust the West Wing to write this. She brings in her own speech writer. The president acknowledges this, it is compared to Kennedy's Bay of Pigs speech. The next day, his overnight poll ratings go up nine points.”

The 1600 Sessions is available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

To hear the full episode, visit

For more information please contact

The 1600 Sessions

In this podcast series, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews luminaries, historians, and eyewitnesses to history about America’s most famous residence and office—the White House. Each episode includes a prominent guest or guests to discuss varying facets of White House history, including insights from former staff and many other topical issues.

P.D.F. Resources

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About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit

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