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Reagan, Bush Also Addressed Students


Mr. Obama is not the first president to address school kids.


President Ronald Reagan spoke in late 1988. He stood in front of an audience of students in the State Dining Room at the White House.

BLOCK: His speech was less about education specifically and more of a lecture in American history.

President RONALD REAGAN: I would say that the most important thing you can do is to ground yourself in the ideas and values of the American Revolution. And that is a vision that goes beyond economics and politics. It's also a moral vision grounded in the reverence and faith of those who believe that with God's help, they could create a free and democratic nation.

BLOCK: President Reagan also said he had a special message from his roommate -the roommate would be Nancy Reagan, of course. And her message, just say no to drugs.

ADAMS: Three years later, President George Herbert Walker Bush spoke from a classroom at a Washington, D.C. public school. His speech followed similar things as President Obama's today.

President GEORGE H. W. BUSH: Maybe you can fake, maybe - just maybe you can fake your way onto a job, but you won't keep it for long if you don't have the know-how to get the job done. Maybe you can cram a week before that marking period ends and turn that C into a B, but you can't con your way past the SAT and into college. And if you don't work hard, who gets hurt? If you cheat, who pays the price? If you cut corners, if you hunt for the easy A, who comes up short? Easy answer to that one: You do.

BLOCK: President Bush also told students about someone he called a friend, who was traveling the country emphasizing the importance of fitness. That was Arnold Schwarzenegger before we called him governor of California. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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