Ronald Reagan During the White House Years
John Ficara  /  POLARIS
updated 6/10/2004 1:45:04 PM ET 2004-06-10T17:45:04

Ronald Reagan was one of the most popular presidents of the twentieth century. But he was also the focus of an intense debate that continues to this day. Was he a visionary leader, the kind that only comes along once in a lifetime? Or as his critics contend, just a disengaged former actor blessed with incredible good luck and communication skills? Perhaps he was a little bit of both.

Watch the MSNBC Special "The Great Communicator: Ronald Reagan in his Own Words."  NBC News anchor Brian Williams hosts this one-hour documentary which showcases some of the most influential and popular speeches, interviews, and critical moments of the former President’s career.

Below are video highlights of some unforgettable moments that helped shape what we now know as the Reagan legacy:

There is general agreement about one thing: Ronald Wilson Reagan had a remarkable ability to connect with people – millions of Americans across the country.

The debate over his Ronald Reagan’s politics will continue. But he hopes to be remembered for something much larger than that -– for no less than restoring  this country’s optimism, its sense of purpose.

He was a gifted messenger with a compelling message, who was instantly branded as "The Great Communicator." It may be what he is best remembered for to this day.

Watch "The Great Communicator: Ronald Reagan in his Own Words" on MSNBC on Thursday, June 10,4 a.m. ET

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