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Nancy Reagan, Former First Lady And Champion Of ​'Just Say No' Campaign​, Dead at 94

Nancy Reagan, former first lady and widow of Ronald Reagan died Mar. 6 in California.

While her husband was in office, her mission was to stamp out recreational drug use amongst teens. The famous and controversial campaign was called "Just Say No." It included school clubs and an advertising campaign that was part of the "War On Drugs" led by her husband's Republican government.

Here she is in one of the ads with actor Clint Eastwood.

'Just Say No' slogan inspired by school visit

Nancy Reagan had started her anti-drug crusade before her husband took office in 1982. The campaign's name was inspired by a school visit in Oakland, California. "A little girl raised her hand," she remembered, "and said, 'Mrs. Reagan, what do you do if somebody offers you drugs?' And I said, 'well, you just say no.' And there it was born. I think people thought we had an advertising agency over who dreamed that up - not true."

In 1986, "Just Say No to Drugs Week" was officially proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. Of the occasion, Nancy said:

"Someone asked me if I wanted to make a New Year's wish, and I said yes - and it was that I'd like to see every young person in the world join the 'Just Say No' to drugs club. Well, just the fact that Congress has proclaimed 'Just Say No Week' and in light of all the activities taking place, it seems that my wish is well on its way to coming true."

Six years after moving to the White House, more than 12,000 "Just Say No" clubs had been formed both in the United States and internationally. The campaign even took credit for a drop in teen cocaine use.

Here she is speaking about the "Just Say No" campaign on CNN in September of 1986.


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