Today would have been the 100th birthday of the nation's 40th president, Ronald Reagan, and to celebrate the event, Britain unveiled a 10-foot statue outside the U.S. Embassy in London. Yes in London ... not the U.S. That sound a little funny to you?
Britains loved Ronald Reagan, almost as much as we did. He was incredibly pro-British and helped the country any way he could. Margaret Thatcher adored him, and although she was unable to attend today's ceremonies, she passed along this statement: "Ronald Reagan was a great president and a great man -- a true leader for our times. He held clear principles and acted upon them with purpose."
In addition for recognizing Reagan as the U.S. president who saw the country through it's longest period of sustained growth, he is perhaps most honored in England and Europe for his critical role in ending the Cold War "without firing so much as a shot."
Take a look at which presidents top Britain's list of the best presidents and who tops their list. Conservative party members feel Reagan ranks above Lincoln and Washington.
1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
2. Abraham Lincoln
3. George Washington
4. Thomas Jefferson
5. Theodore Roosevelt
Reagan pops on the list at #8 while Clinton ranks #19 and George W. Bush at #22. The two other statues outside the embassy that Reagan will stand alongside are Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower #10. But Reagan stands the tallest among them all.
It's a safe bet to assume that Barack Obama will never get his own bronze statue in Britain. Aside from being one of the few American presidents who is not Pro British, England is sure not to forget a few very serious faux pas the American president made a few years back. First, shipping that bronze bust of Winston Churchhill -- once voted as the greatest Briton in history -- back to the UK with a "thanks but no thanks." Nice manners.
Or maybe it was the time he gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a boxed set of DVDs when he visited the White House -- DVDs that only work on American video devices, duh. But the topper was probably the time he presented the Queen of England -- the Queen! -- with an iPod personalized with his favorite songs. That gesture speaks volumes.
Where does Reagan rank on your list of favorite U.S. presidents?
Image via Matthew Lloyd/Getty