Reagan Got Rousing AAPG Reception

Halbouty's Introduction Was a 'First'

The death of Ronald Reagan on June 5 recalled memories of the visit of the then-former governor of California to the MPG Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City on April 10, 1978.

Then-MPG Executive Director Fred A Dix said AAPG President Edd Turner asked Michel T Halbouty to urge his longtime friend, Reagan, to be the keynote speaker - a good venue for an unannounced presidential candidate. Reagan was not an official candidate for president, although it was apparent he was positioned to be a major political force, having fallen just short of being the Republican nominee against Jimmy Carter in 1976.

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Average oil prices — 1978 to 2004

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The death of Ronald Reagan on June 5 recalled memories of the visit of the then-former governor of California to the MPG Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City on April 10, 1978.

Then-MPG Executive Director Fred A Dix said AAPG President Edd Turner asked Michel T Halbouty to urge his longtime friend, Reagan, to be the keynote speaker - a good venue for an unannounced presidential candidate. Reagan was not an official candidate for president, although it was apparent he was positioned to be a major political force, having fallen just short of being the Republican nominee against Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Reagan flew with Halbouty in Halbouty's Lear jet to and from Oklahoma City. He arrived Sunday and attended a private dinner and later a reception in Turner's hotel suite.

The Monday morning opening session at the Myriad Convention Center drew a standing-room-only crowd estimated at 4,500. Oklahoma's Democrat Gov. David Boren gave a welcoming address in support of the oil industry in relation to action by the federal government according to the AAPG Bulletin. Reagan's topic was free enterprise.

Halbouty, just entering the prime of his life at a mere 68 years of age (Reagan was a mere 67), gave a rousing introduction of Reagan. He ended by saying, "I now give you the next president of the United States." The crowd responded with a standing ovation.

Reagan said that was the first time he was introduced with those words.

Twenty-one months and 10 days later, Reagan was sworn in as president of the United States.