6-7-04- Ronald Reagan, the cheerful crusader who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War and trying to scale back government, has died at his California home after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
The nation's 40th president was 93.
Before dawn on Monday, mourners started lining up to pay their respects outside a funeral home in Santa Monica, California, where Reagan’s body was taken after he died.
The body will be moved from the funeral home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, where it will lie in repose until Tuesday night.
In Paris, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said President
Bush was notified of Reagan's death at about 4:10 p-m Eastern time
by White House chief of staff Andy Card, who learned of the death
from Reagan's former California chief of staff.
The President honored Reagan’s memory saying, “He was a courageous man himself and a gallant leader in the cause of freedom."
The American flag over the White House is lowered to half staff. The nation's capital will come to a virtual standstill on Friday, the day of Ronald Reagan's state funeral.
President Bush has declared it a day of national mourning, with government offices closing in honor of the late president.