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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

Nancy Reagan and "Just Say No"

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Marty Lederhandler/Associated Press, NANCY REAGAN SHOWS OFF HER "Just Say No" BUTTON AS SHE STANDS WITH 18 YEAR OLD ASHTON MCFADDEN (1983). Courtesy of AP/Wideworld.

Creator Marty Lederhandler/The Associated Press
Context In 1983, Nancy Reagan lent her support to the Reagan Administration's drug-abuse-prevention program.
Audience Young adults
Purpose To promote a public advertising campaign to persuade young adults to "just say no to drugs."

Historical Significance

During the 1980s, the federal government attempted to combat drug abuse through prevention and education programs, such as Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" to drugs program. President Reagan signed a proclamation for National Drug Abuse Education and Prevention Week in 1984. Although some questioned its effectiveness, the "Just Say No" campaign was the Republican approach to limit the role of the federal government and urge young adults to take personal responsibility for their actions by standing up to peer pressure.

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