In February 1969, the Third World Liberation Front attempted to close down Berkeley's campus; Reagan responded by declaring an "extreme emergency", and sent state troopers to assist local authorities. Several weeks later, a property dispute arose at Berkeley, where a recently purchased lot remained empty; hippies and radicals squatted in the lot, proclaiming it to be the "People's Park" (pictured). Reagan had taken some criticism in California when he pursued the Republican nomination that he wasn't decisive-enough to be Governor . . . Reagan was itching to show that he was indeed decisive.
Reagan officially blamed the "street gangs" and "campus radicals" for the violence; Reagan's words exacerbated the crisis, and shortly afterwards, National Guard helicopters sprayed tear gas on the protesters (pictured: a helicopter spraying tear gas on 20 May 1969). The Berkeley faculty denounced Reagan's "military occupation", and demanded an audience with the Governor. In a televised address at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Reagan held firm. He cited many examples of lawbreaking in the last year at Berkeley, and he specifically identified the leaders of the riots as political agitators, with "lemmings" as followers. Reagan also called-out the Berkeley faculty, blaming them for creating the current polarized atmosphere on campus.
California voters liked Reagan and his pragmatism, but they weren't as enthusiastic in 1970 as they were in 1966: in 1966, Reagan had .580 of the popular vote, compared to .530 in 1970. Although the margin of victory in 1970 was half that of 1966, Reagan viewed it as a "win-is-a-win", and accepted the outcome (pictured: campus unrest increased in 1970 when Nixon ordered the invasion of neutral Cambodia).
For Reagan, if there was a public role after serving two terms as Governor of California, it was in the White House, which was an unrealistic goal until Nixon's implosion during Watergate. Reagan (pictured with Nancy on 10 March 1974 returning to Los Angeles) turned 64 after his two terms, and Nixon was no longer in a political position to anoint a moderate successor . . . the road was wide open, and Reagan decided to make a run for the Republican nomination in 1976 (but not too eagerly . . .).
Reagan wrote every one of his five minute radio broadcasts himself. Reagan remembered the intimate nature of FDR's "Fireside Chats", and re-created his version twice a day. Reagan wanted his words to be the focus, not images he would have needed to feature on TV. Reagan had no policy agenda beyond his basic conservative principles; he expected events to provide direction, and that occurred with the Fall of Saigon in 1975.
Reagan was appointed to the Rockefeller Commission, whose job it was to investigate the CIA. Reagan attended less than half of the 26 meetings (Reagan is pictured to the left of Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller); in the end, Reagan signed the Commission's findings, which were basically a "slap on the wrist" against the CIA.
But, the Church Committee (chaired by Senator Frank Church of Idaho) uncovered shenanigans by the CIA, including Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and the Bay of Pigs in 1961, as well as assassination attempts. Conservatives, like Reagan, didn't like any sunshine showing on the CIA; to Reagan, the CIA needed to stay viable and effective to guard against foreign threats . . . especially Communist foreign threats.