President Reagan turned 74 today and, while he made it clear he wanted no fuss, fellow Republicans arrived in the Cabinet Room carrying a cake.
House GOP leader Robert H. Michel of Illinois, no slouch as a singer, led the group in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” before they got down to business, previewing tonight’s State of the Union address.
Reagan, the oldest man to occupy the Oval Office, also marked the event with a private dinner at the White House, arranged by the First Lady, featuring a crunchy chestnut cake with chocolate glaze, topped by a single candle. The cake had no inscription on it.
By midday 5,482 birthday cards, more that 100 gifts and scores of congratulatory phone calls were received from the public.