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Schwarzenegger signs Ronald Reagan Day into law

July 19, 2010 |  6:46 pm

What do Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk and Ronald Reagan have in common? They each get a day named in their honor under California law.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed two bills Monday honoring the conservative icon, one declaring Feb. 6 as Ronald Reagan Day, the other establishing a state commission to plan celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birth in 1911.

Schwarzenegger also signed a bill naming Jan. 23 in honor of Ed Roberts, a quadriplegic who became the first severely handicapped student admitted to UC Berkeley and went on to become a well-known activist for the rights of the disabled.

Reagan is the lone conservative among other Californians honored with official days. The list includes farm labor leader Cesar Chavez, gay rights crusader Harvey Milk and environmental icon John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club.

Only Chavez is recognized with an official state holiday; the others get days of “special significance” on which the governor issues a proclamation about their greatness.

-- Jack Dolan in Sacramento