President Reagan Reacts to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
On January 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th president of the United States of America. During the inaugural parade, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang a spirited rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” while President Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan, and their family watched from the stands of the presidential review box.
The Choir performed while aboard a 70-foot parade float, which stopped in front of the box at the request of Nancy Reagan.
President Reagan was clearly moved by the Choir’s performance, and following the performance he said, “The Choir’s singing was a highlight of our inauguration, as we knew it would be. I’m sure I speak for all Americans when I say thank you for saying so well what all of us feel about this land of the free and home of the brave. There is no more inspirational moment for any American—and that includes Ronald Reagan—than to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing ‘Glory, glory, hallelujah, His truth is marching on.’”
Here is a video clip from the ceremony that shows a misty-eyed President Reagan as he intently listens to the Choir inspiring the American spirit.
“Battle Hymn of the Republic” can be found on the Choir’s album America’s Choir. Purchase it on our shop page.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir music director, Mack Wilberg, arranged the Jean Sibelius hymn "Be Still, My Soul" for Ronald Reagan's 2004 funeral.