City Desk

Today in D.C. History: Dancing Kid Interrupts Reagan

On April 25, 1985, a 4-year-old reporter interrupted a speech by President Ronald Reagan with a dance routine in the White House Rose Garden.

Reagan had been giving a speech honoring "exceptional volunteers," including the District's 10-year-old Monica Perez, who had helped run a summer school at her home.

However, Nicholas Speed, a 4-year-old "budding reporter" with Pyramid Communications (and the host of Jump to It, a radio show on WPFW-FM) stole the show. As The Washington Post reported the next day:

4-year-old Nicholas Speed didn't seem serious at all, and his antics in front of the lectern as the president spoke, at times, completely upstaged the former actor 70 years his senior. [...] the budding journalist seemed never to let the ceremony or its import overwhelm his need to move about and express his eagerness for it to end.

This was not the last time a presidential announcement would be interrupted by the antics of small children. George W. Bush's nomination of John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court was notably interrupted when Roberts' son began a dance routine.

Sadly, Speed's antics came in the days before the Onion could issue suitable parody videos.

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