Merle Haggard's connection to the late former president Ronald Reagan is extremely personal. In 1972, Reagan was Governor of California - and he gave Merle a certificate of Pardon. Merle had spent three years in prison on burglary charges after he got drunk and tried to break into a bar that was still open for business. "The world has really lost a great great man," Merle told The Tennessean. "He was an American, and he was a lot like me. He was in the entertainment industry first, and he spent the whole of his life working for the betterment of man."


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