If there was one trait that Nancy and Ronald Reagan shared, it was a tendency to airbrush reality when it didn’t fit the story they wanted to tell of their lives.

The failed and ill-considered campaign that he ran for the 1968 Republican nomination? Never happened, they both insisted—though at one point California’s new governor was traveling the country on a chartered 727 with 40 members of the press in tow, seeking backers and delegates. “Ronnie never sought the nomination in 1968,” Nancy wrote in her 1980 memoir, saying the episode was “more misrepresented than almost anything Ronnie has ever done.” For his part, Reagan claimed, preposterously, that running for president that year “was the last thing on my mind.”