The 1982 recession during the Reagan Administration resulted in high interest rates, homelessness, and unemployment. "We are really in trouble," Reagan confided to his diary.
Narrator: As the recession deepened through 1982, its effects were felt across America. Farmers were driven off their land by high interest rates. In the cities, homelessness became a scandal. Thousands of businesses failed. Unemployment reached its highest level since the Great Depression.
"I prayed a lot during this period," Reagan wrote. "Not only for the people in the country who are out of work, but for help and guidance in doing the right thing."
Pressure on Reagan to change course mounted. His program, now derided as Reaganomics, had not only failed to produce growth, but was leading the nation into fiscal disaster. "We are really in trouble," Reagan confided to his diary. "Our projections are out the window. We look at $200 billion deficits if we can't pull off some miracles."
Even true believers were disillusioned. David Stockman, tired of urging for cuts, now urged the President to raise taxes. Reagan, wrote columnists Evans and Novack, was having to fight two-thirds of his administration to save his economic program.
Richard Norton Smith, Former Director, Reagan Library: There are very few conventional politicians who would have stuck it out, as he did. But he came to office imbued with a conviction that less government and lower taxes would resolve the pervasive sickness of the American economy. And what he saw 1982 as was the fever that was about to break.
Narrator: Reagan stayed the course. "I believed the economic recovery would work," he wrote, "because I had faith in those tax cuts and faith in the American people."
But the American people were losing faith in Ronald Reagan.
Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist leader from Jamaica, had great successes and failures before being jailed and deported from the US in 1927.
President Woodrow Wilson lead America during World War I, created the Federal Reserve, and helped create the League of Nations. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
From letters of the second U.S. president, John Adams, and his wife, Abigail, this film explores their tumultuous times.
Franklin Roosevelt restored hope after the Great Depression and led the nation during World War II. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
His stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Premiering May 1.
From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.
During World War II, more than a thousand women signed up to fly with the U.S. military as WASPS.
A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.