Americans doubted that a former Hollywood "B" actor could manage the country.
Narrator: The Republicans did gain control of the Senate. Reagan beat Carter in a landslide, carrying 44 states. It was a great victory for Reagan and the conservative movement.
Reagan (archival): I, Ronald Reagan, do solemnly swear. That I will faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States.
Narrator: When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 expectations were low. At a time when America faced an economic crisis and an escalating cold war, many wondered if anyone could manage the country. Least of all, a former Hollywood "B" actor. "Things could go very badly in the first year," Reagan's staff had warned, "resulting in an erosion of Republican momentum and public confidence." But Reagan projected great assurance. He believed, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt 50 years before him, that his mission was to restore America's trust in itself.
Reagan (archival): It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.
A saga of ambition, wealth, family loyalty and personal tragedy.
The story of a Vietnamese mother, the Amerasian daughter she sent away for adoption, and their reunion 22 years after the Vietnam War.
The founding father laid the groundwork for the nation's modern economy, including the banking system and Wall Street.
After notorious revolutionary leader Pancho Villa's raid on Columbus, New Mexico, General John Pershing and his 150,000 man cavalry set out to get Villa.
Malcolm X, a man who both terrified and inspired, expressed the anger and struggle of black people for freedom in the 1960s.
Before he became the first U.S. president, service to the colonies would profoundly change George Washington.
The bizarre saga of the Symbionese Liberation Army and Patty Hearst's kidnapping and conversion to her captors' cause.
The six-part story of a frontiersman farmer and a wealthy Confederate slave-owner's daughter.