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.
Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin's bullet, Kennedy's presidency long defied objective appraisal. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
With the clock ticking and the city under fire how many could be saved?
The unusual life of David Vetter, who lived permanently inside a germ-free environment due to severe combined immunodeficiency.
Before he became the first U.S. president, service to the colonies would profoundly change George Washington.
Author, soldier, scientist, outdoorsman and caring father, he was the youngest man to become president. 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.
During the defining months of the offensive against Germany, American forces faced a moral and strategic dilemma.
The Last Stand, the final act of General George Custer's larger-than-life career, played out on a grand stage with a spellbound public engrossed in the drama. Part of the Wild West collection.