[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]
The Presidents Connect today's election issues with the past
Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan -- 40th President; Terms: 1981-1989; Political Party: Republican; First Lady: Nancy Davis Reagan; Vice President: George H. W. Bush

Full Web Site Available Reagan
Go to the Web Site

Highlights from the Reagan web site include:

  • take a virtual tour of the Reagan Presidential Library
  • see video of Reagan's 1983 address announcing his nuclear defense plan
  • read excerpts from two Reagan biographies
  • browse a gallery of Reagan family pictures and a chronology of Reagan's life

Watch Full Biorgraphy

Early Career
Domestic Politics
Foreign Affairs
Presidential Politics

Vote on the Issues
Primary Sources

Teacher's Guide
The Film & More

Purchase Video/DVD
'We're entering our third century now, but it's wrong to judge our nation by its years. The calendar can't measure America because we were meant to be an endless experiment in freedom, with no limits to our reaches, no boundaries to what we can do, no end point to our hopes.' (1987)
Born: February 6, 1911; Tampico, Illinois... Barely three months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan was wounded during an assassination attempt outside of a Washington, DC hotel... Boldly declaring that "government is the problem," Reagan took advantage of the electoral mandate he had won to craft an agenda that stood in stark contrast to the philosophies of the New Deal and the Great Society. Unabashedly in favor of deregulation and lower taxes, he nevertheless vastly increased the military budget and swelled the national deficit. Despite charges that he was little more than an out-of-touch mouthpiece for conservative policies, he enjoyed a level of public affection not seen since FDR and Eisenhower.

Did you know? - Read some fun facts about Ronald Reagan

The Era

  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) first diagnosed (1981)
  • Equal Rights Amendment fails to win ratification (1982)
  • 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles
  • Geraldine Ferraro becomes first woman to run for vice presidency on major party ticket (1984)
  • TV program thirtysomething portrays babyboomers as adults (1987)
  • Rhodesia is renamed Zimbabwe (1980)
  • South African archbiship Desmond Tutu receives Nobel Peace Prize (1984)
  • Corazon Aquino leads the Phillippines (1986)

World Timeline - See a timeline of world events during Ronald Reagan's administration.

Extended Biography
Access in-depth biographical materials for Ronald Reagan.

     Printable version

Additional Resources
Explore bonus materials for Ronald Reagan, including primary sources, audio interviews, television program transcripts, and in-depth teacher's guides.


Major funding provided by the National
Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

NEH Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this Web site do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.