President Reagan 1981 Inaugural Address

A lesson on presidential inaugurations would not be complete without President Ronald Reagan's optimistic assessment of the democratic election system. Addressing the nation on the day of his first inaugural address, January 20, 1981, the 40th president of the United States addresses fiscal woes, the hinderance of a large government, and the American citizens who truly make up the phrase "We the People."

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Point out the effective appeal to the everyday Americans
  • Connect the video with its historical context, including Reagan's legislature and foreign policy
  • Have learners watch the video on their own, either at home or in a computer lab, and note their impressions of the speech
Classroom Considerations
  • The previous inaugural address by former President Jimmy Carter is not available in the playlist, but you can find it in the C-SPAN archives or in other areas online
  • Comment section is open to the public, and contains varying opinions of Reagan's presidency and current politics
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Video cuts away to different American memorials in a reflective moment
  • Tight camera frame allows for an emphasis on Reagan's expressions and delivery
  • None