Featured Primary Sources

The Age of Reagan

Nothing can enrich and enliven our understanding of the nation’s past, or dispel apathy about it, more powerfully than primary sources. The primary sources below open up a variety of viewpoints and have been chosen by master teachers specifically for use in the classroom. Affiliate School members can print a packet that includes an image of the document, photograph, or other resource, a transcript where applicable, text to place the document in historical context, and document-based questions. In addition, you may want to search the Gilder Lehrman Collection itself for other resources to enrich your lessons.

Ronald Reagan, official White House photograph, 1981 (Library of Congress Prints

President Reagan’s First Inaugural Address, 1981

Creator: Ronald Reagan Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Piece of the Berlin Wall displayed at the Newseum museum, Arlington, Virginia (L

Reagan Speech: “Tear down this wall,” 1987

Creator: Ronald Reagan Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels:
Ronald Reagan to Harold Ward, May 26, 1962. (GLC00782.17)

Ronald Reagan on economics and political parties, 1962

Creator: Ronald Reagan Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: