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The Seventies: A Crisis of Confidence

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This is a teaching collection designed to support an inquiry into why the public lost confidence in the government in the 1970s (70s). Topics covered include the economic recession, the Nixon presidency and Watergate, the Ford presidency, the Carter presidency, the Iran hostage crisis, the oil embargo, the Kent State massacre and the Pentagon Papers.

Guiding questions:

-Why did the U.S. public lose confidence in the presidency in the 1970s?

-What impact did economic crises have on American lives?


National Museum of African American History and Culture

Richard Nixon

National Portrait Gallery

Daniel Ellsberg and Walter Cronkite

National Portrait Gallery


National Portrait Gallery

Gasoline Shortage Sign, 1973

National Museum of American History

OPEC's Oil Squeeze

National Portrait Gallery

High Noon

National Portrait Gallery

Stop Smiling

National Portrait Gallery