AP US History and AP Language and Comp. Students
Introduction: During President Ronald Reagan’s time as President of the United States, a cloud that would forever hang over his head, was the Iran-Contra Affair. Even though he was never convicted of a crime, there were many of his “people” who were. This scavenger hunt will give a brief history of the controversial action dealing with the Nicaraguans (The Contras --paramilitaries) and Iranians and the effect it had on the Reagan Administration.
Directions: Answer the following questions using the websites listed. The questions are in red and the websites you are to use will be above the questions that you are answering. Write your answers in complete sentences and be thorough in your answers.
Cold War Museum – Website 1
About this website: From the 1940s until the 1990s the rivalry between the democratic Free World and the nations of the Communist bloc affected Americans' daily lives and events throughout the world. This “Cold War” actually became a “hot” one in Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War but generally took the form of espionage and diplomatic maneuvers, with the United States, the Soviet Union and China as the major combatants. The Cold War Museum seeks to memorialize the people and events of those years and educate future generations about that era.
1. What was the Iran-Contra Affair?
Infoplease – Website 2
About this website: Teachers and librarians turn to Infoplease for factual information on an array of topics, including current events, pop culture, science, government, and history. They can confidently point students and children to the site, assured that it’s a safe place for kids to explore. The content is written and edited by experts, not users.
2. Who was Lt. Colonel Oliver North?
3. What was his part in the Iran-Contra Affair?
The National Security Archives – Website 3
About this website: Founded in 1985 by journalists and scholars to check rising government secrecy, the National Security Archive combines a unique range of functions: investigative journalism center, research institute on international affairs, library and archive of declassified U.S. documents ("the world's largest nongovernmental collection" according to the Los Angeles Times), leading non-profit user of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information, global advocate of open government, and indexer and publisher of former secrets.
4. Ronald Reagan was President of the U.S. at the time. Did he know of the illegal activities taking place in the Iran Contra Affair?
Office of the Inspector General -- Website 4 (U.S. Department of Justice)
About this website: Office of the Inspector General is a network that assists in the development of cases for criminal, civil, and administrative enforcement.
5. How did the Reagan administration supply the Contras with weapons and supplies after Congress cut off funds to this group?
Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs -- Website 5 (from Brown University)
Note: Copy and paste the URL below in the address bar to answer questions 6-9.
About this website: This website is intended to fill that gap and provide an educational resource with extensive materials about the issue. We were fortunate that C-SPAN starting posting digitized video from the Iran-Contra hearings in the spring of 2010. We selected and have embedded over 100 clips from the hearings. We also gratefully acknowledge the National Security Archive and ProQuest LLC for permission to make a host of documents freely available on this site.
6-9. The Iran-Contra Affair brought about many prosecutions of those involved. Using the website above give the charge, the outcome, and the sentence invoked on these four men:
v Robert McFarlane (National Security Advisor)
v Vice Admiral John Poindexter (National Security Advisor)
v Caspar Weinberger (Secretary of Defense)
v Lt. Colonel Oliver North
President Ronald Reagan - Address on Iran-Contra -- Website 6 (YouTube Video) ** The full-text speech can be accessed here: The Miller Center **
About this website: The Miller Center is a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history and strives to apply the lessons of history to the nation’s most pressing contemporary governance challenges.
10. What did he address as the most controversial part?