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- "U.S. Presidents"
Historical Perspectives (43)
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With the Help of New Women Voters, Harding Wins in a Landslide – But Still Sees the Presidency as a Prison Term
The misfortune of losing a child while serving in the country’s highest office is one shared by a surprising number of U.S. Presidents.
Just three months into his presidency, Kennedy pledged, in his address to Congress on May 25th, 1961, ”that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” To which he added “No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.”
President Kennedy laments he hasn’t time to write about Thomas Jefferson, and then carefully does so.
Writing just two months after handing the presidency off to John Adams, Washington was a changed man. Having returned to Mount Vernon, and at last under the shadow of his own vine and fig-tree, he was, in fact, exuberant, wry – and surprisingly, funny.
This exhibition features letters, manuscripts and signed photos that celebrate various aspects of the remarkable life and character of Ronald Reagan, the 40th U.S. President. There are examples of his optimism and his pessimism; letters about his fierce presumption of racial equality, and manuscripts decrying riots, lawlessness, and a coercive state.
The most dangerous job in America is not, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced, fishing. Nor is it logging, flying, or steel manufacturing. The job with the worst mortality rate is the hardest one to get: President of the United States.
This exhibition features letters in Lincoln’s hand, some of which testify to the mythic idea of him – his kindness, honesty, and mercy; and some reflecting the gritty reality of his life – law cases about hogs, choosing pragmatism over principle, crafting an image.
The exhibition reveals Lincoln the man, whose thoughts, words, and actions were deeply affected by personal experiences and pivotal historic events. This virtual exhibit includes some select items on display at the traveling exhibition.
In 1858, when Abraham Lincoln emerged onto the national stage, Jews made up less than one-half of one percent of the American population. Many Americans of that time did not know Jews personally, yet Lincoln did, and these relationships stood out amid the stereotyping and anti-Semitism of mid-19th-century America. The bonds Lincoln formed with Jewish individuals during his lifetime, and the interventions he made as president on behalf of all Jews, reflected his deepest values and helped promote Jewish equality in the United States.
John F. Kennedy powered into the White House on the energy of a country seeking change. Stuck in a recession and dismayed by perceived political stagnation, voters embraced the vibrancy and wit of Kennedy and his young family, emboldening the president to edge toward a new frontier, both on the homefront and internationally – and even to outer space. The fervent hope that Kennedy brought to the White House and to the United States was quickly confronted by broad geopolitical threats, as well as by personal challenges.
The vision of the Holy Land in 19th-century America was shaped by religious and cultural sentiment, and influenced by the experiences of those groups who traveled there: missionaries, pilgrims and tourists, explorers, settlers, and consular officers, all of whom had different motives for their journey and reports.
He is head of state, Commander-in-chief, and the country’s top legislator. The President of the United States has arguably the toughest job in America, and it turns out, the most deadly.
A heart-broken president mourns his teenage son.
Theodore Roosevelt has a suit made, and re-made, for his 1905 inauguration.
Twain on the heroic writing, and fantastic success, of Grant’s memoirs – Grant’s fame, he predicts, will last two-thousand years.
An exceptionally rare Lincoln autobiographical letter – mentioning the death of his mother and sister, and his elegiac poem “My Childhood Home I See Again, And Sadden With the View.”
Hoover had longer than most presidents to give vent to a sentiment a great many of them felt: out-of-office, he says he is “…once of Washington D.C. – now fortunately elsewhere.”
If in the annals of American history, there was ever an expert witness on Presidential assassinations, that person would be Robert Lincoln.
The dog days of summer are here: so warmed up, and slowed down, that even Congress has stopped doing nothing…
The public’s right to know versus a President’s responsibility to protect. Just when, exactly, is secrecy warranted?
Franklin Pierce on the death of his dearest friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Benjamin Harrison: the earliest known example of a typewritten presidential letter.
The Hayes’ White House, famously, was a bastion of Temperance – earning Mrs. Hayes the sobriquet “Lemonade Lucy” – although it was rumored that the disapproving staff served oranges infused with a rum-based Roman Punch.
Abraham Lincoln swears he shall not modify the Emancipation Proclamation, nor return to slavery any person freed by it.
In 1864, Governor Michael Hahn pushed through a provision authorizing the legislature to enfranchise non-whites on the basis that Lincoln suggested: military service and intellectual fitness. This was a crucial development: voting rights for Blacks were now – incrementally – possible…
President Gerald Ford, never elected to the office – nor, uniquely, to that of the Vice President – wanted to be remembered, he said, as a dedicated, hardworking, honest person who served constructively.
Theodore Roosevelt hated William Howard Taft; Taft hated Roosevelt; Roosevelt hated Woodrow Wilson. Wilson hated…
Who is in charge, when the presidential term ends on noon on the Sunday, but the Oath isn’t taken, until Monday?
Former President Pierce defends himself against treason charges.
The assassin Charles Guiteau fired, twice, into his back. “My God!” the President cried, “What is this?”
“All that I am or hope ever to be,” Abraham Lincoln famously said, “I get from my mother – God bless her.”
The conundrum of the President who is at once both the most common and the rarest in manuscript material, is solved.
Although Tsar Alexander II and President Abraham Lincoln came from very different backgrounds, they led eerily parallel lives. The United States President proclaimed the emancipation of slaves in the territories of the Confederation in 1863. The Russian emperor signed the liberation of the serfs in 1861. Freedom, however, came at a cost. Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 and Alexander II assassinated on March 13, 1881.