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Presidents Day

Presidents Day

An Opportunity for Reflection 

presidents day

Then U.S. President Barack Obama (second from left), with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter at the White House in 2009.


Presidents Day offers all Americans an opportunity to reflect on previous presidents—both on their contributions to the country and on the challenges and controversies faced by their administrations. We hope these lessons will prove useful in this endeavor.

George Washington

What Made George Washington a Great Leader? (1,1:84) 
The Whiskey Rebellion and the New American Republic (23:3:07)

John Adams

The Alien and Sedition Acts: Defining American Freedom 

Thomas Jefferson

The United States and the Barbary Pirates
Conspiracy Theories: Attacks on Jefferson Set the Pattern

Andrew Jackson

Jackson and Indian Removal Policy

James K. Polk

President Polk and the Taking of the West 

Abraham Lincoln

Slavery, Civil War, & Democracy: What Did Lincoln Believe?
Lincoln and the "Writ of Liberty"

Andrew Johnson

King Andy vs. the Radicals

Ulysses S. Grant

A Hero Betrayed: The Presidency of U.S. Grant

Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt and the Panama Canal
Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (24:1:08)

Woodrow Wilson

The Palmer "Red Raids"
Woodrow Wilson's Quest to Change the World

Franklin D. Roosevelt

How Welfare Began in the United States 
FDR Tries to "Pack" the Supreme Court
FDR and the Banks

Harry S. Truman

Choices: Truman, Hirohito, and the Atomic Bomb  
The Marshall Plan for Rebuilding Western Europe
Seizure! Truman Takes the Steel Mills 
Truman, MacArthur, and the Korean War
Harry Truman and the Election of 1948

Lyndon B. Johnson

"Let Us Reason Together": Lyndon Johnson 
The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Related Lessons

The Troubled Elections of 1796 and 1800
The Election of 1912