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American Presidents Interactive – Click and Learn

Presidents
George Washington (1)
Born – 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia Died – 1799
President from: 1789-1797
Vice President: John Adams
First Lady: Martha Custis

Legacy:

  • Commander of Continental Army in Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
  • Chairman of the Constitutional Convention (1787)
  • First President of the United States
  • Known as “Father of Our Country”
  • Appears on United States $1 bill and quarter

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John Adams (2)
Born – 1735 in Quincy, Massachusetts Died – 1826
President from: 1797-1801
Vice President: Thomas Jefferson
First Lady: Abigail Smith

Legacy:

  • Successfully defended British soldiers in Boston massacre trial (1770)
  • Signed the Declaration of Independence and helped draft it (1776)
  • Was nation’s first vice-president (1789)
  • Secured passage of Alien and Sedition Act (1798) in an attempt to silence political opposition.
  • Died on same day as Thomas Jefferson.

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Thomas Jefferson (3)
Born – 1743 in Albemarle County, Virginia Died – 1826
President from: 1801-1809
Vice President: Aaron Burr, George Clinton
First Lady: Martha Wayles Skelton

Legacy:

  • Drafted Declaration of Independence (1776) and Virginia Statues on Religious Freedom (1781)
  • Was vice-president for John Adams (1797-1801)
  • Initiated Louisiana Purchase (1803)
  • Sent Meriwether Lewis and William clark on their journey to the Pacific Ocean (1804-1806)
  • Founded University of Virginia in (1819)
  • Died on same day as John Adams.

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James Madison (4)
Born – 1751 in King George County, Virginia Died – 1836
President from: 1809-1817
Vice President: George Clinton, Elbridge Gerry
First Lady: Dolley Payne Todd

Legacy:

  • Chief recorded at Constitutional Convention (1787)
  • Known as “Father of the Constitution”
  • Helped draft the Bill of Rights (1789)
  • Helped establish the Democratic Party (1790s)
  • Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
  • Helped guide the nation through the War of 1812 with Great Britain during his presidency (1812-1815)

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James Monroe (5)
Born – 1758 in Westmoreland County, Virginia Died – 1831
President from: 1817-1825
Vice President: Daniel Tompkins
First Lady: Elizabeth Kortright

Legacy:

  • Minister to France under George Washington (1794)
  • Governor of Virginia (1799-1802, 1811)
  • During his presidency, the United States acquired Florida (1819)
  • Supported Missouri Compromise (1820)
  • Authored the Monroe Doctrine, which opposed any European intervention in the western hemisphere and advocated American neutrality in European affairs. It would become the basis of American foreign policy.

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John Quincy Adams (6)
Born – 1767 in Quincy, Massachusetts Died – 1848
President from: 1825-1829
Vice President: John C. Calhoun
First Lady: Louisa Catherine Johnson

Legacy:

  • Secretary of State under James Monroe (1817-1825)
  • Helped negotiate the acquisition of Florida from Spain (1819)
  • Helped author the Monroe Doctrine
  • During his presidency, the Erie Canal opened, which allowed for goods to be shipped between the Great Lakes and East Coast of the United States.
  • Served in the House of Representatives for 17 years after this presidency.

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Andrew Jackson (7)
Born – 1767 in Waxsaw District, South Carolina Died – 1845
President from: 1829-1837
Vice President: John C. Calhoun; Martin Van Buren
First Lady: Rachel Donalson Robards

Legacy:

  • Led major victory against the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama (1812)
  • Led soldiers to a major victory at New Orleans at the conclusion of the War of 1812 (1815).
  • Elected senator of Tennessee (1823)
  • Singed Indian Removal Act, eventually resulting in the Cherokee Indians being forced to walk the Trail of Tears (1830).
  • During his presidency, Sam Houston and the Texans defeated the Mexicans and declared independence.
  • Founded University of Virginia in (1819)
  • Honored on the United States $20 bill.

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Martin Van Buren (8)
Born – 1782 in Kinderhook, New York Died – 1862
President from: 1837-1841
Vice President: Richard M. Johnson
First Lady: Hannah Hoes

Legacy:

  • First president that was born as an American citizen, and the first not of English descent (he was Dutch)
  • Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson (1829-1831)
  • Vice-president under Andrew Jackson (1833-1837)
  • Instituted the independent treasury system (1837-1841)
  • The Panic of 1837 occurred during Van Buren’s presidency. The financial crisis arose from “speculative fever” and resulted in New York City banks refusing to pay in gold and silver coinage after the excessive issuance of paper money caused rampant inflation. Many blame Van Buren’s refusal to involve the government in the economy for the five year depression that followed.

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William Henry Harrison (9)
Born – 1773 in Berkeley, Virginia Died – 1841
President from: 1841
Vice President: John Tyler
First Lady: Anna Tuthill Symmes

Legacy:

  • Led 1,000 men to victory against the Indians at Prophetstown, Indiana. In what came be to known as the Battle of Tippecanoe, Harrison and his men massacred the Indians and drove them off of their land (1811)
  • Led American soldiers to victory against the British at the Battle of Thames in Ontario, Canada during the War of 1812 (1813)
  • First governor of Indiana Territory.
  • Developed pneumonia after his inauguration speech and died one month later. He had the shortest term of any president.

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John Tyler (10)
Born – 1790 in Greenway, Virginia Died – 1862
President from: 1841-1845
Vice President: None
First Lady: Julia Gardiner

Legacy:

  • Governor or Virginia (1823-1825)
  • Vice-president under William Henry Harrison (1841)
  • Gained passage of the Preemptive Act (1841) which gave squatters the right to buy government land at inexpensive prices.
  • In the last year of his presidency, the Republic of Texas was annexed and granted statehood, making it the nation’s largest state.
  • On his last day in office, Florida was admitted as a state.

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James K. Polk (11)
Born – 1795 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Died – 1849
President from: 1845-1849
Vice President: George M. Dallas
First Lady: Sarah Childress

Legacy:

  • Governor or Tennessee (1839-1841)
  • Facilitated the American acquisition of California by declaring war on Mexico (1845).
  • As a result of the Mexican-American War, America acquired much of what today is the southwestern United States, resulting in unprecedented expansion and the term known as “manifest destiny,” the belief that America was destined to expand across the continent.
  • Died of cholera 103 days after his last day in office.

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Zachary Taylor (12)
Born – 1782 in Orange County, Virginia Died – 1850
President from: 1849-1850
Vice President: Millard Fillmore
First Lady: Margaret Mackall Smith

Legacy:

  • Fought in the War of 1812, Black Hawk War, and Second Seminole War
  • Defeated General Santa Anna at Buena Vista in the Mexican-American War and led America to victories at Palo Alto and Monterrey.
  • As president, he worked to admit California to the Union as a free state and took a moderate stance on the issue of slavery (angering many Southerners).
  • Died only 16 months into his first term – likely of gastroenteritis.

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Millard Fillmore (13)
Born – 1800 in Cayuga County, New York Died – 1874
President from: 1850-1853
Vice President: None
First Lady: Abigail Powers

Legacy:

  • Vice president under Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
  • Signed Fugitive Slave Law, requiring runaway slaves to be returned to their owners.
  • During his presidency, Henry Clay crafted the Compromise of 1850, which ultimately allowed for California to be admitted to the Union as a free state.
  • After his presidency, Fillmore joined the Know-Nothing Party, a party that believed immigration was destroying the nation.

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Franklin Pierce (14)
Born – 1804 in Hillsboro, New Hampshire Died – 1869
President from: 1853-1857
Vice President: William R. King
First Lady: Jane Means Appleton

Legacy:

  • Was Brigadier General under Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American War.
  • Was the youngest president (at that time) to take office.
  • Supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which left the question of slavery to the voting citizens of the new territories (1854)
  • Approved the Gadsden Purchase, which provided for the purchase of land from Mexico (parts of Arizona and New Mexico)
  • Was thought to be a “doughface,” a northerner with southern sympathies. His reputation was ruined after he declared support for the South during the Civil War and maintained correspondences with Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
  • Pierce struggled with alcoholism throughout his life and died of cirrhosis of the liver.

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James Buchanan (15)
Born – 1791 in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania Died – 1868
President from: 1857-1861
Vice President: John C. Breckenridge
First Lady: None

Legacy:

  • Secretary of State under James K. Polk (1845-1849)
  • Favored popular sovereignty and the right for states to choose whether or not to allow slavery.
  • Although he denied that states could secede from the Union, he posited that if they chose to, the Federal Government could do nothing to stop them.
  • His tendencies to support the slavery cause weakened the Democratic Party and contributed to it split.
  • Was the only president to never have a first lady.

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Abraham Lincoln (16)
Born – 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky Died – 1865
President from: 1861-1865
Vice President: Andrew Johnson
First Lady: Mary Todd

Legacy:

  • His election in 1860 caused the secession of the Southern states
  • He guided the nation through the Civil War
  • Wrote the Emancipation Proclamation (1863) freeing all slaves in “enemy” territory
  • Wrote the Gettysburg Address, one of the most famous speeches in American history (1863)
  • One of the most beloved figures in American history. Many credit him with saving America.
  • Became the first president to be assassinated; he was killed by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865 at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
  • Honored on the United States penny and five dollar bill.

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Andrew Johnson (17)
Born – 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina Died – 1875
President from: 1865-1869
Vice President: None
First Lady: Eliza McCardle

Legacy:

  • Governor or Tennessee (1853-1857)
  • Became the first president to be impeached, when he removed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton without permission from Congress. He was later acquitted
  • During his presidency, William Seward purchased the Alaska Territory from Russia.
  • Contentious relations with Congress centered around different ideas of how rights should be restored in the South during Reconstruction. Johnson thought rights should be restored quickly and Congress favored a more gradual approach.

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Ulysses S. Grant (18)
Born – 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio Died – 1885
President from: 1869-1877
Vice President: Schuyler Colfax
First Lady: Julia Boggs Dent

Legacy:

  • Commander of Army of the Potomac in Civil War (1864-1865)
  • Accepted Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse ending the Civil War (1865)
  • During his presidency, Congress passed the 15th Amendment, giving all races the right to vote
  • After his presidency, bad business investments left him virtually bankrupt
  • Grant died of throat cancer in 1885 after a lifelong battle with alcoholism

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Rutherford B. Hayes (19)
Born – 1822 in Delaware, Ohio Died – 1891
President from: 1877-1881
Vice President: William A. Wheeler
First Lady: Lucy Ware Webb

Legacy:

  • Governor or Ohio (1867, 1869)
  • Became the first president to take his oath in the White House
  • Withdrew federal troops from the occupied South, ending reconstruction
  • Sent federal troops to break up labor riots involving workers from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In the end, over 70 people were killed as a result of clashes between rioters and soldiers

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James A. Garfield (20)
Born – 1831 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio Died – 1881
President from: 1881
Vice President: Chester A. Arthur
First Lady: Lucretia Randolph

Legacy:

  • Fought as colonel, brigadier and major general for Union Army in the Civil War.
  • During his presidency, Clara Barton founded the Red Cross.
  • Only four months into his presidency, Garfield was shot by a disgruntled worker. Garfield died three months later of complications from his wounds.

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Chester A. Arthur (21)
Born – 1829 in Fairfield, Vermont Died – 1886
President from: 1881-1885
Vice President: None
First Lady: Ellen Herndon Lewis

Legacy:

  • Vice president to James A. Garfield (1881)
  • During his presidency, the Civil Service Commission was organized and earned Arthur the nickname “Father of Civil Service”
  • During his presidency, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was passed prohibiting Chinese people from immigrating to America.
  • The original plans for the Panama Canal were formulated during his presidency.

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Grover Cleveland (22)
Born – 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey Died – 1908
President from: 1885-1889
Vice President: Thomas A. Hendricks
First Lady: Frances Folgom

Legacy:

  • Governor or New York (1882)
  • Enlarged the Civil Service
  • During this presidency, both the Statue of Liberty and Washington Monument were dedicated. In addition, the American Federation of Labor was formed.

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Benjamin Harrison (23)
Born – 1833 in North Bend, Ohio Died – 1901
President from: 1889-1893
Vice President: Adlai Stevenson
First Lady: Mary Scott Lord Dimmick

Legacy:

  • Fought as a Union general at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (GA).
  • Served as Senator of Indiana (1881-1887)
  • Signed the Sherman Antitrust Act to deter business monopolies.
  • During his presidency, six states were admitted to the Union.

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Grover Cleveland (24)
Born – 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey Died – 1908
President from: 1893-1897
Vice President: Levi P. Morton
First Lady: Frances Folsom

Legacy:

  • During his presidency, financial depression led to the Pullman Strike, a strike between labor unions and railroads. It would become the largest and most organized labor strike in American history, with over 250,000 workers holding out. Cleveland sent federal troops to break up the strike which caused dissention within the Democratic party and ultimately led to his failure to receive the Democratic nomination for a second term
  • During his presidency, “separate but equal” facilities for White students and Black students was deemed constitutional in the famous Plessy vs Ferguson case (1896)

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William McKinley (25)
Born – 1843 in Niles, Ohio Died – 1901
President from: 1897-1901
Vice President: Garrett A. Hobart; Theodore Roosevelt
First Lady: Ida Saxton

Legacy:

  • Governor of Ohio (1893-1897)
  • Declared war on Spain after that nation sunk the U.S. Battleship Maine. American naval forces subsequently destroyed Spanish fleet in the Philippines and took Guam and Puerto Rico.
  • Signed the Gold Standard Act which made gold the only standard for redeeming paper money.
  • Was shot by Leon Frank Czolgosz in Buffalo, NY on September 5, 1901. He died nine days later from his wounds.

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Theodore Roosevelt (26)
Born – 1858 in Oyster Bay, New York Died – 1919
President from: 1901-1909
Vice President: Charles W. Fairbanks
First Lady: Edith Kermit Carow

Legacy:

  • Organized first volunteer U.S. calvary known as the Rough Riders during the Spanish American War and led charge up Kettle Hill at San Juan
  • Governor of New York (1898)
  • As president, dissolved companies for violating anti-trust laws, fought for land conservation and won the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Helped gained passage of the Hepburn Railway Act (1905) and Pure Food and Drug Act (1906)
  • Helped mobilize the Panamanian Revolution which led to the American acquisition of land that would later be used to build the Panama Canal.

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William Howard Taft (27)
Born – 1857 in Cincinnati, Ohio Died – 1930
President from: 1909-1913
Vice President: James A. Sherman
First Lady: Helen Herron

Legacy:

  • Secretary of War under Theodore Roosevelt (1904-1908)
  • During his presidency, Arizona and New Mexico were admitted as states.
  • Taft’s presidency was highlighted by his strengthening of the Interstate Commerce Commission, expansion of the Civil Service, and his establishment of a postal savings bank and parcel post system.
  • During his presidency, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, allowing Congress to collect income taxes.
  • After his presidency, served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (1921-1930)
  • Was the heaviest U.S. president.

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Woodrow Wilson (28)
Born – 1856 in Staunton, Virginia Died – 1924
President from: 1913-1921
Vice President: Thomas Marshall
First Lady: Edith Bolling Galt

Legacy:

  • Governor of New Jersey (1911-1913)
  • During his presidency, the 18th Amendment, barring the sale or production of alcohol, and the 19th Amendment, woman suffrage, were passed
  • During his presidency, World War One begun (1914)
  • Wilson declared war on Germany, Hungary, and Austria after German vessel sinks the American ship Lusitania and three merchant ships.
  • In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles ends World War I

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Warren G. Harding (29)
Born – 1865 in Corsica, Ohio Died – 1923
President from: 1921-1923
Vice President: Calvin Coolidge
First Lady: Florence Kling

Legacy:

  • U.S. Senator from Ohio (1915-1921)
  • During his presidency, the U.S. Budget Bureau was established and the first immigration quota act was passed. In addition, Harding supported the establishment of the Bureau of Veterans Affairs.
  • Signed the Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act that funded 3,000 child and health centers across the country.
  • During his presidency, the Teapot Dome Scandal occurred in which his Secretary of the Interior (Albert Fall) was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for public oil field leases.
  • During his presidency, the first female senator was elected.

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Calvin Coolidge (30)
Born – 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont Died – 1933
President from: 1923-1929
Vice President: Charles Dawes
First Lady: Grace Goodhue

Legacy:

  • Vice president under Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
  • During his presidency, the U.S. Foreign Service was created, the first female governor was elected in Wyoming, and Charles Lindbergh made the first solo trans-Atlantic flight
  • During his presidency, the nation experienced significant economic growth in what came to be known as the “Roaring Twenties”
  • As an advocate of Civil Rights, the Ku Klux Klan is thought to have lost most of its political influence during Coolidge’s presidency
  • Known as “Silent Cal” for his serious, quiet demeanor
  • His presidential address to Congress was the first to be broadcast on the radio (1923)

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Herbert Hoover (31)
Born – 1874 in West Branch, Iowa Died – 1964
President from: 1929-1933
Vice President: Charles Curtis
First Lady: Lou Henry

Legacy:

  • Secretary of Commerce under presidents Harding and Coolidge
  • Hoover’s presidency was dominated by the misery of the Great Depressions. As his programs designed to ease the crisis floundered, he was not re-elected.

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Franklin D. Roosevelt (32)
Born – 1882 in Hyde Park, New York Died – 1945
President from: 1933-1945
Vice President: John N. Garner, Henry Wallace, Harry S. Truman
First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt

Legacy:

  • Governor of New York (1929-1932)
  • Roosevelt’s New Deal helped create programs and jobs that propelled the nation out of the Great Depression
  • Made major administrative changes during his presidency including the use of public funds for relief and public works, increase of government regulation of business, and the establishment of the Social Security Act
  • Declared war on Japan after that nation bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Germany subsequently declared war on the United States making it a central player in World War II
  • Generally considered one of the nation’s greatest leader. He is honored on the United States dime
  • Known as “FDR,” he was the only president to serve more than two terms.

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Harry S. Truman (33)
Born – 1884 in Lamar, Missouri Died – 1972
President from: 1945-1953
Vice President: Alben W. Barkley
First Lady: Elizabeth Virginia Wallace

Legacy:

  • Took office after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Authorized the use of nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The bombs killed tens of thousands of people and resulted in the Japanese surrender during World War II.
  • Supported the Truman Doctrine, which was designed to bring aid to nations threatened by Communist takeover.
  • Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 which eventually resulted in the Department of Defense and the creation of the U.S. Air Force and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
  • In 1949, Truman was instrumental in the establishment of NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) which established alliances with Canada and much of western and northern Europe in opposition to the growing Communist threat of the Soviet Union
  • Sent U.S. troops to counteract the North Korean invasion of South Korea, prompting the Korean War.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower (34)
Born – 1890 in Denison, Texas Died – 1969
President from: 1953-1961
Vice President: Richard Nixon
First Lady: Marnie Geneva Doud

Legacy:

  • Eisenhower was the Allied Commander in Europe during World War II and led the invasion of Normandy. He accepted the German surrender at Rheims in 1945. he is considered one of America’s greatest military heroes.
  • Sent federal troops to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas to force its desegregation as mandated by Brown vs the Board of Education (1954)
  • As president, Eisenhower kept the government out of labor disputes, promoted missile programs, and expedited the end of the Korean War.

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John F. Kennedy (35)
Born – 1917 in Lamar, Missouri Died – 1963
President from: 1961-1963
Vice President: Lyndon Baines Johnson
First Lady: Jacqueline Lee Bouvier

Legacy:

  • Won the Navy and Marine medals as commander of a PT boat during World War II
  • As president, Kennedy started the Peace Corps, supported Civil Rights, expanded health coverage for senior citizens, and developed U.S. space programs.
  • In 1961, Kennedy authorized the Bay of Pigs invasion, in which specially trained soldiers unsuccessfully attempt to oust Communist leader Fidel Castro.
  • Kennedy solved the Cuban Missile Crisis when he demanded that Russia dismantle missiles pointed at the United States in Cuba, only 90 miles from the Florida coastline. Kennedy’s leadership likely prevented a major war between the United States and Russia.
  • Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, by Lee Harvey Oswald. Millions mourned Kennedy’s death, one of the most beloved presidents in history and numerous conspiracy theories emerged concerning Kennedy’s death.

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Lyndon Baines Johnson (36)
Born – 1884 in Stonewall, Texas Died – 1972
President from: 1963-1969
Vice President: Hubert Humphrey
First Lady: Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor

Legacy:

  • Vice president under John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
  • During his presidency, The Civil Right Bill of 1964 was passed. He also signed bills establishing Medicare and anti-poverty measures.
  • In 1964, johnson won re-election by the largest margin in the history of presidential races.
  • In 1966, Johnson ordered the bombing of Hanoi, Vietnam and sent 385,000 troops to the region at the start of the Vietnam War.
  • Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam war divided his party and the nation as a whole.

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Richard Nixon (37)
Born – 1913 in Yorba Linda, California Died – 1994
President from: 1969-1974
Vice President: Spiro T. Agnew, Gerald R. Ford
First Lady: Thelma Catherine Patricia Ryan

Legacy:

  • Became the first president to visit China
  • Withdrew troops from Vietnam and achieved a cease-fire in 1973. He also abolished the military draft.
  • Nixon’s summits with Russian president Leonid I. Brezhnev produced a treaty to limit strategic nuclear weapons.
  • Nixon’s second term ended in 1974 after the Watergate Scandal. In the scandal, Nixon supposedly had knowledge that the Democratic headquarters would be robbed. He was impeached for obstruction of justice and resigned. He became the first president in history to resign.

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Gerald R. Ford (38)
Born – 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska Died – 2006
President from: 1974-1977
Vice President: Nelson Rockefeller
First Lady: Elizabeth Bloomer Warren

Legacy:

  • During Ford’s Presidency U.S. rovers (Viking I and II) landed on Mars.
  • Although he was credited with righting the nation after the Nixon scandal, he was heavily criticizing for pardoning him.
  • Attended the inaugural meeting of the group of seven (G7) industrialized nations in 1975.
  • Ford was the only president in U.S. history not elected to the presidency or vice presidency.
  • Ford lived longer than any other president (93 years and 165 days).

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Jimmy Carter (39)
Born – 1924 in The Plains, Georgia
President from: 1977-1981
Vice President: Walter F. Mondale
First Lady: Rosalynn Smith

Legacy:

  • Governor of Georgia (1971-1975)
  • Played an important role in peace negotiations between Egypt and Israel
  • Was highly criticized for America’s poor economy and weak foreign policy stance during his presidency
  • Was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his diplomatic efforts as president.

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Ronald Reagan (40)
Born – 1911 in Tampico, Illinois Died – 2004
President from: 1981-1989
Vice President: George Bush
First Lady: Anne Frances; Nancy Robbins Davis

Legacy:

  • Former Hollywood actor and president of the Screen Actors Guild
  • Governor of California (1967 – 1975)
  • During his presidency, Reagan instituted large tax cuts, decreased government programs and a major defense buildup resulting in economic prosperity.
  • Reagan helped forge a better relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. During his presidency, a treaty eliminating short and long range missiles in Europe was signed.

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George H.W. Bush (41)
Born – 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts
President from: 1989-1993
Vice President: Dan Quayle
First Lady: Barbara Pierce

Legacy:

  • Vice president under Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
  • During his presidency, Bush raised taxes, supported Soviet reforms, and sent troops to Panama in an attempt to overthrow the government of Manuel Noriega.
  • Bush ordered air strike on Iraqi targets to prevent their invasion of Kuwait in what came to be known as the Persian Gulf War.
  • Despite high approval ratings after the bombing of Iraq, his popularity plummeted as the economy entered a crippling recession.

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Bill Clinton (42)
Born – 1946 in Hope, Arkansas
President from: 1993-2001
Vice President: Al Gore
First Lady: Hillary Rodham

Legacy:

  • Governor of Arkansas (1979-1981; 1983-1992)
  • During his presidency, Clinton won approval for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), sent troops to Bosnia to facilitate a peace agreement, and joined other NATO nations in ordering bombings of Serbian troops who occupied Kosovo and terrorized ethnic Albanians.
  • Was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice for an extra martial affair with a White House intern. Despite the embarrassing situation, Clinton wa s acquitted by the Senate.
  • Presided over the largest peacetime economic expansion in the history of the United States.
  • Clinton left office with an approval rating of 66%, the highest such rating since the World War II era.
  • After leaving office, he established the William J. Clinton Foundation to address international concerns such as HIV/AIDS and global warming.

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George W. Bush (43)
Born – 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut
President from: 2001-2009
Vice President: Dick Cheney
First Lady: Laura Welch

Legacy:

  • Governor of Texas (1994-2000)
  • On 9/11/2001, terrorists hijacked three American airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Centers in New York City, the Pentagon, outside of Washington D.C., and a field 100 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 Americans died in the attacks, making it the most deadly act of domestic terrorism in American history.
  • As a result of 9/11, Bush authorized a massive military offensive that resulted in the destruction of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, which was thought to fund and train such terrorists
  • In 2002, Bush created a cabinet-level department known as Homeland Security.
  • In 2003, Bush authorized a massive military offensive in Iraq (in tandem with the United Kingdom) which resulted in the capture and eventual execution of president Saddam Hussein. The offensive became unpopular as thousands of American troops were killed.
  • Despite a high-approval rating in his first term, Bush quickly became unpopular as a result of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rising costs, and a plummeting economy.

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Barack Obama (44)
Born – 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii
President from: 2009-
Vice President: Joe Biden
First Lady: Michelle Robinson

Legacy:

  • U.S. Senator from Illinois (2005-2008)
  • In 2009, he became the first African-American president in the history of the United States.
  • Was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
  • Signed massive economic stimulus package in 2009 known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the purposes of jumpstarting a floundering economy. The controversial bill provided funds for major banks and corporations to prevent them from failing.
  • In 2010, Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act designed to overhaul the nation’s health care system for the purposes of enabling all Americans to have access to health care.

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