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Born - 1758 in Westmoreland County, Virginia Died - 1831
President from: 1817-1825
Vice President: Daniel Tompkins
First Lady: Elizabeth Kortright
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.
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.
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.
Born - 1795 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Died - 1849
President from: 1845-1849
Vice President: George M. Dallas
First Lady: Sarah Childress
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.
Born - 1804 in Hillsboro, New Hampshire Died - 1869
President from: 1853-1857
Vice President: William R. King
First Lady: Jane Means Appleton
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.
Born - 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina Died - 1875
President from: 1865-1869
Vice President: None
First Lady: Eliza McCardle
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.
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)
Vice President: John N. Garner, Henry Wallace, Harry S. Truman
First Lady: Eleanor Roosevelt
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.
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.
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.
Born - 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts Died - 1963
President from: 1961-1963
Vice President: Lyndon Baines Johnson
First Lady: Jacqueline Lee Bouvier
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.
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
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.
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 was 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.
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.
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.