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42 Historical Objects, No. 27: The Landsdowne Portrait.

This portrait of George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796, has an illustrious history. When I went to do this article I thought it would be pretty straightforward; I … Continue reading

April 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Decider speaks: my (fictional) conversation with George W. Bush.

Last night I had a dream about George W. Bush. I dreamed that I was at his presidential library–which in reality is called the George W. Bush Presidential Center–and happened … Continue reading

April 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

The tragic obsession that almost changed history: the Reagan assassination attempt.

Thirty-three years ago today, on March 30, 1981, mad gunman John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan and several others outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. Reagan and his press … Continue reading

March 30, 2014 · 2 Comments

Scandals, burnt letters and bad crab meat: the death of President Harding.

This is the third article in my 1920s Week series. On the evening of Thursday, August 2, 1923, Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, died suddenly in … Continue reading

March 18, 2014 · 1 Comment

Mr. Roosevelt wants to talk to you about banking: the first “fireside chat.” [audio]

Eighty-two years ago today, March 12, 1933, was a Sunday. That night millions of Americans gathered around their radio sets in living rooms, diners, pubs and other places and listened … Continue reading

March 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

Happy antique Inauguration Day!

Today is an important anniversary. One hundred and one years ago today, on March 4, 1913, Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as President of the United States. Eighty-one years ago today, … Continue reading

March 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

A momentous afterthought: the Presidential election of 1789.

Today is an interesting anniversary in history. Exactly two and a quarter centuries ago, on February 4, 1789, the United States of America held its first Presidential election. The date … Continue reading

February 4, 2014 · 1 Comment

The miracle that saved a President: the Jackson assassination attempt.

One hundred and seventy-nine years ago today, on January 30, 1835, President Andrew Jackson emerged from the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. when a man named Richard Lawrence ran up … Continue reading

January 30, 2014 · 1 Comment

The big speech: the history of the State of the Union address.

Tonight, President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union address. If you follow politics I’m sure you’ll hear quite a lot about it tonight and over the coming days. … Continue reading

January 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

A timely warning: the prophetic words of Rutherford B. Hayes.

I don’t often get into political issues on this blog, but I can do history, and it’s inevitable that history sometimes collides with modern political conditions. In browsing some historical material … Continue reading

January 9, 2014 · 2 Comments
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