(22 February 1732, , Virginia, USA - 14 December 1799, , Virginia, USA)
1789 - April 30 - George Washington (1732–1799) became 1st President of the United States
On April 30, 1789, in a deep, low voice, George Washington gave his first speech as president of the United States. This speech is now known as the first presidential inaugural address. He spoke to a joint session of Congress that had gathered in Federal Hall (New York City, then the nation's capital).
Washington kept his first speech very simple. He spoke about ideas for amendments to the...
(2 April 1742, , Virginia, USA - 4 July 1826, , Virginia, USA)
1801 - March 4 - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) becomes 3rd President of the United States
On February 17, 1801, Thomas Jefferson was elected president of the United States, but there was more to it than beating his opponent. When Thomas Jefferson ran for president, he beat his opponent, John Adams, but he tied with his running mate, Aaron Burr. So, who was to be the president and who was to be the vice president? It was up to the House of Representatives to decide, and most of the...
(16 March 1751, , Virginia, USA - 28 June 1836, , Virginia, USA)
1809 - March 4 - James Madison (1751-1836) becomes 4th President of the United States
In 1809, Madison succeeded Jefferson as president, defeating Charles C. Pinckney. His wife, Dolley Payne Todd, whom he married in 1794, brought a new social sparkle to the executive mansion. In the meantime, increasing tension with Britain culminated in the War of 1812—a war for which the United States was unprepared and for which Madison lacked the executive talent to clear out incompetence and...
(28 April 1758, , Virginia, USA - 4 July 1831, Manhattan, New York, USA )
1817 - March 4 - James Monroe (1758-1831) becomes 5th President of the United States
Elected president in 1816 over the Federalist Rufus King, and reelected without opposition in 1820, Monroe, the last of the Virginia dynasty, pursued the course of systematic tranquilization that won for his administrations the name “the era of good feeling.” He continued Madison's surrender to the Hamiltonian domestic program, signed the Missouri Compromise, acquired Florida, and with the able...
John Qunicy Adams
(11 July 1767, Braintree, Massachusetts, USA - 23 February 1848, Washington, DC, USA)
1825 - March 4 - John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) becomes 6th President of the United States
When no presidential candidate received a majority of electoral votes in 1824, Adams, with the support of Henry Clay, was elected by the House in 1825 over Andrew Jackson, who had the original plurality. Adams had ambitious plans of government activity to foster internal improvements and promote the arts and sciences, but congressional obstructionism, combined with his own unwillingness or...
(15 March 1767, , South Carolina, USA - 8 June 1845, Nashville, Tennessee, USA)
1829 - March 4 - Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) becomes 7th President of the United States.
As president, Jackson greatly expanded the power and prestige of the presidential office and carried through an unprecedented program of domestic reform, vetoing the bill to extend the United States Bank, moving toward a hard-money currency policy, and checking the program of federal internal improvements. He also vindicated federal authority against South Carolina with its doctrine of...
Martin Van Buren
(5 December 1782, , New York, USA - 24 July 1862, , New York, USA)
1837 - March 4 - Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) becomes 8th President of the United States
In 1832, Van Buren became vice president; in 1836, president. The Panic of 1837 overshadowed his term. He attributed it to the overexpansion of the credit and favored the establishment of an independent treasury as repository for the federal funds. In 1840, he established a 10-hour day on public works. Defeated by Harrison in 1840, he was the leading contender for the Democratic nomination in...
William Henry Harrison
(9 February 1773, , Virginia, USA - 4 April 1841, Washington, DC, USA)
1841 - March 4 - William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) becomes 9th President of the United States - dies one month after assuming the office.
Nominated for president in 1835 as a military hero whom the conservative politicians hoped to be able to control, he ran surprisingly well against Van Buren in 1836. Four years later, he defeated Van Buren but caught pneumonia and died in Washington on April 4, 1841, a month after his inauguration. Harrison was the first president to die in office.
James Knox Polk
(2 November 1795, , North Carolina, USA - 15 June 1849, Nashville, Tennessee, USA)
1845 - March 4 - James K. Polk (1795-1849) becomes 11th President of the United States
When James K. Polk accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidency, he was not very well known. The Whig opposition party played on his obscurity, sniping, "Who is James K. Polk?" An experienced speaker, Polk surprised everyone when he campaigned vigorously and won the presidency on November 5, 1844. He was called a "dark horse" candidate because he was not expected to beat his...
(24 November 1784, , Virginia, USA - 9 July 1850, Washington, DC, USA)
1849 - March 4 - Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) becomes 12th President of the United States. He dies in office after 16 months.
During the revival of the slavery controversy, which was to result in the Compromise of 1850, Taylor began to take an increasingly firm stand against appeasing the South; but he died in Washington on July 9, 1850, during the fight over the Compromise.
(7 January 1800, , Cayuga County, New York, USA - 8 March 1874, Buffalo, New York, USA)
1850 - July 9 - Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) becomes 13th President of the United States
As president, Fillmore associated himself with the pro-Southern Whigs, supporting the Compromise of 1850. Defeated for the Whig nomination in 1852, he ran for president in 1856 as candidate of the American, or Know-Nothing, Party, which sought to unite the country against foreigners in the alleged hope of diverting it from the explosive slavery issue. Fillmore opposed Lincoln during the Civil...
(29 December 1808, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - 31 July 1875, Carter Station, Tennessee)
1865 - April 15 – Inauguration of Andrew Johnson: President Lincoln dies early this morning from his gunshot wound and Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes the 17th President of the United States.
Johnson became Abraham Lincoln's running mate, despite the fact that he was a Democrat and Lincoln was a Republican. After Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, Johnson went from vice president to president. In foreign affairs, things went fairly smoothly. But at home, Johnson faced a crisis. Trying to reconstruct the country after the Civil War, radical Northern Republicans thought his policies ...
Ulysses Simpson Grant
(27 April 1822, , Ohio, USA - 23 July 1885, Saratoga, New York, USA)
1869 - March 4 - Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) becomes 18th President of the United States
In 1868, as Republican candidate for president, Grant was elected over the Democrat, Horatio Seymour. From the start, Grant showed his unfitness for the office. His cabinet was weak, his domestic policy was confused, and many of his intimate associates were corrupt. The notable achievement in foreign affairs was the settlement of controversies with Great Britain in the Treaty of London (1871),...
James Abram Garfield
(19 November 1831, , Ohio, USA - 19 September 1881, , New Jersey, USA)
1881 - March 4 - James A. Garfield (1831–1881) becomes President of the United States
In 1880, Garfield was elected to the Senate, but instead became the presidential candidate on the 36th ballot as a result of a deadlock in the Republican convention. In the election, he defeated Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock, the Democratic candidate. Garfield's administration was barely under way when he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau, a disappointed office seeker, in Washington on July 2, 1881....
1881 - September 19 - Chester A. Arthur (1829–1886) becomes President of the United States
In 1880 Arthur was nominated for vice president in the hope of conciliating the followers of Grant and the powerful New York machine. As president upon Garfield's death, Arthur, stepping out of his familiar role as spoilsman, backed civil service reform, reorganized the cabinet, and prosecuted political associates accused of post office graft. Losing machine support and failing to gain the...
Stephen Grover Cleveland
(18 March 1837, , New Jersey, USA - 24 June 1908, , New Jersey, USA)
1885 - March 4 - Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) becomes 22nd President of the United States
In 1884 Grover Cleveland won the Democratic nomination for president. The campaign contrasted Cleveland's spotless public career with the uncertain record of James G. Blaine, the Republican candidate, and Cleveland received enough Mugwump (independent Republican) support to win.
As president, Cleveland pushed civil service reform, opposed the pension grab and attacked the high tariff rates....
(20 August 1833, , Ohio, USA - 13 March 1901, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
1889 - March 4 - Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) becomes 23rd President of the United States
In 1888, Benjamin Harrison received the Republican nomination for president on the eighth ballot. Though behind on the popular vote, he won over Grover Cleveland in the electoral college by 233 to 168.
As president, Harrison failed to please either the bosses or the reform element in the party. In foreign affairs he backed Secretary of State Blaine, whose policy foreshadowed later American...
Stephen Grover Cleveland
(18 March 1837, , New Jersey, USA - 24 June 1908, , New Jersey, USA)
1893 - March 4 - Grover Cleveland (1837–1908) becomes President of the United States
(29 January 1843, , Ohio, USA - 14 September 1901, Buffalo, New York, USA)
1897 - March 4 - William McKinley (1843-1901) becomes 25th President of the United States
With the support of Mark Hanna, a shrewd Cleveland businessman interested in safeguarding tariff protection, William McKinley became governor of Ohio in 1892 and Republican presidential candidate in 1896. The business community, alarmed by the progressivism of William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic candidate, spent considerable money to assure McKinley's victory.
The chief event of McKinley's...
(27 October 1858, Manhattan, New York, USA - 6 January 1919, , New York, USA)
1901 - September 14 - Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) becomes 26th President of the United States
Assuming the presidency of the assassinated McKinley in 1901, Roosevelt embarked on a wide-ranging program of government reform and conservation of natural resources. He ordered antitrust suits against several large corporations, threatened to intervene in the anthracite coal strike of 1902, which prompted the operators to accept arbitration, and, in general, championed the rights of the “little...
Thomas Woodrow Wilson
(28 December 1856, , Virginia, USA - 3 February 1924, Washington, DC, USA)
1913 - March 4 - Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) becomes 28th President of the United States
Wilson became the 28th president of the United States, serving two consecutive terms in the White House, from 1913 to 1921. During his time in office, Wilson faced many challenges at home and abroad, and face them he did.
The issue of women's suffrage confronted Wilson right from the start. The National Women's Party organized a suffrage parade in Washington, D.C., the day before Wilson's...
Warren Gamaliel Harding
(2 November 1865, , Ohio, USA - 2 August 1923, San Francisco, California, USA)
1921 - March 4 - Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) becomes 29th President of the United States
When the 1920 convention was deadlocked between Leonard Wood and Frank O. Lowden, Harding became the dark-horse nominee on his solemn affirmation that there was no reason in his past that he should not be. Straddling the League question, Harding was easily elected over James M. Cox, his Democratic opponent. His cabinet contained some able men, but also some manifestly unfit for public office....
John Calvin Coolidge
(4 July 1872, Plymouth, Vermont, USA - 5 January 1933, Northampton, Massachusetts, USA )
1923 - August 2 - Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) becomes 30th President of the United States
After Warren Harding's death Vice-President Coolidge became President and handled the Washington scandals with care and finally managed to save the Republican Party from public blame for the widespread corruption.
In 1924, Coolidge was elected without difficulty, defeating the Democrat, John W. Davis, and Robert M. La Follette running on the Progressive ticket. His second term, like his first, ...
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(30 January 1882, , New York, USA - 12 April 1945, , Georgia, USA)
1933 - March 4 - Franklin D. Roosevelt (1822-1945) becomes 32nd President of the United States - The only President to be elected four times.
In 1932, Roosevelt received the Democratic nomination for president and immediately launched a campaign that brought new spirit to a weary and discouraged nation. He defeated Hoover by a wide margin. His first term was characterized by an unfolding of the New Deal program, with greater benefits for labor, the farmers, and the unemployed, and the progressive estrangement of most of the business...
Dwight David Eisenhower
(14 October 1890, , Texas, USA - 28 March 1969, Washington, DC, USA)
1953 - January 20 - Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) becomes 34th President of the United States
At the Republican convention of 1952 in Chicago, Eisenhower won the presidential nomination on the first ballot in a close race with Sen. Robert A. Taft of Ohio. In the election, he defeated Gov. Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois.
Through two terms, Eisenhower hewed to moderate domestic policies. He sought peace through Free World strength in an era of new nationalisms, nuclear missiles, and...
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
(29 May 1917, Brookline, Massachusetts, USA - 22 November 1963, Dallas, Texas, USA)
1961 - January 20 - John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) becomes 35th President of the United States
On November 22, 1963, when he was hardly past his first thousand days in office, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was killed by an assassin's bullets as his motorcade wound through Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the youngest man elected President; he was the youngest to die...
In 1956 Kennedy almost gained the Democratic nomination for Vice President, and four years later was a first-ballot nominee for...
Richard Milhous Nixon
(9 January 1913, , California, USA - 22 April 1994, Manhattan, New York, USA )
1969 - January 20 - Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) becomes 37th President of the United States
Gerald Rudolph Ford
(14 July 1913, Omaha, Nebraska, USA - 26 December 2006, , California, USA)
1974 - August 9 - Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006) becomes 38th President of the United States after the resignation of Richard M. Nixon
1977 - January 20 - Jimmy Carter (1924 - ) becomes 39th President of the United States
Ronald Wilson Reagan
(6 February 1911, , Illinois, USA - 5 June 2004, Los Angeles, California, USA)
1981 - January 20 - Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) beomes 40th President of the United States
1989 - January 20 - George H. W. Bush (1924 - ) becomes 41st President of the United States
1993 - January 20 - William J. Clinton (1946 - ) becomes 42nd President of the United States
2001 - January 20 - George W. Bush (1946 - ) becomes 43rd President of the United States
2009 - January 20 - Barack Obama (1961 - ) becomes 44th President of the United States