The US Presidents

As one of the most powerful people in the world, the President of the United States of America plays a number of roles. The President is one of the key people involved in the law making process in the US. The President is also the head of the state, bearing the responsibility of meeting other important leaders of the world. In addition, the President is considered as the official head of the American military. Thus, the President has the authority to use troops for overseas missions. Up till now, there have been forty four presidents of the US, the current President being Barrack Obama. Look to the following resources as a guide to the amazing men who helped shaped the way our country is today.

18th Century

1. George Washington (1732- 1799) was the first president of the United States of America. He was a war hero and served eight years in office. Washington also served as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. He was unanimously elected the president after the new US Constitution was created.

2. John Adams (1735-1826) served as the second US President and was in power from 1797-01. Adams was a graduate from Harvard. He was a lawyer before being sworn in as the President.

  • John Adams: Short biographical sketch on John Adams.

19th Century

3. Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) is regarded as the founding father of the United States of America. He was multi-talented and was a proficient lawyer, architect, inventor, writer and politician. Jefferson was in term from 1801 to 1809.

4. James Madison (1751-1836) served as president from 1809-17. He made valuable contributions to religious freedom of US citizens. He also assisted in the framing of the Virginia Constitution.

5. James Monroe (1758-1831) was in the Continental Army prior to becoming president. He was also a part of the Virginia Convention. Monroe served from 1817-25, and also founded the Monroe Doctrine.

6. John Quincy Adams (1767- 1848) served as the US president from 1825 - 29. He was the son of the second US President and a member of the party ‘National Republican’.

7. Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was the 7th US president who established the modern Democratic Party of the US. He served from 1827-37. Jackson was formerly a major general in the 1812 war.

8. Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) became US president in 1837. Prior to his presidency, he was a senator of New York. The Great Depression commenced during his term. His tenure ended in 1847.

9. William H. Harrison (1773-1841) was the 9th US president who was in office for only a month. During his inauguration, he caught pneumonia and within a month, he passed away.

10. John Tyler (1790-1862) was the 10th US president. He was in office for one term (1841-45) and helped to rope in Texas as a US state during his tenure as US president.

11. James K. Polk (1795-1849) served as president from 1845-49. During his tenure, the US declared a war against Mexico which eventually helped in the southwest expansion of the United States.

12. Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) was a military hero who served in the Indian and Mexican wars. He was president for a brief period from 1849-50. Taylor died in office.

13. Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) was born in New York and came to power in 1850. He fought against slavery and opened up trade links with Japan.

14. Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) had a presidential term which spanned from 1853-57. He supported the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act which helped in the creation of Kansas and Nebraska.

15. James Buchanan (1791-1868) had a term which spanned from 1857-61. He was a Democratic and made a number of attempts to resolve the slavery issue.

16. Abraham Lincoln (1809- 1865) is considered to be one of the greatest presidents of the United States. He came to the White House during the Civil war and was instrumental in the abolishment of slavery. He was assassinated just before the Civil War came to a close.

17. Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) was the Vice President during the presidency of Lincoln. After Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, he was appointed as president. Johnson is the only US president who never attended school.

18. Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) completed two terms in the White House, serving from 1869- 77. During the Civil War, Grant had served as a commander of the Union army.

19. Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) was born in Ohio. He was president from 1877-81. Although he was a popular president, he didn’t contest for a second term.

20. James Garfield (1831-1881) served as the country’s 20th President. Unfortunately, four months after being sworn in, he was fatally wounded by an assassin, and succumbed to his injuries.

21. Chester A. Arthur (1829- 1886) served the country from 1881-85. He was the Vice President of the US under President Garfield. He came to power after Garfield was assassinated.

22. Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901) was born in Ohio. His political moves of increasing taxes and governmental spending made him unpopular. As a result, he lost the 1892 elections.

24. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) served as the President of the US from 1885-89, and again from 1893-97. It was during the tenure of Cleveland that the US was presented the Statue of Liberty by the French government.

25. William McKinley (1843-1901) served the US from 1897-1901 and during his presidency, the US won the Spanish-American War. During his tenure, the US also acquired countries such as Puerto Rico and the Philippines. He was assassinated in 1901.

20th Century

26. Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (1858-1919) was in office from 1901-19. During his term, he expanded the navy and initiated the construction of the Panama Canal. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

27. William Howard Taft (1857-1930) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and served from 1909-13. After leaving office, Taft served as the chief justice of the US Supreme Court.

28. Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) became the president in 1913 and continued in office till 1921. He was compelled to declare war against Germany and later established the League of Nations. He was also awarded the Nobel Prize for peace.

  •  Woodrow Wilson: More information on Woodrow Wilson and his Nobel Prize.

29. Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923) was in office for two years (1921-23). He was involved in some major scandals including the Teapot Dome Scandal.

30. Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) was born in Vermont. He was the Vice President under Harding. After Harding’s death in 1923, Coolidge took over the presidency. He helped in the reduction of government spending and also reduced taxes during his term as President.

31. Herbert C. Hoover (1874-1964) was in the White house from 1929-33. He was in office during one of the most crucial periods of US history, the Great Depression. During his tenure, more than 10 million Americans became unemployed.

  • Herbert C. Hoover: Information on the accomplishments in the Life of Herbert C. Hoover.

32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) was born in Hyde Park, New York. Roosevelt was a very popular president who was elected for four terms. He helped in establishment of social security, farm relief programs, and work relief programs, thereby helping to end the Great Depression.

33. Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) became the president after the death of Roosevelt. Truman helped in ending the Second World War after atom bombs authorised by him devastated Japan. He served from 1945-53.

34. Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) became the 34th president of the US in 1953. During World War II, Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander, and he also helped to bring an end to the Korean War. He contributed immensely in the formation of SEATO, an organization to halt the growth of communism.

35. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963) was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. Coming from an influential family, he was the first Roman Catholic president. Furthermore, he was the youngest US president who came to power at age 43. He contributed significantly to the development of the US space programs. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 while visiting Texas. 

36. Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) became the president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He was in term from 1963-69, during the infamous Vietnam War.

37. Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) served from 1969-74 and resigned during his second term in office. He was linked with the initiation of the Vietnam War and also the Watergate Scandal.

38. Gerald R. Ford (1913- 2006) was in office from 1974-77. He is the only US President who wasn’t elected by the people. He became Vice President after the resignation of Spiro Agnew and again, after the resignation of President Nixon, Ford was elected as President.

39. James Earl Carter (1924- ) was the President from 1977-81 and he was instrumental in the creation of the US Department of Energy and the negotiation of the Camp David Agreement in 1979.

40. Ronald Wilson Reagan (1911–2004) served from 1981-89. He was the 40th US president. During his presidency, communism in the Soviet Union came to an end, and he’s known for his Reaganomics policies.

41. George Herbert Walker Bush (1924 - ) was the 41st President of USA who served the nation from 1989-93. He’s remembered for waging war on Iraq after the Kuwait occupation. His Vice President was Dan Quayle.

 42. William Jefferson Clinton (1946- ) served the nation from 1993-2001. He was the second Democratic President to serve for two terms back to back. In 1998, Clinton was impeached for a scandal.

21st Century

43. George Walker Bush (1946 - ) was appointed the President in 2001. Bush is the son of former President George Herbert Bush and had served as Texas governor prior to his post as President. He’s known for declaring war against Afghanistan and Iraq after the September 11 attacks in 2001.

44. Barack Hussein Obama (1961- ) is the current President of the United States of America. Elected in 2008, he’s the 44th president. Obama is the first African American president. In 2009, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.


Square Deals

Roosevelt and The rough Riders

Rough Riders

The Civil War, which had ended just 30 years earlier, left U.S. troops weakened, and volunteers were encouraged to join the Spanish-American War effort. Roosevelt called on his peers to join the 1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry with him. These peers included cowboys he’d worked with in the Dakotas as well as former Harvard classmates—anyone able-bodied, good on horseback, and willing to serve his country.

After training in a few locations across the American Southwest, the men mustered in Tampa, Florida, to leave for Cuba. Despite a severe shortage of food, horses, and supplies, Colonel Roosevelt led his men in a successful charge on San Juan Hill. Many accounts credit Roosevelt’s forceful personality in keeping the unit motivated, and the successful battle was one of the major turning points in the United States’ favor. Press coverage at home, and the widely touring show “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders,” cemented his reputation as a no-nonsense man’s man once and for all.

Photo Credit: LOC LC-DIG-pga-01946