President of the United States/Worksheets/Worksheet 4.A

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Beginning[edit | edit source]

We create the beginning of the list be remembering that the 1st President is, of course, George Washington. That he was first elected in 1789 and served two terms.

As we've previously discussed, and will examine with more detail in Unit 1, the first five Presidents were all Founding Fathers of the United States. And they all served two terms, except John Adams, the 2nd President. The names should be fairly easy to remember:

  • George Washington
  • John Adams
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • James Madison
  • James Monroe

And the dates can be identified by remembering the elections on leap years and the number of terms. Using this information, let's fill in the beginning of the list. Also, let's add in the 6th President, John Quincy Adams, the first President who was the son of a President, and like his father, he served only one term.

Middle[edit | edit source]

Filling in the middle of the list is a little more difficult, but our task is greatly simplified by identifying Abraham Lincoln as the 16th President. His predecessor, James Buchanan the 15th President, was paralyzed by his own contradictory beliefs that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal. Lincoln was elected the year preceding the Civil War and assassinated the year the war ended, only a month into his second term. Now, we must recall that the Civil War began in 1861 and ended in 1865.

To the surprise and disappointment of many, Andrew Johnson survived threats of impeachment to complete the term as the 17th President. In the next election, the Union's victrious General Ulysses S. Grant became the 18th President and served two terms.

You may have noticed that with 44 Presidents, the 16th is more like a third of the way along the list and leaves a big gap to the end. Again, our task is simplified by identifying another memorable President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President, which is luckily twice 16, so easier to remember.

The main thing to remember about FDR is that he's the only President to be elected four times. With the Black Tuesday stock market crash of October 29, 1929, the Great Depression had begun, so it is no surprise that the Economy was the primary national issue during the election of 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated the encumbant 31st President, Herbert Hoover. The Economy was again the hot topic in the 1936 election, but by 1940 it had been replaced by World War II, which was drawing to a close by the election of 1944.

Serving as President from 1939 to 1945, FDR died on the afternoon of April 12th, almost three months after his fourth inaugeration, and less then a month before the Allied victory in Europe, May 8th, V-E Day. As the 33rd President, Harry S. Truman had the grim responsibility for deciding to drop two atomic bombs on Japan, to officially end World War II on September 2nd, V-J Day. Completing his second term in 1953, Harry S. Truman was followed by the 34th President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the commanding General of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II.

It is worthwhile listing some similarities between the lists of Presidents surrounding the Civil War and World War II. James Buchanan and Herbert Hoover, the predesessors of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, each only served one term. While Lincoln was elected to two terms and FDR to four terms, each of them died in the last year of the war. Their successors served half as many terms, that is Andrew Johnson served one term and Harry S. Truman served two terms. Afterwards, the commanding General of the war (Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower) became President and served two terms. Also, for dates, the Civil War was 1861-1865 and World War II was 1941-1945.

End[edit | edit source]

The most recent name on the list should be the easiest to remember, Barack Obama, elected in 2008 as the 44th President and inaugurated in 2009. We could begin to work our way backwards: George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, etc, but for consistency let's pick Jimmy Carter as a starting point and list the latest Presidents from there.

As the 39th President elected in 1976, the year of the US Bicentennial, Jimmy Carter is particularly memorable because he was previously the Governor of Georgia and represented a break from the US tendency to elect Washington insiders. Near the end of his one term, economic woes combined with trouble in the Middle East to send the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan the 40th President who served two terms and helped orchestrate the fall of the Berlin Wall.

George H. W. Bush the 41st President, who had served as Vice President for both terms with Ronald Reagan, won the Presidency in his own right in 1988, but served only one term himself. Winning the election of 1992, Bill Clinton the 42nd President began his two terms in 1993, and he was followed by George W. Bush the 43rd President, who served two terms beginning in 2001, which brings us up to Barack Obama, the 44th President.

John F. Kennedy, (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Selected his younger brother, Robert to serve as U.S. Attorney General. Robert was instrumental in the decisions President Kennedy made during the Cuba Missile Crisis (Bay of Pigs). John Kennedy is the only Catholic elected to the United States Presidency.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

Having explored the beginning, middle, and end of the List of US Presidents, let's take a look at our timeline. There are four groups of 4 or 6 Presidents, for a total of 20, and there's a lot of white space in between, which means we still have a lot more work to do. On the other hand, with only a bit of mental exercise, we have listed almost half of the US Presidents, including when they were elected, the years they held office, and some major events.

This list is among the easiest to remember because it combines four familiar names: 1st George Washington, 16th Abraham Lincoln, 32nd Franklin D. Roosevelt, & 39th Jimmy Carter; with four major historical events: the 1st President, the Civil War, World War II, & the Bicentennial. With the four dates: 1789, 1861, 1941, & 1976 and a blank sheet of paper, we began our list. After that, we needed to recall the names of the the predecessor and successor Presidents and how many terms they served.

Surprisingly enough, remembering the names, dates, and events is fairly simple for this list. The harder part is remembering the adjacent Presidents. Yet, this too is made easier by remembering the major historical trend for each group.

The next list we want to examine is the TBD.

# President Elected Term Info
1st George Washington 1789 & 1792 1789-1797 Founding Father
2nd John Adams 1796 1797-1801 Founding Father
3rd Thomas Jefferson 1800 & 1804 1801-1809 Founding Father
4th James Madison 1808 & 1812 1809-1817 Founding Father
5th James Monroe 1816 & 1820 1817-1825 Founding Father
6th John Quincy Adams 1824 1825-1829 Son of a President
7th Andrew Jackson 1829-1837
8th Martin Van Buren 1837-1841
9th William Henry Harrison 1841
10th John Tyler 1841-1845
11th James Knox Polk 1845-1849
12th Zachary Taylor 1849-1850
13th Millard Fillmore 1850-1853
14th Franklin Pierce 1853-1857
15th James Buchanan 1856 1857-1861 South Carolina secedes Dec 20, 1860
16th Abraham Lincoln 1860 1861-1865 Assassinated Apr 14, Died Apr 15, 1865
17th Andrew Johnson 1864 as VP 1865-1869 Two failed votes for Impeachment
18th Ulysses S. Grant 1868 & 1872 1869-1877 Union General during Civil War
31st Herbert Hoover 1928 1929-1933 Black Tuesday on Oct 29, 1929
32nd Franklin D. Roosevelt 1932, 1936, 1940, & 1944 1933-1945 Great Depression & World War II
33rd Harry S. Truman 1948 1945-1953 End World War II & Begin Korean War
34th Dwight D. Eisenhower 1952 & 1956 1953-1961 Allied General in Europe during World War II
35th John F. Kennedy 1960 1961 - 1963
39th Jimmy Carter 1976 1977-1981 Middle East Peace Talks
40th Ronald Reagan 1980 1981-1989 End of the Cold War
41st George H. W. Bush 1988 1989-1993 Vice President under Ronald Reagan
42nd Bill Clinton 1992 1993-2001 Longest period of peace-time economic expansion
43rd George W. Bush 2000 2001-2009 9/11/2001
44th Barack Obama 2008 2009-2017 First African-American President
45th Donald J Trump 2016 2017-