History Buzz November 22, 2013: Remembering President John F. Kennedy’s life and speeches

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

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Remembering JFK’s life and speeches

Source: Deseret News, 11-22-13

Here are two lists that honor JFK, from the most defining moments of his life, to his best speeches….READ MORE

Full Text History Buzz November 22, 2013: Former President George W. Bush’s Statement on the 50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s Assassination

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Former President George W. Bush’s Statement on the 50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s Assassination

Source: USA Today, 11-22-13

Today we remember a dark episode in our Nation’s history, and we remember the leader whose life was cut short 50 years ago.

John F. Kennedy dedicated himself to public service, and his example moved Americans to do more for our country. He believed in the greatness of the United States and the righteousness of liberty, and he defended them.

On this solemn anniversary, Laura and I join our fellow citizens in honoring our 35th President.

History Buzz June 13, 2013: Robert Dallek: Presidential Historian Says President Barack Obama Puts Security Above Privacy with NSA Data Collection Program

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Obama Puts Security Above Privacy

Source: US News, 6-13-13

Civil libertarians and some political liberals are up in arms.

“It’s not surprising,” according to Robert Dallek presidential historian.”This is what presidents do.”…

Domestic politics also plays a role, Dallek says. Presidents believe that their top job is to “keep the country safe,” and to fail in that mission would look “negligent,” a reputation that no president wants, the historian notes….READ MORE

History Buzz May 16, 2013: Julian Zelizer on President Barack Obama stands against flurry of scandal

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Obama stands against flurry of scandal

Source: Globe & Mail, 5-16-13

…But second-term stumbles could be the mark of a bright future, according to Princeton University history and public affairs professor Julian Zelizer.

“Second-term presidents who have had scandals have gone on to do big things after,” he said. “Reagan had Iran-Contra but he ended up negotiating an end to the Cold War. … [Bill] Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives but went on to have surpluses, mount a military offensive in Yugoslavia and is one of the most popular presidents. Even George Bush, who was very unpopular and had his own scandals, ended up with the passage of [a financial bailout].”

Prof. Zelizer added: “It’s much too early to count [the President] out, not only in terms of survival but in terms of what he can accomplish. There’s still a lot of space for him to be more than just a lame duck.”…READ MORE

History Buzz May 15, 2013: Historian Robert Dallek on President Barack Obama & the 2nd Presidential Term Curse

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Historian Robert Dallek on Obama and the 2nd-term curse

Source: USA Today, 5-15-13

In this episode of Capital Download, This Week with Susan Page, award-winning presidential historian Robert Dallek talks about the difficult week President Obama has faced and how this could be an example of the second-term “curse.

1dallek

Historian Robert Dallek discussed the second-term curse with USA TODAY.(Photo: Garrett Hubbard for USA TODAY)

Is there a second-term curse? Historian Robert Dallek thinks there just might be — and President Obama’s current travails could be the latest example.

“After one party loses two elections in a row, there’s sort of blood in the water,” Dallek said in an interview Wednesday on USA TODAY’s weekly newsmaker video series, Capital Download. “They’re really eager to strike back and reduce the influence, the control of second-term presidents.” What’s more, a president’s shortcomings have had time to surface after four years in office….READ MORE

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Niall Ferguson & Douglas Brinkley Discuss Margaret Thatcher’s Legacy on CNN

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HISTORY MAKING HEADLINES

Zakaria on Thatcher: ‘In some ways she’s more consequential than Churchill’

Source: Daily Caller, 4-8-13

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher may have been even more consequential than former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, according to CNN foreign policy analyst Fareed Zakaria on “Piers Morgan Live” Monday night. Zakaria joined historian Niall Ferguson, Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass and historian Douglas Brinkley on Morgan’s show to discuss the legacy of Thatcher, who died in London on Monday of a stroke….READ MORE

Niall Ferguson: “Churchill was described rightly by that great historian A.J.P. Taylor as the ‘savior of his nation. And I think Margaret Thatcher was also the savior of her nation. You know, the others on the panel won’t know what Britain was like in the 1970s, but you and I know, Piers, that the country was in an appalling mess. And she single handedly turned that around. So she is up there second only to Churchill in my view.”

Douglas Brinkley: “First off, look, Winston Churchill is in a category all himself as British prime minister. I mean, warding off Nazi Germany is not the Falklands crisis. But the rest of the panelists I think are right. By ’79, Britain was an economic mess and she came in and really inspired Great Britain to remember it had a role in the world.”

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Julian Zelizer: Margaret Thatcher And Ronald Reagan Remembered As Political Soul Mates

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HISTORY MAKING HEADLINES

Margaret Thatcher And Ronald Reagan Remembered As Political Soul Mates

Source: Inquisitr, 4-8-13

Margaret Thatcher And Ronald Reagan Remembered As Political Soul Mates

Former first lady Nancy Reagan recalls the Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan friendship:

“Ronnie and Margaret were political soul mates  committed to freedom and resolved to end communism. As prime minister, Margaret had the clear vision and strong determination to stand up for her beliefs at a time when so many were afraid to ‘rock the boat.’ As a result, she helped to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of millions of people.”…

Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University historian, says Margaret Thatcher “certainly liked Reagan a lot from the moment he won office and he felt the same. They had a deep respect, admiration and a friendship. Each believed in the strength of free markets, disdained communism and saw themselves and their countries as part of a transatlantic alliance.”…READ MORE

History Headlines April 8, 2013: Richard Norton Smith, Allan Lichtman & James Cooper: Margaret Thatcher & Ronald Reagan: ‘Political Soul Mates’ Who Didn’t Always Agree

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY HEADLINE NEWS

History Buzz

HISTORY MAKING HEADLINES

Thatcher and Reagan: ‘Political Soul Mates’ Who Didn’t Always Agree

How Thatcher And Reagan Used One Another For Political Cover

Source: US News, 4-8-13

President Ronald Reagan and Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were "political soulmates,"  Nancy Reagan once said.

President Ronald Reagan and Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were “political soulmates,” Nancy Reagan once said.

Richard Norton Smith, a presidential historian at George Mason University: “When the Iron Lady vouched for [Mikhail] Gorbachev’s authenticity, it carried a weight that no one else on the world scene had. I’m not saying Reagan would not have developed the relationship he did, but I have to believe that her endorsement helped to facilitate that relationship.”

Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University: “Ronald Reagan was one of the most personable politicians we’ve ever had in the United States, he was the master of the one-liner, he was extraordinarily good at disarming his opposition – Margaret Thatcher didn’t have those kinds of personal skills. She tended to be the kind of politician who worked more with fierce determination and iron will rather than charm and personality.”…READ MORE

History Buzz January 21, 2012: Michael Beschloss: Barack Obama Joins Club of 16 Presidents Elected to Consecutive Terms: If You Thought Getting Elected the First Time Was Hard…

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History Buzz

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If You Thought Getting Elected the First Time Was Hard …

Source: PBS Newshour, 1-21-13

Meet the 16 men who have been elected to serve consecutive terms as president.

When he retakes the oath of office Monday, President Barack Obama will join an exclusive club. Obama becomes the 16th of the nation’s 44 presidents who’ve been re-elected to serve as commander-in-chief for two consecutive terms….

“Nowadays the problems are great and Americans are more inclined to blame presidents, especially for a bad economy, than they would a hundred years ago,” explains Michael Beschloss, presidential historian and NewsHour regular….

“[Richard] Nixon felt that the difference between a re-elected president in history and a one-term president in history was so great that he felt compelled to authorize the excesses that led to the Watergate scandal,” Beschloss says….

“Sometimes you wonder why presidents would like to have a second term when you realize from FDR on, [they] have almost consistently had some very horrible experiences after winning re-election,” Beschloss says.

History Buzz January 21, 2013: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Caro, Michael Beschloss & Douglass Brinkley: Four Historians Have Some Thoughts About Barack Obama’s Second Inauguration

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History Buzz

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These Four Historians Have Some Thoughts About Today’s Inauguration

Source: WH, 1-21-13

Collectively, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Caro, Michael Beschloss, and Douglass Brinkley have written more than a dozen popular and thoughtful books about American presidents ranging from Abraham Lincoln to John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan. They’ve won Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Award, and even an Emmy.

So we asked them to sit down and discuss the historical significance of a Presidential Inauguration and what it means for President Obama to begin second term.

The video is worth your time. Check it out

History Buzz January 20, 2013: David McCullough: Gerald Ford among greatest presidents, famed historian says as Obama inauguration nears

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

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Gerald Ford among greatest presidents, famed historian says as Obama inauguration nears

Source: MLive, 1-20-13

gerald r. ford.JPGGerald R. Ford announcing the pardon of Richard M Nixon from the Oval Office Sept. 8, 1974. The pardon has led one historian to deem Ford one of the greatest presidents. AP File Photo

The decision by Grand Rapids native and former President Gerald R. Ford to pardon his disgraced predecessor after the Watergate scandal has put him in the pantheon of great presidents.

That’s according to noted historian David McCullough, speaking to CBS News’s Barry Petersen, who cited Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon as “one of the bravest decisions ever” as reason for his claim….READ MORE

History Buzz January 19, 2013: Doris Kearns Goodwin: 10 inaugural moments that mattered

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History Buzz

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10 inaugural moments that mattered

Source: CNN, 1-19-13

Barack Obama is sworn in as the first African-American president of the United States on January 20, 2009. Barack Obama is sworn in as the first African-American president of the United States on January 20, 2009.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    • 2009: “(It was) as if the whole history of our country was coming full circle”
    • FDR and Reagan disagreed on the role of government, but believed America could do great things
    • JFK’s address promised action and a new energy in Washington
    • Lincoln: “With malice toward none and charity toward all”

Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin notes each inauguration is moving in its own way, but only a few produce moments that are truly memorable.

“It depends upon the person and the occasion to really produce a historic inaugural speech,” Goodwin said. “But the ceremony itself … is a real tribute to the country, that a person who was the president can go out and become a private citizen (while) a new private citizen is becoming the president.”

“It’s peaceful,” she says, and “that’s an extraordinary thing in the history of our world.”

Here are 10 inaugural moments that Goodwin says have stood the test of time:

  • 2009: Obama makes history
  • 1981: Reagan’s optimistic first inaugural speech
  • 1977: Carter’s long walk
  • 1961: JFK’s stirring address
  • 1945: FDR’s abbreviated wartime ceremony
  • 1933: FDR’s dramatic first inaugural speech
  • 1905: TR’s eclectic parade
  • 1865: Lincoln strives to unite North and South 
  • 1841: The tragedy of William Henry Harrison 
  • 1789: Washington sets the tone

READ MORE

George W. Bush stands next to his wife, Laura, and his two daughters at his second inauguration on January 20, 2005. George W. Bush stands next to his wife, Laura, and his two daughters at his second inauguration on January 20, 2005.
George W. Bush is sworn in for his first term on January 20, 2001. George W. Bush is sworn in for his first term on January 20, 2001.
Bill Clinton is sworn in for the second time on January 20, 1997. Bill Clinton is sworn in for the second time on January 20, 1997.
Bill Clinton takes his first inaugural oath on January 20, 1993. Bill Clinton takes his first inaugural oath on January 20, 1993.
Chief Justice William Rehnquist administers the oath of office to President George H. W. Bush on January 20, 1989.  Chief Justice William Rehnquist administers the oath of office to President George H. W. Bush on January 20, 1989.
Ronald Reagan is sworn in on January 21, 1985, at the U.S. Capitol for his second term by Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger. Ronald Reagan is sworn in on January 21, 1985, at the U.S. Capitol for his second term by Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger.
Ronald Reagan is sworn in as 40th president of the United States on January 20, 1981. Ronald Reagan is sworn in as 40th president of the United States on January 20, 1981.
Jimmy Carter is sworn in on January 20, 1977. Jimmy Carter is sworn in on January 20, 1977.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger swears in Gerald Ford on August 9, 1974, after the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger swears in Gerald Ford on August 9, 1974, after the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Chief Justice Warren E. Burger administers the oath of office to Richard M. Nixon for his second term at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 1973. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger administers the oath of office to Richard M. Nixon for his second term at the U.S. Capitol, January 20, 1973.
Richard Nixon takes the oath of office as he is sworn in as the 37th president of the United States on January 20, 1969. Richard Nixon takes the oath of office as he is sworn in as the 37th president of the United States on January 20, 1969.
Lyndon B. Johnson, left, is sworn in for his second term by Chief Justice Earl Warren on January 20, 1965. Lyndon B. Johnson, left, is sworn in for his second term by Chief Justice Earl Warren on January 20, 1965.
Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office on November 22, 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy's widow, Jacqueline, stands at Johnson's side. U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore in Johnson on Air Force One. Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office on November 22, 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy’s widow, Jacqueline, stands at Johnson’s side. U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore in Johnson on Air Force One.
John F. Kennedy is sworn in on January 20, 1961. John F. Kennedy is sworn in on January 20, 1961.
A crowd gathers outside the U.S. Capitol for Dwight D. Eisenhower's second inauguration on January 20, 1957. A crowd gathers outside the U.S. Capitol for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s second inauguration on January 20, 1957.
Dwight D. Eisenhower takes the oath of office on January 20, 1953. Dwight D. Eisenhower takes the oath of office on January 20, 1953.
President Harry S. Truman waves to the crowd from a car during a parade after his inauguration speech on January 20, 1949. President Harry S. Truman waves to the crowd from a car during a parade after his inauguration speech on January 20, 1949.
Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone administers the oath of office to Harry S. Truman in the Cabinet Room of the White House on April 12, 1945, after death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone administers the oath of office to Harry S. Truman in the Cabinet Room of the White House on April 12, 1945, after death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his fourth and final inauguration speech on January 20, 1945. He was the last president allowed to hold more than two terms. Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his fourth and final inauguration speech on January 20, 1945. He was the last president allowed to hold more than two terms.
Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his third inaugural address on January 20, 1941. Franklin D. Roosevelt gives his third inaugural address on January 20, 1941.
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes Sr. administers the oath of office to Franklin D. Roosevelt for his second term on January 20, 1937. This marked the first January event; before this, inaugurations were traditionally held in March. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes Sr. administers the oath of office to Franklin D. Roosevelt for his second term on January 20, 1937. This marked the first January event; before this, inaugurations were traditionally held in March.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is sworn in for his first term on March 4, 1933.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt is sworn in for his first term on March 4, 1933.
Herbert Hoover's inauguration is held on March 4, 1929. Herbert Hoover’s inauguration is held on March 4, 1929.
Calvin Coolidge is sworn in for his second term on March 4, 1925. Calvin Coolidge is sworn in for his second term on March 4, 1925.
Calvin Coolidge is given the oath of office by his father, Col. John Coolidge, in Plymouth, Vermont, on August 3, 1923, after the death of President Warren G. Harding. Calvin Coolidge is given the oath of office by his father, Col. John Coolidge, in Plymouth, Vermont, on August 3, 1923, after the death of President Warren G. Harding.
Warren G. Harding is sworn in on March 4, 1921. Warren G. Harding is sworn in on March 4, 1921.
Soldiers pass the viewing stand during the inaugural ceremony for Woodrow Wilson's second term on March 4, 1917. Soldiers pass the viewing stand during the inaugural ceremony for Woodrow Wilson’s second term on March 4, 1917.
Woodrow Wilson's first inauguration was held on March 4, 1913. Woodrow Wilson’s first inauguration was held on March 4, 1913.
William Howard Taft was inaugurated on March 4, 1909. William Howard Taft was inaugurated on March 4, 1909.
Theodore Roosevelt takes the oath of office for his second term on March 4, 1905. Theodore Roosevelt takes the oath of office for his second term on March 4, 1905.
Theodore Roosevelt takes the oath of office in Buffalo, New York, on September 14, 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley. Theodore Roosevelt takes the oath of office in Buffalo, New York, on September 14, 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley.
Chief Justice Melville Fuller administers the oath of office to President William McKinley for his second term on March 4, 1901. Chief Justice Melville Fuller administers the oath of office to President William McKinley for his second term on March 4, 1901.
William McKinley takes his first the oath of office on March 4, 1897. William McKinley takes his first the oath of office on March 4, 1897.
Grover Cleveland's second inauguration is held on March 4, 1893. Grover Cleveland’s second inauguration is held on March 4, 1893.
Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administers the oath of office to Benjamin Harrison on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1889. Harrison served between Cleveland's two terms. Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administers the oath of office to Benjamin Harrison on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1889. Harrison served between Cleveland’s two terms.
Grover Cleveland delivers his first inaugural address to the crowd on the east portico of U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1885. Grover Cleveland delivers his first inaugural address to the crowd on the east portico of U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1885.
New York Supreme Court Justice John R. Brady administers the oath of office to Vice President Chester A. Arthur in a private ceremony in Arthur's residence in New York on September 20, 1881, after the assassination of President James A. Garfield. New York Supreme Court Justice John R. Brady administers the oath of office to Vice President Chester A. Arthur in a private ceremony in Arthur’s residence in New York on September 20, 1881, after the assassination of President James A. Garfield.
Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite administers the oath of office to James A. Garfield on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1881. Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite administers the oath of office to James A. Garfield on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1881.
Rutherford B. Hayes takes the oath of office from Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 5, 1877. Rutherford B. Hayes takes the oath of office from Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 5, 1877.
Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase administers the oath of office for Ulysses S. Grant's second term on March 4, 1873. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase administers the oath of office for Ulysses S. Grant’s second term on March 4, 1873.
Ulysses S. Grant takes his first oath of office, administered by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 4, 1869. Ulysses S. Grant takes his first oath of office, administered by Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on March 4, 1869.
Andrew Johnson takes the oath of office from Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in Washington on April 15, 1865, after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  Andrew Johnson takes the oath of office from Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase in Washington on April 15, 1865, after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln take the oath of office for the second time on March 4, 1865. Abraham Lincoln take the oath of office for the second time on March 4, 1865.
The first inauguration of Abraham Lincoln takes place on March 4, 1861. The first inauguration of Abraham Lincoln takes place on March 4, 1861.
James Buchanan's inauguration is held at the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1857. James Buchanan’s inauguration is held at the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1857.
Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administers the oath of office to Franklin Pierce on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1853. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administers the oath of office to Franklin Pierce on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol on March 4, 1853.
Millard Fillmore was sworn in on July 10, 1850, after the death of President Zachary Taylor. Millard Fillmore was sworn in on July 10, 1850, after the death of President Zachary Taylor.
Zachary Taylor is sworn in on March 5, 1849. Zachary Taylor is sworn in on March 5, 1849.
James K. Polk was sworn in on March 4, 1845. James K. Polk was sworn in on March 4, 1845.
John Tyler took the oath of office on April 6, 1841, after the death of William Henry Harrison, who died after just 32 days in office. John Tyler took the oath of office on April 6, 1841, after the death of William Henry Harrison, who died after just 32 days in office.
William Henry Harrison took the oath of office on March 4, 1841. William Henry Harrison took the oath of office on March 4, 1841.
Martin Van Buren was inaugurated on March 4, 1837. Martin Van Buren was inaugurated on March 4, 1837.
Andrew Jackson was sworn in for his second term on March 4, 1833. Andrew Jackson was sworn in for his second term on March 4, 1833.
Andrew Jackson was inaugurated for his first term on March 4, 1829, on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol. Andrew Jackson was inaugurated for his first term on March 4, 1829, on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol.
John Quincy Adams was sworn into office on March 4, 1825. John Quincy Adams was sworn into office on March 4, 1825.
James Monroe was sworn in for his second term on March 4, 1821. James Monroe was sworn in for his second term on March 4, 1821.
James Monroe was sworn in for his first term on March 4, 1817. James Monroe was sworn in for his first term on March 4, 1817.
James Madison was inaugurated for his second term on March 4, 1813. James Madison was inaugurated for his second term on March 4, 1813.
James Madison was sworn in for his first term on March 4, 1809. James Madison was sworn in for his first term on March 4, 1809.
Thomas Jefferson was sworn in for his second term on March 4, 1805. Thomas Jefferson was sworn in for his second term on March 4, 1805.
Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated for his first term on March 4, 1801. Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated for his first term on March 4, 1801.
John Adams was inaugurated on March 4, 1797. John Adams was inaugurated on March 4, 1797.
George Washington stands outside his carriage at his second inauguration on March 4, 1793. George Washington stands outside his carriage at his second inauguration on March 4, 1793.
Sword by his side, George Washington takes his inaugural oath as the first president of the United States on April 30, 1789. Sword by his side, George Washington takes his inaugural oath as the first president of the United States on April 30, 1789.

History Buzz January 16, 2013: Martha Joynt Kumar: Historian Says President Barack Obama Held Less Press Conferences in First Term than Most of Previous Presidents

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

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Press Conferences Not Obama’s Cup of Tea

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

According to presidential scholar Martha Joynt Kumar, Obama has given 79 pressers during his first term in office.  Obama said that his press conference on Jan. 14 was the last one he’ll do until after his second inauguration on Monday.

How does the president stack up against the three previous commanders in chief?  He certainly wasn’t as anxious to meet the press in Term One as George W. Bush, who appeared 89 times, Bill Clinton, who held 133 pressers and the all-time winner, George H.W. Bush, with 142 press conferences….READ MORE

History Buzz January 18, 2013: President Barack Obama gets a second chance at Inaugural address for the ages

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History Buzz

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Obama gets a second chance at speech for the ages

Source: AP, 1-15-13

Sixteen presidents before Barack Obama got a second chance at giving an inaugural address for the ages. Most didn’t make much of it….

Indeed, expectations for inaugural eloquence are low these days, giving Obama some breathing room as he prepares for Monday.

“Most inaugural addresses are just pedestrian,” said Martin J. Medhurst, a professor of politics and rhetoric at Baylor University. Their function is ceremonial; they lack emotion and urgency.

After reading all 56 inaugural addresses to date, presidential historian Charles O. Jones found: “A lot of them, frankly, are highly forgettable.”

And second inaugurals? Even worse.

“Reality has set in,” Medhurst said. “You don’t have these grand visions for change you had when you were first coming into office.”…READ MORE

History Buzz April 16, 2012: Darlene Clark Hine: First Lady Michelle Obama, Paradox, African American Studies Professor & Historian Says

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Darlene Clark Hine: First Lady Michelle Obama, paradox, African American Studies Professor & Historian Says

Source: WaPo, 4-16-12

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive to welcome Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron to the White House prior to a state dinner. (Susan Walsh – AP) Northwestern University.

“Michelle Obama is a genuine paradox,” said Michel, a professor of African American studies and history at Hine’s lecture, part of a black studies conference at the university last week, argued that the first lady is a “transformative, liberationist” figure — despite her interest in domestic issues and the long list of magazine cover stories focused on topics such as Obama’s approach to motherhood or the importance of healthful eating.

“I caution: Let us not be distracted by a first lady draped in gowns, gracing the covers of women’s magazine’s from ‘Essence’ to ‘Vogue’ or a first lady on her knees planting a White House garden or a first lady jumping double-dutch rope with an array of young girls,” Hine said. “Rather let us appreciate the paradox.”

“What you think you see and know of her may not be all that is important to know about her,” Hine said in an interview after her lecture. “People see her as these labels – black and woman – and they see her acting in domestic ways – focused on home, hearth and family – as if there is no political agenda.”

“She is using the politics of self-development, neighborliness, and that will lead the the future election of just and humane individuals,” Hine said. “The lives you save today will make the changes that you suggest to them in the future.”

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