Vice Presidents

Former presidents have penned memoirs of varying focus and quality.

A Brief History of Presidential Memoirs

Barack Obama's new autobiography joins a long—but sometimes dull—tradition

“We have submitted the issue to the American people and their will is law,” wrote Democrat William Jennings Bryan (pictured here on the campaign trail) in an 1896 telegram to Republican William McKinley.

Why Defeated Presidential Candidates Deliver Concession Speeches

The tradition dates back to 1896, when William Jennings Bryan conceded the election to William McKinley via telegram

Maine and Nebraska allocate two electoral votes to the statewide winner but allow each congressional district to award one electoral vote to the popular vote winner in their specific locality.

Why Do Maine and Nebraska Split Their Electoral Votes?

Instead of a winner-take-all system, the states use the "congressional district method"

Senator John F. Kennedy speaks to supporters at Chicago Stadium four days before the 1960 election.

Four Times the Results of a Presidential Election Were Contested

"Rigged" may not be the way to describe them, but there were definitely some shenanigans happening

President John Tyler was born in 1790 and died in 1862.

Grandson of President John Tyler, Who Left Office in 1845, Dies at Age 95

Born 14 years after the nation's founding, the tenth commander in chief still has one living grandson

Woodrow Wilson, seen here at the start of the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919, never publicly acknowledged the pandemic's toll on his country.

What Happened When Woodrow Wilson Came Down With the 1918 Flu?

The president contracted influenza while attending peace talks in Paris, but the nation was never told the full, true story

John F. Kennedy addresses the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles after being nominated for President.

The Top 10 Political Conventions That Mattered the Most

As the two parties shift their conventions to be mostly virtual, we look at those conventions that made a difference in the country’s political history

George H.W. Bush (1924-2018). Photograph by William Coupon.

Looking Back at George H.W. Bush’s Lifelong Career of Public Service

The former President, dead at 94 years old, was noteworthy for his “humanity and decency,” says a Smithsonian historian

Tickets to the Johnson impeachment trial were color-coded to indicate dates for the proceedings, which lasted more than two months.

The Fight Over Andrew Johnson's Impeachment Was a Fight for the Future of the United States

The biggest show in Washington 150 years ago was the trial against the President of the United States

President Lincoln depicted on a Christmas card from the 1920s. Christmas wasn't as important of a holiday in Lincoln's time, but his personal Christmas story is worth telling.

President Lincoln’s Last Christmas

The character of American Christmas changed as a result of the Civil War

First Pet Socks poses in the White House Press Room in 1993.

The First Pet Position in the Trump White House Will Remain Open—for Meow

Animals have served as companions and ambassadors for presidents dating back to George Washington

Screenshot of interactive

This Interactive Maps Out the Lives of Former Presidents

From Washington to Obama, how ex-commanders-in-chief bided their time after leaving office

The electoral map in 2016, that is, assuming there are no faithless electors

The Electoral College Has Been Divisive Since Day One

It has always had the potential for chaos—one that hasn’t been tapped...yet

Gary Hart campaign (photo by Ken Regan), 1984

The Swag and Swagger Behind American Presidential Campaigns

From a coloring book to a painted axe, election ephemera remind us of the hard-fought elections of long ago

President Lyndon Johnson reviews a speech he will make about the Vietnam War, just weeks before the 1968 election.

The History of the October Surprise

From assiduous editorials to destructive superstorms, the last weeks of presidential elections have seen shocking campaign twists

Richmond, Virginia, USA, 15th October, 1992, President George H.W. Bush at the Town Hall debates

The History of the Town Hall Debate

Its origins go back to America’s earliest days, but its appearance on the national stage is relatively new

Republican Convention in session, Cleveland Public Auditorium, 1924

When the GOP Picked a Nominee for Vice President, Only to Be Rejected

Their unrequited choice seemed utterly uninterested in the role

When Did the Vice Presidency Stop Going to the 2nd Place Winner and More Questions From Our Readers

Also up for discussion—why are oceans seawater and not freshwater?

James Monroe (L) and Alexander Hamilton (R) nearly dueled each other, but an unlikely political ally stepped in

That Time When Alexander Hamilton Almost Dueled James Monroe

And it was an unlikely ally who put a stop to their petty dispute

Benjamin Franklin reading letters, which may or may not have been written by his female friends.

The Founding Fathers and the Women, Not Their Wives, Whom They Wrote To

These words today would raise suspicion if written between married men and their female friends

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