Blog RSS

The pardon is one of the most controversial presidential powers, but in some instances it has helped ease tensions, heal political wounds and even right historic wrongs.   1. The Whiskey Rebels (1795) The first ever act of presidential forgiveness came in the wake of an armed rebellion. Fed up with a costly federal tax on distilled spirits, in 1794 a group of whiskey-producing Pennsylvania farmers took to the streets and burned the home of a local tax inspector. The attack came on the heels of several other protests and many politicians—most notably Secretary Alexander Hamilton—argued that it threatened the...

Read more

Theodore Roosevelt -

Born in Manhattan on October 27, 1858—Theodore Roosevelt was brought up in a wealthy upbringing but suffered from poor health and was forced to live a very sheltered life as a child. Roosevelt’s debilitating asthma caused him to experience the sensation of being smothered to death—which scared him and his parents daily. Due to his medical condition he was homeschooled by various tutors and his parents instead of attending a generalized public school. As Roosevelt ventured into young adulthood, he made the trek to Harvard university where he studied German, natural history, zoology (which had been his passion since he...

Read more

As the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates finally meet face to face, explore seven surprising facts about the history of presidential debates. 1. The history of presidential debates is surprisingly short.In the early years of the United States, presidential candidates considered it unseemly to campaign, let alone debate their opponents. Not until Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy and Republican Vice President Richard Nixon met in a Chicago television studio on September 26, 1960, did the major parties’ nominees square off. Despite the enormous audiences for the Kennedy-Nixon encounters, 16 years would go by before the next series of presidential debates....

Read more

Find out more about the man whose gravestone reads “President of the United States for One Day.” As 1849 dawned, America prepared for a change in presidential administrations. These were the days before Inauguration Day fell on January 20, and the term of the outgoing president, James K. Polk, ended at noon on Sunday, March 4, 1849, at which time his successor, Zachary Taylor, was to be sworn into office. However, the pious Taylor refused to take the oath on the Sabbath, so he and his vice president were not sworn in until noon on Monday, March 5. So who...

Read more

Last week’s White House shooting wasn’t the first time the executive mansion has come under fire. August 24, 1814At the height of the War of 1812 between the United States and England, British troops stormed the White House. Soldiers reportedly sat down to eat a meal made of leftover food before ransacking the presidential mansion and setting it ablaze. Fortunately, President James Madison and his wife Dolley had already fled to safety in Maryland. The first lady famously rescued a life-sized portrait of George Washington from going up in flames. August 16, 1841Faced with an economy plagued by wildly fluctuating...

Read more