Presidents of the United States of America

President Reagan 1982 - Presidents of the United States of America It’s a shame when native Americans know less about the American presidents than naturalized Americans know about them. My wife can name the first president (Washington), the 16th president (Lincoln) and every president since 1976 and she didn’t arrive in the United States until 1985. She didn’t even become a citizen until after she’d been in the United States for five years. In contrast, I’ve known native Americans who couldn’t name half of the ones she can.

The List of American Presidents

This list is only up-to-date with the current president as of the date this article was published. Here is the list of the American presidents and the years they were in office:

  1. George Washington 1789-1797
  2. John Adams 1797-1801
  3. Thomas Jefferson 1801-1809
  4. James Madison 1809-1817
  5. James Monroe 1817-1825
  6. John Quincy Adams 1825-1829
  7. Andrew Jackson 1829-1837
  8. Martin Van Buren 1837-1841
  9. William Henry Harrison 1841-1841
  10. John Tyler 1841-1845
  11. James K. Polk 1845-1849
  12. Zachary Taylor 1849-1850
  13. Millard Fillmore 1850-1853
  14. Franklin Pierce 1853-1857
  15. James Buchanan 1857-1861
  16. Abraham Lincoln 1861-1865
  17. Andrew Johnson 1865-1869
  18. Ulysses S. Grant 1869-1877
  19. Rutherford B. Hayes 1877-1881
  20. James A. Garfield 1881-1881
  21. Chester A. Arthur 1881-1885
  22. Grover Cleveland 1885-1889
  23. Benjamin Harrison 1889-1893
  24. Grover Cleveland 1893-1897
  25. William McKinley 1897-1901
  26. Theodore Roosevelt 1901-1909
  27. William Howard Taft 1909-1913
  28. Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921
  29. Warren G. Harding 1921-1923
  30. Calvin Coolidge 1923-1929
  31. Herbert Hoover 1929-1933
  32. Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933-1945
  33. Harry S. Truman 1945-1953
  34. Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953-1961
  35. John F. Kennedy 1961-1963
  36. Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969
  37. Richard Nixon 1969-1974
  38. Gerald Ford 1974-1977
  39. Jimmy Carter 1977-1981
  40. Ronald Reagan 1981-1989
  41. George H. W. Bush 1989-1993
  42. Bill Clinton 1993-2001
  43. George W. Bush 2001-2009
  44. Barack Obama 2009-present

The years aren’t the terms the were elected for, but the years they were actually in office, even if only for 20 days of the year. There are various websites that list the numerical order differently because Grover Cleveland was elected for two, non-consecutive terms. On those websites, Woodrow Wilson is listed as the 27th president instead of William Howard Taft. Those websites are wrong because the official order is as listed above – it’s a count of elected terms, not elected people.

The Best and the Worst of the American Presidents

People don’t remember the Presidents of the United States of America by who they were or by their names, but by the legacies of their presidencies. George Washington is remembered as the first president and as an Army general during the revolutionary war. Abraham Lincoln is remembered for abolishing slavery.

John F. Kennedy is remembered for the civil rights movement and for getting the United States involved in the Vietnam conflict. Richard Nixon is remembered for getting the Americans out of the war and for getting the POWs home. He’s also remembered for the Watergate scandal.

Ronald Reagan is remembered for ending the cold war with the Soviet Union and the tearing down of the Berlin wall, after he’d already left office. He’s also remembered for the Iran-Contra affair.

Bill Clinton is remembered for his extra-marital affair with a White House intern. George W. Bush is remembered declaring war on terror and invading Afghanistan after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He’s also remembered for invading Iraq.

Barack Obama will be remembered for a lot of things, none of them good. History is unforgiving.

American Presidents are in a place where their decisions affect millions of people and not just in the United States. The job is governance, not tyranny. A president is an elected servant, not an elected dictator.

[Photo Attribution: Michael Evans [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]


 

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