Ranking America’s Presidents

How should we rank America’s presidents? C-SPAN asked ninety-one “professional observers of the presidency,” including historians Douglas Brinkley, Edward Crapol, Robert Dallek, Annette Gordon-Reed, Allen Guelzo, David Kennedy, and Walter McDougall. Each participant ranked our previous chief executives in ten equally weighted categories. You can find the full results here, but a few highlights: • The top four remained … More Ranking America’s Presidents

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: Presidential Memorials

For the first time in nearly three years, the Washington Monument will be open to visitors today. So this seems like a good time to revisit my February 2012 post on the history of that monument, and of presidential memorials in general. Commemoration has been much on my mind since my trip to the battlefields and … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: Presidential Memorials

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Or, technically, Happy Washington’s Birthday, since as Thomas S. Kidd points out (more from him in a few lines), “Presidents’ Day” is a marketing invention, not a Federal holiday. I’ll admit to being an infrequent celebrant of this particular holiday, mostly because it’s been nearly twenty years since I was part of an educational institution … More Happy Presidents’ Day!

Presidential Memorials

Commemoration has been much on my mind since my trip to the battlefields and cemeteries of World War I, but I have to admit that I hadn’t given much thought to the nature of commemoration in this country, the center of which (sorry, Mount Rushmore) is Washington, D.C. Of course, like many Americans I’ve seen … More Presidential Memorials