Mike Purdy’s Presidential History Blog

What do You Remember About JFK?

What Do You Remember?  For those of us alive on November 22, 1963, we probably remember where we were when we heard the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.  What do you remember about the assassination and about JFK? What do you think about... read more

The Accidental President

The have been few times in history when shape of the geopolitical world changed more dramatically than during four world-shaking months in 1945: A fatal stroke ended Franklin Roosevelt’s dozen year presidency. The United Nations was founded. Nazi Germany fell after... read more

Will Bush Beat Ford in November?

Gerald Ford –  the only president never elected as president or vice president – holds the record for presidential longevity.  He died on December 26, 2006 at 93 years, 165 days. November 25, 2017:  But George H.W. Bush is just months away from eclipsing... read more

Why is JFK Still So Popular?

It’s been 100 years since John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born.  It’s been more than a half century since he was assassinated after serving as president for less than three years. High Marks:  And yet Kennedy is consistently ranked among our greatest... read more

Inside Thomas Jefferson’s Mind

Before Thomas Jefferson died – on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, he gave instructions for what he wanted engraved on his tombstone.  Ever mindful of shaping his place in history, he hoped to be remembered by posterity for three... read more

Electrifying News From the White House!

Watch this “live” TV news report from September 28, 1891 about what President Benjamin Harrison required his staff to do after he had electric lights installed in the Executive Mansion. It’s part of a series of short videos I’ve done about what... read more

JFK: Famous Before His Time

If we want to understand what made John F. Kennedy an admired and glamorous president – his innate sense of ease with people, his ready smile, his wit, his razor sharp intellect, his comfort with the media, and even his proclivities for frequent sexual encounters – we... read more

The Secret Reason Washington Won the Revolutionary War

George Washington didn’t win the Revolutionary War because he had a superior fighting force.  It was a ragtag army that was always in danger of either being wiped out by an engagement with British forces, or evaporating when enlistments were up. He didn’t... read more