Mike Purdy’s Presidential History Blog

23 Mysterious Letters That Shaped an Obscure Presidency

Chester A. Arthur is not one of our better known presidents.  Our 21st president served just less than three and a half years, having ascended to the presidency upon the assassination of James A. Garfield.  He was unsuccessful in winning the Republican nomination for... read more

My Encounter with Jimmy Carter

It was 38 degrees when I left my hotel room in Americus, Georgia at 5:15 am.  My destination was the Maranatha Baptist Church in nearby Plains where Jimmy Carter would be teaching a Sunday School class at 10:00 am.  The church’s website informed me that if I... read more

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