Mike Purdy’s Presidential History Blog

The Scene of the Crimes

Four American presidents have been assassinated. Today, with one exception, you can visit the scene of the crimes and find physical commemorations of the tragedies – in the form of a paint on a road, a theatre box, and an obscure historical marker. The site of... read more

Grant’s Race Against Time

After his presidency, Ulysses S. Grant – an international celebrity – took a two and a half year world tour where he was acclaimed by heads of state. Short of Cash: Back in the United States, he needed an income (the trip had deleted most of his savings)... read more

A Dozen Presidential Books I Read in 2017

There was definitely not enough time in 2017 to read. So many books, so little time! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to read more books. The following is a list of the books about the presidents that I read in 2017 (the titles below are linked to Amazon or... read more

Presidents Playing Poker Together

I recently ran across the paintings below by fine artist Andy Thomas, in which he imagines what it would be like if some our presidents were alive at the same time and got together to relax, laugh, and play poker with each other – separated by political party. ... read more

And the Winner is…

There are actually two winners to announce. Bush Beats Ford as Oldest President:  First, on November 25, 2017, George H.W. Bush nabbed the record from Gerald R. Ford as the oldest former president. As of November 25, Bush was 93 years, 166 days old.  Ford died when he... read more

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