Mike Purdy’s Presidential History Blog

Remembering Barbara Bush

There is no job description for First Lady, nor is there a job description for being a political spouse. Nevertheless, Barbara Bush navigated being in the public eye for more than 50 years as the wife of prominent politician and one-term president, George H.W. Bush... read more

The Spell of Reagan’s Ranch

“From the first day we saw it,” Ronald Reagan said, “Rancho del Cielo cast a spell over us.  No place before or since has ever given Nancy and me the joy and serenity it does.” Reagan’s Beloved Retreat: Rancho del Cielo (Ranch in the Sky) was Reagan’s beloved... read more

When Shots Rang Out

Many of us know that four presidents have been assassinated (Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, John F. Kennedy).  But what is less known is there have been numerous attempted assassinations and threats against not just presidents, but presidential... read more

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