Herbert Hoover in January 1933

Herbert Hoover Did Something Donald Trump is Unwilling to Do

While Herbert Hoover was deeply critical of his successor, he put aside his differences to ensure the peaceful and democratic transition of power.
Kennedy and Frost

We Didn’t Always Pair Poets to Presidents: How Robert Frost Ended Up at JFK’s Inauguration

When poetry met power in January, 1961.
partner

Four More Years: Presidential Inaugurations

An hour of stories about a few high-stakes inaugurations from the past.

JFK Inaugural Address

John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address remains one of the most famous presidential speeches.
Portrait of Thomas Jefferson

Sunrise at Monticello

Jefferson and his connection to partisanship in early America.

Why Do American Presidential Transitions Take Such a Ridiculously Long Time?

Horseback travel time is only part of the story.

The History of Military Parades in the U.S.

The Trump Administration has clamored for a military parade. What are the origins of tank-led celebrations?

The Most Successful First 100 Days Of An Administration Didn't Belong To Who You Think

Dwight Eisenhower did more in his first hundred days than change laws—he changed a culture.

Can History Prepare Us for the Trump Presidency?

Twenty-one historians explain which moments in history are closest to the Trump election - and what we can learn.
Daniel Smith in 2013, sitting on a sofa in his living room.

Daniel Smith, 90, Dies; Thought to Be the Last Child of an Enslaved Person

He led a life marked by encounters with touchstone moments in Black history, from the March on Washington to Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
Abstract painting titled 'Constellation' by Helen Gerardia

A New Planet in the System

Early Americans conscripted the universe into their nation-building project.
Woody Guthrie playing his guitar

This Anthem Was Made For You and Me?

A breakdown of how Woody Guthrie's hit song "This Land" has evolved over time.
White House staff vacuuming

The Secret Life of the White House

The residence staff, many of whom have worked there for decades, balance their service of the First Family with their long-term loyalty to the house itself.
Lincoln's inauguration in 1861

The Capitol Takeover That Wasn’t

In 1861, a pro-Southern mob wanted to block the tallying of electoral votes for Lincoln. So did some congressmen.
Bush and Obama

The GOP Test

History is asking only one question right now as Trump refuses to concede. Will the Republicans decide they are no longer an American political party?
Trump

Biden's 2020 Election Win Over Trump is Step One. But 'Lame Ducks' Can Do Damage.

Biden will take over a country facing myriad challenges. And Trump's lame-duck period could be one of the most treacherous in American history.
Drawing of Lincoln with his hand on a Bible during a swearing-in with two other people

The Presidential Transition That Shattered America

A Trump-Biden transition is sure to be scary. But it’d be hard to beat Buchanan-Lincoln.

On the Peaceful Transfer of Power

Lessons from 1800.

The Bitter Origins of the Fight Over Big Government

What the battle between Herbert Hoover and FDR can teach us.

What Cheer, Though?

Joyce Chaplin on the malevolence of American goodwill.