Presidents Day: Which ten U.S. presidents are researched most frequently?

George Washington's birthday is celebrated on Presidents Day

George Washington's birthday is celebrated on Presidents Day

We all know that President Barack Obama gets the most attention from the media these days, but we were curious to know which of the past U.S. presidents was referenced most frequently. So, in honor of Presidents Day, we  checked our library for who was being researched the most on Questia.

And, to celebrate President’s Day, we’re opening up the Questia library to make the reference works on these top 10 most-searched U.S. presidents free to you for a month! Have a look and find peer-reviewed journals, essays and autobiographies on presidents plus the thousands more topics at Questia.

Here are our top 10 most referenced U.S. presidents:

1.George Washington: The United States’s very first president has taken the top spot of most-researched American president on Questia. George Washington took office in New York City on April 20, 1789 after being unanimously chosen to lead the new government. [Meyers, Andrew. “The New York Years in Irving’s the Life of George Washington.” Early American Literature 11.1 (1976): 68.]

2.Thomas Jefferson: First serving as secretary of state under George Washington, Thomas Jefferson became our nation’s third president. First to be inaugurated in Washington D.C., Jefferson’s presidential win was somewhat controversial as he tied opponent Aaron Burr in the Electoral College vote. After much debate, the House of Representatives finally elected Jefferson into office. [Ferling, John. Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.]

3.Abraham Lincoln: Our 16th president has always been remembered for his position on slavery, even before taking office. In 1862 Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the executive order proclaiming the freedom for slaves in Union states. Total abolition of slavery was finalized by the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, just 8 months after Lincoln’s assassination. [Riechers, Maggie. “Freedom’s Course: Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.” Humanities September/October 2003: 46+.]

4.John F. Kennedy: John F. Kennedy narrowly overcame Richard M. Nixon to become the 35th president of the United States. At age 43, Kennedy was both the youngest as well as the first Catholic to take office. His assassination in 1963 took a devastating toll on the nation, as many believed he was destined to make remarkable advancements in office. [Barnes, John A. John F. Kennedy on Leadership: The Lessons and Legacy of a President. New York: AMACOM, 2005.]

5.Franklin D. Roosevelt: Taking office at the height of the Great Depression, our 32nd president had to act quickly. Roosevelt’s administration rushed a number of programs and initiatives through Congress to successfully regain economic ground in America. [Kidd, Stuart. “Franklin D. Roosevelt.” History Review 49 (2005): 54+.]

6.Ronald Reagan: The 40th president of the United States started out his career as a Hollywood actor and became interested in politics while serving as the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). During his terms, he survived an assassination attempt on his life and brought America through another recession. [Pemberton, William E. Exit with Honor: The Life and Presidency of Ronald Reagan. New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1998.]

7.Woodrow Wilson: Many believe the 28th president was elected due to the split in the Republican Party, which divided into William Taft supporters and Theodore Roosevelt supporters and left the Democrats as the only united voters. Wilson broke American ties with Germany at the start of World War I and ultimately declared war on them in 1917. [Fontaine, Roger. “1912 Election, Rating Presidents Russia.” The Washington Times. [Washington D.C.] 13, June 2004: B06.]

8.Harry S. Truman: The 1945 death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt threw Harry S. Truman into office to take over just as the war was ending in Europe. Truman authorized the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that brought the end of the conflict with Japan. [Hepsring, Dale. “From Roosevelt to Truman: Potsdam, Hiroshima, and the Cold War.” Biography. 32.2 (2009): 435.]

9.Theodore Roosevelt: A life-long passion for politics led Theodore Roosevelt to the 26th presidency. In 1900 he was elected as vice president but quickly became president following the assassination of President William McKinley. His measures to stop big business from cheating the public were popular, giving him the opportunity to easily win the reelection in 1904. [Cavendish, Richard. “Theodore Roosevelt Re-elected President of the United States: November 8th, 1904.” History Today. November 2004. 60+.]

10.Richard M. Nixon: Our 37th president became the first to ever resign from the position following the Watergate Scandal during his second term in office. To America’s surprise, his successor Gerald Ford granted him a full pardon for all his illegal actions while in the White House. [Levantrosser, William F. Watergate and Afterward: The Legacy of Richard M. Nixon. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.]
Leave us a comment and let us know if you were able to find time to read any of these wonderful bits of history!

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