American Presidents





Calling Cards for ALL 41 Presidents

Grades 9-11



Directions:
Find answers by visiting C-SPAN's American Presidents: Life Portraits Exhibit which includes C-SPAN portraits of the presidents and images provided by the White House Historical Association.



George Washington

Meet the 1st president!
What job did George Washington refuse to take?

Look closer!
What should a king look like? What should a president look like? Look closely at the portrait of George Washington and his family. Consider his pose, the setting, and the objects depicted. Does he look more like a king or a president? Why?


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John Adams

Meet the 2nd president!
How did John Adams begin his career?

Look closer!
Look at the portrait of John Adams, surrounded by books. What could some of the subjects of those books be? What type of book would you hold in a portrait depicting your life?


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Thomas Jefferson

Meet the 3rd president!
Where did Thomas Jefferson travel during his life? Where did he live and work?

Look closer!
Design a road trip visiting sites significant to Thomas Jefferson's life. Where would you go? What would you see? Why?


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James Madison

Meet the 4th president!
Among James Madison's papers was an article intended for posthumous (what does posthumous mean?) publication. In the papers he pleaded that the Union of the States be __________ and ______________.

Look closer
Look at the picture of James Madison. What thoughts come to mind when looking at his picture? Consider his facial expressions, his posture and attire. What messages are being communicated through his nonverbal expressions?


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James Monroe

Meet the 5th president!
James Monroe presided over the country during a time of extraordinary peace that came to be known as the __________ _______ ____________ _____________.

Look closer!
Looking at the picture of James Monroe, does his body language convey a sense that he was presiding over a country at peace? Can a leader's appearance affect his or her ability to lead? How?


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John Quincy Adams

Meet the 6th president!
Reading the text, how did President John Quincy Adams describe his experience as president of the United States?

Look closer!
Look at the picture. How would you describe the atmosphere of the event? How would you describe President Adams' mood? Compare the mood of the picture to Adams' own description of his presidency. Describe an image from Adams' presidency that would illustrate the quote.


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Andrew Jackson

Meet the 7th president!
Andrew Jackson spoke with confidence to the public in saying that he would make a great president. True or False?

Look closer!
The caption under the picture states: Andrew Jackson in a daguerreotype. How would you describe a daguerreotype? Compare the oil portrait of Andrew Jackson with the daguerreotype of Andrew Jackson. Note similarities and differences that you observe in these two pictures.


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Martin Van Buren

Meet the 8th president!
What was the name of the First Lady in Martin Van Buren's administration? What was the First Lady's relationship to President Van Buren?

Look closer!
The pictures of Angelica Singleton Van Buren and Martin Van Buren are side by side. In looking at these two pictures, what is the first thing that comes to mind? How do you see them in relationship to each other? How would you describe the role of First Lady? Has this role changed over time?


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William Henry Harrison

Meet the 9th president!
What did President William Henry Harrison aspire to be? ____________________

Look closer!
In the picture depicting the death of Harrison, there are many people surrounding his deathbed. Guess who the individuals are in the picture. What is their relation to President Harrison? Explain your conclusions.


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John Tyler

Meet the 10th president!
With two marriages, John Tyler had a total of _____ children, more than any other president.

Look closer!
In the picture we see a party scene; the caption on the picture reads: "President Tyler's Party for Children." Considering the number of children that the president had, what do you think the atmosphere in the White House was like? What kind of challenges do you think the White House staff faced with so many children in the White House?


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James K. Polk
Meet the 11th president!

During Polk's administration, the U.S went to war with France. True or False?

Look closer!
In the picture we see President Polk with the First Lady, friends and advisors. Compare the scene with a typical family picture of your own. How do these two pictures differ? How are they similar?


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Zachary Taylor

Meet the 12th president! Upon President Taylor's death he stated that he had no regrets but was sorry that he was about to leave his ____________.

Look closer!
As you look into the face of President Taylor depicted in oil painting, what does his facial expression communicate to you about him as a person? What kind of friend do you think he would be?


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Millard Fillmore

Meet the 13th president!
First Lady Abigail Powers Fillmore sought funds from Congress to start the first permanent __________ at the White House.

Look closer!
Look at the picture where President Fillmore is seated in a chair. Does that chair look comfortable? Describe the environment in which you work best. Consider room design, lighting, furniture, décor, temperature, etc.


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Franklin Pierce

Meet the 14th president!
Within a span of seven years, President Pierce served in public office in three different capacities. In what ways did he serve?

Look closer!
Looking at the oil portrait of President Pierce, how would you describe his facial expression? Does his expression inspire confidence? What does a leader look like?


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James Buchanan

Meet the 15th president!
James Buchanan was the only president to remain a bachelor. About his broken engagement, Buchanan wrote, "life now presents to me a dreary _______."

Look closer!
In the picture it looks as if President Buchanan is about to say something. Consider his struggle to separate his personal tragedy from his professional life. From his experiences, what advice or warnings might he offer to someone who asked? How does this relate to the experiences of modern presidents?


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Abraham Lincoln

Meet the 16th president!
President Lincoln married a ______ ______ from Lexington, Kentucky. What does that term mean? What associations does it have?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Mary Todd Lincoln, what are your first thoughts on her appearance? Is it possible that your first impressions may lead to a stereotype? Explain your answer.


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Andrew Johnson
Meet the 17th president!

The House voted 126 to 47 to impeach President Johnson over the __________ _____ ___________ Act in 1867. What does it mean to be impeached? What was the final outcome of the impeachment process for President Johnson? Has any other U.S. president been impeached?

Look closer!
In the picture displaying the cover of Harper's Weekly,we see President Johnson receiving his summons for impeachment. How does the scene help to illustrate the nature of the event? Can you think of a time when you were in serious trouble? Describe the physical setting; how did you react?


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Ulysses S. Grant

Meet the 18th president!
After leaving the White House, the Grants took a whirlwind tour of what three continents? ___________ _____________ ______________

Look closer!
In the picture we see President Grant with his son, Jesse and wife, Julia. Imagine they were planning their trip itinerary. What specific sights do you think they included on their lists? How might the sights in other countries have compared to those in the United States?


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Rutherford B. Hayes

Meet the 19th president!
President Hayes developed a close bond with his sister, Fanny, whom he called the _____________ of all my life.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of the First Lady and her children, Scott and Fanny. Ponder the life of these children living in the White House. Imagine the kinds of confidences that the children would exchange with each other regarding their life in the White House. What might they have shared? How can siblings offer support to one another?


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James A. Garfield

Meet the 20th president!
James Garfield spent his free time reading ___________ adventures.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of the White House draped in mourning after the assassination of President Garfield. Garfield was shot at a Washington train station. How are presidents protected today? What skills and character traits do the people who protect the president of the United States need to possess? Why? Would bravery be on your list? Why or why not?


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Chester A. Arthur

Meet the 21st president!
Chester A. Arthur, in his position as __________, assumed the presidency after the president was ___________ .

Look closer!
What might have been going through President Chester Arthur's mind when he assumed the oath of office? How about the others in the room? Do you think they felt confident about their new leader? Was Chester A. Arthur a good public servant? Argue both sides.


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Grover Cleveland

Meet the 22nd president!
(served two non-consecutive terms)

How many years did Grover Cleveland serve as president of the United States? _________. What were his terms in office?

Look closer!
Which is a greater achievement: to be re-elected into office or to be elected into office for two non-consecutive terms? Explain your answer. As you look at the pictures of President Cleveland and First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland do their images convey a sense of fulfillment in their roles as president and First Lady? Why or why not?


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Benjamin Harrison

Meet the 23rd president!
First Lady Caroline Harrison renovated the White House. In 1891, she installed ________________.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Harrison seated at a desk with books on top. As a student he did not have the benefit of light to aid him with reading and studying. Which technologies do you use to complete your homework?


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William McKinley

Meet the 24th president!
As First Lady, Ida McKinley suffered from epilepsy. When she had a seizure in public, McKinley would gently place a ___________ over her face to hide her contorted features.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President McKinley and First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley. Can you determine any opinions about their relationship from looking at this picture? If so, what? Is it fair to form opinions about people and their relationships from looking at pictures? Why or why not?


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Theodore Roosevelt

Meet the 25th president!
Theodore Roosevelt was William McKinley's ____________ ___________. At what age did Roosevelt become president?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt with their children. Describe this family portrait to a friend who could not attend this exhibit. What does this particular picture indicate about the people shown? Explain your answer.


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William Howard Taft

Meet the 26th president!
The appointment to ____________ ______________ was President Taft's greatest honor. What has been your greatest honor? What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of president and Mrs. Taft riding from the inauguration at the Capitol to the White House. How would you characterize the scene? Describe the facial expressions on the faces of the president and First Lady. Can you recall a time when you and/or your peers were the focus of attention because of your achievement(s)? Describe the event and your feelings. Describe a picture that would capture that moment.


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Woodrow Wilson

Meet the 27th president!
In _______, President Wilson issued the Fourteen Points outlining a path to peace in Europe.

Look closer!
In the picture we see President Wilson at his desk with his wife Edith. What do they appear to be doing? Refer to the text, and describe how the First Lady assisted the resident in last two years office. Is this an appropriate role for the First Lady to play? Explain.


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Warren G. Harding

Meet the 28th president!
President Harding's presidency was marked by _______________.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of the President and the First Lady as they greet a crowd on the South Lawn of the White House. How would you describe the scene? Does knowing that President Harding reportedly carried on an affair while serving as president affect your opinion of him as president? If yes, why? If not, why? Is it fair to judge a president for his personal behavior? Explain your answer.


Calvin Coolidge

Meet the 29th president!
President Coolidge's dry wit and ___________ of words were legendary.

From looking at his portrait, describe your first impressions of the 30th president of the United States. Does he look like a man of few words? Why or why not? Do you consider yourself to be a person of many or few words?


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Herbert Hoover

Meet the 30th president!
What crashed during the Hoover Administration? ________ __________ ______________

Look closer!
In the picture we see President Hoover presenting the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in honor of her 1932 solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. How do you think the depression impacted the field of scientific discovery in terms of funding for research and development? If you were president during this time, what adjustments would you make in the federal budget? Explain your answer.


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Franklin D. Roosevelt

Meet the 31st president!
President Roosevelt told the American people in his inauguration address, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." What does this statement mean in its historical context?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Eleanor and Franklin surrounded by their thirteen grandchildren. They seem to be a variety of ages. Name one fear today of a 14-year-old, a 16-year-old, and a 18-year-old. Are the fears similar or different? Do our fears change or remain the same as we get older? Explain your answer.


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Harry S. Truman

Meet the 32nd president!
Harry S. Truman returned to his hometown of Independence, Missouri and wrote his ___________________.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Harry Truman with his wife Bess and daughter Margaret Truman. Using this picture, write a chapter title for the president's autobiography. Explain your reason for the title.


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Dwight D. Eisenhower

Meet the 33rd president!
President Eisenhower's campaign slogan was ___________________.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower seated on a garden bench on the south lawn of the White House. Imagine that a political strategist asked you to develop a caption for this picture to be used in print materials for his campaign. What is the caption? Explain your choice.


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John F. Kennedy

Meet the 34th president!
John F. Kennedy enlisted in the _________during World War ll.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Kennedy in the Oval Office with his children, Caroline and John Jr., at Halloween. What do you see in the picture that might have served as a reminder to the President of his days in the navy? What mementos from your history do you keep close and why?


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Lyndon B. Johnson

Meet the 35th president!
Lyndon B. Johnson confided to a classmate that he would one day be president. True or False?

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Lyndon B. Johnson howling with his dog "Yuki" in the Oval Office. Do you have any desire to become the president of the United States? Why or why not? How much leisure time do you think a president has? Which of your hobbies, pastimes or activities would you be reluctant to give up if you were president?


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Richard M. Nixon

Meet the 36th president!
Richard M. Nixon left home in _______ to attend law school, and left again to work in ____________ .

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Nixon's departure after his resignation in 1974. Why did people attend his departure? What do you imagine was said in conversations between those in attendance and the president? What would you have said?


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Gerald R. Ford

Meet the 37th president!
After graduation Gerald R. Ford turned down two contracts to play professional _____________ so he could study law.

Look closer!
Look at the 1975 picture of President Ford swimming in the White House pool with the press corps looking on. What impression does the image create? What qualities do athletes and presidents have in common? Do you think that all presidents should participate in some athletic or recreational activity? Why or why not?


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Jimmy Carter

Meet the 38th president!
In his retirement, President Carter authored several books including one volume of _____________.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of Jimmy Carter with his daughter, Amy, and her cousin, Jason, inspecting a newly constructed tree house on the South Lawn. Would you prefer to write a poem or build a treehouse? What aspect of his job do you think President Carter enjoyed most? Why?


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Ronald Reagan

Meet the 39th president!
After graduation, Ronald Reagan got a job as a _____________ _______________ __________________.

Look closer!
Have you ever considered a career in broadcasting? Look at the picture of the president and First Lady talking with Prince Charles and Lady Diana. How might Ronald Reagan's skills and experiences in entertainment have helped him as president?


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George Bush

Meet the 40th president!
George Bush was president during the ___________ _____________ conflict.

Look closer!
Look at the picture of President Bush playing horseshoes with his son, Marvin, at the White House. What skills are needed in a simple game of horseshoes? What skills and experience did George Bush bring to the job when acting as Commander-in-Chief?


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Bill Clinton

Meet the 41st president!
Which previous president inspired Bill Clinton to enter public service?

Look closer!
Compare the Oval Office picture of president and Chelsea Clinton to that of the president who inspired Bill Clinton. What are the similarities and differences in the pictures?


George W. Bush

Meet the 42nd president!
Why didn't George W. Bush complete his second term as Texas governor?

Look closer!
What about this president's background, as indicated in the photos, may have lead someone to predict he would one day be president?


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