History of Presidential Transitions: Has It Always Been Like Now?

Presidential Transitions

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITIONS: WAS IT ALWAYS LIKE NOW? We think that our most current change in Presidential administration is contentious. But our national history has seen worse. And it goes back over 200 years to the third Presidential election, and several since then. Presidential Transition: from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson Perhaps the most…

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History of Presidential Inaugurations: Why on January 20?

Presidential Inaugurations

HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATIONS: WHY ON JANUARY 20? In 1933 it seemed that a four-month transition between an outgoing “lame-duck” president who was voted out in November and a new administration starting in March was too long. Indeed, during the winter of 1932-1933, there was a horrific battle between the incumbent Herbert Hoover and president-elect…

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History of the Fourth Estate: The Press

Fourth Estate

HISTORY OF THE FOURTH ESTATE: THE PRESS When you hear about The Fourth Estate, it usually means The Press. Where did the term Fourth Estate come from? What do we mean by The Press, and how has it changed in modern times? I conclude with a cautionary tale from early U.S. history.   Origin of…

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History of Erasing Unpopular Leaders: Damnatio Memoriae

HeadlessNero

HISTORY OF ERASING UNPOPULAR LEADERS: DAMNATIO MEMORIAE During the early Roman Empire two millennia ago, an emperor might be deified after he died if he was popular and good. (Think: the Divine Augustus.) Alternatively, if he was unpopular and wicked, he was “erased” from society’s memory. The Latin term Damnatio Memoriae means the condemnation of…

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History of the Midnight Justices: Who Appoints the Supreme Court?

Midnight Justices

HISTORY OF THE MIDNIGHT JUSTICES: WHO APPOINTS THE SUPREME COURT In the news, you’ve seen the topic of “court-packing” related to the U.S. Supreme Court. But is this a new thing, and what does it mean? Court-packing involves one branch of the government proposing to change the courts’ structure by either expanding or decreasing the…

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History of Military Stalemates: Why We Have Proxy Wars

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History of Military Stalemates: Why We Have Proxy Wars In recent weeks, the U.S. Congress has been considering bills for funding military support in Israel, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific (code for Taiwan). What is the historical perspective behind funding wars that are not “directly” in a country or on its borders? Why do nations use proxy…

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History of Woman Suffrage Procession: March 3, 1913

Woman Suffrage Procession

History of Woman Suffrage: March 3, 1913 On March 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as President of the United States, thousands of women marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., as part of the Woman Suffrage Procession. This was done: “in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of…

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History of Super Tuesday: Why Is It Significant?

supertuesday

HISTORY OF SUPER TUESDAY What is Super Tuesday, why is it called that, and what will it determine? Super Tuesday is the US presidential primary election day on March 5 (this year), when the largest number of states in the country will have their primaries. This is significant this year, as these primaries will determine…

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