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What Obama has in common with these Presidents

Last updated on: November 7, 2012 19:14 IST

What Obama has in common with these Presidents

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Thirteen other American Presidents have won a second term; Frankin D Roosevelt served for 12 years!

George Washington
1789-1797

The only President to have been elected without any official endorsement by a political party.

He is consistently rated as one of America's best Presidents. His face is on every $1 bill and quarter (25 cents).

Regarded as the 'Father of the Country,' he is a hero of the American Revolutionary War and presided over the drafting of the US Constitution.

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Image: George Washington, the first President of the United States of America
Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Jefferson's grandson was the first baby to be born in the White House

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Thomas Jefferson
1801-1809
Democratic-Republican Party, an ancestor of both the Republican and Democratic Parties

The third President of the United States was just 33 when he co-authored America's Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson spoke five languages fluently and was interested in science, invention, architecture, religion and philosophy. He founded the University of Virginia and perhaps also invented the swivel chair.

Jefferson's grandson was the first baby to be born in the White House.

Jefferson died the same day as his great rival, John Adams, July 4, 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

He owned hundreds of slaves, yet was opposed to the continuation of slavery. Historians are in disagreement with how much Jefferson was committed to the anti-slavery cause.

When President Bill Clinton was once asked if the dinner for Nobel Laureates he had hosted at the White House was the largest gathering of genuises at the presidential home, he quipped, 'No, that was when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.'

Bill Clinton's middle name is Jefferson.

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Image: President Thomas Jefferson, courtesy the National Portrait Gallery
Photographs: Reuters

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The only President to have had two vice-presidents die while in office

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James Madison
1809 to 1817
Democratic-Republican Party

Madison, Thomas Jefferson's secretary of state, supervised the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the new nation's size.

After the failure of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against Great Britain, Madison led America into the War of 1812 against the British Empire.

The young nation was not prepared to fight; its forces took a severe trouncing. The British entered Washington and set fire to the White House and the Capitol.

Madison is the only President to have had two vice-presidents die while in office.

New York's famed Madison Avenue, once home to the world's top advertising agencies, was named after James Madison as is also the city's famed sporting destination, Madison Square Garden.

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Image: President James Madison, courtesy the National Portrait Gallery
Photographs: Reuters

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The third President to die on Independence Day

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James Monroe
1817-1825
Democratic-Republican Party

When he was elected in 1816, the White House was still under repair after being burned down in the War of 1812, so he decided to take a tour of the country until the White House was done. He toured the country for 15 weeks.

He was the last of the first four Presidents who hailed from Virginia and the third President to die on Independence Day.

He received the Missouri Compromise which admitted Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave state, thus barring slavery north and west of Missouri forever.

The Monroe Doctrine is a policy of the United States introduced on December 2, 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonise land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring US intervention.

Monroe died on July 4, 1831 and he was buried in New York City. Twenty-seven years later, in 1858, his body was moved to Richmond, Virginia, where he was re-buried in the Hollywood cemetery.

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Image: President James Monroe
Photographs: Reuters

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The first presidential assassination attempt

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Andrew Jackson
1829-1837
Democratic Party

The first President who did not come from the aristocracy and did not receive consistent education. In his teens he read law for about two years, and became a notable lawyer in Tennessee.

Nicknamed 'Old Hickory' because of his toughness, he engaged in brawls, and in a duel killed a man who cast an unjustified slur on his wife Rachel. He was the first President to marry a divorcee.

A major general in the War of 1812, Jackson became a national hero when he defeated the British at New Orleans.

More than any of his predecessors, Andrew Jackson was elected by popular vote; as President he sought to act as the direct representative of the common man.

His supporters formed the Democratic Party. Sixteen members of the Democratic Party have since served as President, include number '44', Barack Hussain Obama.

Jackson has been criticised for his support for slavery and for his role in the removal of American Indians. This act forced American Indians to leave their home and travel west. Most Indians died on their journey and the move was called the 'Trail of Tears.'

What is believed to be the first presidential assassination attack was against General Jackson. The President survived and as legend has it, is known to have attacked one of his attackers with his cane.

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Image: President Andrew Jackson
Photographs: Reuters

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The man who stabilised America after the Civil War

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Ulysses S Grant
1869-1877
Republican Party

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Grant worked in his father's leather shop. He was appointed to command an unruly volunteer regiment whom he beat into shape.

At Shiloh, Grant fought one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War and did not fare too well. President Abraham Lincoln put his foot down against many demands for his removal, saying, 'I can't spare this man -- he fights.'

He went on to become General-in-Chief and was the symbol of triumph during the Civil War, and gained fame for defeating the brilliant Confederate commander Robert E Lee.

On April 14, only five days after Grant's victory over Lee, President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Grant's two consecutive terms as President stabilised America after the Civil War.

After retiring from the Presidency, Grant joined a financial firm which went bankrupt. He also suffered from throat cancer and started working on his memoirs to repay off his debts.

Soon after completing the last page, he died in 1885.

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Image: President Ulysses S Grant
Photographs: Reuters

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The first President to be married in the White House

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Grover Cleveland
1893-1897; 1885-1889
Democratic Party

Cleveland was the first President to serve two nonconsecutive times. He was also the first President to be married in the White House.

He was the first Democrat elected after the Civil War.

A bachelor when he became President, Cleveland was uncomfortable with all the comforts of the White House.

'I must go to dinner,' he wrote to a friend according to the White House Web site -- 'but I wish it was to eat a pickled herring, Swiss cheese and a chop at Louis' instead of the French stuff I shall find.'

In June 1886 Cleveland married a 21-year-old, who was 28 years younger than him. His wife Frances Cleveland remains the youngest First Lady.

While dealing with railroad strikers in Chicago in his second term, Cleveland sent in federal troops. 'If it takes the entire army and navy of the United States to deliver a post card in Chicago,' he thundered, quotes the White House Web site, 'that card will be delivered.'

He was the only Democrat elected to the American presidency in the era of Republican political domination that lasted from 1861 to 1913.

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Image: Grover Cleveland
Photographs: The National Archive

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A Nobel Laureate and Peacemaker

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Woodrow Wilson
1913-1921
Democratic Party

The second President to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace. The others include Theodore Roosevelt (1905); Jimmy Carter (2002) and Barack Obama (2009).

Wilson was President during World War I. He had a degree from Princeton and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He had served as a football coach and president of Princeton University.

After US neutrality was challenged in 1917 by the Germans, Wilson asked the United States Congress to declare war. In 1919, he went to Paris to create the League of Nations aimed at establishing world peace, the precursor to the United Nations.

Wilson holds the record of all Presidents for the most rounds of golf, almost one round every other day. During the winter, the Secret Service would paint golf balls with black paint so that he could hit them around in the snow on the White House lawns.

Wilson suffered a debilitating stroke which left him paralysed while he was in office. He is buried in Washington, DC.

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Image: President Woodrow Wilson
Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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The President who saw 4 terms

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Franklin D Roosevelt
Democratic Party
1933-1945

FDR was President for 12 years and the only one to serve more than two terms.

His fifth cousin was Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican President.

FDR steered America through the Great Depression and the Second World War.

After graduating from Harvard and the Columbia Law School, this aristocrat was stricken down with polio aged 39. He demonstrated remarkable courage in overcoming his disability. He worked closely with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin in leading the Allies against Germany and Japan in World War II, but died just as victory was in sight.

Less than a month after his death, on May 8, the war ended. President Harry S Truman dedicated Victory Day to FDR's memory, and kept the flags across the US at half-staff for the reminder of the 30-day mourning period.

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Image: Franklin Delano Roosevelt at his desk
Photographs: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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The Five-star General President

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Dwight David Eisenhower
1953-1961
Republican

General Dwight 'Ike' Eisenhower was the supreme commander of the victorious forces during World War II.

He commanded the Allied Forces landing on D-Day 1944 in Normandy.

After the war he became President of Columbia University and later ran for President in 1952.

'I like Ike' was a popular campaign slogan and he won a sweeping victory.

Eisenhower obtained a truce in the Korean war and worked incessantly during his two terms to ease the tensions of the Cold War.

He suffered a heart attack during his first term and was in hospital for seven weeks. A few months later, he was elected for a second term.

He moved to his farm Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, after the presidency.

Eisenhower had resigned his permanent commission as general before being elected President. Upon completion of his presidential term, his commission was reactivated by the United States Congress and he was again commissioned a five-star general in the United States Army.

With the exception of George Washington, Eisenhower is the only President with military service to re-enter the armed forces after leaving the presidency.

Richard Milhous Nixon, Ike's vice-president, was also elected for two terms as President, first in 1968 and then in 1972.

However, the Watergate scandal saw Nixon resign in August 1974.

Gerald Ford, Nixon's vice-president, is the only American to become President without being elected to office; he became Veep after Spiro Agnew, Nixon's first Veep, resigned following a financial controversy.

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Image: President Dwight D Eisenhower
Photographs: Central Press/Getty Images

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Actor and President

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Ronald Reagan
1981-1989
Republican Party

At 69, Reagan was the oldest President-elect.

He had acted in 50 films, served in World War II and was governor of California before becoming President.

He was married twice; both his wives were actresses.

69 days after he took office, he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty. His grace and wit in its aftermath caused his popularity to soar.

'Please tell me you're all Republicans' was what he told the surgeons about to operate on him after the assassination attempt.

He sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he negotiated a treaty that would eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

Speaking at the Berlin Wall in June 1987, Reagan said: 'General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalisation, come here to this gate! Mr Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!'

Two years later, the Berlin Wall was torn down and the Cold War came to an end.

At the end of his administration, the US enjoyed its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity.

In 1994, Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and died ten years later aged 93.

He became the tenth President to lie in state; in 34 hours, 104,684 people had filed past the coffin.

His contemporaries former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher gave a televised eulogy and Gorbachev was in attendance at the funeral.

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Image: President Ronald Reagan
Photographs: Michael Evans/The White House/Getty Images

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He was the first person Obama called after winning this time

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Bill Clinton
1993-2001
Democratic Party

The first Democratic President since Franklin D Roosevelt to win a second term.

During his tenure, the US enjoyed peace and economic well being more than at any time in its history.

As a delegate to Boys Nation while in high school, he met President John F Kennedy in the White House Rose Garden. The encounter spurred him to enter a life of public service.

A Rhodes Scholar Clinton studied at Oxford for two years and then joined the Yale Law School where he met his future wife, Hillary Rodham.

He served two terms as governor of Arkansas and is the third youngest President of the United States.

During his Presidency there were bloody conflicts in Rwanda, Somalia and civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The US also bombed Iraq when Saddam Hussein stopped United Nations inspections for evidence of nuclear weapons.

Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in the scandal involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky, but was acquitted by the US Senate and served his term in office.

President Andrew Johnson was the other President who was impeached, but he too was not convicted by the Senate.

President Clinton is perhaps the most active politician in the US and played a leading role in Barack Obama's re-election by campaigning tirelessly in the weeks leading up to Election Day. No wonder Obama called him first, soon after Mitt Romney conceded defeat on Tuesday night.

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Image: President Bill Clinton
Photographs: Brian Snyder/Reuters

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Only the second time a President's son has become President

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George W Bush
2001-2009
Republican Party

When George W Bush became President, it was only the second time that a President's son had become President.

John Quincy Adams, the sixth President, was the son of John Adams, the second President.

Eight months after he took office, the September 11 terror attacks shook America and the world. Bush announced the War on Terror, an international military campaign which included wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He defeated Democratic Senator John Kerry to win an unexpected second term; unexpected because he was deeply unpopular at home and abroad.

After the 9/11 attacks, his father George H W Bush, who served only one term as President, said that his son 'faced the greatest challenge of any President since Abraham Lincoln.'

George W Bush left the White House and retire from politics. To his credit, he has refused to comment on his successor, saying the President's job is tough and difficult as it is, without a President's predecessors passing judgment on him.

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Image: President George W Bush at an event in Washington DC.
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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In Obama people see their own stories

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Barack Obama
Democratic Party
2008 to the present

'Thank you for believing all the way -- to every hill, to every valley. You lifted me up the whole day, and I will always be grateful,' Barack Obama said on Tuesdaty night after winning a second term as President of the United States.

The first African-American President, his story is not just an American story, but a story that captured the imagination of the entire world. A middle class man who made it to the highest office of the land by his hard work, education and merit.

In Obama people see their own stories.

A Harvard Law School graduate and US Senator from Illinois, Obama has enthralled his listeners with the power of his words. He announced the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and his tenure saw the killing of Osama bin Laden.

He is the first President to publically support same sex marriages.


Image: President Barack Obama gives his victory speech in Chicago
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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