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Presidential History

Once every four years, Americans enter into a months-long national spectacle — often with bitter battles, high drama, mudslinging, and hilarious blunders. At the end of all of this discourse, we ultimately entrust the leadership of our country to the victor. Although, the election of George Washington as the country's first president was a foregone conclusion, the campaigns to follow were usually anything but. This Special Collection provides a guide to those individuals elected to lead our country, as well as a look at how the Presidential campaign has evolved in the last 200 years. As we observe Inauguration Day 2013, this is a good time to immerse yourself in some presidential history.

Reference Books

America at the polls. [Vol 2]: a handbook of American presidential election statistics by [compiled by] Alice V. McGillivray, Richard M. Scammon, Rhodes Cook

The American presidents by editor, first edition, Frank N. Magill ; associate editor, first edition, John L. Loos ; editor, revised edition, Tracy Irons-Georges

Guide to U.S. elections

Encyclopedia of presidential campaigns, slogans, issues, and platforms by Robert North Roberts and Scott John Hammond

Facts about the presidents: a compilation of biographical and historical information: 8th edition by Joseph Nathan Kane ; Janet Podell

Guide to the presidency: 4th edition by Michael Nelson, editor

National party conventions, 1831-2004

Portraits of the presidents: the National Portrait Gallery by Frederick S. Voss

Presidential elections, 1789-2008

The presidents, first ladies, and vice presidents: White House biographies, 1789-2009 by Deborah Kalb, Daniel C. Diller, and Stephen L. Robertson

Speeches of the American presidents by edited by Janet Podell, Steven Anzovin

U.S. presidential candidates and the elections: a biographical and historical guide by James T. Havel


The American Presidents series — Each volume in this series published by Times Books offers an incisive, biographical essay that focuses on the subject's presidency, but also gives a portrait of his life, character and career. Presidential historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. serves as general series editor. For histories more focused on specific presidential administrations, the American Presidency series from the University Press of Kansas is a great place to start. For one prominent historian's evaluation of our chief executives Where they stand: the American presidents in the eyes of voters and historians  by Robert W. Merry is a fascinating read.

Biography DVDs

The American Experience: Television's longest-running history series, as seen on PBS.

Abraham and Mary Lincoln [videodisc]: a house divided by written by David Grubin and Geoffrey C. Ward ; produced and directed by David Grubin ; a David Grubin Productions, Inc. film for American Experience in association with PBS

FDR [videodisc] by WGBH Educational Foundation and David Grubin Productions, Inc. film for American Experience ; written and produced by David Grubin

George Washington [videodisc]: the man who wouldn't be king

Jimmy Carter [videodisc] by PBS Home Video ; a production of WGBH Boston

The Kennedys [videodisc] by a co-production of WGBH/ Boston and Thames Television, London for American Experience ; produced by Philip Whitehead ... [et al.] ; written by Geoffrey C. Ward ... [et al.]

LBJ [videodisc] by a KERA Production in association with David Grubin Productions, Inc. ; written and produced by David Grubin

Reagan [videodisc] by a production of WGBH Boston for the American Experience

TR [videodisc]: the story of Theodore Roosevelt by produced by David Grubin ; written by David Grubin, Geoffrey Ward

Truman [videodisc] by produced, written, and directed by David Grubin; senior producer, Allyson Luchak; editors Geof Bartz and Howard Sharp; music Michael Bacon.

Ulysses S. Grant [videodisc]: warrior, president by a production of WGBH Boston

Woodrow Wilson [videodisc] by a KCET Hollywood Production in association with Red Hill Productions for American Experience ; WGBH Educational Foundation

Clinton [videodisc] by An Ark Media film for American Experience ; produced by Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance ; written and directed Barak Goodman

Additional video biographies come from sources such as ABC News, the A&E Network, plus the PBS series, Frontline.

The Clinton years [videorecording] by an ABC News Nightline production in association with WGBH/Frontline

Lincoln [videodisc] by produced by VIXPIX Films Ltd. for the History Channel; producers Vikram Jayanti, Kinnereth Ellentuck.

Theodore Roosevelt [videodisc]: Roughrider to Rushmore by produced by Greystone Communications, Inc. for A & E Network

Thomas Jefferson [videodisc] by a Florentine Films production ; a film by Ken Burns ; produced by Ken Burns [and] Camilla Rockwell ; written by Geoffrey C. Ward ; produced in association with WETA-TV, Washington ; narrated by Ossie Davis

FDR, a presidency revealed [videodisc] by produced by Team Productions, LLC for the History Channel ; A & E Television Networks — This exploration of the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt focuses on his unprecedented three terms as president, which saw him rule over many tumultuous events in American history. Orinally seen on The History Channel.

Collective Biographies

The American Heritage illustrated history of the presidents by Michael Beschloss, general editor — Portraits of the first 42 presidents by some of America's most distinguished scholars.

The American president by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, Peter W. Kunhardt ; foreword by Stephen Skowronek ; introduction by Richard E. Neustadt — The companion volume to the ten-part PBS series explores the lives of America's presidents, from Washington to Clinton.

The complete idiot's guide to the American presidents by Patrick Sauer — Details the career path, presidential policies, key events, trivial facts and historical impact of each president from George Washington to Bill Clinton.

Presidents: every question answered: everything you could possibly want to know about the nation's chief executives by Carter Smith; introduction by Allen Weinstein — A comprehensive overview of the life and administration of every president of the United States, from Washington to Bush. Complemented by 600 full-color and black-and-white illustrations.

The Democrats [videodisc] by a David Grubin Productions, Inc. film for the American Experience ; WGBH, Boston — From The American Experience series. Covers Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Narrated by David McCullough.

Great speeches of the 20th century. Volume one, Presidential addresses [sound recording] — This collection contains some of the most well-known speeches of the 20th century, including the inaugural addresses of FDR, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter.

The greatest speeches of all-time [videodisc] — Features the speeches of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan in original footage.

The greatest speeches of all-time. Vol II [videodisc] — Features the speeches of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and William Jefferson Clinton in original footage.

The Presidents [videodisc]: the lives and legacies of the 43 leaders of the United States by History Channel ; A &E Television Networks ; Resolution Productions — Based on the book, To the Best of My Ability, edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson.

The Republicans [videodisc] by a production of WGBH Boston for the American experience — From The American Experience series. Covers Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Narrated by David McCullough.

The speeches collection [videodisc]: volume 1 — The speeches of John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies — The selected images include at least one likeness of each of the first 41 presidents and most of the first ladies.

Character Above All: Presidential Links — Links to Presidential speeches, documents and official libraries.

Portraits of the Presidents from the National Portrait Gallery — More than two centuries' worth of presidential portraiture.

POTUS: Presidents of the United States — Background information, election results, cabinet members, notable events and some points of interest on each of the presidents. Links to biographies, historical documents, audio and video files, and other presidential sites are also included.

Presidential Families

All the presidents' children: triumph and tragedy in the lives of America's first families by Doug Wead — From Abigail "Nabby" Adams to John F. Kennedy, Jr., the children of America's presidents have both suffered and triumphed under the watchful eyes of their powerful fathers and the glare of the ever-changing public. Using never-before-published letters and personal accounts from presidential children, the author provides an entertaining look at a unique aspect of American history.

America's first families: an inside view of 200 years of private life in the White House by Carl Sferrazza Anthony — A richly illustrated, anecdotal history describing the everyday lives of America's presidential families, from John and Abigail Adams to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Includes a look at the various celebrations held at the White House - from weddings to Halloween parties.

First families: the impact of the White House on their lives by Bonnie Angelo — Provides an intimate glimpse into the daily lives of extended presidential families. Various chapters center on entering and exiting the White House, growing up in the public eye, dealing with the media, entertaining on a grand scale, conducting a courtship or a love affair in a fishbowl, enduring family trials and tragedies, and suffering the slings and arrows of public and private contempt.

First fathers: the men who inspired our Presidents by Harold I. Gullan — An entertaining account of 44 distinct men, revealing how they inspired, motivated and influenced sons who ultimately ascended to the presidency.

First mothers: the women who shaped the presidents by Bonnie Angelo — An in-depth look at the special mother-son relationships that influenced Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.

Presidential pets by Niall Kelly ; editor, Constance Herndon — A look at the pets of first families throughout American history, from John Quincy Adams' alligator to Richard Nixon's cocker spaniel, Checkers, to George and Barbara Bush's dog, Millie.

The raising of a president: the mothers and fathers of our nation's leaders by Doug Wead — This study of the parents of each American president draws on the author's research as well as the expertise of five psychologists to shed insight into presidential attitudes and actions by examining the lives of their parents.

The White House

An invitation to the White House: at home with history by Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Kennedy White House: family life and pictures, 1961- 1963 by Carl Sferrazza Anthony

The President's house: a first daughter shares the history and secrets of the world's most famous home by Margaret Truman

Real life at the White House: two hundred years of daily life at America's most famous residence by John Whitcomb and Claire Whitcomb

Campaign History

Men who lost the presidency: profiles of the 29 men who lost elections to be president of the United States by Alva C. Goldberg — Profiles of the losing presidential candidates, including Horace Greeley, William Jennings Bryan, Thomas Dewey and George McGovern.

The Living Room Candidate — Complete full-length TV ads from both Democrats and Republicans for every presidential campaign from 1952 to the present. Includes many of the ads that have attained iconic status over the years, such as the infamous "Daisy Girl" for President Johnson. The site is sponsored by the American Museum of the Moving Image.

Campaign Songs

Hail to the chief! [sound recording]: American political marches, songs & dirges of the 1800s by The Chestnut Brass Company & friends — Includes performances of such tunes as "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," "Fillmore the Wise" and "Hurrah for Hayes and Honest Ways."

Presidential campaign songs, 1789-1996 [sound recording] — Renditions of presidential campaign songs from Washington to Clinton.


The Great debates [videodisc] by History Channel Network Productions — News footage of the debates as originally broadcast during September 1960, with commentary based on historical hindsight.

The History of Televised Presidential Debates — Includes everything from video clips, photos and headlines, to commentary, essays and interviews, from the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Presidential Debate History — A comprehensive history of the Presidential debates, beginning in 1960, with a campaign-by-campaign analysis. Includes video.

Election History

The choice that the electorate makes, and the way they make it, reveal much about what America is at that time, as well as what they want America to be. Several elections in our country's history have been significant turning points.

Adams vs. Jefferson: the tumultuous election of 1800 by John Ferling — The election of 1800 followed a brutal campaign that climaxed in a deadlock in the Electoral College, and led to a crisis in which the young republic teetered on the edge of collapse. This is a gripping account of a true turning point in American history - a dramatic struggle between two parties with profoundly different visions of how the nation should be governed.

America afire: Jefferson, Adams, and the revolutionary election of 1800 by Bernard A. Weisberger — Another look at this historic election describes one of the most mud slinging and divisive elections in American history: Jefferson versus Adams, two old friends pitted against each other for the highest office in the land.

Dark horse: the surprise election and political murder of President James A. Garfield by Kenneth D. Ackerman — The fascinating story of Garfield's unanticipated nomination as Republican presidential candidate in 1880 (accomplished only after the longest-ever Republican nominating process of 36 convention ballots), his election by a whisker, the travails of his few months in office, and his assassination after only six months as President.

The deadly bet: LBJ, Vietnam, and the 1968 election by Walter LaFeber — The "deadly bet" that Lyndon Johnson made and lost was that he could engage in a protracted overseas war and still accomplish his domestic agenda. In this exploration of the turbulent election of 1968 and its significance in the larger context of American history, the author looks through the eyes of the year's most important players - including Robert F. Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy, Martin Luther King, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, George Wallace, Nguyen Van Thieu and Lyndon Johnson - and illustrates the importance of domestic upheaval on the election.

Fraud of the century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the stolen election of 1876 by Roy Morris, Jr — In 1876, New York Democrat Samuel Tilden almost certainly won the popular vote over Ohio Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. But contested returns in Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, as well as a legal issue in Oregon, eventually led to a 15-member congressional commission awarding Hayes all 20 contested electoral votes, giving him an improbable one-vote victory in the Electoral College. Morris' account details the stunning sequence of political dirty tricks, including overturning Tilden's nearly 8,000-vote lead in Louisiana, as well as the personalities that conspired to steal the election from Tilden.

Jefferson's second revolution: the election of 1800 and the triumph of republicanism by Susan Dunn — The choices in the 1800 election could not have been starker: Federalist Adams championed the need for a strong central government that would forge an image of honor and national unity. The Republican Jefferson prized the rights of individuals to criticize their government and viewed the Federalist vision as a dangerous slide into monarchy, as well as a reversal of the Revolution's ideals. In this third history of that crucial election, Dunn does a superb job of recounting the campaign, its cast of characters, and the election's bizarre conclusion in Congress.

The making of the president, 1960 by Theodore H. White — A classic work of campaign reporting, detailing the battle for the White House between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.

1968: the election that changed America by Lewis L. Gould — Richard M. Nixon's defeat of Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 presidential election ushered in the Republicans' near-monopoly of the White House for two decades. In this engrossing account, Gould examines the Democratic Party's dog-fight for the nomination, emphasizing Eugene McCarthy's antiwar entrance into the campaign, and the decision of Robert Kennedy to throw his hat into the ring. He also chronicles the "violent spring" and the antiwar movement that propelled it, and explores how the events and issues of the campaign shaped national affairs in the two decades that followed.

1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft & Debs— the election that changed the country by James Chace — The four candidates in 1912 were all men of intellectual substance, able to debate the major question of the day: how to sustain economic growth without widening the gulf between the corporate rich and everyone else. Taft feared that a true crackdown on the mighty trusts that ruled the marketplace would endanger prosperity; Debs wanted to abolish private capital altogether. Running on the Progressive ticket, Theodore Roosevelt favored strict regulation of big business, while Democrat Woodrow Wilson argued that the state should break up monopolies, not just force them to behave responsibly. The author recounts these different viewpoints as well as the drama of the Republicans' bitter nominating convention that forever split the party; Wilson's stunning victory on the 46th ballot at the Democratic convention; Roosevelt's spectacular coast-to-coast whistle-stop electioneering; Debs' electrifying campaign appearances; and Wilson's "accidental election" by less than a majority of the popular vote.

Reelecting Lincoln: the battle for the 1864 presidency by John C. Waugh — This compelling account of Lincoln's campaign for reelection during the Civil War draws on a wealth of primary sources to evoke the drama and uncertainty surrounding the election and demonstrate its significance for the course of American politics.

The Road to the White House: the story of the 1964 election by the staff of the New York Times ; edited by Harold Faber — A fascinating narrative of this critical election year, beginning with Lyndon Johnson's first tragic inauguration aboard Air Force I, to his second on January 20, 1965. Introduction by Tom Wicker.

The selling of the President, 1968 by Joe McGinniss — Examines the repackaging of Richard Nixon by the men--Roger Ailes (now President of FOX News) and Frank Shakespeare (former director of Radio Free Europe)--who first suggested that issues bore voters and that image is what counts.

Chicago 1968 [videorecording] — From the PBS series, American Experience, this documentary explores the chaotic atmosphere of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Interviews with writers, politicians, antiwar activists and historians provide insight into the forces which contributed to the discord inside and outside the convention hall.

The daily show: indecision 2004. Disc 1 [videodisc] by created by Madeleine Smithberg, Lizz Winstead — A hilarious time capsule of the follies and foibles of the 2004 presidential election.

The war room [videodisc] by October Films ; Pinnebaker Associates ; McEttinger Films — This look inside the 1992 presidential race, explores the backstage side of national politics by examining the day-to-day operations of Bill Clinton's campaign staff.

The accidental president: how 413 lawyers, 9 Supreme Court justices, and 5,963,110 (give or take a few) Floridians landed George W. Bush in the White House by David A. Kaplan

Bush v. Gore: the court cases and the commentary by E.J. Dionne Jr. [and] William Kristol, editors


Ask not: the inauguration of John F. Kennedy and the speech that changed America by Thurston Clarke — An analysis of the week leading up to JFK's 1961 inauguration and his famous "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" speech - words that still resonate in our national memory.

The complete book of inaugural addresses of the Presidents of the United States: from George Washington to George W. Bush: 1789 to 2001 by edited, with historical events, by Jon Russell — As well as the text of each Inaugural Address, this volume includes cultural events that occurred during each president's era, such as popular literature, music, movies, and the latest technological discoveries.

Lincoln's greatest speech: the second inaugural by Ronald C. White Jr — The author offers a close reading of the speech Abraham Lincoln gave in 1865 at his second inauguration, declaring it the man's finest and most important effort. The speech contains one of Lincoln's best-known lines ("With malice toward none; with charity for all"), which the author admires as "a timeless promise of reconciliation."

Presidential inaugurations by Paul F. Boller, Jr — Examines many of the human interest stories behind the inaugural ceremony, including how the President-elect got to Washington, DC, the often inclement weather, the inaugural addresses (most of which are quite forgettable), the swearing-in ceremony, the evolution of the parade and balls, and a host of other interesting aspects of this national spectacle.

I Do Solemnly Swear"¦ Presidential Inaugurations — A collection of approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files from each of the 54 inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to George W. Bush's inauguration of 2001.

Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States — A searchable database containing every Inaugural Address.

Feature Films & TV Programs

The President has been a frequent character in motion pictures - both in fact and in fiction. Film annotations are courtesy of

All the president's men [videodisc] by Warner Bros. and Wildwood Enterprises, Inc. ; a Robert Redford-Alan J. Pakula film — While researching a story about a botched 1972 burglary of Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex, green Washington Post reporters/rivals Woodward and Bernstein stumble on a possible connection between the burglars and a White House staffer. Based on Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's best-selling account of their Watergate investigation. Starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.

The American president [videodisc] by Castle Rock Entertainment and Universal Pictures present a Wildwood Enterprises, Inc. production ; executive producers, Charles Newirth, Jeffrey Stott ; directed, produced by Rob Reiner ; written by Aaron Sorkin — President Andrew Shepherd, an unabashedly liberal Democrat, is just gearing up for re-election when he meets an attractive and sharp environmental lobbyist. The two fall in love and the President must soon deal with the political repercussions. Starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening.

Being there [videodisc] by Warner Bros ; produced by Andrew Braunsberg ; directed by Hal Ashby ; screenplay by Jerzy Kosinski — Chance - a simple-minded illiterate who has learned everything he knows by watching television - is embraced by Washington D.C.'s political elite and hailed as its newest pundit. He rises to the top of Washington society, where his simplistic responses to the most difficult questions usually are highly prized by the town's movers and shakers - who seriously consider running Chance as a presidential candidate. Based on the book by Jerzy Kosinski. Starring Peter Sellers.

The crossing [videodisc] by Arts & Entertainment Network ; Chris/Rose Productions ; Columbia TriStar Television — Adapted by screenwriter Howard Fast from his own fact-based novel, this historical drama tells the story of one of the most unexpected triumphs of the American Revolutionary War - future president George Washington's surprise attack against the British soldiers on Christmas Day, hinging on the crossing of the freezing Delaware River in the middle of a storm. Starring Jeff Daniels and Roger Rees.

Dave [videodisc] by Warner Bros — A presidential look-alike is recruited by the Secret Service to impersonate the ailing president until he regains his health. One of the men behind this scheme, Bob Alexander, hopes to use the president's absence to promote his own political agenda, but after a few weeks "in office," Dave decides it's time to promote some changes of his own that will help increase employment and keep homeless shelters open. Starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver.

Dr. Strangelove, or, How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb [videodisc] by Columbia Pictures — In 1964, with the Cuban Missile Crisis fresh in viewers' minds, the Cold War at its frostiest, and the hydrogen bomb relatively new and frightening, director Stanley Kubrick dared to make a film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button — and played the situation for laughs. Peter Sellers plays three roles - Air Force Capt. Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and the title character. Widely regarded as the screen's greatest satire, a film that superbly encapsulates the fear and paranoia of the Cold War. Also stars Slim Pickens and George C. Scott.

Eleanor & Franklin [videodisc]: the early years — Traces the first four decades of the lives of cousins Franklin and Eleanor, beginning with their marriage in 1905. The winner of 11 Emmy Awards, this made-for-TV movie stars Edward Herrmann as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Jane Alexander as Eleanor Roosevelt. Followed by Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (DVD), which covered FDR's 12-year presidency.

Fail-safe [videodisc] by Columbia — A computer malfunction sets off the events which could result in a nuclear war when a bomber is set to destroy Moscow and the President has to destroy New York in retaliation. Based on the book (Fail-Safe) by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. Starring Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau.

Kennedy [videodisc] by Alan Landsburg Productions ; Central Independent Television — A television mini-series chronicling John F. Kennedy's presidency from election night in 1960 to his assassination in 1963. Starring Martin Sheen and Blair Brown.

The Manchurian candidate [videodisc] by United Artists ; M.C. Productions — A Korean war hero is and is used as a tool in a political assassination plot to be triggered by his domineering mother - who is married to the bone-headed candidate for vice president. Brilliantly paranoid, this film is a chilling commentary on political power, international conspiracy and the gullibility of the American people. Starring Laurence Harvey, Frank Sinatra and a truly frightening Angela Lansbury. Based on the book (The Manchurian Candidate) by Richard Condon.

Nixon [videodisc] by Hollywood Pictures ; Andrew G. Vajna presents an Illusion Entertainmnet Group/Cinergi production ; an Oliver Stone film — Oliver Stone directs this epic-length biography of the 37th President of the U.S., who was re-elected by a landslide in 1972, only to resign in disgrace two years later. The film jumps back and forth between many different periods and events, from Nixon's strict upbringing at the hands of his Quaker mother, through the many peaks and valleys of his political career, to his downfall in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Starring Anthony Hopkins and Joan Allen.

Path to war [videodisc] by HBO Films presents an Avenue Pictures/Edgar J. Scherick Associates, Inc. production, a John Frankenheimer film — Inspired by author Robert A. Caro's massive biography of Lyndon Johnson (The Years of Lyndon Johnson), this film retraces the world-shaking events occurring between LBJ's jubilant inaugural in 1965 and his tired, dispirited decision not to seek another presidential term in 1968 after a tumultuous three years of the war in Vietnam.

Primary colors [videodisc] by Universal Pictures ; Mutual Films ; Icarus Productions — Director Mike Nichols' story of a young campaign strategist's eye-opening experience working on Southern governor Jack Stanton's White House run. Adapted from the 1996 bestseller by "Anonymous" (Joe Klein), who fictionalized Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. Starring John Travolta and Billy Bob Thornton.

State of the union [videodisc] by Liberty Films presents ; as produced on the stage by Leland Hayward — An aircraft tycoon is coerced into seeking the Republican Presidential nomination by a predatory newspaper mogul. Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Starring Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Angela Lansbury.

Sunrise at Campobello [videodisc] by Schary Productions Inc — While in the prime of his life, Franklin Roosevelt is stricken with a debilitating illness that threatens to end his career. Based on the Tony-winning Broadway play, the film portrays how his wife Eleanor helps him regain his strength and become one of America's most influential Presidents. Starring Ralph Bellamy and Greer Garson.

Thirteen days [videodisc] by presented by New Line Cinema in association with Beacon Pictures ; a Roger Donaldson film ; produced by Armyan Bernstein, Peter O. Almond and Kevin Costner ; written by David Self ; directed by Roger Donaldson — Based on the actual events surrounding the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the film takes place during the titular 13 days wherein the U.S. and the Soviet Union nearly engaged in full-scale nuclear war, and President Kennedy must avoid a dire chain of events dictated by some military leaders who would rather take immediate action and invade Cuba. Starring Kevin Costner and Bruce Greenwood. An earlier film dealing with the same events is The Missiles of October (DVD), starring William Devane and Martin Sheen.

Truman [videodisc] by HBO Pictures presents a Spring Creek Production — This award-winning made-for-cable movie tells the story of President Harry S. Truman and his role in the second World War - and his decision to use the atomic bomb on Japan. Based on Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough's book, also titled Truman.

Warm springs [videodisc] by HBO Films — This inspiring true story focuses on one of the least publicized aspects in the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt, America's most-publicized (and longest-serving) president. In 1921, the 39-year-old Roosevelt was permanently paralyzed from the waist down by an attack of polio. Having heard of the therapeutic value of the waters of Warm Springs in rural Georgia, Roosevelt makes a pilgrimage to the area in an effort to cure himself of his affliction. Starring Kenneth Branagh, Cynthia Nixon and Kathy Bates.

The West Wing (Seasons 1-7) — Debuting September 22, 1999, NBC's multi-award-winning The West Wing was America's first truly successful political drama series. The series was largely set during the administration of U.S. president Josiah "Jed" Bartlet (Martin Sheen), a Liberal Democrat (and a devout Catholic) from New Hampshire. Throughout the show's run, the Bartlet administration, like many before it, had as many tribulations as triumphs. Though decidedly left of center in its political viewpoint, the writers used advisors from both parties to ensure a sense of accuracy. Created by Aaron Sorkin. Also starring Stockard Channing, Bradley Whitford, John Spencer, Allsion Janney, Richard Schiff and Rob Lowe.