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Tag: George W. Bush

9/11: An Address to the Nation

This post is part of a series on September 11. As the nation’s record keeper, the National Archives holds many documents related to the events of September 11. In this series, our staff share some of their memories of the day and their thoughts on the records that are part of their holdings.

Elizabeth Lanier, Malisa Lewis, and Jill Zawacki have been archivists at the George W. Bush Presidential Library since January 2010. They are currently processing textual records of the Bush administration.

As children, we recall asking family members questions such as “Where were you when John F. Kennedy was assassinated?” or “What was it like to hear about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?” We never anticipated that one day we would be able to answer a similar question: Where were you on September 11, 2001? Several future George W. Bush Presidential Library staff members were actually in New York City on that day, while others were listening to teachers in high school or college classes. Regardless of our location or age, we all felt a strong emotional response to an attack on our country.

On that Tuesday evening, President George W. Bush addressed the nation on the tragedies of that day and attempted to assuage the fears of citizens who had witnessed the unfolding events unfolding, both in person and on television screens … [ Read all ]

Reverse the (Zero) Curse

When Ronald Reagan survived the attempt on his life on March 30, 1981, and went on to serve two full four-year terms, he broke what some people call “the year-ending-in-zero” curse.

It goes like this: Every President elected in a year ending in zero since 1840 had died in office.

William Henry Harrison, elected in 1840, died after one month in office of pneumonia; he also was our shortest serving President. On his inauguration day, then on March 4, he gave a two-hour speech without hat or topcoat, then rode through the streets of Washington. He was succeeded by John Tyler. (Remember Tippecanoe and Tyler too!)

Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, was assassinated a month into his second term, on April 12, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth. He was succeeded by Andrew Johnson.

James A. Garfield, elected in 1880, was assassinated in 1881 after only 199 days in office, succeeded by Chester A. Arthur. William McKinley, elected in 1896 and reelected in 1900, was mortally wounded in September 1901 and died eight days later, succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt.

Warren G. Harding, elected in 1920, died in 1923 of a heart attack and was succeeded by Calvin Coolidge. Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected to his third term in 1940, died early in his fourth term in April 1945 and was succeeded by Harry S. Truman.

And John … [ Read all ]