Highlighted Site of the Week – The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden - State and Federal Communications

June 9, 2011  •  

Highlighted Site of the Week – The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden

For this week’s Highlighted Site of the Week, we visit the online exhibit for “The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden” at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

The museum’s website describes the actual “in-real-life” exhibit with these words: “This exhibition explores the personal, public, ceremonial and executive actions of the 43 men who have had a huge impact on the course of history in the past 200 years. More than 900 objects, including national treasures from the Smithsonian’s vast presidential collections, bring to life the role of the presidency in American culture.”

Fascinating Facts – Trivia abounds on The American Presidency site. Did you know Rutherford B. Hayes’ (1877-1881)wife Lucy was the first president’s wife to be called “first lady?” Did you know John Tyler (1841-1845) was the first president to use “Hail to the Chief” at official and diplomatic occasions to mark the chief executive’s arrival?

Warren G. Harding's silk pajamas and Grace Coolidge's dress
Warren G. Harding's silk pajamas and Grace Coolidge's dress

Life and Death in the White House – With the online exhibit, you can have fun exploring pictures of many of the historic items, like the hat President Lincoln was wearing the night he was shot. You’ll also find lighthearted items like President Warren G. Harding’s silk pajamas and the red “Flapper” evening dress worn by First Lady Grace Coolidge.

Communicating the Presidency – The American Presidency shows us the ways the office of the presidency communicated with the people before Facebook and Twitter – from horseback to telegraph, newspaper, radio, and television.

This site will even help you plan a visit to the actual museum.

Lincoln's hat
Lincoln's hat

Treasures in The American Presidency include campaign memorabilia; a list of the military service of the presidents, a long list of presidential biographies, and a little game called “All the President’s Children,” where you must match the picture of a president’s child with the correct description.

They have done a nice job with this exhibit.

Have a terrific weekend everyone!

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