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Articles on US presidents

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A transcript from the Constitutional Convention records the official report creating the Electoral College. U.S. National Archives

Who invented the Electoral College?

Three approaches were debated during the Constitutional Convention -- election by Congress, selection by state legislatures and a popular election, though that was restricted to white landowning men.
Donald Trump’s current term as president began on Jan. 20, 2017. It will end on Jan. 20, 2021, with the start of a new term – for him, or someone else. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The president’s term ends at noon on Jan. 20

The framers of the Constitution were very clear that presidential terms have time limits. Not four years and a day. Not three years and 364 days. Four years.
A crowd greets Sen. John F. Kennedy at Logan Airport in Boston on July 17, 1960, after he became the Democratic nominee for president. John M. Hurley/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Presidential campaigns take flight in the age of the coronavirus

Though air travel has boosted presidential campaigns for decades, the 2020 pandemic has underlined the importance of aircraft as the quickest and safest way to campaign.
Rush Limbaugh reacts as President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

What Trump’s picks for the Presidential Medal of Freedom – like Rush Limbaugh and Antonin Scalia – say about him

Researchers have analyzed data from the last 50 years of medals to learn what presidents consider important and what legacy they hope to leave behind.
President Harry S Truman established the initial version of the National Intelligence Council. AP Photo

An invisible government agency produces crucial national security intelligence, but is anyone listening?

The National Intelligence Council works inside government but is little understood outside. Yet it has helped respond to almost all the major foreign policy challenges of the last 40 years.
A television set turned on in the West Wing of the White House. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A brief history of presidential lethargy

Calvin Coolidge, during one stretch of his presidency, was getting 15 hours of shut-eye each day, while William Howard Taft was known for nodding off during public events.
Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to seven people, including former NFL quarterback Roger Staubach. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

What Trump’s picks for the Presidential Medal of Freedom say about him

Researchers have analyzed data from the last 50 years of medals to learn what presidents consider important and what legacy they hope to leave behind.
John F. Kennedy’s assassination shocked the world in the 1960s and arguably played a part in the rise of Donald Trump today. Abbie Rowe/AAP

World politics explainer: the assassination of John F. Kennedy

The reverberations of JFK's assassination can still be felt to this day in the paranoid and racialised politics of the American right

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