America’s Presidents is an exhibit that lies at the very heart of the National Portrait Gallery’s mission to tell the American story through individuals who have shaped the country. Explore this site to view the exhibition and conduct research on U.S. presidents.
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith
More than just waging a war of independence, American revolutionaries took a great leap of faith and established a new government based on the sovereignty of the people. Explore this National Museum of American History exhibition to learn about this radical idea, which entrusted the power of the nation not in a monarchy but in its citizens.
American Presidency Lesson Plans
Studying the presidency offers students a new way to explore American history. This package of Smithsonian History Explorer lessons, designed for students in grades 4-6, addresses campaigning, inauguration, the roles of the president, life in the White House and assassination and mourning.
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson offered his own huge book collection as a replacement when British troops burned the Library of Congress? Or that John F. Kennedy was the youngest ever elected president—and the youngest to die in office? In this Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access activity, students can click on portraits to learn something about each president.
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