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Presidential Primary Sources Project - 2014

2014 - Leadership in a Time of Crisis

Introduction information about the theme for the year 2014

PPSP 2014 Highlights



Jimmy Carter and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Plains, GA
Monday, December 2, 2013

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter doubled the size of the National Park System when he signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). ANILCA, often called the most significant land conservation measure in the history of our nation, protected more than 100 million acres of federal lands in Alaska. It doubled the size of the country's national park and refuge system and tripled the amount of land designated as wilderness. ANILCA expanded the National Park System by more than 43 million acres, created 10 new national parks and increased the acreage of three existing parks.

A Tailor President Mends the Nation: Andrew Jackson and the United States Constitution

Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Greeneville, TN
Thursday, March 6, 2014

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln at the end of the Civil War placed Andrew Johnson in a delicate situation of restoring the American government. Opposed by many in Congress, Andrew Johnson was determined to stay true to his strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Join Park Rangers at Andrew Johnson National Historic Site as they illustrate the challenges of Andrew Johnson's presidency, while reflecting on how his early life shaped his character on the path to becoming the 17th President. 


The Truman Doctrine

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, Independence, MO
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Addressing a joint session of Congress on March 12, 1947, President Harry S. Truman asked for $400 million in military and economic assistance for Greece and Turkey and established a doctrine, aptly characterized the Truman Doctrine, which would guide U.S. diplomacy for the next forty years. President Truman declared, "It must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." The sanction of aid to Greece and Turkey by a Republican Congress indicated the beginning of a long and enduring bipartisan cold war foreign policy. The Truman Doctrine has raised profound questions from historians regarding its origins, long-term consequences, and the relationship between domestic and foreign policy. However, one thing is for certain- the Truman Doctrine signaled America's post war embrace of global leadership and ended its longstanding policy of isolationism. This program will look at the primary source materials - maps, photographs, correspondence, reports, oral histories - and students will examine them to determine leadership traits in a time of global crisis. 


Theodore Roosevelt: Making Peace and War

Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University, Dickinson, ND
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Leadership is often demonstrated in times of crisis, particularly times of war. Yet the United States did not engage in war during Theodore Roosevelt's presidency. On the contrary, he deftly negotiated peace between Russia and Japan, settling a long and grueling conflict between the two nations. Later, when the world was caught up in war, Roosevelt strenuously called for the United States to enter the conflict. In this session, students will explore the exercise of leadership in these two circumstances. Primary sources will include speeches, letters, photographs, and perhaps video.


Herbert Hoover: Master of Emergencies

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum and Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A successful and world-renowned mining engineer, Herbert Hoover's reputation for integrity, efficiency, and problem-solving led him to a life of public service. Hoover was a leader of worldwide humanitarian organizations and he worked for three presidents before being elected president in 1928. This presentation will demonstrate Hoover’s effectiveness as a leader throughout the course of his life leading up to the election of 1928. His strong leadership qualities, which earned him the nickname “the master of emergencies,” made him “the most popular man in the world,” and secured the presidency in 1928 by the largest landslide in presidential election history. This program will use illustrative primary sources including photographs, correspondence, documents, and historic structures. 


Eisenhower and Khrushchev at Gettysburg

The Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg, PA
Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The presentation focuses on Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to America in 1959, specifically President Eisenhower’s invitation to Khrushchev to meet with him at Camp David and his Gettysburg farm to hopefully iron out some of their Cold War differences and relieve Cold War tension. The visit was potentially one of the most important world events of the 1950s in that it could have brought about a permanent thaw in the Cold War 30 years before the Cold War would ultimately come to an end.