The Presidency in Times of Crisis and Disaster: Primary Documents in Context, 1st Edition

  • Brian M. Harward
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1440870896
  • ISBN-13: 9781440870897
  • DDC: 973.09
  • 316 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2019 | Published/Released January 2020
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2019

  • Price:  Sign in for price



Presidents hold the attention of the public like no other political actor. In addition, because of their unique role in the constitutional system, they often take immediate, unilateral action in the face of national emergencies. Exploring key events, crises, and disasters through the lens of presidential responsiveness, this text reveals not only the larger historical context but also the authority of presidents in meeting the "felt necessities of the time," deepening readers' understanding of those touchstone events. Comprehensive in temporal and topical scope, it covers crises and disasters from George Washington through Donald Trump's first two years in office. Important events covered include natural disasters, wars, assassinations, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, economic crises, riots, tragedies, and political scandals. Each event is explored through a primary document that reveals key dimensions of the presidential response, and includes contextual headnotes and essays.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Chronological List of Events.
1: Challenges to Domestic Tranquility.
2: President George Washington Authorizes Military Intervention to Confront the Whiskey Rebellion, 1794.
3: President James Buchanan Alludes to the Dred Scott Case in Inaugural Address, 1857.
4: President Andrew Johnson Vetoes the Second Reconstruction Act, 1867.
5: President Ulysses S. Grant Suspends Writ of Habeas Corpus in Parts of South Carolina, 1871.
6: President Grover Cleveland Takes Action Regarding Violence toward Chinese Immigrants, 1886.
7: President Grover Cleveland Intervenes in Pullman Strike, 1894.
8: President Theodore Roosevelt Remarks on the Importance of Conservation, 1903.
9: President Woodrow Wilson Endorses the Nineteenth Amendment, 1918.
10: President Warren Harding Speaks to the Public about Prohibition, 1923.
11: President Calvin Coolidge Orders Legislation Requiring Documentation from Immigrants, 1926.
12: President Herbert Hoover Comments on the Bonus Army Investigation, 1932.
13: President Franklin D. Roosevelt Discusses the New Deal in Fireside Chat, 1933.
14: President Franklin D. Roosevelt Signs Conservation Act amid the Dust Bowl, 1936.
15: President Dwight D. Eisenhower Sends Federal Support to Little Rock, Arkansas, 1957.
16: President John F. Kennedy Outlines Civil Rights Act in Report, 1963.
17: President Richard Nixon Answers Question about Kent State University Protest, 1970.
18: President Gerald R. Ford Creates Emergency Immunization Program during Swine Flu Outbreak, 1976.
19: President Jimmy Carter Addresses the Nation about Its Crisis of Confidence, 1979.
20: President Ronald Reagan Fires Air Traffic Controllers on Strike, 1981.
21: President Ronald Reagan Acknowledges AIDS Crisis, 1985.
22: President Bill Clinton Remembers Oklahoma City Bombing Victims, 1995.
23: President Bill Clinton Calls for Gun Control Legislation following Columbine Shooting, 1999.
24: President Barack Obama Gives Remarks at Sandy Hook Interfaith Prayer Vigil, 2012.
25: President Barack Obama Gives Update on the U.S. Response to Ebola Outbreak, 2014.
26: President Barack Obama Remembers Michael Brown and Discusses Race, Class, and Criminal Justice Reform in the United States, 2015.
27: President Donald Trump Takes Executive Action to Combat Opioid Crisis, 2017.
28: President Donald Trump’s Remarks on White Supremacist Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, 2017.
29: Economy and Livelihoods.
30: President James Monroe Discusses the Economic Crisis Facing the Nation, 1819.
31: President Andrew Jackson Vetoes the Re-Charter of the Second National Bank, 1832.
32: President Martin Van Buren Addresses Congress during the Economic Panic of 1837.
33: President John Tyler Vetoes Bill to Create a National Bank, 1841.
34: President James Buchanan Addresses Congress about the Nation’s Economic Struggles, 1858.
35: President Ulysses S. Grant Plans to Revitalize a Floundering Economy, 1875.
36: President Grover Cleveland Promotes Importance of Financial Soundness, 1895.
37: President Theodore Roosevelt Endorses Anti-Trust Measures, 1903.
38: President Herbert Hoover Wrestles with the Stock Market Crash, 1930.
39: President Herbert Hoover Signs the Norris-LaGuardia Act, 1932.
40: President George H. W. Bush Outlines a Bailout to Address the Savings and Loans Crisis, 1989.
41: President Bill Clinton Delivers Remarks on Government Shutdown, 1995.
42: President Barack Obama Introduces Measures to Pull America Out of the Great Recession, 2009.
43: President Barack Obama Gives Remarks on Government Shutdown, 2013.
44: Donald Trump Links Illegal Immigration to Government Shutdown, 2019.
45: Natural and Technological Disasters.
46: President Benjamin Harrison Addresses the Nation about the Johnstown Flood, 1889.
47: President Calvin Coolidge Addresses the Red Cross after the Mississippi Flood, 1927.
48: President Lyndon B. Johnson Provides Federal Aid to Alaska after Earthquake, 1964.
49: The White House Prepares a Moon Disaster Speech for President Richard Nixon, 1969.
50: President Jimmy Carter Visits Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant Following Meltdown, 1979.
51: President Jimmy Carter Visits Washington after Mount St. Helens Eruption, 1980.
52: President Ronald Reagan Mourns the Loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger, 1986.
53: President George H. W. Bush Gives Statement on Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, 1989.
54: President George W. Bush Gives Remarks on Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster, 2003.
55: President George W. Bush Tours Areas Damaged by Hurricane Katrina, 2005.
56: President Barack Obama Discusses Status of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 2010.
57: President Barack Obama Updates Nation on Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts, 2012.
58: President Donald Trump Tweets about U.S. Response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, 2018.
59: President Donald Trump Tweets about Wildfires in California, 2018.
60: Political Scandals and Tragedies.
61: President Andrew Johnson Removes Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War, 1868.
62: President Theodore Roosevelt Announces the Death of President William McKinley, 1901.
63: President Woodrow Wilson Creates Committee on Public Information during Red Scare, 1917.
64: President Harry Truman Fires General Douglas MacArthur, 1951.
65: President Harry Truman Attempts to Discredit McCarthyism, 1952.
66: President Lyndon B. Johnson Declares National Day of Mourning for President John F. Kennedy, 1963.
67: President Lyndon B. Johnson Makes Statement about Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1968.
68: President Richard Nixon Announces Resignation after Watergate Scandal, 1974.
69: President Gerald R. Ford Grants Pardon to Richard Nixon, 1974.
70: President Ronald Reagan Denies Illegal Involvement in Iran-Contra Scandal, 1987.
71: President Bill Clinton Gives Remarks Prior to Vote on First Article of Impeachment, 1998.
72: President Donald Trump Makes Statement during United States–Russia Summit in Helsinki, 2018.
73: War and Conflict.
74: President George Washington Issues Neutrality Proclamation in the War between England and France, 1793.
75: President John Adams Wrestles over War with France after Passage of Alien and Sedition Acts, 1798.
76: President Thomas Jefferson Responds to British Provocations during the Napoleonic War, 1807.
77: President James Madison Calls All Citizens to Unite in Defense of the District of Columbia, 1814.
78: President James Monroe Ratifies Missouri as a Slave State with the Missouri Compromise, 1821.
79: President Andrew Jackson Praises the Indian Removal Act, 1830.
80: President James Polk Prepares for War against Mexico, 1846.
81: President Millard Fillmore Addresses Congress about the Compromise of 1850.
82: President Franklin Pierce Intervenes in “Bleeding Kansas,” 1856.
83: President Abraham Lincoln Issues the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863.
84: President Abraham Lincoln Delivers the Gettysburg Address, 1863.
85: President Abraham Lincoln Ponders the Future of Slavery and Citizenship in America, 1863.
86: President William McKinley Facilitates Occupation of the Philippines, 1898.
87: President Woodrow Wilson Seeks Peace during World War I, 1918.
88: President Franklin D. Roosevelt Declares War against Japan, 1941.
89: President Franklin D. Roosevelt Gives State of the Union Address during World War II, 1944.
90: President Harry Truman Drops Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, 1945.
91: President Harry Truman Nationalizes Steel Industry during Korean War, 1952.
92: President Dwight D. Eisenhower Warns about the Implications of Russia’s Sputnik Space Satellite, 1958.
93: President Dwight D. Eisenhower Addresses the Press about U-2 Plane Incident, 1960.
94: President John F. Kennedy Speaks about the Bay of Pigs Fiasco, 1961.
95: President John F. Kennedy Warns Soviet Union about Actions in Berlin, 1961.
96: President John F. Kennedy Gives Report on Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962.
97: President Lyndon B. Johnson Vows Continued Support for South Vietnam in Letter to General Minh, 1964.
98: President Lyndon B. Johnson Gives Report on Gulf of Tonkin Incident, 1964.
99: President Jimmy Carter Gives Statement on Iran Hostage Crisis, 1979.
100: President Ronald Reagan Addresses Bombing of U.S. Military Barracks in Beirut, 1983.
101: President George H. W. Bush Discusses the Persian Gulf Crisis, 1990.
102: President Bill Clinton Addresses Military Efforts in Somalia after Ambush in Mogadishu, 1993.
103: President Bill Clinton Responds to Terrorist Attack on USS Cole, 2000.
104: President George W. Bush Addresses the Nation after 9/11 Terror Attacks, 2001.
105: President Barack Obama Makes Statement on Attack on U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, 2012.
About the Editor.