2024 Presidential Primary Sources Project Program

There’s Plenty to Learn About Our Presidents!

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Please join us for the 2024 Presidential Primary Sources Project (PPSP) sessions featuring interactive discussions with experts and using primary source documents to examine our nation’s presidential legacies. You can register for any and all programs listed below.

All programs are live at 11 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET.

Date Title Organization/Presenters Description
Tuesday, January 16 Public Lands, Public Lens: Establishing Protected Spaces Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage and Theodore Roosevelt Center

Erin Adams, Director of Education
Sjobor Hammer, Schools Coordinator
Dr. William J. Hansard, Outreach Coordinator
Theodore Roosevelt is credited as the driving force behind land preservation and its use for recreation and environmental protection. Andrew Jackson created the first land protections in 1832. Students will explore how, In both cases, the goals of land protection had pros and cons, including the relocation of Native Americans.
Thursday, January 18 The Lady Bird Special: A Deep Dive into Lady Bird’s Whistle Stop Campaign Tour Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

Mary Orms, Education and Interpretation Intern
Bryant Mills, Education, Community Engagement, and Volunteer Coordinator
In 1964 Lady Bird Johnson led a 4-day “Whistle Stop” campaign through 8 southern states for her husband Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential bid. This southern tour was a groundbreaking political maneuver made by a First Lady and it came at a time of intense racial tension—the Civil Rights Act would pass later that year. In this program, we will examine artifacts from The Lady Bird Special and discuss Lady Bird’s unique role in her husband’s campaign.
Tuesday, January 23 The Constitution and Presidential Powers National Archives

Sara Lyons Davis, Education Specialist
In this program, students will use the Constitution to discover the powers of the president, including powers that are shared with or checked by the legislative and judicial branches of government. Students will analyze primary sources from the National Archives that illustrate these powers, including legislation, presidential appointments, pardons, treaties, and more!
Thursday, January 25 The Journey of Renewal: President Clinton’s 1994 State of the Union Address Clinton Presidential Library & Museum

Kathleen Pate, Education Specialist
On January 25, 1994, President Clinton gave his first State of the Union address. This program will explore the central themes of the speech and the speech writing process through digitized records of the Clinton Administration. Students will also learn about the history of the State of the Union address.
Tuesday, January 30 Happy Birthday FDR: The Life and Times of America’s 32nd President FDR Presidential Library

Jeffrey Urbin, Education Specialist
This program is an overview of the life and legacy of the man who lead his country out of a Great Depression and to victory in the Second World War setting the United States on track to become the World’s most prosperous and powerful nation.
Thursday, February 1 Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

Joseph Korber, Park Ranger
Among his many accomplishments Theodore Roosevelt was famously proud of time in the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry aka The Rough Riders. Join us for a brief overview of the regiment and TR’s time as a member.
Tuesday, February 6 The Interstate Highway System Eisenhower Foundation

Julie Conley, IKEducation Specialist
In June, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed The Federal-Aid Highway Act, providing for the creation of an Interstate Highway System. Described as one of the “Seven Wonders of the United States,” the Interstate Highway System is now an essential part of our economy and everyday lives. Students will explore the questions, what were President Eisenhower’s goals for building the Interstate System, and how has it impacted our nation?
Thursday, February 8 The Unexpected Presidents Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum and Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library

Sadie Troy, Education Specialist
Sheila Mehta, Education Specialist
Join the Truman and LBJ Presidential Libraries to investigate the early moments when Harry S. Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson were thrust into the presidential spotlight. Together we will explore each event that caused the leadership change, the immediate challenges both new Presidents had to face, and the struggle to make the presidency their own.
Tuesday, February 13 President Kennedy and the Civil Rights Movement The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Genevieve Kaplan, Director of Education
The Civil Rights Movement played a defining role in President Kennedy’s presidency and legacy. He was described by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said that Kennedy experienced a major change in 1963, addressing civil rights actively in the final month of his presidency. Students will explore how President Kennedy was influenced by the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on the nation.
Thursday, February 15 A Life in Letters: Theodore Roosevelt as a Writer Theodore Roosevelt Center

Dr. William J. Hansard, Outreach Coordinator
Theodore Roosevelt is remembered as many things: cowboy, war hero, explorer, politician. From childhood stories to political editorials, however, one throughline dominates his life as his true vocation: writing. This program will explore the many different kinds of writing TR did: letters, speeches, diaries, history books, and more. Students will learn about the significance of TR as the writingest (and readingest!) President of the United States.
Tuesday, February 20 Did President Hoover’s Childhood with the Osage Nation Influence his Decisions in the White House? Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Bridget Nash, Education Specialist
Researchers have long debated whether President Hoover’s time living on the reservation of the Osage Nation as a child influenced his decisions in regards to American Indian issues during his Presidency. In this program, students will learn about the President’s childhood and examine primary sources related to decisions he made while in the White House. Students will use this information to decide if President Hoover prioritized attention to American Indian issues based on his childhood and if the decisions Hoover made laid the foundation for the Indian Reorganization Act.
Thursday, February 22 Portraiture and the Presidents National Portrait Gallery

Jocelyn Kho, Coordinator of Student Programs
Nicole Vance, Gallery Educator
How has portraiture of presidents changed through time? The National Portrait Gallery is proud to hold the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside of the White House. This program introduces students to the “America’s Presidents” exhibition and investigates the diverse ways in which presidents have been portrayed in portraiture over the past two centuries.
Thursday, February 29 The Stages of Lincoln’s Legacy Ford’s Theatre and National Mall and Memorial Parks

Alex Wood, Education Programs Manager
Jen Epstein, Education Specialist
President Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 may have been the end of his life, but it was the beginning of his legacy. From the Civil War to Civil Rights to today, Ford’s Theatre and the Lincoln Memorial have served as stages from which we remember President Lincoln and the reflect on things that mattered to him and still matter to us today: unity, creativity and the right to rise.
Tuesday, March 5 President Grant and the Creation of Yellowstone National Park Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

Nick Sacco, Historian and Curator
On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill into law establishing the world’s first National Park at Yellowstone. This program introduces students to a brief history of the Yellowstone area, the establishment of the National Park Service, and Ulysses S. Grant’s presidency. Students will also learn about work currently being done by the National Park Service to protect our nation’s natural and cultural resources.
Thursday, March 7 The Art of Being Lincoln Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park and Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Paula Alexander, Park Ranger
Erin Hilligoss-Volkmann, Director of Education and Resource Management
Noelle LeGrand, Education Technician
Abraham Lincoln’s legacy influences artists as they reflect on his beginnings on the Sinking Spring Farm and Knob Creek Farm in Kentucky, his time on the Little Pigeon Creek Farm in Indiana, and his time in the highest position of our Nation. Let’s take a look at how Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park and Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial use art to tell his story.
Tuesday, March 12 Jimmy Carter & The Power of Diplomacy Jimmy Carter Presidential Library

Josh Montanari, Education Specialist
Jimmy Carter rose to the Presidency at a crossroads of numerous diplomatic challenges for the United States. What life experiences can prepare a President to function effectively on the world stage? How does the Constitution equip our chief executive to engage other nations and resolve crises? This program will examine how President Carter leveraged these resources and tools to secure the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, Diplomatic Relations with China, and the release of American hostages from Iran.
Tuesday, March 19 Through Her Eyes: Eleanor Roosevelt & World War II First Ladies National Historic Site

Lisa Meade, Park Ranger
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is remembered for being an outspoken fearless advocate for what she believed was right; especially when it came to refugees from WWII. But she wasn’t always this way. Looking back through her writings, speeches, and conversations with friends, we’ll see how Eleanor Roosevelt transformed from a behind the scenes first lady, to what we remember as her today. This program features descriptions of WWII and the Holocaust. Recommended for 6th grade+
Thursday, March 21 Understanding the New Deal Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

Jeffrey Urbin, Education Specialist
This program will explore the creation, operation and legacy of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Programs which helped Americans survive, and ultimately thrive, after the Great Depression.
Tuesday, March 26 The Rise of the Cold War The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and Truman Libary

Genevieve Kaplan, Director of Education
Mark Adams, Education Director
Explore the Cold War through the presidency in the first 20 years after World War II. This session will explore how the rise of nuclear weapons impacted President Truman and President Kennedy from World War II through the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Thursday, March 28 D-Day at 80: Eisenhower and the Great Crusade Eisenhower National Historic Site

Dan Vermilya, Park Ranger
General Eisenhower described the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944 as “the great crusade”. What does that mean? Explore the events of June 6, 1944 and General Eisenhower’s leadership through primary sources that cover Allied planning, the sacrifices of front-line soldiers, and how we remember D-Day 80 years later.
Tuesday, April 2 If I May, Mr. President?: Advisors from Washington’s Cabinet George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Sachika Ghosh, Lead Student Learning Specialist
On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries—Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph—for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet? Because the U.S. Constitution did not create or provide for such a body. Washington was on his own. Modeling the group after his war cabinet during the Revolution, Washington assembled and lead one of the most powerful and often contentious body of advisors in the first Presidential Cabinet.
Tuesday, April 9 The Corrupt Bargain: The Election of 1824 Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

Erin Adams, Dir. of Education
Sjobor Hammer, Schools Coordinator
What happens when an election does not produce a president? Andrew Jackson learned the hard way in 1824, after a strong lead in the popular campaign still didn’t get him elected. Students will learn about the 1824 election: its candidates, its challenges, and its Constitutional implications. Did John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay really engage in some shady back room deals? Was Andrew Jackson naive about the election? Or was the outcome the result of the inherent tension between democratic and republican government systems?
Thursday, April 11 Ordinary people doing extraordinary things: Truman and Civil Rights Truman Library

Mark Adams, Education Director
This session will examine primary source documents on Truman’s landmark presidential decision to integrate the military. We will explore the legacy of President Truman’s executive order “to secure these rights” for all Americans.