President Trump's lengthy daily news conferences on the novel coronavirus are an unprecedented leadership strategy for the nation facing a crisis. In no prior national crisis of any sort, have Presidents placed themselves so visibly at the center of all crisis decision-making. This APP analysis provides historical context for current policy by examining the practice of prior presidents in dealing with contagious disease.
The text of Presidential thanksgiving proclamations reveals a the dramatic evolution of the idea and meaning of Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving proclamations began as a call to participate in a day of solemn reflection and expression of thanks to a Supreme Being. Over time, however, the Thanksgiving Proclamation has evolved to evoke a distinctively American history and celebration of certain core values. (Jump to the list of proclamations)
The table below includes APP documents issued by US President upon the death of a predecessor. Practices have evolved substantially.
The earliest observances (see J. Q. Adam's 1826 Order noting the death of Thomas Jefferson) called primarily for members of the military to mark the event. These practices included wearing mourning crape on their left arms for six months; troops parading and firing cannon; and placing the flag at half-staff for one day.
1. How does President Trump's pace of executive orders compare to his predecessors? (see graph below)
His written orders include documents titled "Executive Order," Memorandum, and Proclamation. His pace is similar to that of President Obama. Click here to see a list of the Obama and Trump orders (with links to the text) side-by-side by day.
Presidents starting at least with Harry Truman, have met with "Girls Nation" delegates at the White House. Often the President's remarks turned to the future careers of the young women in the group. John Kennedy surmised that, "it may not be possible for you to be President." But, he added, "I am sure we are talking to a future First Lady."