Presidential Picks

Presidents carved in stone.

Mount Rushmore photo courtesy of fotopedia

Because we’re all about celebrating holidays here in the UGL, we’d like to draw your attention to Presidents’ Day! Celebrated this year on Monday, Feb. 18, the holiday was originally established to honor George Washington’s birthday, but it’s since morphed into a standard federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February. Either way, we think it’s a great excuse to showcase some of our resources for researching the U.S. presidency.

Finding Background Info

  • The American Presidents
    Provides an overview and additional reading for each administration from George Washington through Bill Clinton
  • Encyclopedia of American Parties, Campaigns and Elections
    This online encyclopedia has entries on contemporary American politics, including explanations of many of the most commonly used political terms and jargon
  • The Presidency A to Z
    Contains more than 300 entries related to the U.S. Presidency
  • American National Biography
    Contains 17,435 biographical articles on deceased Americans and includes men and women that were significant in politics, scholarship, science, sports, business, theater, film, and activism

Subject Guides

  •  History of the U.S. Presidency
    This subject research guide contains information on find background info, stats, journal articles and more for any research related to the U.S. President and the Executive Branch
  • Presidential Campaigns and Elections
    This subject research guide has loads of information for researching presidential campaigns, campaign history, election reform and more

Doing research on the presidents not your thing? Don’t worry—Hollywood is more than adept at glamming up the Executive Office for film and TV. Why don’t you kick back and celebrate the holiday with one of the famous leading men (and one woman!) who played Commander-in-Chief instead? Just a partial list to get you going…

All the President's Men DVD cover: Dustin Hoffman is shorter than Robert Redford, but they are both serious.All The President’s Men
What’s better than a couple of enterprising reporters breaking open one of the biggest scandals in Presidential history? Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman playing said reporters, of course.

Battlestar Galactica
In this sci-fi space odyssey, the last remaining members of humanity must protect themselves from the evil Cylons—all under the fearless leadership of Madame President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell).

Deep Impact
While the other meteor-will-destroy-Earth movie from 1998 was much more entertaining (Armageddon, for those of you keeping score at home), Morgan Freeman’s portrayal of President Beck in Deep Impact was harder-hitting. (Pun intended.)

Frank Langella does his best “I am not a crook!” impersonation of President Nixon in this Oscar-nominated version of the famous post-Watergate interview between Nixon and British TV host David Frost.

Independence Day
Bill Pullman kicks some serious butt as President of the U.S.A. (and, really, all of the remaining world) after aliens decide to destroy Earth. Between President Thomas J. Whitmore and Will Smith, we’re pretty sure we can take whatever E.T. can dish out.

Who killed JFK? In Oliver Stone’s classic conspiracy theory flick, District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) tries to find out.

The West Wing
Martin Sheen plays President Jed Bartlett in Aaron Sorkin’s fast-paced, sharp-tongued take on the American White House in the late ’90s/early ’00s.

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