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They Sure Don’t Make Them Like They Used To: America’s Top 10 Presidents

You may agree or disagree with this top 10 list of U.S. presidents and how they’ve been ranked. There are some obvious choices there, and maybe a few surprises.

Those who’ve be included on the list have done so based on their lasting contributions to the country, says the video’s narrator. So see the video and you’ll get a broad idea of what it really takes to be a legendary POTUS.

Undeniably they’re all great leaders, but for me the standout American president is the World War II hero Dwight D. Eisenhower for his dynamic form of conservatism.

"I Like Ike" button from the 1952 campaign. (Image: Wikipedia)

‘I Like Ike’ button from the 1952 campaign. (Image: Wikipedia)

I don’t know about you, but none of the top 10 in the video were in office at any stage of my lifetime. No surprises there, considering the pranks in Washington over the past few decades.

The most recent president on the list is Lyndon B. Johnson who comes in ahead of JFK. I initially found Johnson’s inclusion somewhat of a surprise until the video pointed out how much work the tall Texan did during his just over five years of presidency.

Who is your favorite American president?

See the video above for more information on the top 10 presidents, who’ve also been ranked in order below.

  1. John F. Kennedy, the 35th U.S. President (1961-1963)

His most memorable quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

JFK

President John F. Kennedy with his wife Jacqueline. (Screenshot/YouTube)

  1. James K. Polk, the 11th U.S. President (1845-1849)

Polk added vast areas to the U.S., i.e., New Mexico and California from the Mexicans.

James_Polk_restored

James K. Polk is often considered the last strong pre-Civil War president. (Image: Wikipedia)

  1. Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th U.S. President (1963-1969)

Introduced The Great Society program, which provided a broad range of social initiatives, such as aid to education, improved health services, urban renewal, and the removal of obstacles to the right to vote.

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with civil rights leaders Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (left), Whitney Young, and James Farmer in the Oval Office in 1964. (Image: Wikipedia)

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with civil rights leaders Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (left), Whitney Young, and James Farmer in the Oval Office in 1964. (Image: Wikipedia)

  1. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th U.S. President (1953-1961)

As POTUS, Ike ordered the complete desegregation of the U.S. military. “There must be no second class citizens in this country,” he wrote. As he left office he said that: “America is today the strongest, most influential, and most productive nation in the world.”

The official White House portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Image: Wikipedia)

The official White House portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Image: Wikipedia)

  1. Woodrow Wilson, 28th U.S. President (1913-1921)

Wilson developed a program of progressive reform and took the U.S. into WWI. He also sort for the U.S. to have a greater role in international affairs.

President Woodrow Wilson's portrait on the $100,000 bill which is meant for use only among Federal Reserve Banks.  (Image: Wikipedia)

President Woodrow Wilson’s portrait on the $100,000 bill, which is meant for use only among Federal Reserve Banks. (Image: Wikipedia)

  1. Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd U.S. President (1801-1809)

Jefferson was an American Founding Father and was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

The official White House Portrait of President Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1805.  (Image: Wikipedia)

The official White House Portrait of President Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1805. (Image: Wikipedia)

  1. Theodore Roosevelt, the 28th U.S. President (1901-1909)

Roosevelt liked to quote the proverb: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”

T_Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt, who was often referred to as Teddy or TR. (Image: Wikipedia)

  1. George Washington, the 1st U.S. President (1789-1797)

In his farewell address, Washington advised his citizens to reject excessive party spirit and geographical divisions.

Emanuel_Leutze_(American,_Schwäbisch_Gmünd_1816–1868_Washington,_D.C.)_-_Washington_Crossing_the_Delaware_-_Google_Art_Project

The painting ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware, December 25, 1776’ by Emanuel Leutze, 1851. (Image: Wikipedia)

  1. Franklin D. Roosevelt the 32nd U.S. President (1933-1945)

In his inaugural address, Roosevelt said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Germany on December 11, 1941. Three days earlier he had done the same against Japan. (Image: Wikipedia)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing the declaration of war against Germany on December 11, 1941. Three days earlier, he had done the same against Japan. (Image: Wikipedia)

  1. Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President (1861-1865)

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…” Lincoln wrote in his second inaugural address, in reference to the Civil War.

A&TLincoln

An 1864 photo of President Abraham Lincoln with youngest son, Tad. (Image: United States Library of Congress)

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