Miller Center

Riding The Tiger

“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” Harry S. Truman

Ted Kennedy Remembers the 1980 Democratic Convention

As Bernie Sanders speaks at the 2016 Democratic Convention, read when the last time a major Democratic candidate ran against another back in 1980.

Unity through Rhetoric? Party Conventions and Primary Contestants

Teddy Roosevelt Addressing the Republican Convention

The Republican National Convention is now only a few days away.  For the first time since 1976, there are rumblings of a potential rebellion among the delegates and signs that the Republican Party is as fractured as it has ever been since the Reagan Revolution. One of the surest of these signs is Trump’s inability to attract top-tier speakers, especially among his former competitors.

Which of these presidents thought that “government is the problem?”

I was turned off by his statement, ‘Government is not the answer to the problems; government is the problem.’ I didn’t agree with that. I’ve always thought that every major problem facing the United States cannot be solved without the full and active support of the United States government, and that far from being the problem, government is our only hope to deal with the healthcare crisis, the environmental crisis, educational problems, and other things. So that turned me off right at the beginning.

—George McGovern on the 1980 presidential election, Edward M. Kennedy Oral History

Ted Kennedy and the Fight for Civil Rights

Ted Kennedy's former colleagues and staffers discuss his work fighting for civil rights over the course of his 47 years in the U.S. Senate.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy and U.S. Supreme Court Nominations

Senator Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor at her confirmation hearing, September 1981.

By Barbara A. Perry and Robert A. Martin, Jr.

Former staffers for Senator Ted Kennedy provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Senator's work supporting and challenging Supreme Court nominations over the course of his Senate career.

Is Donald Trump breaking up the Reagan Coalition?

The Four Heads of Conservatism

For better or worse, it is undeniable that Donald Trump has profoundly changed American politics in the span of a year.  For one thing, is he smashing the Reagan Coalition?

Is the 2016 Election Shaping Up Like 1828?

It is often said that “history repeats itself.” Here at the Miller Center, we agree more with Mark Twain’s famous statement that, “history never repeats itself. But it often rhymes.”  Although this election cycle has certainly shattered precedents and paradigms of the presidency, we still hear some rhymes of past elections, in particular, the contest of 1828.

Oral History: George H.W. Bush’s Speech on LA Riot

On May 1, 1992, George H.W. Bush addressed the nation about the L.A. riots that started two days ago. This riot was to become one of the worst in the 20th century. This speech proves to be a window into White House communication...

1976 Republican Convention Through Oral History

As the 2016 Republican nomination continues to take strange paths with Ted Cruz naming Carly Fiorina as his VP and leading to a possible contested convention, we wanted to share our Reagan Oral History transcripts on the contested 1976 Republican convention with Gerald Ford vs. Ronald Reagan.

Richard Nixon’s Greatest Hits

Nixon in Belgium, 1974. Courtesy of AP

Nixon in Belgium, 1974. Courtesy of AP

Richard Nixon died from complications of a stroke on April 22, 1994, and his funeral drew luminaries from around the globe, including every living President. When you put him under the microscope of the Presidential Recordings, you will find some fascinating audio.

Oral History: Oklahoma City Bombing

Oklahoma Federal Building weeks after explosion

Domestic terror  today? Yes, and it has happened before. In response to the FBI stand-off at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, Timonty McVeigh and Terry Nicols, denonated a truck-bomb at the Oklahoma City Federal Building on April 19,1995. We peek into the Clinton Presidential History Project to get the inside view.

U.S. Embassy in Lebanon Bombed

On this day in 1983, 63 people were killed when a car bomb struck the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. The U.S. just entered a much bigger war than it expected.

Anita Hill & Clarence Thomas Seen Through Oral History

Anita Hill

Anita Hill

With HBO's launch of Confirmation, what did the insiders think about Clarence Thomas' nomination?

1986 Libya Bombing

Ronald Reagan meets with Congressional leaders about the bombing strike, 1986

Ronald Reagan meets with Congressional leaders about the bombing strike, 1986

Middle East terrorism is nothing new. In 2011, Obama and NATO forces intervened in Libya. Did you know that it was not the first time we bombed Gaddafi?

Miller Center Fellow Fredrickson Earns “Double Hoo” Award

Leif Fredrickson, recipient of the Miller Center’s 2016-2017 Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy, has teamed with Virginia undergraduate Vijay Edupuganti to win a 2016 Double Hoo Research Grant. The tandem will investigate “Environmental Justice and Lead Gas Pollution During Baltimore's Golden Age of Suburbanization.”