Talk:List of Presidents of the United States

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Former featured listList of Presidents of the United States is a former featured list. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page and why it was removed. If it has improved again to featured list standard, you may renominate the article to become a featured list.
Article milestones
June 15, 2005Featured list candidatePromoted
October 30, 2008Featured list removal candidateDemoted
June 26, 2009Featured list candidateNot promoted
Current status: Former featured list
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
This section is here to provide answers to some questions that have been previously discussed on this talk page.

Note: This FAQ is only here to let people know that these points have previously been addressed, not to prevent any further discussion of these issues.

Information.svg To view an explanation to the answer, click the [show] link to the right of the question.

General Concerns and Questions

Missing from "Several presidents campaigned unsuccessfully for other U.S. state or federal elective offices after serving as president"[edit]

Shouldn't Ford, Carter and H.W. Bush be included in the section titled "Several presidents campaigned unsuccessfully for other U.S. state or federal elective offices after serving as president"?

No, because they did so while in office, not after serving as president, . Drdpw (talk) 20:36, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
they did so while serving as president not after they were still president when they lost the election עם ישראל חי (talk) 20:52, 14 January 2019 (UTC)
No, they didn't seek any office after their service as president. GoodDay (talk) 04:09, 15 January 2019 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 January 2019[edit]

We were confused when looking at the dates of the presidential offices in the large table.

The heading "Term" for the list is confusing since it actually refers only (as noted in the footnotes) to the dates of the election and the inauguration. I am suggesting the words "Term Began" since it always past tense, although "Began", "Start", or "Onset" might be considered. I understand the need for a short title for a narrow column. I think the column in itself is confusing since that is not usually the way this data is displayed, but a better title would help. GordonGU (talk) 22:17, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

 Done I have edited the note with an explanation. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:45, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
I think that whole column should go. Not only is it very confusing, but I don't think I've seen "terms" numbered and broken out this way elsewhere. Is there some reliable source that does this or is it original research? - Station1 (talk) 08:35, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
Agree. GoodDay (talk) 16:31, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
For the governors lists (ex: List of Governors of Alabama) I've replaced the 'term' column with an 'election' column, which makes much more sense. I agree that numbering the terms (and thus, giving meaning to that numbering) veers into original research. --Golbez (talk) 14:26, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
Indeed, the List of Vice Presidents of the United States article, is done correctly (though it too, should have the numbers deleted from its 'Election' column'). GoodDay (talk) 16:42, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

I've change it to 'Election' & thus removed the inauguration years. However, the changes have possibly created a 'new' confusion concerning 'unelected' presidents & 'unelected' vice presidents. GoodDay (talk) 17:55, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

I think we may be trying to do too much with one single column. We need to reach consensus on which bit of information is most important to convey. Personally, I think it should be the range of years in which they held the office (which applies to all... including those who were never elected)... or never inaugurated). Trying to do too much in one column is confusing. Blueboar (talk) 19:37, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
They were all inaugurated. GoodDay (talk) 19:54, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the column formerly titled "Term" contained too much information. I like the revised "Election" version. Also, Blueboar, range of years in office is given in the 2nd Presidency column. Drdpw (talk) 20:32, 29 January 2019 (UTC)
ah... so it is... ok. Blueboar (talk) 22:49, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

the intro section is mostly trivia[edit]

from this on down "Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms in office". It should mostly be removed, or if people disagree then the trivia should be moved to a new section titled "trivia about US presidents" and placed below the actual relevant content, which is the listing of the presidents. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 4 February 2019 (UTC)

Eh, I disagree, and I'm very much someone who works to eliminate trivia in these articles (for example, I would love to rip out the lifespans and prior offices). But this establishes the extremes of the office. It helps to explain that one person served twice; the shortest and longest terms; the reasons terms were short or long; the party structure; etc. --Golbez (talk) 05:24, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
And that relates to an article claiming to be a list? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:01, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, a detailed list with an informative intro. What would you prefer, a simple "This is a list US Presidents", followed by a bare-bones tables with just three columns; "#", "Name" and "Start/End dates"...?

This is an encyclopaedia, the objective is to provide information. The more relevant, deatailed and supported info, the better. - wolf 13:40, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

Kind of, yes. Let me put an example and then I'll not complain again since it seems that my view is in the minority. Here is some text in this article that is representative of my general complaint for about half of the intro: "Of those who have served as the nation's president, four died in office of natural causes". And here is one definition of trivia (from the wiki page on trivia): "bits of information of little consequence". I fail to see how the fact that four presidents died in office of natural causes is of any consequnce to the "List of Presidents of the United States". How many had brown hair, or lost their teeth while in office, for example? There are perhaps valid reasons for how many women or people of color have been president in this list, but why is it important on this page to specify the date of George Bush's death, or that Harrison was in office for precisely 31 days? If that is definitive encycolpedic information and not trivia then I simply misunderstand the situation. Thank you both for your previous replies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:10, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
The colour of a Presidents hair or the number of teeth they have are trivial as compared to them dying in office, which not only marks the end of their term in office, an event that is part of the data covered by this list, and that directly ties into the 25th amendment, Presidential succession and data regarding the Vice President, which could all be hardly considered "trivial". A President dying in office is encyclopaedic information, the number of teeth a president has is not. (And on another note, if you intend to reply again, please WP:INDENT your post and WP:SIGN it. Thanks) - wolf 04:53, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
I figure that list articles like these need only explain: What is the office; who was in the office; how you get into the office; and how you get out of the office. Assassinations are definitely exceptional enough to be noted - only one US Governor has ever been assassinated in office, and we definitely note that. Usually, the extremes of the office are also noted - being in a 4 year office only a month is kind of notable. Teeth and hair have nothing to do with entering or exiting the office, but dying in office certainly does. As for George Bush's lifespan - I completely agree, that's definitely excessive for this article as it has nothing to do with the office, how he got into it, or how he left it. But thus far, you and I seem to be in the minority on that one. Basically, the intro is kind of for this kind of thing. Otherwise we have a one sentence intro that doesn't help anyone. But on the other hand, I have been working hard to remove things that I consider trivial, like lists of living office holders or other offices they held. --Golbez (talk) 06:40, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

Buchanan was senator & secretary of state before Potus[edit]

Should not the antecedent prominence of Pres. Buchanan be senator and secretary of state, rather than the obscurely named minister which now occupied the background square? (PeacePeace (talk) 20:53, 7 March 2019 (UTC))

We list the most recent position, before POTUS. GoodDay (talk) 21:26, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Is there a reason why we limit this to just the most recent? Why not more? Blueboar (talk) 23:07, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
Because it would elongate each of the boxes & overall elongate the article. See for example: LBJ, Nixon & certainly Bush 41. GoodDay (talk) 23:17, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Since we are on this topic of only listing the most recent office held, I think Rutherford B. Hayes and Bill Clinton should have their first non-consecutive terms as governor removed instead of listing them both. Rreagan007 (talk) 01:16, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps we shouldn't have this column at all, as it can be seen to be somewhat subjective, and doesn't add much to an understanding of the list. --Golbez (talk) 01:20, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Good point Golbez, and what's more, that information can be gleaned from List of Presidents of the United States by other offices held and List of Presidents of the United States by previous experience; additionally, specific military record information can be found at List of presidents of the United States by military rank and List of Presidents of the United States by military service. Drdpw (talk) 02:02, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
No objections to deleting the column from this article & from List of Vice Presidents of the United States article. GoodDay (talk) 02:14, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree. The column takes up a lot of space and is of limited usefulness. Rreagan007 (talk) 18:26, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
Keep the column for prior office; it's quite informative and does not take too much space unless viewed on a tiny screen (a generic issue with most tables). However, I'd like to suggest removing the "Lived: xx years" mention. We already list the birth and death dates, it looks superfluous and trivia to add the age at death (or current age for living presidents). — JFG talk 11:48, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
I'd keep both. The prior office makes sense allowing people to quickly glance where the president came from. As for the age, it doesn't take any real space and it's something people are often interested in. Regards SoWhy 12:18, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

John Quincy Adams portrait[edit]

I propose that we change the portrait of John Q. Adams. The default on this list seems to be to use a photograph, unless a good-quality photograph is unavailable, in which case we use a painting. But we actually have a pretty good photograph of Adams. And it's apparently good enough that it is the lead image on the John Quincy Adams main article. If it's good enough to use as the lead image for his main article, then I don't see why it isn't good enough to use in this list. Also, the painting of him we currently use necessitates a strange crop that cuts off his arm. And the description says it was painted 10 years after his death, so who knows if the artist even really knew what he looked like. Rreagan007 (talk) 23:46, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

That's a convincing argument. Support using the photograph. — JFG talk 11:41, 7 May 2019 (UTC)
Agreed. A photograph made when the subject was alive is better than a portrait painted based on such photographs or other paintings. Regards SoWhy 12:21, 7 May 2019 (UTC)