FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!
Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.
For decades after his death in 1885, Ulysses S. Grant suffered a reputation as one of the nation’s worst presidents, consistently ranking in the bottom 10 in polls of historians. But in more recent years, historians have taken another look at the Civil War hero. Popular ...read more
1. The “S” in Grant’s name didn’t stand for anything. Although he was always known as “Ulysses” during his youth in Ohio, Grant’s given name was actually Hiram Ulysses Grant. His phantom middle initial is the result of an error from Ohio Congressman Thomas Hamer, who accidentally ...read more
Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), the 33rd U.S. president, assumed office following the death of President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945). In the White House from 1945 to 1953, Truman made the decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan, helped rebuild postwar Europe, worked to ...read more
Julia Grant (1826-1902) was an American first lady (1869-77) and the wife of the American Civil War general and 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant. A devoted wife, Julia Grant often joined her husband at his military postings, including several trips to the ...read more
In March 1864, Ulysses S. Grant went to Washington, D.C., to receive his commission from Abraham Lincoln as lieutenant general in command of all the Union armies. After several years of frustration with a parade of unsuitable commanders, the president had finally found the man ...read more
Not only does the U.S. president have the authority to appoint a special prosecutor—he also has the authority to fire one. President Ulysses S. Grant exercised both of these powers in 1875, during the Whiskey Ring Scandal. Before the scandal was over, Grant also did something no ...read more
Ulysses S. Grant, who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1843, didn’t go there because he dreamed of being a soldier. The future Civil War general and two-term U.S. president went because, as he later recalled, his father “said he thought I would, and I ...read more
Shortly before noon on May 6, 1884, Ulysses S. Grant entered the office of his Wall Street brokerage firm a wealthy man. Hours later, he exited a pauper. Thanks to a pyramid scheme operated by his unscrupulous partner, Ferdinand Ward, Grant’s investment firm had instantly ...read more
As the Civil War dragged toward its fourth year in March 1864, Abraham Lincoln prepared to place his faith—and election-year prospects—in the hands of yet another military commander. Repeatedly frustrated by generals such as George McClellan and George Meade who had failed to ...read more