“Full victory—nothing else,” echoed Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1944, but what really makes a good leader? On Presidents’ Day 2013, TIME.com recognizes the service, sacrifice and success of former US heads of state by giving readers a brief history lesson illustrated by colorized versions of iconic presidential portraits.
Swedish photo editor Sanna Dullaway previously worked on a restoration of Abraham Lincoln’s photographs which were published in “A Vibrant Past: Colorizing the Archives of History”, breathing new life into the trite images. She was again commissioned by TIME to do her modern magic and colorize more historic images, this time published in “Bringing Color to Presidents Past”.
In celebration of Presidents’ Day—held every third Monday of February in honor of first US President George Washington’s birthday as well as Abraham Lincoln’s—we present color version portraits alongside expert presidential rankings conducted by the Siena Research Institute (SRI). See what characteristics citizens consider in an effective commander-in-chief.
March 4, 1933. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover in a convertible automobile on their way to the U.S. Capitol for Roosevelt’s inauguration. FDR was ranked #1 on SRI’s Survey of U.S. Presidents, holding the top spot in categories like ‘Handling of the U.S. Economy,’ ‘Foreign Policy Accomplishments’ and ‘Party Leadership.’
May 14, 1919. Col. Theodore Roosevelt with a dead elephant at Meru, Kenya. The SRI Survey Ranked Roosevelt the #2 President of All Time. Roosevelt took top marks in the survey’s categories for ‘Imagination,’ ‘Willingness to Take Risks’, ‘Court Appointments’ and ‘Intelligence.’
April 19, 1945. Harry Truman, half-length portrait, seated at desk, facing front, holding pencil. Ranked #9 in SRI survey of U.S. Presidents.
June 5, 1944. General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the order of the day, “Full victory—nothing else” to paratroopers somewhere in England. Ranked #10 in SRI survey of U.S. Presidents.
September 12, 1953. John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier on their wedding day. Ranked #11 in SRI Survey of American Presidents, Kennedy is ranked 4th in ‘Communication’, 6th in ‘Ability to Compromise’, 6th in ‘Executive Appointments’ and 7th in ‘Imagination’.
June 11 or 12, 1864. General Ulysses S. Grant at City Point. Ranked #26 in SRI Survey of American Presidents, Grant remained in the bottom five Presidents of the survey through the 1980s and 1990s before being bumped up the list.
June 12, 1971. President Richard Nixon standing in a crowd of people at daughter Tricia Nixon’s wedding at the White House. Ranked #30 in SRI survey of U.S. Presidents.
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