President Obama made news this week for being the first President to pen a scholarly article while in office. The article, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, focuses on his administration’s trademark Affordable Care Act and advocates for its place in future healthcare policymaking.
Obama may have been the first to publish while on the job, but there is some precedent in presidential publishing. We’ve rounded up a few hidden gems from JSTOR by names you might recognize.
- Thomas Jefferson displayed an early interest in archaeology. In 1799, while he was Vice President in John Adams’ administration, he published his findings of “the Discovery of certain Bones of a Quadruped of the Clawed Kind,” in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society.
- Here’s Teddy Roosevelt in 1890 praising the effect of sports (or as he calls them, “healthy muscular amusements”) on “the physique of the sedentary classes.”
- Woodrow Wilson quotes Hegel in a lengthy 1887 exploration into the “eminently practical science of administration.”
- Richard Nixon published “Changing Rules of Liability in Automobile Accident Litigation” in a 1936 legal journal, while he was a third year law student at Duke.
- Finally, Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, railed against the “revolutionaries, vandals, arsonists and terrorists” in the university system.