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100 Excellent Online Documentaries for Presidential History Buffs

by Staff Writers

If you’re into presidential history then you’re in luck: there are a great variety of online documentaries about the lives of presidents and beyond. Check out these documentaries to learn more about the events and lives of our commanders-in-chief.

General

These documentaries take a look at multiple presidents.

  1. US Presidents: US Presidents offers a 17-DVD collection of speeches, inaugurations, historical newsreels, and more.
     
  2. Mr. President: Mr. President takes a look at the fictionalized lives of real presidents and imaginary ones.
     
  3. The American President: The American President takes a look at all of the Presidents through George W. Bush.
     
  4. All the Presidents Wives: Watch this documentary about America’s First Ladies.
     
  5. The White House: Behind Closed Doors: See what it’s like to live in the White House with this documentary.
     
  6. Thank You, Mr. President: This documentary covers the political reporting of Helen Thomas.
     
  7. America’s First Families: America’s First Families shares an inside view of 200 years of private White House life.
     
  8. The Presidents: The Presidents offers an eight-part survey from George Washington to George W. Bush.
     
  9. History of US Presidents: Learn about America’s greatest leaders from this Presidential documentary.
     
  10. Dear Mr. President: Dear Mr. President follows the road trip of Israeli and Palestinian teenage girls on a road trip across America in search of hope and democracy.
     
  11. The President Calling: Listen to White House tapings from Kennedy, LBJ, and Nixon through The President Calling.
     
  12. Monuments to Freedom: Monuments to Freedom examines the Presidential memorials.
     
  13. Letter to the President: Letter to the President takes a look at the close-knit ties between the hip hop community and the President.
     

Campaign & Election

Study campaigns and elections in these documentaries.

  1. Votergate: Take a look at the problems in voting through Votergate.
     
  2. Road to the Presidency: Road to the Presidency examines the 1992 Presidential election.
     
  3. The Presidential Contenders: The Presidential Contenders discusses then-Senators John McCain and Barack Obama in their race for the White House.
     

Air Force One

Watch these documentaries to go inside Air Force One.

  1. Secret Access: Air Force One: Check out this documentary for secret access to Air Force One.
     
  2. On Board Air Force One: This documentary offers an ultimate tour of Air Force One.
     

Washington

You can learn about George Washington from this documentary.

  1. Washington the Warrior: See George Washington as a soldier before he became President through this documentary.
     

Adams

Study President Adams and his wife with these documentaries.

  1. John Adams: John Adams depicts the life of America’s second President.
     
  2. American Experience: John and Abigail Adams: See correspondence between John and Abigail Adams in this documentary.
     
  3. The Adams Chronicles: The Adams Chronicles will take you on a tour of America’s formative years.
     
  4. Biography: John & Abigail Adams: This documentary takes a joint portrait of John and Abigail Adams’ role in the American Revolution.
     

Jefferson

Watch this documentary to study Thomas Jefferson.

  1. Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal: Watch this documentary about Thomas Jefferson’s scandal with Sally Hemmings.
     

Andrew Jackson

Through this documentary, you’ll get a look into the presidency of Andrew Jackson.

  1. Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil, and the Presidency: Study the life and Presidency of Andrew Jackson in this documentary.
     

Lincoln

With these documentaries, you’ll learn about Abraham Lincoln.

  1. Young Mr. Lincoln: You will learn about a young Abraham Lincoln in this documentary.
     
  2. Gore Vidal’s Lincoln: You’ll get a look into the life of Lincoln through this documentary.
     
  3. Abraham Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln shares vignettes about Lincoln’s life from birth to assassination.
     
  4. DW Griffith Presents Abraham Lincoln: Check out this documentary about Lincoln’s early life and presidency.
     
  5. Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided: This miniseries weaves together the lives of Abraham and Mary Lincoln.
     
  6. Abe Lincoln in Illinois: Watch this documentary about Abe Lincoln’s life in Illinois.
     
  7. Abraham Lincoln: His Life and Legacy: This set of documentaries discusses the Lincoln legacy.
     
  8. The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth: This documentary tells the story of the hunt for John Wilkes Booth.
     
  9. Stealing Lincoln’s Body: Stealing Lincoln’s Body takes a look at a plot to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln.
     
  10. The Hunt for Lincoln’s Assassin: You will learn about the elusion of John Wilkes Booth in this documentary.
     
  11. The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln: This documentary addresses a variety of issues surrounding Lincoln.
     
  12. Looking for Lincoln: Looking for Lincoln shares a view on the shaping of Lincoln’s life and career.
     
  13. Abraham Lincoln: His Life & Legacy: This documentary includes history, conspiracies, and more from Lincoln.
     
  14. Abe Lincoln in Illinois: Abe Lincoln in Illinois offers a human look at the early years of Lincoln.
     
  15. Abraham Lincoln: Preserving the Union: Check out this documentary about Abraham Lincoln’s life details, dark side, and sense of humor.
     

Teddy Roosevelt

These documentaries discuss President Teddy Roosevelt.

  1. Teddy Roosevelt-An American Lion: Teddy Roosevelt’s documentary discusses the life of a powerhouse politician.
     
  2. Rough Riders: Check out this video about Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders.
     

Hoover

Here you’ll learn more about President Hoover.

  1. Landslide: Landslide is a portrait of President Herbert Hoover.
     

FDR

Watch these documentaries about President Franklin Roosevelt.

  1. FDR-A Presidency Revealed: This documentary examines FDR’s life of overcoming polio and pulling America out of the Great Depression.
     
  2. FDR-Years of Crisis: Watch this documentary to follow the life and career of FDR.
     
  3. Eleanor Roosevelt: A Restless Spirit: Check out this documentary about Eleanor Roosevelt’s restless spirit.
     
  4. American Experience: FDR: Watch this documentary about FDR from PBS.
     
  5. Eleanor and Franklin: Eleanor and Franklin takes a look at the early years and White House years of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
     

Truman

Watch these documentaries about President Harry Truman.

  1. American Experience: Truman: This documentary explores the life of President Harry Truman.
     
  2. Truman: Truman follows the biographical drama of President Harry S. Truman.
     

Eisenhower

Check out these documentaries about Dwight Eisenhower.

  1. Ike-From Warrior to President: In this TV documentary, you’ll learn about Eisenhower’s life from warrior to President.
     
  2. Ike-Countdown to D-Day: Follow Dwight D. Eisenhower’s experience in the D-Day invasion of Normandy with this documentary.
     
  3. Biography: Dwight D. Eisenhower: This biography follows Eisenhower’s life from his boyhood to his tenure at the White House.
     

Kennedy

With these documentaries, you’ll look into Kennedy’s life, assassination, and beyond.

  1. Four Days in November: Four Days in November discusses the Kennedy assassination.
     
  2. The Kennedy Mystique: The Kennedy Mystique discusses the image of glamour in the Kennedy family.
     
  3. Frame 313: Frame 313 discusses 5 of the most credible theories about the murder of JFK.
     
  4. The Kennedys: The Kennedys will teach you about the presidency and family of President Kennedy.
     
  5. Thirteen Days: Learn about JFK’s role in the Cuban Missile Crisis from Thirteen Days.
     
  6. John F. Kennedy: A Personal Story: See the personal story of John F. Kennedy through this documentary.
     
  7. Kennedy: The Complete Series: Kennedy discusses momentous events in JFK’s life and presidency.
     
  8. The Assassination of President Kennedy: Listen to this timeless documentary about President Kennedy’s assassination.
     
  9. The Kennedy Assassination: 24 Hours After: This documentary takes you into the 24 hours after the Kennedy assassination.
     
  10. Biography: John F. Kennedy: You’ll find the personal story of John Kennedy in this documentary.
     
  11. JFK: 3 Shots That Changed America: This special covers rarely seen and heard footage about JFK and his assassination.
     
  12. The Men Who Killed Kennedy: This History Channel documentary offers the definitive account of the Kennedy assassination.
     
  13. The American Experience: The Kennedys: Learn about President Kennedy and his family from this documentary.
     
  14. John F. Kennedy-The Presidential Years: In this documentary, you’ll learn about the Kennedy Presidential years of 1960-1963.
     
  15. The Murder of JFK: The Murder of JFK takes a revisionist history of JFK’s murder.
     
  16. Rendezvouz with Death: Watch this German documentary that claims the Cuban G2 organized the assassination of President Kennedy.
     

LBJ

You’ll learn about Lyndon Byrd Johnson from this documentary.

  1. American Experience: LBJ: See LBJ’s rise to the presidency and beyond in this documentary.
     
  2. LBJ: Study Lyndon B. Johnson in this documentary.
     

Nixon

Check out these documentaries about Nixon’s life and presidency.

  1. Richard Nixon: A Life in Full: You will get a look into Nixon’s personal makeup and political history.
     
  2. Nixon: Watch this documentary about Nixon’s life with the world on his shoulders.
     
  3. Richard Nixon: Man and President: See interviews with friends, staffers, and political observers in this documentary about Richard Nixon.
     
  4. Frost/Nixon: Complete Interviews: Frost/Nixon shares interview footage from Sir David Frost and President Richard Nixon.
     
  5. Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power: This documentary examines how Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger worked together.
     
  6. American Experience: Nixon: This biography discusses Richard Nixon, the 37th president.
     
  7. Nixon: A Presidency Revealed: Watch this biography to see unreleased tapes that shed light on Richard Nixon.
     

Ford

Through these documentaries, you’ll look into Ford’s presidency.

  1. Gerald R. Ford: The Accidental President: This documentary takes a look at Gerald Ford, the "accidental President."
     
  2. Gerald R. Ford: Healing the Presidency: In this biography, you’ll learn about healing the presidency.
     

Carter

Learn about Jimmy Carter through these documentaries.

  1. Road Not Taken: Road Not Taken travels back in time to examine Jimmy Carter’s installation of solar panels on the roof of the White House.
     
  2. Jimmy Carter, Man from Plains: Check out this documentary about the life of President Jimmy Carter.
     
  3. American Experience: Jimmy Carter: Watch PBS’ documentary about the 39th American President, Jimmy Carter.
     

Reagan

These documentaries discuss President Ronald Reagan.

  1. Ronald Reagan: An American President: Watch this documentary about the Reagan presidency.
     
  2. The Reagans: The Reagans examines the Reagans’ rise as a couple to First Family.
     
  3. Ronald Reagan-A Legacy Remembered: Through this documentary, you’ll remember the legacy of Ronald Reagan.
     
  4. American Experience: Reagan: This video offers a look into Ronald Reagan.
     
  5. In the Face of Evil: In the Face of Evil discusses Reagan’s legacy.
     

George H.W. Bush

You’ll learn about George Bush the elder from this documentary.

  1. American Experience: George HW Bush: Follow this biography of George HW Bush.
     

Clinton

Clinton’s life, presidency, and scandal are examined through these documentaries.

  1. The Clinton Years: Watch this documentary to learn about the Clinton presidency years.
     
  2. The Hunting of the President: The Hunting of the President follows the ten-year campaign to destroy Bill Clinton.
     
  3. Biography: Bill Clinton: Study the presidency and personal scandal of Bill Clinton through this documentary.
     

George W. Bush

Check out these documentaries to learn about George W. Bush.

  1. Journeys with George: This documentary takes you along the presidential campaign of George W. Bush.
     
  2. Fahrenheit 9/11: Michael Moore’s documentary examines the Bush Administration after 9/11.
     
  3. The Bush Years: The Bush Years examines George W. Bush’s life before the Presidency.
     
  4. Bush Family Fortunes: Watch this documentary to learn about hidden secrets about the Bush family.
     
  5. Unprecedented-The 2000 Presidential Election: In this documentary, you’ll learn how Bush stole the White House.
     
  6. The Legacy of George W. Bush: This documentary examines the controversial legacy of George W. Bush.
     
  7. Bush’s Brain: Bush’s Brain is a documentary that pulls back the curtain to reveal Karl Rove.
     
  8. Dick Cheney-An Unofficial Biography: In this biography, you’ll learn about Vice President Dick Cheney’s journey to become one of the most powerful men in American politics.