7. THEODORE ROOSEVELT
The dawning of the 20th century brought an energetic and activist president to the
helm. Roosevelt (1901-09) became famous for his military exploits in the Spanish-
American war, but is best known for his opposition to business monopolies and pur-
suing a strong foreign policy. He also established the national parks system in the
8. WOODROW WILSON
Wilson (1913-21) was a quiet academic who faced the greatest foreign task the nation
had seen - participation in World War I. Wilson successfully promoted a legislat-
ive program that controlled unfair business practices, reduced tariffs, forbade child
labor, and improved the banking system.
9. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Roosevelt's (1933-45) efforts to overcome the Great Depression never succeeded in
the broadest sense, but they inculcated the federal government with a respect for the
rights and needs of the common man and the poorest of the poor. He led valiantly
during World War II.
10. JOHN F. KENNEDY
Kennedy (1961-3) brought an unprecedented style and flair to the presidency and
can be credited with possibly the most important action of the 20th century - the
prevention of nuclear war over Soviet missiles placed in Cuba. His assassination cut
short his pursuit of a plan for progressive social programs, including more freedom
and justice for African-Americans.