What are the limits to presidential power? And what constitutes abuse of power? From FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court, to Nixon's surveillance of those on his "enemies list," explore the topic in this collections of short videos.
Reshaping the Supreme Court
President Roosevelt's attempt to reshape the Supreme Court landed short and drew criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. "It was a recognition on his part that he had lost some measure of power," says David Ginsburg, a member of FDR's administration.
Nixon's Enemies List
President Nixon kept an "enemies list" of those who criticized him. He had these enemies targeted for tax audits or trailed by private detectives, and hired the "plumbers" to stop leaks.
Drafting Striking Workers
When a new wave of striking unions shut down industries, Truman threatened to draft strikers into the army. "It was as high-handed, as unconstitutional, a measure as imaginable," says biographer David McCullough. "But he meant it."
The "Saturday Night Massacre"
October 20, 1973: Nixon fires Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox in what becomes known as "The Saturday Night Massacre." The attorney general resigns and Congress files 21 resolutions calling for Nixon's impeachment.
In April of 1975, the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance was crumbling. On the ground, American and South Vietnamese took matters into their own hands to evacuate as many people as possible.