President

Joe Biden speaking at the August 23, 2008 vice presidential announcement in Springfield, Illinois, while presidential nominee Barack Obama listens.
Daniel Schwen | Wikimedia Commons

It seems like a silly time to ask the question “do vice presidents matter?” when every half hour there’s chatter on news networks about who Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will choose as their running mates. But, yet, the vice presidency wasn’t always considered as significant as it is now.

Clint Hill served five American presidents as a Secret Service agent from 1958 to 1975. On Thursday's St. Louis on the Air, he shared his story.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Former Secret Service Agent Clint Hill served silently beside Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. Recently, he broke his silence about what that experience at the forefront of American history was like.

President Harry Truman signed this official portrait during his first term in office. The autograph reads: To the Key Club, a great organization in a great city, St. Louis, with best wishes and happy memories. Harry S Truman
Harry S Truman Library & Museum

If you're surprised to find some courts and state offices in Missouri closed Monday, you might not know about Truman Day — an official state holiday celebrating the president who was raised in Independence, Mo. 

Wikimedia Commons

In 2009, Jon Meacham won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of President Andrew Jackson. Now, he has turned to a president of more recent record: George H.W. Bush. In “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” Meacham utilizes Bush’s audio diaries and extensive interviews to reach into the decision-making around the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War and the president’s private life.

There’s also another interesting component of the book that Meacham discusses at length: Bush’s many connections to St. Louis. 

    

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, seen from the viewing plaza on June 4, 2003.
deanfranklin / via Flickr

Quick: How many presidents can you name?

From the start, there was George Washington. Then John Adams. Thomas Jefferson. Then ... 

Two Washington University researchers have found that most presidents are forgotten 50 to 100 years after leaving office, “unless something really, really important happened in their regime, or they’re one of the early presidents,” said Henry “Roddy” Roediger, a Washington University psychology professor.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Recently President Barack Obama appointed agent Julia Pierson to be the Secret Service’s first female director. I’m sure that Pierson, a 30-year veteran of the agency, is an excellent choice who will live up to the motto, “Worthy of Trust and Confidence.” I hope so, as this is an extremely important position.

Four times in American history the president of the United States has been assassinated. The first, of course was Abraham Lincoln who died on this day in 1865. Ironically, he ordered the creation of the Secret Service just hours before going to Ford’s Theater. The agency was originally created to investigate counterfeiting. Two more presidents, James Garfield and William McKinley, were assassinated before the Secret Service was assigned to give the president full-time security protection.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Mo. state auditor Tom Schweich says contracts between five state universities and former presidents may not be in the best interest of the schools, and some may violate provisions of state law.

University of Missouri curators agreed unanimously Thursday to hire an executive search firm in the hunt for the four-campus system’s next president, saying they will take their time to ensure they find the best possible candidate.

This is following the Jan. 7 resignation of Gary Forsee to care for his ill wife.