Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Emily from , . Emily Wonders, “has a president served more than 2 terms?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Emily !
Have you given much thought to what you want to be when you grow up? Kids are often asked that question, because adults are curious about how kids see the world and their place in it. It's also never too early to get children to think about their future.
Responses usually reflect some aspect of the world that kids are interested in. For example, some kids might want to be an astronaut. Others might want to drive a humongous dump truck. And some kids even set their sights on what they consider to be the top job in the land: President of the United States.
There's certainly nothing wrong with dreaming big, but it's also good to have a back-up plan. After all, even if you become President of the United States, the longest you could hold that job is eight years. You need a "Plan B" to go to after your time in office!
Things weren't always that way, though. When George Washington became the first President of the United States, there was no such thing as term limits. After serving two terms in office, however, Washington voluntarily chose not to seek reelection.
Historians believe it was Washington's example that influenced most subsequent presidents to do the same. All that would change, though, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt ("FDR") became President of the United States.
After being elected in 1932 and 1936, FDR sought and won an unprecedented third term in office in 1940. He became the only President of the United States ever to serve more than two terms. In fact, he won reelection again in 1944 and had begun his fourth term in office when he passed away in April 1945.
FDR was obviously a popular leader, since he was elected four times. Historians believe his enduring popularity was influenced by his steady leadership during tumultuous times for the United States.
During FDR's time in office, he steered the United States through the Great Depression and then World War II. During such stressful times, the people wanted a steady, reliable leader, so they continued to support FDR through multiple terms.
After FDR's death, Harry S. Truman became President of the United States. In 1947, the Hoover Commission recommended that future presidents be limited to no more than two terms. Some people worried that allowing more than two terms in the future could effectively create a version of a monarchy, which was something the United States had fought hard to escape from during the Revolutionary War.
In response to the Hoover Commission's recommendation, Congress passed the Twenty-Second Amendment to the Constitution on March 21, 1947, which created a two-term limit on the presidency. The states ratified the Twenty-Second Amendment on February 27, 1951.