Exhibit Shows U.S. Presidents As Boarding School Students

The National Archives in Washington DC, has a new exhibit that allows Americans to take a close look at their Presidents’ childhoods.

Some of the nation’s top leaders got poor report cards when they were in boarding school.

A boarding school report card belonging to George H.W. Bush had mostly marks in the 60s and 70s.

Franklin Roosevelt wrote his mother every day from boarding school. In one letter, he said he was gaining weight and had no “black marks,” and asked his mother “to please send grapes or other fruit.”

John F. Kennedy was nearly expelled from Choate School in Connecticut after he formed a group called the “Muckers.” Muckers was the headmaster’s term for boys who could not meet the school’s standards. JFK’s teachers called him “a clever boy with an individualistic mind,” who only worked on his favorite subjects: history and English.

Kennedy scored only a 55 in Latin. His father wrote to him, “I am urging you to do the best you can. I am not expecting too much, and I will not be disappointed if you don’t turn out to be a real genius, but I think you can be a really worthwhile citizen with good judgment and understanding.”

The exhibit, “School House to White House: The Education of Presidents,” runs until January 1, 2008.