U.S. Presidents of the 1990s and 2000s

Fast Facts About Presidents 41-44

Presidents Bush Sr., Obama, Bush Jr., Clinton, and Carter in the Oval Office

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

You probably remember the first Gulf War, Diana's death and maybe even the Tonya Harding scandal, but can you recall exactly who was president in the 1990s? How about the 2000s? Presidents 42 through 44 were all two-term presidents, collectively spanning nearly two and a half decades. Just think of what's happened in that time. Taking just a quick look at the terms of Presidents 41 through 44 brings back a lot of significant memories of what already might seem like not-so-recent history. 

George H. W. Bush 

The "senior" Bush was president during the first Persian Gulf War, the Savings and Loan Bailout and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He was also in the White House for Operation Just Cause, also known as the Invasion of Panama (and the deposing of Manuel Noriega). The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed during his tenure, and he joined all of us in witnessing the fall of the Soviet Union. 

Bill Clinton

Clinton served as president during most of the 1990s. He was the second president to be impeached, though he was not removed from office (Congress voted to impeach him, but the Senate voted not to remove him as President). He was the first Democratic president to serve two terms since Franklin D. Roosevelt. Few can forget the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but what about NAFTA, the failed health care plan and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?" All of these, along with a period of significant economic growth, are marks of Clinton's time in office. 

George W. Bush

Bush was the son of the 41st president and grandson of a US Senator. The September 11th terrorist attacks occurred early in his presidency, and the rest of his two terms in office were marked by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Neither conflict was resolved by the time he left office. Domestically, Bush may be remembered for the "No Child Left Behind Act" and the most contentious presidential election in history, which had to be decided by a manual vote count, and ultimately the Supreme Court. 

Barack Obama

Obama was the first African-American to be elected as president, and even the first to be nominated for President by a major party. During his eight years in office, the Iraq War came to an end and Osama Bin Laden was killed by US forces. Less than a year later came the rise of ISIL, and in the following year, ISIL merged with ISIS to form the Islamic State. Domestically, the Supreme Court decided to guarantee the right to marriage equality, and Obama signed the highly controversial Affordable Care Act in an attempt, among other goals, to provide health care to uninsured citizens. In 2009, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for, in the words of the Noble Foundation, "...his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." 

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Kelly, Martin. "U.S. Presidents of the 1990s and 2000s." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/presidents-of-the-united-states-41-44-105439. Kelly, Martin. (2020, August 29). U.S. Presidents of the 1990s and 2000s. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/presidents-of-the-united-states-41-44-105439 Kelly, Martin. "U.S. Presidents of the 1990s and 2000s." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/presidents-of-the-united-states-41-44-105439 (accessed February 6, 2023).