Would McCain be the oldest US President? Would Obama be the youngest? Who was the youngest president? Were presidents younger in the past or older? What is the highest number of years a former president lived after leaving office? Who served the longest? Whose term was the shortest? The interactive visualization below lets you answer these and a few other questions.
If you do not see the applet below as showing you a number of gray and black lines, you need to activate or install Java. If you see everything pushed almost all the way to the right, reload the page. This is a bug in the Java plugin for the Mac.
Moving the mouse over the individual time lines will show you the name and other information about each president (if there is no reaction to mouse movements, click somewhere in the applet to give it the input focus). Clicking on a timeline will open that president’s Wikipedia page (if your browser and popup blocker allow that).The lines that appear when mousing over the timelines are there to help compare dates, e.g., was President X already born when President Y took office?
Changing the alignment lets you ask different questions about the data: Who was the youngest president? Which president lived the longest? Who lived the longest after stepping down? You can also easily see the presidents who died in office –either from natural causes or because they were assassinated.
The two timelines in the lower right are the two candidates for 2008: John McCain and Barack Obama. The start of their terms is indicated, so you can compare them to all the other presidents.
You will perhaps notice the one timeline that is broken into two. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, which I decided to show so that he does not look like two separate people.