Beyond the First 100 Days

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The first 100 days of the Trump administration will come to a close at the end of April. The opening months of a new president’s tenure have long been viewed as a time to set a policy agenda, fulfill high-profile campaign promises and ride the wave of goodwill an election often brings.

But the first 100 days aren’t always smooth sailing, as President Trump and others have discovered. We won’t know until the end of April how Trump’s first 100 days compare with other recent presidents, but there’s no doubt it’s been unusually rocky so far. It has involved an ongoing Senate investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, the battle in the courts over both drafts of a controversial immigration ban and Congress’s failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump’s approval rating dipped to 34% in the first week of April, the lowest of any president in his first 100 days.  In contrast, President Obama’s overall approval rating was 69% at the end of his first 100 days. President George W. Bush’s was 58% and President Bill Clinton’s was 55%.

On the flip side, all of Trump’s initial nominees for cabinet posts with the exception of labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder were confirmed by the Senate despite stiff opposition from Democrats.

Though the first 100 days will wrap up soon, the issues students care about won’t be going anywhere. Here are resources to put Trump’s first 100 days in context and help your students stay engaged through April and beyond:

KQED’s Local Election Toolkit:  The next presidential election is years away, but local and state elections happen every year. Encourage students to contact their local representatives with these resources and civic engagement how-to guides.


First 100 Days of Trump: This interactive and easy-to-read slideshow from Reuters zooms in on a key news item for each of the 100 days.

100 Days of Trump Claims: The Washington Post’s FactChecker team regularly update this post, which is packed with interactive graphics that focus on the veracity of Trump’s tweets and other claims.

President Donald Trump’s First 100 Days: The Wall Street Journal continues to collect daily coverage of the new administration.

Trump’s First 100 Days, What’s Next for Trump and Congress: The Washington Post is tracking the first 100 days with daily updates.

Trump’s Cabinet, What Do They Do and What Does it Matter? KQED’s The Lowdown post and lesson plan explore the roles of a presidential cabinet and introduces students to Trump’s picks.

A President’s First 100 Days Really Do Matter: Historical context from FiveThirtyEight takes a data dive into the first 100 days of every administration from Roosevelt to Obama, and in some cases as far back as the McKinley administration.

First 100 Days: This upper elementary curriculum from iCivics explains the history of the first 100 days and how the president is evaluated during this time.