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The Origins And Significance Of A President’s First 100 Days

APTOPIX Biden 100 Days Congress
Melina Mara/AP
Pool The Washington Post
Vice President Kamala Harris, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., stand and applaud as President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with presidential historians Tim Walch and Tim Naftali about the first 100 days of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression. The conversation spans to President Truman at the conclusion of WWII, as well as Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and up to present day.

Naftali and Walch examine how President Biden measures up to previous presidents in his first 100 days, and what that may say about the likely success of his presidency.


  • Tim Walch, director emeritus of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
  • Tim Naftali, clinical associate professor of history and public service at NYU
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa