Footnotes added to presidential biographies on the White House Web site that connect past presidents’ achievements to President Obama’s initiatives incited controversy Tuesday in conservative circles online over how far the Obama administration would go to promote its policies.

Rory Cooper was searching for a detail about Calvin Coolidge, when he stumbled upon something unusual — a footnote likening Coolidge’s first public radio address to Mr. Obama’s use of technology in social media to engage the public.

“I thought it was funny,” said Mr. Cooper, a spokesman for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, of his initial reaction in an interview on Tuesday. But his amusement faded when he found similar references tacked on to the biographies of Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson.

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