Do any history buffs out in cyberland know which U.S. presidents visited Duluth and when? Does anyone have some old photos?
President Coolidge used the now gone Central School building on Belknap across from Cathedral as the summer White House in 1928. He was a big fan of fishing on the Brule River. Not Duluth, but he certainly traveled to Duluth while in Superior.
As noted in a previous post, William McKinley visited Duluth in 1899.
Kennedy in 1963
Clinton in 1994
Bush 43 in 2004
Those are the only ones I am aware of - but there may be others...
I have a great photo of Kennedy in front of the Hotel Duluth with the NorShor in the background.
I think Herbert Hoover came to Duluth.
Dwight Eisenhower visited Duluth on Oct. 4, 1952, to campaign at the Duluth Civic Center. He wasn't president yet, though.
Richard Nixon spoke in the Denfeld Auditorium on Sept. 22, 1954. He was vice president at the time.
George W. Bush also came to Duluth in 2000, in addition to 2004, but in 2000 he wasn't president yet.
I'm pretty sure Carter came in the fall of 1978 (not 1977, as noted in the previous comment.)
Good point about Coolidge most likely visiting Duluth.
Don, I hadn't heard that Clinton visited. What was the occasion? And how to you get the photo of Kennedy in front of Hotel Duluth?
Larry, I hadn't heard that Carter or Truman visited, what were the circumstances?
Carter was stumping for Democratic candidates in the mid-term elections, which is why it must have been 1978.
Truman visited the Duluth Armory on Oct. 13, 1948, while campaigning against Thomas Dewey.
Clinton spoke at UMD's Romano gym on Nov. 4, 1994, to support Ann Wynia, Minnesota's DFL candidate for U.S. Senate. (She lost.) Clinton stayed at the Holiday Inn downtown, which is why rooms 1609 and 1610 are called the Presidential Suite now. He also went for a jog on Skyline Parkway while he was in town.
Rutherford B. Hayes owned property downtown (Hayes Block) and on the upper hillside around Skyline and 7th Avenue West (along the Incline route). I know he visited Duluth in the early 1870s but I don't know if he ever did as president.
Would love to see that photo of JFK. Could you scan and share? I now live in Boston, but I know an old lady who knew Kennedy - dated his roommate when he was in the Navy.
'Stumping' always cracks me up.
The Duluth News Tribune Attic has some photos of presidential visits:
JFK in the Northland, 1963
More presidential visits to Duluth
Apparently President Taft visited when he was in office. A friend of mine has an old Victorian house on Superior St. and the former owners left him memorabilia of when Taft was in the house.
I remember not going to see Carter when he was here. Many kids/teachers were talking about it at old St. Anthony's where I must have been in kindergarten. I remember being vaguely disappointed but I was very young and my mom didn't want to deal with the crowds. She made up for it by letting me see Star Wars as many times as I wanted. Good trade.
Do you know something Sundog? Is Obama coming?
In 1963, I remember standing near a tiny barbershop along Miller Trunk Highway with my mom and aunt waiting for JFK to drive by from the airport. As his car passed, he looked right at us, smiled and waved, and my mom and aunt spent the rest of the afternoon arguing which of them he was smiling and waving at.
President William Howard Taft's name tops the guest list for an April 24, 1916, dinner at the home of Thomas Wood in Duluth.
During the Frost/Nixon run at the Playground recently, the Trib ran a picture of Nixon in Superior, but I can't remember what year it was from.
Coolidge actually made a motoring tour of Duluth. Going through microfilm at the library, I remember an article in either the News Tribune or Herald with a map of his proposed route.
Relatives say that Kennedy stopped on Central Entrance to shake hands with people from Harborview on his way into town.
Bush (and many secret service agents) went to see Coal Miner's Daughter in the theater that used to be on the corner of Haines and Miller Trunk.
I would live to see photos or video of Clinton jogging on Skyline, if any such media exists.
Now here's another good question; which FOREIGN heads of state have visited Duluth and/or Superior. Of course Tarja Halonen was at Finn Fest a few years ago, and Harald V of Norway will be visiting later this year, but have other world leaders been to the Twin Ports?
Mashtato, here is a Duluth foreign Head of State story that may not have been widely reported:
Sometime in the '70s, I don't remember the exact year, Helmut Schmidt, then Chancellor of West Germany, while on a diplomatic visit to the US, came to visit his cousin in Duluth, who happened to be my next door neighbor.
Our neighbors had a MUCH larger house than ours, and a wooded vacant lot was between us, so I never actually saw him, but we did see his limo come and go.
Our neighbor's driveway was sealed off by police, there were floodlights set up to light their yard all night, and Secret Service guys were crawling in the bushes 24 hours a day.
My Mom and Dad were having breakfast at the Perkins on London Road one of those mornings, and sat next to the Secret Service guys that had been on duty overnight. They were complaining about how cold it got in the bushes overnight.
Because of this, I'm sure that there is a thick folder on my family somewhere in the Secret Service archives....
The King was here October 76 and April 77.
My favorite story from when Bill Clinton was in town. Clinton was speaking at UMD and also scheduled to meet the crowd outside in Ordean square. Dusty was running at rock hill and ran into law enforcent officers positioned in the area. He said he made a joke about it being a good place for a sniper. The officers were not amused and they handcuffed him and made him wait in a squad car until the president had left the area.
Ulysses S. Grant visited Duluth on Sept. 17, 1883, after he was no longer president. According to the News Tribune of the next day, he and his party toured Duluth by carriage, took a tour of the harbor on the tug Eliza Williams, and visited Superior.
I thought once you were president you are always considered to be Mr President.
YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SELL NITROUS IN THE PARKING LOT.
Another post-term visit by Taft came on Feb. 9, 1920. At the time he was the only living ex-president.
February 10, 1920: Former President William Howard Taft speaks at Duluth’s First Methodist Church
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