List of U.S. Presidents who have visited Duluth

General Dwight D. Eisenhower campaigning for president in 1952 at the Duluth Civic Center.

How many U.S. presidents have been to Duluth? Well, we don’t know for sure, but the best answer available seems to be “at least a dozen.” As far as we know at Perfect Duluth Day, no one has ever compiled a list before. There was, however, a fairly detailed exchange of info in the 2011 post “How many U.S. presidents visited Duluth?

Combining that info with more recent discoveries, below is the best available information. History nerds can feel free to add more info.

Donald J. Trump
June 20, 2018
President Trump held a rally at Amsoil Arena to speak about the U.S. economy and support Minnesota Eighth District Congressional candidate Pete Stauber. Trump had previously held a rally in Superior while campaigning for president in 2016.

George W. Bush
July 13, 2004
Campaigning for reelection, President Bush spoke to about 8,000 supporters at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Arena with the slogan “America: Safer, Stronger, Better.”

George W. Bush
Nov. 1, 2000
Prior to his presidency, Bush campaigned in front of nearly 10,000 people at the DECC Arena.

William J. Clinton
Nov. 4, 1994
President Clinton spoke at UMD’s Romano Gym during a stop in Duluth to support Ann Wynia, Minnesota’s DFL candidate for U.S. Senate. Clinton stayed at the Holiday Inn downtown, which is why rooms 1609 and 1610 are called the Presidential Suite now. The president also went for a jog on Skyline Parkway during that visit. He returned to Duluth as a former president on Oct. 30, 2012, making another stop at UMD, this time campaigning for Barack Obama.

James E. Carter
Nov. 3, 1978
President Carter spoke in the Duluth Auditorium during the Democratic Party’s Unity Rally.

President Kennedy, about to depart Duluth, says goodbye to a crowd of well-wishers.

John F. Kennedy
Sept. 24-25, 1963
President Kennedy spoke about conserving natural resources to a crowd of about 5,000 at UMD’s Physical Education Building, now called Romano Gym.

John F. Kennedy
Oct. 2, 1960
As the Democratic candidate for President, Kennedy flew into Duluth and spoke to a crowd of about 7,500 at UMD’s P.E. Building.

John F. Kennedy
Sept. 26, 1959
As a U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts, Kennedy was in Duluth briefly for a press conference and television interview. He toured the Duluth/Superior Harbor before speaking at Superior Central High School.

Richard M. Nixon
Sept. 22, 1954
Prior to his presidency, but as vice president under Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon spoke in the Denfeld Auditorium on the topic “Against Socialism, for Capitalism: the Seriousness of the Communist Threat.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Oct. 4, 1952
While campaigning for the presidency, Dwight Eisenhower spoke to a crowd of about 4,000 at the Duluth Civic Center.

The Duchess of Duluth reads a welcome to presidential candidate Harry S. Truman at the Duluth Armory.

Harry S. Truman
Oct. 13, 1948
While campaigning for reelection, President Truman visited the Duluth Armory.

Calvin Coolidge
Aug. 20, 1928
President Coolidge used Superior Central School as a summer White House from mid-June through August of 1928. On his visit to Duluth his motorcade crossed the Arrowhead Bridge, passed through West Duluth on Grand Avenue on the way downtown, then proceeded along Skyline Parkway.

Presidential candidate Herbert Hoover waves his hat in Duluth while campaigning in 1928.

Herbert Hoover
While campaigning for the presidency, Herbert Hoover passed through Duluth on a Western driving tour.

Herbert Hoover
Aug. 28, 1920
Hoover was the guest of the Duluth Engineers’ Club, visiting “the steel plant, the docks, the carbide plant” and other industrial operations in the city, according to the Duluth Herald. His group also took “a ride around the harbor.”

William H. Taft
Feb. 10, 1920
Following his presidency, William Taft spoke at Duluth’s First Methodist Church.

William H. Taft
April 24, 1916
Following his presidency, Taft had dinner at the home of Thomas Wood in Duluth.

Teddy Roosevelt
Oct. 11, 1912
Three years after his presidency as a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt was vying for a return to office as the Bull Moose Party candidate. After a speech at Superior’s Grand Opera House on Oct. 10 he established headquarters in Duluth’s Spalding Hotel and gave speeches on Oct. 11 at the Duluth Auditorium and Third Regiment Armory.

President William McKinley speaks to a crowd gathered at the Duluth Boat Club in 1899.

William McKinley
Oct. 13, 1899
President McKinley was the first sitting president to visit Duluth. He spoke in front of Duluth Central High School and also at the Duluth Boat Club. McKinley is also said to have visited Duluth twice before his presidency, dates unknown.

Ulysses S. Grant
Sept. 17, 1883
Following his presidency, Ulysses Grant and his party traversed Duluth by carriage, toured the harbor on the tug Eliza Williams, and visited Superior.

Rutherford B. Hayes
Late 1800s
Prior to his presidency, Hayes financed construction of the Hayes Block in Duluth in 1870. It still exists as part of what is now called the Wieland Block. Hayes is thought to have visited Duluth after his presidency, and perhaps before, though the dates are unknown.

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