Vermont's history of presidential visits - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont's history of presidential visits

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

No matter the president, no matter the years; Vermonters have a long history of turning out in droves just to get a glimpse of the commander in chief.

The Vermont Historical Society estimates roughly half of all the nation's presidents have been to the Green Mountains. The first sitting president to visit? James Monroe way back in 1817.

"There was a period from 1817 to 1877 when you had no seated presidents visit the state. So there was a long period without any presidential visits," said Mark Hudson of the Vermont Historical Society.

Prior to the 1900s it was considered undignified for presidential candidates to hit the campaign trail.

"McKinley literally sat on his front porch and people came to him," said Skip Vallee, a Roosevelt historian.

But that all changed shortly after around the turn of the century.

One of the most memorable presidential visits happened 100 years ago in Barre. Teddy Roosevelt delivered a speech to hundreds of people while running as a Progressive candidate for president.

Skip Vallee is President George W. Bush's ambassador to Slovakia. The Shelburne resident is also one of the state's leading experts on Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt served as vice president under William McKinley and was actually giving a speech in Isle LaMotte when he learned the president had been shot. McKinley died eight days later while Roosevelt was hiking Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks.

"He found out about halfway down as he was changing horses that McKinley had died. So he knew on his last treacherous descent that he would become president," Vallee said.

Two presidents have been born in Vermont; Calvin Coolidge in 1872 in Plymouth, and Chester Arthur in 1829 in Fairfield. Although that's open to debate-- some claim Arthur was actually born across the border in Canada.

"A lot of really strange stories circulated, one being that he was actually born Chester Able Arthur and that his parents switched identities with him and a brother who had died," Hudson said.

Other presidents also have connections to Vermont. William Taft's father was born in Townshend.

"When he came back in 1912, in addition to other places in Vermont, he went back to the family homestead," Hudson said.

And President Lincoln's son once lived in Manchester, although Honest Abe never came here himself.

As for modern day presidents, many have campaigned here at one point or another; from John F. Kennedy to President Bill Clinton, who even spent some time on Burlington's Church Street Marketplace.

One notable absence? President George W. Bush. Bush visited 49 states while in office, every state except Vermont.

"And I'm not sure why the president never came here," Vallee said.

But now, after a 17-year hiatus, a commander in chief returns. Another president set to touch down on Vermont soil and another visit for the history books.

Now, we should mention that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were actually in Vermont before James Monroe. They visited way back in 1791. The catch is they had yet to be elected president.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:43:47 GMT
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:04 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
  • Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:21 GMT
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
  • A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:36 GMT
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
  • Gun fired into New Haven home

    Gun fired into New Haven home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:48 GMT
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
  • What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:57:35 GMT
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
  • Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in connection with a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
  • Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:36 GMT
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer. More >>
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.