In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

10 U.S. Presidents that Visited the Tri-State

Many men that have become POTUS have spent time in the Tri-State! But these are the only ones that visited while actively holding office.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Evansville, IN -1943

Franklin D. Roosevelt made a top-secret stop in Evansville, Indiana in the spring of 1943 to inspect the Republic Aviation Corporation’s Evansville Plant where the P-47 Thunderbolts were assembled.  The secret wasn’t very well kept, though, as many Evansville residents turned up at airports and train stations hoping to see him.

Fun Fact: FDR was the first sitting president to fly in a plane.

Harry Truman, Henderson, KY -1961

When politicians used to campaign by train tours, Union Station in Henderson, Kentucky was a popular stop. Harry Truman landed at Union Station on September 30, 1961 declaring Kentucky “the most spirited state in the union.”

Fun Fact: Harry Truman’s middle name is simply the letter “S”.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Evansville, IN -1964 / Vincennes, IN -1966

Lyndon B. Johnson made a very brief pitstop in Evansville, Indiana in late October of 1974. So brief, in fact, that Johnson stepped off the plane, gave his speech, and immediately reboarded for takeoff.

Later, in the summer 0f 1966, Johnson visited Vincennes, Indiana to sign legislation designating the George Rogers Clark Memorial a national park.

Fun Fact: Before politics, Johnson earned a living as a teacher, coach, and janitor at Pearsall High School in Texas.

Gerald Ford, Evansville, IN -1976

In May of 1976, in the midst of a very competitive presidential race against Reagan, Gerald Ford spent a full day campaigning in Evansville, Indiana. He gave multiple speeches, answered questions from the community, shook hands, and even took part in a parade down Main Street.

Fun Fact: Born Leslie Lynch King, he legally changed his name to Gerald Rudolph Ford in 1935.

Jimmy Carter, Henderson, KY -1980

Jimmy Carter made a very brief trip to Henderson, Kentucky in the summer of 1980 to attend a barbecue fund-raiser.

Fun Fact: Carter claimed to have seen a UFO over Leary, Georgia in 1969.

Ronald Reagan, Evansville, IN -1986

While Campaigning for Republican congressional candidate Richard McIntyre in October of 1986, Ronald Reagan spoke at a rally inside the old Roberts Stadium.

Fun Fact: While he’s mostly known for portraying heroic characters, Regan once played the role of a deplorable gang boss in the 1964 made-for-tv movie The Killers.

Bill Clinton, Owensboro, KY -2000

Bill Clinton stopped by Audubon Elementary School in Owensboro, Kentucky in May of 2000 as part of his School Reform Tour.  Of course, Clinton had to grab a bite to eat at Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn while in town.

Fun Fact: As a teenager, Clinton fully memorized Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

President George W. Bush. Photo by Eric Draper, White House.

George W. Bush, Hopkinsville, KY -2005

In May of 2005, George W. Bush spoke to Hopkinsville residents to discuss his Social Security reform.

Fun Fact: George W. Bush was a cheerleader at Yale from 1964-68.

President Barack Obama is photographed during a presidential portrait sitting for an official photo in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Barack Obama, Princeton, IN -2014

As a part of the 2016 Manufacturing Day celebrations, Barack Obama traveled to Princeton, Indiana to speak at Millennium Steel.

Fun Fact: Barack Obama worked at a Baskin-Robbins as a teenager in Hawaii. He hasn’t liked ice cream since.

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Donald Trump, Evansville, IN -2018

In August of 2018, Donald Trump flew into Evansville to campaign for then-Republican U.S. Senate nominee Mike Braun.

Fun Fact: Donald Trump is the wealthiest president in U.S. History.