HAIL to the CHIEFS; Election Day Inspired Us to Take a Photographic Look Back at Some of the U.S. Presidents Who Visited Our Region during the Past 70 Years. Not All Were in Office at the Time the Pictures Were Taken

Article excerpt

Byline: BOB SELF, The Times-Union

Photographs and text compiled by BOB SELF -- The Times-Union

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-the-cuff speech. In some quarters real astonishment, if not fear, prevails. 'Now for you and me, there is nothing unusual about an American nominated to office coming to see his fellow Americans and trying to explain what is in his heart and in his mind, but in our two great political parties one has always felt it useless to come down here, and the other has felt it was just a waste of time because they had you in their pockets anyway.' "

Photo: lif_00FDR_new

Photographer unknown

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT (1933-45)April 8, 1935: James F. Massey of the Jacksonville Journal wrote: "Sad news greeted President Roosevelt here today upon his return from a 12-day fishing trip and caused him to change his plans about returning immediately to Washington. Instead of going directly to the nation's capital, Mr. Roosevelt will go to New York City to attend the funeral for his cousin, Warren Delano Robbins, United States minister to Canada, who died last night of pneumonia. President Roosevelt returned to Jacksonville aboard the naval destroyer, the Farragut, at noon. He was informed of Minister Robbins' death, and immediately announced he would go to New York for the funeral services."

Photo: lif_00Hoover_new

Photographer unknown

HERBERT HOOVER (1929-33)Feb. 28, 1953: J.C. Green of the Times-Union wrote: "Former President Herbert Hoover, looking hale and hearty with a deep Florida suntan, paused long enough in Jacksonville yesterday to prescribe a fishing trip to Florida as the ideal way to recuperate from an attack of influenza. The ex-president, now 78 years old, should know. As he told a reporter in a lounge car of the Florida East Coast Railway's Florida Special, the Keys fishing expedition from which he is returning was almost ruined by a case of flu, which confined him to a Miami Beach Hospital for a few days. The silver-haired Republican, one of two living ex-presidents, stayed in his private compartment as the train stopped for a few minutes at the local terminal. A photographer and reporter sought him out, however, and he agreed to pose for pictures in the lounge. His appearance there surprised other passengers who were apparently unaware Mr. Hoover was aboard the northbound train.

Photo: lif_00Kennedy_new

FOSTER MARSHALL/Jacksonville Journal

JOHN F. KENNEDY (1961-63)Oct. 19, 1960: Rex Edmondson of the Jacksonville Journal wrote: "It might have been Elvis himself. Hemming Park was dripping over its sides as it probably hasn't in the 100-odd years of its existence. The Jack Kennedy reception, when the Democratic presidential candidate alighted from his top-down convertible last night, surged forward like a giant amoeba, then parted briefly like the Red Sea when the principal figure directed his way to the Tourist and Convention Bureau office. A huge crowd of Jacksonville citizens had come to see and hear Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts in what old-timers later called the 'dangedest rally ever held here.' "

Photo: lif_00LBJhat_new

FOSTER MARSHALL/Jacksonville Journal

LYNDON JOHNSON (1963-69)Oct. 11, 1960: The Jacksonville Journal wrote: "Somebody took the big man's big hat. Sen. Lyndon Johnson was wearing a white Stetson (Texan) hat, size 7 3/8, when he climbed off the 'LBJ Special' train at Jacksonville Terminal this morning. When he left Imeson Airport three hours later, the hat was nowhere to be found. …