Presidential Visits

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     Fifteen Presidents have visited South Dakota during their time in office. They came for vacations, to carry out presidential duties, and for political purposes. Postage stamps have been issued with pictures of nine of them.

William McKinley

     William McKinley (1887-1901) was the first President to visit South Dakota. He made a one-day visit October 14, 1899, making thirteen stops during the day as part of a mid-western tour.

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Theodore Roosevelt

     When Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1919) visited South Dakota April 5-6, 1903 he was on a nine-week tour of the country. In addition to Sioux Falls he stopped at several other towns. Before he became President he had lived in North Dakota and visited in South Dakota frequently. On January 3, 1903, Roosevelt had made Wind Cave the seventh National Park. He delivered a speech on "The Commission Principle" and participated in a parade in his honor in Sioux Falls September 3-4, 1910.

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William Howard Taft

     Willaim Taft (1909-1913) spent three days in South Dakota October 21-23, 1911 on his return to Washington from a trip to the West Coast.

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Woodrow Wilson

     Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) made a tour of the western states to build support for the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I. He spoke at the Colliseum in Sioux Falls to 7,000 people concerning the Treaty and the League of Nations on September 8, 1919. The United States never ratified the Treaty of Versailles, and did not join the League of Nations.

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Calvin Coolidge

     The Coolidges (1923-1929) spent the summer of 1927 at the Game Lodge in the Black Hills. At a news conference August 2 he made his famous announcement, "I do not choose to run for president in 1928." While he was in South Dakota he traveled to Mt. Rushmore to inaugurate work on the national monument declaring that the monument was "decidely American in its conception, magnitude and meaning. It is altogethr worthy of our country." He received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from South Dakota State College.

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Franklin D. Roosevelt

     President Roosevelt (1933-1945) spent August 28-30, 1936 in South Dakota as a part of a tour of midwestern states inspecting drought damage and relief projects. While he was here he spoke at the unveiling and dedication of the head of Thomas Jefferson on Mt. Rushmore.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower

     Dwight Eisenhower (1953-1961) came to South Dakota June 11, 1953 to speak to the national convention of the Young Republican League on June 12. He stayed at the Game Lodge in the Black Hills and went fishing. He left on June 13 after dedicated the Rapic City Air Base naming it for Brigadier General Richard Ellsworth.. He is quoted as having said, "The Black Hills of South Dakota are the best damn place in the world to live."

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John F. Kennedy

     John Kennedy 91961-1963) visited South Dakota on August 17, 1962 on his tour of the western states. While he was here he dedicated the power plant at the Oahe Dam at Pierre.

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Richard M. Nixon

     Richard Nixon visited South Dakota in 1969 to speak at the dedication of the Karl Mundt library in Madison, South Dakota. In 1956, as vice-president he had campaigned in Rapid City in 1956, and in Sioux Falls in 1960. Pat Nixon's had lived in Lead during the early years of their marriage, and she received a mining claim in teh Black Hills from her father's estate, and paid taxes on it for several years.

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     Several other presidents have visited South Dakota, but no stamps with their pictures have been issued because they are still alive.