Presidential Visits to Northern Kentucky

Presidents’ Day is February 21st! To commemorate the holiday, we are taking a look back at presidential visits to the tri-state over the decades, many of which are documented in our historic photograph database, Faces and Places

Join us on our YouTube channel on Monday, February 21st at 2:00 PM to learn more about the stories from our presidential visits over the years!

In the meantime, here are a few interesting tidbits about Presidential visits in Northern Kentucky...

One of the earliest photographs that we have of a presidential visit in Faces & Places is from President Franklin Roosevelt’s visit to the Latonia Race Track in 1938. The day after the event, the KY Post noted, “The President apparently is in fighting trim, his bronzed face giving on the impression of good health and his smile radiating cheer to all”. They also noted that many event-goers were surprised by the heavy regulations of the event by the Secret Service, including the regulation of soft drinks and that they were not permitted to be served in bottles.

John F. Kennedy made a visit in October 1960 during a campaign stop. During the visit he was scheduled to visit Covington, but made an unexpected detour to Newport first. Kennedy visited Gold Star Mothers, whose sons had been killed in military service. They were Ethel Steil, Mrs. John Wagner and Mrs. Nealon Shay. They met Kennedy at the home of Mrs. Steil at 1168 Park Place in Newport. While he was there, Kennedy ate cookies and drank coffee with them and asked each about her son, when he was killed in the war, and spoke about the importance of peace. When he got up to leave, he said, “you ladies are really terrific” and asked Mrs. Steil if the cookies were homemade. She said that they were not and that the “party came up on such short notice that she was compelled to buy them”. 

Gerald Ford had quite a few visits to the area as well. One of those visits was after his presidency in October 1978, when he visited NKU. He is pictured at the university in the photo here with Gene Snyder, Larry Hopkins and Dr. A.D. Albright. Gerald Ford gave a speech in support of Hopkins congressional campaign to a standing room only crowd in Regents Hall.

Join us on our YouTube channel on Monday, February 21st at 2:00 PM to learn more about the exciting stories from our presidential visits over the years!

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