How many Presidents have visited Butte?
Go ahead and ask anyone from Butte and we will be happy to let you know, that we are kind of a big deal.
Over the years 8 different presidents have made stops in the Mining City for a myriad of different reasons.
The first was Theodore Roosevelt on May 27, 1903. President Roosevelt gave a speech from the balcony of his hotel, the entire speech can be read HERE. It is an interesting read, talking about his first experience in Butte, the importance of irrigation to Montana, and he also talks about the greatness of the U.S Navy.
President William Howard Taft visited the Mining City twice, first in September 1909, and again in October 1911. Neither of the stops were a campaign stop. His 1909 stop included a parade of 9 cars through town, with a speech at the old country courthouse. After his speech the President was taken to the Leonard mine, and it is said he and his 30-man entourage dropped to the 1200-foot level. Made even more impressive remembering that Taft tipped the scales at over 300 pounds.
His 1911 stop, was just that, a stop. At just over 3 hours, he dined with dignitaries from around the state, and was gifted the Charles M. Russell painting “Roping a Grizzly”. The painting currently is owned by the Buffalo Bill Center for the West, and is displayed in Cody, Wyoming.
In the Summer of 1923, President Warren G Harding embarked on what was called the “Tour of the President to Alaska”, it started in Washington DC on June 20, bound for Alaska.On June 29th, the train pulled into Butte, before heading to Helena later in the day.
President Hoover made a quick stop at Butte airport on August 26, 1939, before moving on to Helena later in the day.
President Harry S. Truman made 2 stops in Butte, the first coming in June of 1948 when he was greeted by 40,000 people. Two years later when making another stop in Butte, (this time with a speech) he stated that his first trip through Butte was one he would never forget.
March 8, 1959 (then Senator) John F. Kennedy visited Butte to deliver a speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. The topics ranged from domestic issues, including unemployment compensation, to international issues. The full draft of the speech with his handwritten notations can be viewed HERE.
On October 12, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson visited the Mining City during his election campaign. He spoke at the Butte Civic Center in front of an estimated 12,000 people. Another 35,000 cheered him on along Harrison Avenue, to the airport.
During the 4th of July, 2008 celebration, Butte Montana welcomed the Obama family to our celebration. While celebrating our nations birthday, we were able to celebrate Malia Obama’s 10th Birthday. The family was able to enjoy the parade, and then hosted at a barbeque here in Butte. Another great part of the Obama visit is, if you look at his photos from Butte, and actually for some time afterward, you can see him wearing a Mariah’s Challenge wristband.
Happy Presidents Day.