Lifestyle » Vol. 6

US Presidents Who Visited Worcester County

by Rick Garner

President George Washington visited Samuel Taft’s Tavern (now the Taft House) in Uxbridge in 1789 on his “Inaugural Tour” of New England. General George Washington’s first visit to Worcester was on July 1, 1775 when he passed through on his way to take command of the Continental Army. On the journey, he rode through Spencer as well.

President John Quincy Adams visited Worcester in 1826, staying three days with Governor Levi Lincoln, Jr. (later a US Congressman and Worcester’s first mayor in 1848).  They attended a cattle show.

President Teddy Roosevelt came to both Clark University and The College of the Holy Cross in 1900 to attend their commencement exercises. He also stopped in Fitchburg in 1902 to give a speech on Sept. 2 in front of a crowd that included a procession of Civil and Spanish American War veterans.

President William Taft came to Worcester in 1914 for the Trainmen’s Convention. He stayed at the Samuel Taft Tavern when he visited Uxbridge, following in the footsteps of George Washington 120 years later. He also made frequent visits to his ancestral homes in Mendon and Uxbridge during his Presidency.

President Herbert “A chicken in every pot” Hoover visited Worcester in 1932.
On June 17, 1934, Franklin D. Roosevelt made his first visit of many visits to Worcester and slept aboard the Presidential Special while it was at Union Station.  In October of 1936, he made a major campaign address here, and in August of 1940 passed through again, swapping tracks en route to the Portsmouth Navy Yard.   In November 1944, ending his last campaign for President here in Worcester, FDR greeted Massachusetts Senator David Walsh at Union Station.

President Lyndon Johnson came to The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester in 1964 to give the commencement address.

In 1977, Jimmy Carter stayed in Clinton at a private residence as part of his “Getting to Know the People” campaign.   On the platform at Fallon Auditorium, he reiterated his famous proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty, proclaiming, as no other President ever had, that “…There must be a homeland for the Palestinian refugees.”

President Bill Clinton came to Worcester to speak at the Firefighters’ Memorial Service on Dec. 10, 1999.  He had previously spoken at Mechanics Hall in 1998 in front of an audience of more than 2000 people.

Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt

William Taft in Worcester for the Trainmen’s Convention (left)
William Taft in Worcester for the Trainmen’s Convention (left)
Franklin D. Roosevelt arriving at Union Station (below) Lyndon Johnson at The College of the Holy Cross (middle left & bottom)

Photos from the collections of the Worcester Historical Museum, Worcester, MA,
Special thanks to Robyn Christensen.

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