Presidential visits to Lowell
My recent article in the local history section of Howl in Lowell (Andrew Jackson, Charles Dickens and Lowell) told the story of visits to Lowell by President Andrew Jackson in 1833 and English novelist Charles Dickens in 1842. My story prompted Eileen Loucraft to compile a list of all US Presidents who have visited Lowell through the years, either as president, before being elected president, or after serving as president.
Before I post Eileen’s list below, I have to ask two questions: (1) Does anyone know of any other Presidential visits to Lowell; and (2) what else should we do with this information:
Andrew Jackson, our 7th president (1829-1837) visited Lowell on June 26-27, 1833 while serving as President
Martin Van Buren, our 8th president (1837-1841) while serving as Vice President, accompanied Jackson to Lowell in 1833
John Tyler, our 10th president (1841-1845) visited Lowell on June 19, 1843 while serving as President
James Polk, our 11th President (1845-1849), visited Lowell on June 30, 1847 while serving as President
Franklin Pierce, our 14th President (1853-1857) visited Lowell multiple times (he had relatives living here)
Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President (1861-1865) visited Lowell on September 18, 1848 while serving as a Congressman from Illinois to campaign for Zachary Taylor for President.
Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th President (1869-1877) visited Lowell on December 4, 1868 while still an Army general
Benjamin Harrison, our 23rd President (1889-1893) visited Lowell on August 15, 1889 while serving as President
Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th President (1901-1909) came to Lowell several times including April 29, 1912
William Howard Taft, our 27th President (1909-1913), visited Lowell on April 29, 1912 while serving as president
Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President (1923-1929) visited Lowell on September 21, 1922 while serving as Vice President for the Lowell Memorial Auditorium dedication
Franklin D. Roosevelt, our 32nd President (1933-1945), visited Lowell but it’s not clear when
Harry Truman, our 33rd President (1945-1953), visited Lowell on October 16, 1952 for a campaign stop at the Depot
John Kennedy, our 35th President (1961-1963) visited Lowell as a Senator and as a Congressman
Bill Clinton, our 42nd President (1992-2000) visited Lowell twice, once as President (in 1998? for a Marty Meehan fundrasier) and again in 2007 as an ex-president for a Niki Tsongas rally.
—– Post-post contributions from our readers:
From Kevin Harkins: “Dick I remember photographing President George W. Bush “41″ and his wife Barbara when they visited Lowell at the Middelsex Community College Celebrity Forum in 2001.”
7 Responses to Presidential visits to Lowell
Dick I remember photographing President George W. Bush “41” and his wife Barbara when they visited Lowell at the Middelsex Community College Celebrity Forum in 2001.
Thanks, Kevin. I knew we would miss some. Nothing like crowd-sourcing to round out a list.
I remember the ‘gang’ and I being at the Old Depot when President Truman arrived. We had to refrain climbing the freight cars near Congress St. We were so politically knowledgeable that we mistook his arrival for a potential Festival on the South Common. At age 13, everything was a Festival. By the way, he was one of my father’s, former Lowell City Councilor, George B. Murphy Jr., favorite Presidents. Daniel Patrick Murphy
I remember Truman”s whistle stop at the depot in 1952. George Murphy was s great democrate as is George O’Hare ,who worked at the newspaper stand at the old Depot. Dick it is nice you have the proper name for the train startion.
When you enter the museum at the Hermitage, Jacksons home, the first plague you approach describes the connection between Lowell textile mills and southern cotton production. It’s a fascinating place to visit.
Truman visited Lowell October 16, 1952 and Eisenhower made a campaign stop a few days later October 21, 1952. So we need to add Eisenhower to the list. Thanks to the Lawrence History Center for the tip.
Vice President Richard Nixon visited Lowell on September 28, 1954 and received a Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Lowell Technological Institute. This was at the Cumnock Hall dedication ceremony.
Senator John F. Kennedy received the same honorary degree two years later on September 27, 1956.