My 12 Favourite Visits to Historic President’s Houses

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The full article first appeared in Journey Awaits on Feb. 18, 2022.

Once we first
started RVing, I used to be not an American citizen but. Truly, the journeys throughout the
nation so educated me about America’s historical past that after I took my oath on Valentines’
Day 2011, I felt I had actually turn into an American. Certainly one of my greatest studying
experiences was visiting former President’s properties: every little thing from small,
easy cabins to giant, luxurious mansions. Every gave me a view, not of how the
President ruled, however of the person: how he got here to be and the way he selected to dwell.
Listed here are my favourite twelve.

George Washington’s Mt.
Vernon (1789-1797)

Washington was our first president. He’s the larger-than-life basic who led
the nation to victory in America’s battle for independence. His historic dwelling and
Mt. Vernon, is now a Nationwide Historic Landmark in Virginia 13 miles
south of Washington DC. The unique home was constructed by his father in 1754

on land they owned since 1674
and expanded by Washington within the 1770s. I distinctly bear in mind the massive patio
on the again the place I sat on one of many rocking chairs, trying over the large, historic
Potomac River which he most likely typically did.

Thomas Jefferson’
Monticello (1801-1809) (headline photograph)

Jefferson, one other Founding Father and principal writer of the Declaration of
Independence, turned our third president. He inherited
which means “little mountain,” when he was solely 26. He designed it in neoclassical
design and included French parts whereas he was Minister to France. Monticello, collectively along with his summer season dwelling Poplar Forest in Virginia, is architecturally sensible
and has been designated a Nationwide Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage

Andrew Jackson  (1829-1837)

Three presidents
got here from Tennessee: Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and Andrew Johnson.
The Hermitage
is Jackson’s dwelling and it ranks with Mt. Vernon and Monticello as one of the best
presidential websites. Jackson, the seventh president, was credited with the annexation
of Arkansas and Michigan. And a part of his legacy is the house the place there’s a lovely
Greek-inspired tomb and memorial to the spouse he misplaced, even earlier than he claimed
the presidency, due to the scandal of their marriage being accomplished earlier than her
divorce was finalized.

James Polk (1845-49)

Tennessee is the place you will discover the
dwelling of James Polk, our eleventh president. Sickly from the
begin, he put in a lot exhausting work that the presidency price him his life. Two
portraits in his modest dwelling, taken solely two years aside, present how a lot he’d aged.
Polk led the US to win the Mexican-American Struggle, and his legacy was the
annexation of the remainder of the West.

Abraham Lincoln

Our sixteenth
President was Abraham Lincoln, often cited as one of the best president we ever
had. He led the nation throughout its worst disaster, the Civil Struggle, preserved the
Union and abolished slavery. Such daring actions finally price him his life.
Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois is, to me,
one of the best of all of them. There he comes alive with holograms. He and his spouse
Mary, performed by actors, welcomed us to his close by modest, Greek revival-style
dwelling. Fifty-six steps (representing his quick life) result in the
Lincoln Birthplace Nationwide Historic Park in Hodgenville, Kentucky. It options
the common-or-garden, tiny cabin the place he was born.

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt
turned our youngest president at 42 after President McKinley was assassinated. Nonetheless,
he completed a lot: the Sq. Deal, the Panama Canal, and conservation as a
prime nationwide precedence. Though we weren’t in a position to go to the Sagamore Hill
Nationwide Historic Website in New York, we noticed his
birthplace within the metropolis and the Maltese Cross Cabin on the Theodore Roosevelt Nationwide
Park in North Dakota which confirmed me how he got here to like the good open air.

William Howard Taft

It was a
stroke of luck! We got here throughout the house of William Howard Taft, the twenty seventh
president, in entrance of the hospital the place my husband needed to have arthroscopic knee
surgical procedure in Ohio. That was particularly significant since he did a very good job laying the
basis of my dwelling nation’s public programs and infrastructure as the primary
Governor-Normal of the Philippines. In reality, that success catapulted him into the presidency. After which his
robust judicial background led him to be the one president who later served as
Chief Justice.

Franklin Delano
Roosevelt (1933-1945)

Franklin Delano
Roosevelt was our thirty second President for a report 4 phrases, main the nation
by way of the Nice Despair and WWII. His dwelling, the
Springwood Property in Hyde Park, New York, a Nationwide Historic Website,
began the custom of Presidential Libraries. He doubled the scale of his
mom’s mansion and remodeled it right into a Colonial revival fashion. He stayed on the
High Cottage whereas his spouse Eleanor lived at her Val-Kill Cottage, two miles away,
one other Nationwide Historic Website. She redefined the function of First Girl and have become
ninth of the High Ten Most Extensively Admired Folks of the twentieth Century.

Harry Truman

Roosevelt died, Harry Truman turned our thirty third president. He’s identified for authorizing
the primary and solely use of nuclear weapons ending WWII; rebuilding of Europe by way of
the Marshall Plan; and establishing the Truman doctrine and NATO. We visited
birthplace in Lamar, Missouri, and his presidential library and
males’s retailer “Wild About Harry” managed by my husband’s nephew are each in
Independence. However later he needed to spend his winters orders from his physician on the
Little White Home in Key West, Florida, a former base commandant’s dwelling that turned the
web site of many historic agreements and conferences.

Dwight Eisenhower

On the finish
of WWII, Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe,
turned our thirty fourth president. He was accountable for the success of the Normandy landings
that ended the European battle. He approved the creation of NASA, contributed to
the top of McCarthyism, and constructed the Interstate Freeway System resulting in widespread
financial prosperity. We visited his  
Boyhood House and Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas (my husband is from Kansas), a easy two-story
wood-frame home on an acre of land. It is usually his remaining resting place.

John F. Kennedy

John Kennedy
was elected our thirty fifth president. It was a brief however beloved presidency. His eloquent
speeches impressed not solely the nation however the world. Along with the complete
world, I mourned his assassination. My husband and I visited the
Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port,
sits on six acres on the Cape Cod waterfront.
The primary dwelling was the patriarch’s and Edward Kennedy,
the smaller dwelling on Irving Avenue turned his summer season White Home, and Robert
Kennedy’s was on Marchant Avenue. None of those is open to the general public so we
spent the time on the
JFK Hyannis Museum close by.

Jimmy Carter

My workers and
I constructed a house for the Philippine Chapter of Habitat for Humanity after I was GM
of MegaLink, the ATM consortium of banks within the Philippines. I visited its
headquarters in Americus and Atlanta Georgia. The
nonprofit group constructed properties utilizing volunteer labor and bought them at no revenue
for reasonably priced month-to-month funds. The go to additionally gave me the prospect to take a
peek at Jimmy Carter’s modest
two-bedroom dwelling
in Plains. Our 39th president might not have had
a completely profitable presidency however he has impressed many. As much as six years in the past, he
nonetheless went on a Carter-Habitat mission yearly.

There are ten
different President’s properties we now have seen that I couldn’t embody right here. Visiting
presidential properties has been actually instructive for me. So we’re nonetheless hoping to
see the opposite 24.



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