There Are 15 Presidents That Have Visited North Dakota
Since we all agree US Presidents are cool, here are the United States Presidents that were nice enough to pay us a visit while they were still on the clock.
North Dakota is often referred to as flyover-country, but sometimes Presidents just couldn't avoid us.
You'll see the words "whistlestop tour" repeated in the gallery below. For those too young to get the reference, a whistlestop tour is what politicians would perform to get their face and policies out to the public. In its most used form, it's connected to politicians traveling by train across a state or across the country and making their speeches from the rear platform. It seems sitting Presidents had the advantage of a sort of Air Force One for the rails.
One of the most famous railroad cars to be used in the U.S. whistle-stop tours was the Ferdinand Magellan, the only car custom built for the President of the United States in the 20th century. Originally built in 1928 by the Pullman Company and officially the "U.S. No. 1 Presidential Railcar", the Ferdinand Magellan is on display at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, Florida.
The famous news photo of Harry S Truman holding up a copy of the Chicago Tribune with a banner headline stating "Dewey Defeats Truman" was taken on this platform on Wednesday, November 3, 1948, at St. Louis Union Station. The Ferdinand Magellan was also used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and, to a much lesser extent, by President Dwight Eisenhower.
The Magellan’s last official trip before retirement was in 1954, when first lady Mamie Eisenhower rode it from Washington, D.C., to Groton, Connecticut, to christen the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. President Ronald Reagan used the Magellan for one day, October 12, 1984, traveling 120 miles in Ohio, from Dayton to Perrysburg, making five stops to give "whistle stop" speeches along the way.
The information superhighway began as Presidents stumping for votes and riding the rails. So, sometimes North Dakota was just another stop along the way. But both President Obama and President Trump made very specific stops to our state.