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Presidential Visits to Union Terminal

Since its opening in 1933, Union Terminal has been the site of numerous stops by U.S. presidents, vice-presidents and candidates. They include:

Mitt Romney
September 1, 2012

Romney chose Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal to be the site of his first rally as the Republican Party's official presidential candidate.
Photo credit: Mark Lyons

 

Barack Obama
February 26, 2008

Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama held a conversation with seniors on health care and health insurance in the Losantiville Café.
Photo credit: Mark Lyons

 

John Kerry
September 8, 2004

In a campaign speech in the Rotunda, Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, challenged the Bush administration's direction in the Iraq war.
Photo credit: Mark Lyons

 

George W. Bush
October 7, 2002

In the Rotunda, President George W. Bush makes his case for the war effort in Iraq.
Photo credit: Mark Lyons

 

Dan Quayle
April 29, 1991

Very late in the planning, a visit to Union Terminal was added to Vice President Quayle’s agenda. Ohio Governor George Voinovich accompanied the vice president on a quick tour of the Cincinnati Goes to War exhibit in the Cincinnati History Museum that had opened 10 days earlier.

 

Harry S. Truman
Multiple visits

July 5, 1948: Truman strolled through Union Terminal while his 14-car special train was being serviced.

October 11, 1948: Truman's Whistlestop Campaign through Ohio began in Cincinnati. Truman’s train took him to 10 Ohio cities in one day. The Cincinnati stop featured breakfast in the Netherland Plaza’s Hall of Mirrors. The crowd numbered 2,000 and included Democratic Party leaders and campaign workers.

November 4, 1948: Truman's "Victory Special" train stopped for 30 minutes at Union Terminal. This trip was after the election that Truman won despite predictions that Dewey would beat him. Truman gave a two-minute speech.

October 31, 1952: Truman gave a speech at Music Hall.

December 7, 1952: Truman purchased a copy of the Cincinnati Enquirer at Union Terminal while his train was being serviced. He was on his way to Independence to attend his mother-in-law’s funeral.

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt
October 16, 1936

FDR arrived at Union Terminal in an 11-car special train at 10 a.m., its scheduled arrival time. Arrangements called for the president to ride in a seven-passenger car with the top down, but a steady rain prohibited that. The car belonged to Mrs. William Cooper Procter. The car held the president, Ohio Governor Martin L. Davey, Mrs. Roosevelt, Charles Sawyer (Democratic National Committeeman), Mrs. Procter’s chauffeur, Martin Reddington and one Secret Service man. At the end of his Cincinnati visit, FDR boarded his train at the Winton Place station.

 

Research source: Cincinnati Historical Society Library, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal


Other visits

Joe Biden, September 24, 2008

Senator Joe Biden, candidate for vice president, conducted a rally on foreign policy in the Rotunda.

 

Laura Bush, October 11, 2006

First Lady Laura Bush spoke at Cincinnati Museum Center at a fundraising event supporting Congressman Steve Chabot. As a part of the visit, she toured the Duke Energy Children’s Museum and a special exhibit by children commemorating the 9/11 tragedy. 

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower, September 22, 1952

Traveling in an 18-car campaign train, Eisenhower arrived at 7 p.m. Senator Bob Taft and other prominent Republicans met him on the train platform. In the Rotunda, a band and hundreds of supporters with "We Want Ike" signs greeted him. A 40-car motorcade made the trip to Music Hall, where he gave a speech.

 

Thomas Dewey, October 12, 1948

The Dewey campaign train stopped at Union Terminal from 5:55 to 7 a.m.  This was a layover on a trip from Pittsburgh to Lexington. Dewey reportedly slept during the layover and made no public appearance.

 

Wendell Wilkie, October 16, 1940

After arriving by train at 7:30 p.m., Wilkie was taken to Crosley Field, where he gave a speech to a crowd of at least 15,000. That speech was broadcast to the nation. His day began in Kent, Ohio, and then the train traveled to Mansfield, Marion, Springfield, Dayton and Hamilton before arriving in Cincinnati. Initial plans called for Wilkie to also speak at Union Terminal before the main event at Crosley, but there was not sufficient time, so the talk was cancelled.

 

Research source: Cincinnati Historical Society Library, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal