Quincy was founded in 1822, just four years after Illinois officially became the twenty-first state in the country. At the time, James Monroe was amid his second term as the country’s fifth Commander in Chief. In the 196 years that followed, we’ve seen 41 presidents and only five have visited Quincy. Not including men that would later become president (Lincoln, Kennedy, Grant, etc.) can you name them all?

Go ahead. I’ll wait.
(Scroll down for the full list.)

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......Give up? I thought so. Here they are in reverse chronological order…

  • Barack Obama

    April 28, 2010

    You probably remember this one (it was only eight years ago). President Obama stopped by the Oakley-Lindsay Center on April 28, 2010 on part of his “White House to Main Street” tour to address clean energy economy investments in rural America. Fort Madison, Iowa; Ottumwa, Iowa; and Macon, Missouri were also part of the two-day event.

    Library of Congress
  • Bill Clinton

    January 28, 2000

    Entering his final year in his second term, President Bill Clinton addressed the town on a chilly January 28 in Washington Park—just one day after his final State of the Union Address. He proudly sported a new Quincy University baseball cap as he departed and even joked that he should make an executive order that all future presidents should come to Quincy the day after their final State of the Union Address.

    Library of Congress
  • Theodore Roosevelt

    April 29, 1903

    In his 2000 speech, Clinton referenced Roosevelt as the last president to come to Quincy, adding “I don’t know what the others were thinking about!” In any case, President Roosevelt did come to Quincy nearly a century earlier on April 29, 1903 where he delivered a short speech about currency laws (which you can read in its entirety HERE).

    Library of Congress
  • William McKinley

    October 6, 1899

    And just a few years prior, on October 6, 1899, William McKinley addressed the Gem City after visiting the Illinois Veterans Home (then called the “Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Home”). He spoke of patriotism and extended his thanks to those that have served. You can read the full speech HERE.

    Library of Congress
  • Rutherford B. Hayes

    September 1879

    Not surprisingly, the first president to speak in Quincy is also the engagement we know the least about. The 19th president addressed a crowd from the balcony of The Tremont House (where WGEM is currently located) in September of 1879.

    Library of Congress