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Thursday, September 03, 2015

The last time a sitting president visited Alaska

President Roosevelt might very well have entered this Bunker - it was the headquarters of the Army Command for Kodiak

Over 70 years ago when a sitting President visited Alaska he stopped in Kodiak.

Listening to the Alaska news this morning it was all about President Obama's visit to Alaska, and during the newscast the announcers kept on hyping his visit by saying, 'The first visit by a sitting president to Alaska's arctic'.  And while strictly true I found this statement disingenuous, and a little belittling to another sitting president who visited Alaska.

I am excited by Obama's visit to Alaska and I think he highlighted some very important issues during his visit.  He also impressed me by visiting the small villages of Alaska's rural regions and how he interacted with Alaskans.  His visit is very important because it highlights to the world what climate change is doing to the arctic.

However, he is not the first sitting President to visit Alaska.  I gather a number of 'sitting Presidents' have visited Alaska - Presidents Harding, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and GW Bush all visited Alaska while in office. And 71 years ago during the summer of 1944 and a year before the end of WWII President Roosevelt spent 3 weeks in Alaska. (click here for a very interesting ADN article about Roosevelt's visit to Alaska).  He visited the troops in Adak who had recently expelled the Japanese from the Aleutians, and the base was still a forward operating theater in the fight to invade Japan.  My favorite factoid is that during FDR's visit to Kodiak he 'caught one fish'.

Maybe I missed it, but on the news this morning I just wish they had at least mentioned the earlier visits by a 'sitting President' to Alaska, and Franklin Roosevelt's visit in particular.  Patrick


Molly Odell said...

Obama talked about previous presidential visits! I think it was in his speech in Kotzebue. I saw some clips online. It was pretty funny.

Zoya, Patrick, Nora and Stuart said...

That makes me happy. I kinda figured the oversight was the media's fault and not Obama's. Patrick