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 once I took my oath on Valentines’
Day 2011, I felt I had really grow to be an American. Certainly one of my finest studying
experiences was visiting former President’s houses: every little thing from small,
easy cabins to massive, 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 below are my favourite twelve.
George Washington’s Mt.
Washington was our first president. He’s the larger-than-life basic who led
the nation to victory in America’s warfare for independence. His historic house and
property, 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 keep in mind the big patio
on the again the place I sat on one of many rocking chairs, trying over the huge, historic
Potomac River which he most likely usually did.
Monticello (1801-1809) (headline photograph)
Jefferson, one other Founding Father and principal creator of the Declaration of
Independence, grew to become our third president. He inherited Monticello,
which means “little mountain,” when he was solely 26. He designed it in neoclassical
design and included French components whereas he was Minister to France. Monticello, collectively along with his summer time house Poplar Forest in Virginia, is architecturally sensible
and has been designated a Nationwide Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage
Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
got here from Tennessee: Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and Andrew Johnson. The Hermitage
is Jackson’s house and it ranks with Mt. Vernon and Monticello as the perfect
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 achieved earlier than her
divorce was finalized.
James Polk (1845-49)
Tennessee is the place one can find the house of James Polk, our eleventh president. Sickly from the
begin, he put in a lot laborious work that the presidency price him his life. Two
portraits in his modest house, 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.
President was Abraham Lincoln, steadily cited as the perfect 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.
His Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois is, to me,
the perfect 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
house. Fifty-six steps (representing his brief life) result in the Lincoln Birthplace Nationwide Historic Park in Hodgenville, Kentucky. It options
the standard, tiny cabin the place he was born.
grew to become our youngest president at 42 after President McKinley was assassinated. Nonetheless,
he achieved a lot: the Sq. Deal, the Panama Canal, and conservation as a
high nationwide precedence. Though we weren’t capable of go to the Sagamore Hill
Nationwide Historic Web site 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 nice 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 great job laying the
basis of my house nation’s public techniques and infrastructure as the primary
Governor-Basic of the Philippines. In actual fact, that success catapulted him into the presidency. After which his
robust judicial background led him to be the one president who later served as
Roosevelt was our thirty second President for a document 4 phrases, main the nation
by the Nice Melancholy and WWII. His house, the Springwood Property in Hyde Park, New York, a Nationwide Historic Web site,
began the custom of Presidential Libraries. He doubled the scale of his
mom’s mansion and reworked it right into a Colonial revival type. He stayed on the
Prime Cottage whereas his spouse Eleanor lived at her Val-Kill Cottage, two miles away,
one other Nationwide Historic Web site. She redefined the function of First Woman and have become
ninth of the Prime Ten Most Broadly Admired Folks of the twentieth Century.
Roosevelt died, Harry Truman grew to become our thirty third president. He’s recognized for authorizing
the primary and solely use of nuclear weapons ending WWII; rebuilding of Europe by
the Marshall Plan; and establishing the Truman doctrine and NATO. We visited
his 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 house that grew to become the
website of many historic agreements and conferences.
On the finish
of WWII, Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe,
grew to become our thirty fourth president. He was liable for the success of the Normandy landings
that ended the European warfare. He licensed the creation of NASA, contributed to
the tip of McCarthyism, and constructed the Interstate Freeway System resulting in widespread
financial prosperity. We visited his Boyhood Residence 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 closing resting place.
John F. 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 your entire
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 house was the patriarch’s and Edward Kennedy,
the smaller house on Irving Avenue grew to become his summer time 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.
My workers and
I constructed a house for the Philippine Chapter of Habitat for Humanity once 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 houses utilizing volunteer labor and bought them at no revenue
for inexpensive month-to-month funds. The go to additionally gave me the prospect to take a
peek at Jimmy Carter’s modest
two-bedroom house in Plains. Our 39th president could 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 undertaking yearly.
There are ten
different President’s houses we’ve got seen that I couldn’t embrace right here. Visiting
presidential houses has been really instructive for me. So we’re nonetheless hoping to
see the opposite 24.
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