George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, has hosted a number of national and international events.

Yorktown Preparations

The Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown A.D. 1781, 1865-1875, MVLA, SC-171, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley DeForest Scott, 1985.As the American and French forces made their way south to Yorktown, Virginia, General Washington made a brief trip to his home, his first in six years. During this short visit, Washington and French Lieutenant General Rochambeau refined their plan for the upcoming battle at Yorktown. Washington's forces defeated the British and the victory led directly to peace negotiations that ended the war and gave the British colonies their independence.  

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Mount Vernon Conference

View of Mount Vernon with the Washington Family on the Piazza, July 16, 1796, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, MVLA, W-5307, Purchased with funds provided in part by an anonymous donor, 2013.

View of Mount Vernon with the Washington Family on the Piazza, July 16, 1796, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, MVLA, W-5307, Purchased with funds provided in part by an anonymous donor, 2013.

Lacking a strong central government after the Revolutionary War, the states quarreled among themselves and some even established proprietary regulations, tariffs, and currency. To ensure mutually profitable commerce on the shared waterways of the Potomac River, the legislators of Virginia and Maryland recognized the need for an agreement between the two states. Washington invited commissioners from Virginia and Maryland to Mount Vernon in 1875 to discuss navigational rights in the states' common waterways. The Mount Vernon Conference successfully initiated the concept of regular meetings between states to discuss areas of mutual concern.

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Saving Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in 1884 on the piazza, MVLA.

Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in 1884 on the piazza, MVLA.

The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association was founded in the 1850s by Ann Pamela Cunningham to save George Washington's estate from ruin. It was the first national historic preservation organization and is the oldest women's patriotic society in the United States. The organization raised $200,000 to purchase Washington’s home, outbuildings, and about 200 acres of the surrounding land. The MVLA’s pioneering efforts in the field of preservation set an important precedent and have served as a model for many to this day.

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Diplomatic Tool

French and British Missions visit Mount Vernon, April 29, 1917, Committee on Public Information, MVLA.

French and British Missions visit Mount Vernon, April 29, 1917, Committee on Public Information, MVLA.

Washington was not the only one who saw the value in diplomatic meetings at Mount Vernon. Since his death, many US officials have hosted foreign leaders on the estate. A few key visits include President James Buchanan accompanied British Prince Albert (future King Edward VII). In April 1917, a group including members of the British and French War Commissions, US Cabinet, the British and French Ambassadors, among many others toured the estate. First Lady Lou Hoover accompanied the Queen of Siam.

In July of 1943, Lieutenant-General Lesly McNair escorted General Henri Giraud and French officers. President Gerald Ford and French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing celebrated the bicentennial of the United States at Mount Vernon. President George H. W. Bush and the Crown Prince of Jordan, H. R. H. Prince Muhammed bin Talal visited. President Ronald and Nancy Reagan celebrated Washington’s 250th birthday on the estate. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and President George W. Bush held a closed-session meeting with advisors in the New Room of the Mansion.

US Presidents at Mount Vernon

1789
2018
George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Andrew Jackson
James K. Polk
Millard Fillmore
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Rutherford B. Hayes
Benjamin Harrison
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush
Donald Trump

TERM OF OFFICE: 1789-1797

George Washington

1st President of the United States. Mount Vernon was Washington's home from 1754 until his death in 1799.

John Adams

2nd President of the United States. Visited ca. June 10-11, 1800.

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Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on January 3, 1801 to pay a condolence call on Martha Washington who was greiving the recent death of her husband.

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Andrew Jackson

7th President of the United States. Visited in November of 1815.

James K. Polk

11th President of the United States. Came to Mount Vernon in June 1845 with his wife, Sarah Childress Polk and former First Lady, Dolley Payne Madison.

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Millard Fillmore

13th President of the United States. Visited in March 1851.

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James Buchanan

15th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1860 with the Prince of Wales.

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Abraham Lincoln

16th President of the United States. In 1862, during the Civil War, Lincoln came to Mount Vernon via steam boat down the Potomac River.

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Rutherford B. Hayes

19th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on Saturday, May 18, 1878 with his wife.

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Benjamin Harrison

23rd President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in May of 1889.

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William McKinley

25th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on Thursday, December 14, 1899 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of George Washington's death.

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Theodore Roosevelt

26th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon many times with his family.

William Howard Taft

27th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1912 to place a wreath at Washington's tomb.

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Woodrow Wilson

28th President of the United States. Visited several times, including a grandiose Independence Day celebration in 1918.

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Calvin Coolidge

30th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon twice during his administration.

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Herbert Hoover

31st President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on Washington's 198th birthday in 1930, and again, two years later, on the 200th.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon on May 15, 1933 and many other occasions.

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Harry S. Truman

33rd President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1947.

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Dwight D. Eisenhower

34th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1958.

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John F. Kennedy

35th President of the United States. Hosted a state dinner at Mount Vernon for President Ayub Khan of Pakistan on Tuesday, July 11, 1961.

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Lyndon B. Johnson

36th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1961.

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Gerald Ford

38th President of the United States. Visited Mount Vernon in 1961 as a Congressman and again in 1976 during his presidency.

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Ronald Reagan

40th President of the United States. Came to Mount Vernon on Monday, February 22, 1982 with First Lady Nancy Reagan to commemorate the 250th birthday of George Washington.

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George H. W. Bush

41st President of the United States. Landed the presidential helicopter on the Bowling Green on Wednesday, April 19, 1989.

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George W. Bush

43rd President of the United States. Paid a visit with Mrs. Bush on the Presidents’ Day holiday in 2007; came back in November of the same year to meet with the new president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy.

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Donald Trump

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association welcomed President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, and Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic, and his wife, Brigitte, for a private tour and dinner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon on Monday, April 23, 2018.

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The Roosevelts

President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt visiting Mount Vernon in 1933, MVLA.

President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt visiting Mount Vernon in 1933, MVLA.

President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt visited Mount Vernon more than ten times between 1933 and 1943. Sometimes just the two would come for a visit, but often they brought with them guests from around the world. While both did not accompany every visit, either the president or Mrs. Roosevelt toured the estate with: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill; King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain; Lord Tweedsmuir, the Governor General of Canada and Lady Tweedsmuir; Prime Minister of Belgium and Mrs. Zeeland; President and Mrs. Samoza of Nicaragua and their daughter; Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands; and Madame Chiang Kai-Chek.

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Viewshed Preservation

The same view Washington experienced during his lifetime.

The same view Washington experienced during his lifetime.

In the early 1950s, the view from Mount Vernon became threatened by a plan to build an oil tank farm directly across the Potomac River. Vice Regent and Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton ensured this did not happen. She purchased 485 acres of land and established the Accokeek Foundation which works to preserve the Maryland shoreline. Another threat surfaced less than a decade later. This time the National Park System established Piscataway Park to protect additional land. Since the 1960s, there have been many more battles, most recently in 2018, to ensure Washington’s beloved view remains largely unchanged. 

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President John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy hosted a state dinner at Mount Vernon in honor of President Mohammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan and his daughter, Naseem Akhtar Aurangzeb on July 11, 1961. It was the first state dinner held outside of Washington, DC. Guests traveled down the Potomac River on a fleet of four boats, including the President’s yacht. After docking, they were driven by limousine to the Mansion. Francis Beirne Regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association presented President Khan with a bust of George Washington. There was then a military drill by the US Army’s Colonial Color Guard and Fife and Drum Corps. Finally, dinner was served on the East Lawn overlooking the Potomac. 

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Olympic Torch

Darrell Green running around the Mansion Circle with the Olympic Torch, 1996, MVLA.

Darrell Green running around the Mansion Circle with the Olympic Torch, 1996, MVLA.

On June 21, 1996, Darrell Green, of the Washington Redskins, carried the Olympic Torch up the bowling green at Mount Vernon on its journey to the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Green was cheered on by 3,400 visitors.

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State Visit

President Donald and First Lady Melania Trump with French President Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at Mount Vernon, 2018, MVLA.

President Donald and First Lady Melania Trump with French President Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron at Mount Vernon, 2018, MVLA.

The tradition of hosting diplomatic events at Mount Vernon continues to today. In April of 2018, President Donald and Melania Trump hosted Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic, and his wife, Brigitte, for a private tour and dinner on the estate. 

The group arrived by helicopter and received a tour of the grounds and Mansion led by Mount Vernon Regent Sarah Miller Coulson and President and CEO Doug Bradburn. They briefly viewed Washington’s upper garden and greenhouse before moving into the Mansion. Following the couples’ dinner, the group paid tribute to George Washington by placing a wreath quietly at the tomb of the Washingtons.

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Experience Mount Vernon

You can stand in the same place as presidents, kings, and queens during your trip to Mount Vernon

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