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Harry Truman visiting the Tomb


On February 22, 1947, President Harry S. Truman visited Mount Vernon and placed a wreath on Washington’s Tomb in honor of the first president’s 215th birthday. Mount Vernon Tomb guard Will Holland is visible at the far left in the above photograph of Truman at the Tomb. The visit, Truman’s only trip to Mount Vernon during his presidency, was covered by the Evening Star, a daily afternoon newspaper published in Washington, D.C.:

President Truman left the White House in a motorcade that wended its way down Washington Memorial parkway to Mount Vernon to lay a wreath at the snow-covered Washington Tomb. The presidential tribute was to be followed by the laying of a wreath by Louis E. Starr, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and by a representative of each of the organization’s 48 State departments.

American Legion ceremonies were to follow the VFW program. Secretary of War Patterson was to make the Washington address from the portico of Mount Vernon in the afternoon.

President Truman was scheduled to board the yacht Williamsburg at Mount Vernon directly after his part in the ceremony for a week end (sic) cruise on the Potomac. Only members of his staff will be guests, according to his press secretary, Charles G. Ross.

As reported in the Minutes of the Council of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union, 1947:

The 22nd of February was a very blustery day, with a fifty-five mile wind, and as on the previous day there had been a nine inch snowfall and all hands had to be mustered out to clear the walks and make a way for the President who came with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to give an address and lay a wreath at the Tomb of Washington. He was also to board his yacht at the wharf for his return trip to the road to the river had to be kept open as well. This was difficult work for as fast as the men cleared a section of the walks and road, the wind would drift the snow over it again. 

Presidents at Mount Vernon

Many Presidents of the United States have visited Mount Vernon before, during, and after their time in office. Explore some of the most notable visits from our Commanders in Chief.

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