Nearly every president has come to Mount Vernon. Explore a timeline of every recorded instances of United States presidents visiting George Washington's beloved home.Explore the Timeline
The Virginia Herald, June 10-11, 1800
His Excellency John Adams arrived at this place [Alexandria, Virginia] yesterday. He was escorted by a troop of cavalry into town .The President is on a visit to Mount Vernon, from whence he will return on Wednesday, and partake of a public dinner to which he has been invited by the citizens of Alexandria.”
Visited Mount Vernon to pay a condolence call on Martha Washington who was grieving the recent death of her husband.
President Buchanan was accompanied by Prince Albert, the future King Edward VII.
The Times of London, 1860
Before this humble tomb the Prince, the President, and all the party stood uncovered. It is easy moralizing on this visit, for there is something grandly suggestive of historical retribution in the reverential awe of the Price of Wales, the great-grandson of George III, standing bare-headed at the foot of the coffin of Washington... the Prince then proceeded to plant a chestnut by the side of the tomb. It seemed when the Royal youth closed in the earth around the little germ, that he was burying the last faint trace of discord between us and our great brethren in the West.”
Abraham Lincoln supposedly almost visited Mount Vernon. The President's steamboat apparently stopped by on a trip down the Potomac River in 1862, but was advised not to disembark the vessel. According to John Dahlgren of the Washington Navy Yard, "I advised the President not to land, and remained in the boat with him."
Notes from MVLA Council of 1898
It distressed all present to note the frail physique of Mrs. McKinley. We could not but admire her bravery and enthusiasm. She was actually carried from room to room, but withal was cheerfully intent on seeing everything of interest.”
It would appear that no president enjoyed his trips to Mount Vernon more than Theodore Roosevelt. The longtime superintendent who hosted most of those visits, Colonel Harrison Dodge, recalled in his memoirs that President Roosevelt "took his visits to Mount Vernon in a holiday spirit and was usually in a characteristic good humor."
Colonel Harrison Dodge, 1907
...just before they arrived a heavy downpour of rain came on, practically without warning and the party arrived quite wet and very considerably bespattered with mud... I was surprised presently to hear the President calling loudly for me. Come, Colonel, he shouted. I want you to see my Postmaster General in the tub taking a bath with his boots on... When I entered the room in response to this extravagant announcement, I found Mr. Meyer standing in the tub in the process of washing the mud from his boots under the shower jet. This method of caring for the situation was canny and effective, but in view of the Presidents Homeric enjoyment of the scene, the cabinet officers position in the tub was extremely ludicrous... At the luncheon-table Roosevelt...dwelt at length on it, magnifying and enlarging it with such keen enjoyment that the infection spread to all of us, and the meal proceeded with an extreme hilarity that bordered on hysterics...”
Colonel Harrison Dodge, 1918
President Woodrow Wilson several times honored Mount Vernon by his presence, but quite the most spectacular event in which he took part was on the Fourth of July, 1918, when he brought as his guests, on the Mayflower, fifty or more delegates representing the thousands of foreign-born citizens of the United States, wishing, by this public commemoration of our Declaration of Independence, to testify their loyalty to America. Each delegate bore a handsome wreath distinguished by his respective national colors, the collection quite filling the Tomb...It was estimated that nearly 20,000 persons were present on that notable day.”
President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy entertained President Mohammad Ayub Khan of Pakistan and his daughter, Naseem Akhtar Aurangzeb, on the east lawn of Mount Vernon. It was Mrs. Kennedy's idea to host the dinner at Mount Vernon.
John F. Kennedy's Toast to President Ayub Khan of Pakistan
Mr. President, we feel a special satisfaction because you are our guest tonight and because we feel that what Mount Vernon stands for is understood by you. Mount Vernon means to us not merely a beautiful home, but it also is, we hope, the symbol of the United States--in the past, the present, and we hope the future.”
President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan visited Mount Vernon to commemorate the 250th birthday of George Washington.
DELIVERED ON FEBRUARY 22, 1982 BY PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN AT MOUNT VERNON
Words alone cannot express how much we revere this giant for freedom... We are gathered on hallowed grounds to share a special moment in our history... We come filled with pride and gratitude, to honor George Washington, father of our country, knowing that because of what he did, we are free and we are Americans... Two hundred and fifty years after his birth, Washington's star shinesbrighter than ever... [his] pursuit of liberty and justice under God is still the most inspiring, the most successful, the most revolutionary idea the world has ever known.”
President George W. Bush, February 19, 2007
With the advantage of hindsight, it is easy to take George Washington's successes for granted and to assume that all those events were destined to unfold as they did... Well, the truth is far different. America's path to freedom was long and it was hard. And the outcome was really never certain. Honoring George Washington's life requires us to remember the many challenges that he overcame, and the fact that American history would have turned out very differently without his steady leadership.”
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.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited Mount Vernon on Sunday, January 30, 2022, to address the National Governors Association (NGA). They traveled to Mount Vernon by Marine One and landed on the 12-acre field overlooking the Mansion. The previous evening’s wintery mix provided a snowy ground cover, and George Washington’s iconic Mansion was illuminated for the occasion.
Nearly every United States president has paid a visit to George Washington's home. But especially in recent years, Mount Vernon has welcomed many First Ladies, too-- including Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Trump.First Ladies at Mount Vernon