When Presidents Go MIA

President Kennedy visiting Miami on Nov. 18, 1963.

President Kennedy visiting Miami on Nov. 18, 1963.

Whether it’s to enjoy a few moments of peaceful relaxation by South Florida’s world-class beaches or to interact with the city’s vibrant political climate, U.S. Presidents have long visited the city of Miami. Take a look back at a few times that U.S. have presidents have gone “MIA”:

  • On February 15, 1933, an assassination attempt was made on President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. While Roosevelt was giving a speech in Miami’s Bayfront Park, Giuseppe Zangara, an Italian anarchist, opened fire. Roosevelt escaped unharmed.
  • President Harry S. Truman first came to Key West in 1946 for a week of relaxation having just inspected the Key West Naval Station. He returned for a total of eleven presidential working vacations and five post- presidential trips. Truman claimed Key West was his second favorite place on earth, only surpassed by his hometown of Independence, Missouri. You can still visit Truman’s “Little White House” in Key West.
  • President John F. Kennedy spoke at a testimonial dinner for Florida Sen. George Smathers on March 10, 1962 in Miami Beach.

  • President Richard Nixon purchased two waterfront homes in Key Biscayne, forming a compound known as The Florida White House, in 1969 to be close to his friend and confidant, C.G. (Bebe) Rebozo and industrialist Robert Abplanalp. There was a total of five houses plus the SSCP and helipad that made up the compound at Key Biscayne.
  • President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Miami inspirted a street named after him in Little Havana. You can still head over to La Casa de las Guayaberas, a store where Ronald Reagan visited to find guayaberas, a Cuban shirt that has buttons but a loose fit and pleats.
  • Barack Obama has made more than 30 visits to Florida since taking office in 2009, including a March 2014 visit to Coral Reef Senior High School. 

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