Fourteen men who have served as President of the United States have visited Galesburg. Today, June 2, 2007, the 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton will present the Commencement Address at Knox College. While the sitting President, Clinton spoke at both Carl Sandburg College and Galesburg High School on Sept. 10, 1995.
On Oct. 7, 1858, future President Abraham Lincoln debated Stephen Douglas on the east lawn of Old Main on the Knox College campus as part of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Lincoln’s first excursion to Galesburg occurred on Aug. 24, 1858, when he arrived on the Peoria and Oquawka Railroad. His short stopover before departing for Augusta included a visit to the Bancroft House Hotel located adjacent to the Knox College campus. Lincoln reportedly took time for a haircut in downtown Galesburg…..
When former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton addresses the college grads he will be one of seven to speak on the Knox College campus. Ronald Reagan was “one of ours”; he and the others have been our honored guests.
Presidential Visits To Galesburg
Abraham Lincoln Aug. 24, 1858 Oct. 7, 1858
Ulysses Grant 1868 Oct. 27,1879
Rutherford Hayes Sept. 23, 1879
Benjamin Harrison Oct. 8, 1890
William McKinley Oct. 6 and 7, 1899
Theodore Roosevelt July 5, 1900 Apr. 16, 1912
Wm. Howard Taft Oct. 7, 1908
Franklin Roosevelt Oct. 1, 1920
Harry Truman May 8, 1950
Dwight Eisenhower May 1967
Gerald Ford July 29, 1966
Ronald Reagan March 16, 1980
George H.W. Bush March 13, 1988
William Clinton Sept. 10, 1995 June 2, 2007