SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Each year on the third Monday of February, the country celebrates Presidents Day to commemorate all U.S. presidents. For Monday’s IN FOCUS discussion, three guests joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. to talk about presidential trips to the State of Utah. Many of the visits have been for campaigning or fundraising purposes but sometimes, they have a more personal meaning.
Thomas Burr, Executive Producer for the D.C. Bureau of News Nation talked about his experiences when he was a Washington D.C. reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune. He covered several presidential terms, including President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump’s visits to Utah where he traveled on Air Force One and in the presidential motorcade.
Ross Peterson, Professor Emeritus of History at Utah State University discussed President Gerald Ford’s tie to the school. When he was still the House Minority Leader, his two sons, Jack and Steve Ford attended USU. By the time Jack graduated, Ford was appointed to be the Vice President of the United States and delivered the commencement speech at the university that year.
Holly George, Co-Editor of the Utah Historical Quarterly discussed when President Ulysses Grant came to Utah while it was still a territory. She also talked about the significance of the speeches that President Theodore Roosevelt, President John Kennedy, and President Jimmy Carter gave during their individual visits to Utah.
To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Burr, Peterson, and George, click on the video at the top of the article.