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Presidential Vacations and What Happened This Month in 1861
After Abraham Lincoln left his adopted hometown of Springfield, IL, after an emotional farewell address on February 11, 1861, and went by a special train to Washington DC, he never returned to Springfield again. (That special train was part of the plan to keep Lincoln alive and dodge the many threats of assassination.) I guess that’s not quite right. His body was brought back to Springfield, again by special train, to be buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetary.
The current occupant of the White House seems to go home to Delaware most every weekend. (Having been to Delaware, regularly visiting there by choice baffles me.) Trump, of course, regularly went to Mar-a-Lago. Obama went regularly to Hawaii (much more relatable than Delaware.) I believe, during my lifetime, President Reagan was the first president to receive criticism for taking time away from Washington. He cherished time at his ranch in California.
We, of course, live in a different world than Lincoln. Travel is immeasurably more convenient. (Note I don’t say more affordable, because the cost of Presidential travel is no longer even a consideration. If a President decides to take a jaunt to say, New York City, no one worries about his gas bill or the vast inconvenience brought upon many average citizens.)
There was a time when there was truly a component of sacrifice in “public service.” Lincoln left friends and memories behind in Illinois (though he perhaps hoped to return there eventually). He didn’t have the opportunity for extended vacations.
How fortunate we have come to a time and place where not only does one not have to make sacrifices to be in public office, but one can use the office for one’s personal enrichment.Published in General
Not to mention the travels of the Executive’s family.
Ike was criticized for playing too much golf.
He spent most weekends at his Gettysburg farm after it was renovated, and played golf there.
Nixon was criticized for time spent at San Clemente (the “western White House”) and at his pal Bebe Rebozo’s Florida spread.
Nixon’s “winter White House” was quite humble:
To go with his wife’s “Republican cloth coat”.
And Tricia’s cocker spaniel. Still a great speech.
Hmm, that seems like out-of-character behavior for someone worried that burning fossil fuels is killing the planet. He bet he uses a solar-powered golf cart to take him back and forth.