Coronado Has Drawn Presidents for 100 Years

President Obama is just the latest in a long line that began with President Benjamin Harrison.

Updated at 9:35 a.m. Tuesday, with answer and information on other local Presidential visits.


Thank you Mayor Tanaka and Kel Casey. Yes, that's the Hotel del Coronado (the easy part of the question!), which hosted President Benjamin Harrison 120 years ago.

Why does the photo have something in common with what's happening this week? , the NCAA basketball set for Friday aboard the USS Vinson.

He's just the latest in a long line of presidents who have found themselves in Coronado, whether for state business, military visits or just like many other people, for a good vacation.

How many presidents have come to town? The Hotel del is a good place to try to answer the question, though Obama is not set to stop by.

Hotel officials have complied a list of 10 men who were in Coronado either to visit the resort or the Navy base while serving in the nation's highest office. 

In addition, two others came while they were out of office: William H. Taft (1909-13), who visited both before and after his White House stint, and Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69), who attended a state dinner hosted by President Richard Nixon in 1970.

Here's a list of presidents who have visited Coronado, courtesy of the Del:

President Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893): Harrison was touring the country by train and had breakfast at the Del on April 23, 1891 (supposedly he greeted San Diego well-wishers in his dressing robe and slippers from the back of his rail car). This was the first time an in-office president had visited San Diego. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932-1945): Roosevelt stayed at the resort Oct. 1, 1935, for San Diego’s California Pacific International Exposition. During his stay, Roosevelt flew the presidential flag, which made the hotel the official White House for the period he was in residence. The next day, Roosevelt gave a speech to 50,000 gathered in San Diego. Roosevelt had close ties to Coronado because his son John was stationed here during World War II, and both President and Mrs. Roosevelt were frequent guests at the Del.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961): As the hotel notes, President Dwight D. Eisenhower did not stay at the resort, but he was the first president to land at North Island Naval Air Station. 

Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974): Nixon hosted a state dinner in the hotel’s historic Crown Room for Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz on Sept. 3, 1970. Among the 1,000 people in attendance were former President and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson and Governor and Mrs. Ronald Reagan. Aside from political luminaries, the dinner was also attended by celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and John Wayne.

Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977): Ford attended an economic conference at the Del in April 1975. He made other visits to the hotel in 1980, 1991, 1992, and 1993.

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981): When Carter attended the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades convention, a reception was given in his honor at the Del on October 11, 1979. 

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989): Reagan returned to the Del on Oct. 8, 1982, when he hosted talks with Mexican president-elect Miguel de la Madrid in a private suite, which has since become known as the “Summit Suite.” The hotel’s “Governor’s Suite” is also named in Reagan’s honor, who, along with his family, were frequent guests at the Del before and during his presidency.

George H. Bush (1989-1993): An avid tennis player, Bush stayed at the Hotel del Coronado both before and during his presidency.

Bill Clinton (1993-2001): Clinton (aboard Airforce One) used North Island many times for numerous Presidential visits to the Del while in office. 

George W. Bush (2001-2008): Bush was at the Del with his wife, Laura, on Aug. 29-30, 2005 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of V-Day. During his stay, he addressed the military at North Island. 


Calling all history buffs!

Pop quiz: Where was this shot taken and who is the focal point of the festivities?

The prize? We'll help you with your coffee habit. Just answer in the comments.

The first correct answers to both questions wins! (Caveat: You must be from Coronado.)

* and thanks to the provider of the photo. We can't credit it properly now because that would give away part of the answer. As soon as we have the right answer, the credit will be posted.

Jennifer Vigil November 08, 2011 at 07:59 PM
Mr. Mayor, Kel kindly says if you hadn't tipped her she wouldn't have realized it was Harrison. So $10 gift cards for you both! Thanks for playing. :-)
Casey Tanaka November 08, 2011 at 07:59 PM
I concur with you Mariecor! I hope there will be more of these quizzes.
Kel Casey November 08, 2011 at 08:49 PM
I'll share with Mr. Mayor. The Del part was easy, it was figuring out which president it was that was hard (I thought it might have been Taft, but I think he was too, um, portly). So I'd say Casey wins the bigger piece of pie.
Kel Casey November 08, 2011 at 08:50 PM
I hope we have more "quizzes" like this, on a variety of subjects.
Mariecor Ruediger November 08, 2011 at 09:56 PM
Plus, I love the collaborative atmosphere--it's very uplifting! What a great way to build community :) Congratulations to Kel and Mayor Tanaka both :)


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