On this date in 1906, Theodore Roosevelt became the first American president to travel outside the United States while in office.
Here are some facts you may not have known about presidential travel.
Roosevelt visited Panama to inspect the construction of the Panama Canal. Of the 17 days spent out of the country, 14 of them were in transit to and from Panama, only three days were spent inspecting the Canal.
Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, made only one trip while president. Taft met with the president of Mexico in the border town of Juarez.
Woodrow Wilson was the first president to travel to Europe, which he did in 1918 and 1919 to participate in the Paris Peace Conference. He spent nearly seven months in Europe, interrupted only by a nine-day trip home.
Warren G. Harding’s only official trip as president was the first to Canada in 1923.
Franklin Roosevelt was the first president to travel to Africa for the Casablanca Conference with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1943. That was also the first airplane trip for a sitting president.
Dwight Eisenhower visited Western and Southern Asia in 1959 and Southeast Asia in 1960.
Lyndon Johnson was the first to go to Australia in 1966.
The title of most-traveled president is a tie between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who visited 74 countries while in office, although Bush made seven more trips.
Our question, what continent has never been visited by a sitting president of the United States?
Today is Independence Day in Cambodia and Flag Day in Azerbaijan. In the United States, it’s unofficially National Scrapple Day. Scrapple, for those of us who do not live in the Philadelphia area, is a sort of meatloaf made of pork scraps and trimmings. Today’s the birthday of King Edward VII of Great Britain, actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr and astronomer Carl Sagan.
Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.
This week in 1984, the top song in the U.S. was “Caribbean Queen” by Billy Ocean.
The No. 1 movie was “The Terminator,” while the novel “The Talisman” by Stephen King and Peter Straub topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.
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