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A visit from the president

Rochester has welcomed FDR, Nixon, Reagan; Bush stop is similar to his father's

CORRECTION RAN FRIDAY (10/18/02)

An article on Page 1A Thursday omitted President Jimmy Carter's visit to Rochester in October 1978. Accompanied by then Gov. Rudy Perpich and Vice President Walter Mondale, Carter spoke at a rally at the Rochester airport.

----------------------------------------------------------- By Lenora Chu

lchu@postbulletin.com

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President Bush's visit to Rochester on Friday mirrors one made by his father in 1990: Stumping for a Republican U.S. Senate candidate during a mid-term election year while serving as the nation's chief executive.

This year, the honored guest is Norm Coleman, the former mayor of St. Paul who was hand-picked by the White House to challenge the 12-year Democratic incumbent, Sen. Paul Wellstone. The heated Wellstone-Coleman battle is considered one of a handful of U.S. Senate races whose outcome could determine which party gets control of the Senate.

In 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush came through town to support the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, who ironically, lost his seat to Wellstone that November.

During his four-hour stay in Rochester that year, Bush attended a private reception for 80 people at the Kahler Hotel and spoke before 3,500 people at a rally at John Marshall High School.

A number of other presidents have come to Rochester while serving in the White House. In 1984, Ronald Reagan flew in for a Republican rally at the airport.

In 1970, Richard Nixon spoke at the Mayo Civic Center on behalf of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Clark MacGregor, who lost to Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey. Nixon also stumped for GOP gubernatorial candidate Douglas Head, who lost to DFLer Wendell Anderson.

And in 1934, two years into his first presidential term, Franklin D. Roosevelt passed through Rochester to present William J. and Charles H. Mayo, better known as the Mayo brothers, with National American Legion awards.

Newspaper articles describing the Roosevelt visit indicated that about 125,000 people were on hand to greet the president at a ceremony at Soldier's Memorial Field, including nearly all of the 25,000 people who lived in the city at the time.

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