Upcoming Bush visit latest of presidential trips to Valdosta » Local News » Valdosta Daily Times

17
Feb

Upcoming Bush visit latest of presidential trips to Valdosta » Local News » Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Today is President’s Day, and with Georgia Christian School’s announcement last week that 43rd President George W. Bush is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at its annual benefit dinner later this year, it seems the perfect time to revisit past presidential visits to Valdosta and South Georgia.

The GCS event will not be George W. Bush’s first time in Valdosta. He lived here while stationed at Moody Air Force Base for pilot training with the Air National Guard.

Bush was stationed at Moody for several weeks and dated a Valdosta State student while here, according to the Lowndes County Historical Society. His father, George H.W. Bush, visited George W. at Moody, and many years later, both would become President, the 41st and 43rd respectively.

George W. Bush’s wife, former first lady Laura Bush, visited Valdosta also as a keynote speaker for the Georgia Christian School benefit dinner in 2012.

But the Bushes are not be only presidential family to visit Valdosta and the surrounding area.

Based on part speculation and part deduction, the earliest presidential visit was possibly President William McKinley, according to the Lowndes County Historical Society in past reports. There is no record of McKinley being in Valdosta, but there are records of him visiting Thomasville during his presidency, which capped the end of the 19th century. At that time, the most common train route to Thomasville would have taken McKinley through Valdosta.

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