Editor's note: With the election season winding down and a new president about to take office, the Deseret News has decided to review the presidents who have visited Utah and explain what they did while they were on their trip through the Beehive State.
Richard Nixon spent plenty of time in Utah, both before and during his presidency. He saw the Beehive State as senator, vice president and, of course, president.
As VP, he visited Brigham Young University, while also speaking at the Salt Lake Tabernacle in October 1960.
Nixon’s visit as a vice president campaigning for office went over relatively well, given that he braved the rain and harsh weather to celebrate with his fans, according to the Deseret News.
"In contrast to many who greeted him," the Deseret News reported, "the vice president disdained hat or umbrella as he sloshed through the rain, shaking hands and waving."
Nixon quipped that the rain might even have been his fault.
"We (the Republican Party) have been blamed for the drought," he said, "so I guess we can take credit for the rain."
Ten years later, he arrived in Utah for another speech at the Mormon Tabernacle in November 1970. He also spoke at the Days of ‘47 rodeo, an event still held today. During his Tabernacle speech, the seal fell off the podium.
During another speech, one in which he honored Pioneer Day, Nixon praised Utah’s spirit, hoping America would adopt a similar sort of optimism.
“And let me remind us all on this day, we in America know that we are not perfect. We in America know that we have problems,” he said, according to The American Presidency Project. “But we also know that we are blessed with the greatest ability that the world has ever seen to solve those problems. And all we need is the kind of spirit that built this State.”
You can watch the entire speech in the video below:
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.