June 10th, 1884 when soon-to-be-president Governor Grover Cleveland spoke at the Rochester Semi-Centenial


From The Letters and Address of Grover Cleveland by Grover Cleveland, ed. by Albert Ellery Bergh (1908)

In keeping with our Presidential visits to Rochester series (BELOW), on June 10th, 1884, New York Governor Grover Cleveland spoke at the Semi-Centennial. Cleveland’s address itself —  mainly praising New York State — was relatively short and undistinguished.


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 9/25/1884


New York presidential results, 1884. Cleveland = red; Blaine = blue.

About a month later, Cleveland won the Democratic presidential nomination.  In November, he narrowly defeated the Republican James G. Blaine who visited the city on September 25th, 1884.

Cleveland was the first Democrat president elected following the Civil War and the end of Reconstuction.

New York determined the election. Cleveland lost Monroe County, but beat Blaine overall in the state by 0.10 %.

In 1888, Cleveland won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College to Benjamin Harrison. In 1892, Cleveland won in a rematch. On Memorial Day 1892, Harrison would dedicate the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument in Washington Square Park.

After FDR — who won the popular vote in four straight elections — only Cleveland and Andrew Jackson (1824, 1828 and 1832) won three straight popular votes as a presidential candidates.  George H. W Bush and Al Gore also won the popular vote in three straight national elections: Bush as vice president in 1980, 1984 and president in 1988; Gore as vice president in 1992 and 1996 and president in 2000.

Cleveland is one of four New York State Governors to become President: Martin Van Buren, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The Presidential Visits Series


First, when a Frenchman was in Rochester and a plaque for Lafayette.

In When President John Quincy Adams visited Rochester on July 27th and 28th, 1843 and toured Mt. Hope Cemetery, the grave of Nathaniel lincolnRochester.

In On Abraham Lincoln in Rochester from Michael Nighan, a plaque and a train station.

occupyIn Memorial Day, 1892, when President Benjamin Harrison dedicated the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument in Washington Square Park with Frederick Douglass. And Occupy Rochester, Benjamin Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass in the same park Occupy would occupy.

In The Quasquicentennial of the unveiling of Abraham Lincoln atop the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument in Washington Square Park. more on the Monument with Grant Holcomb.

In October, 26th, 1898: the Rough Rider on his way to the Governor’s mansion. TR Comes to Town, again…and again…and again… by Michael Nighan., a statue of Teddy in School 29.


In FDR’s first visit to Rochester as a national candidate, September 23rd, 1920. And the League of Nations., Rachel in Washington Square Park.

In October 21st, 1920 in Rochester and Governor Harding’s return to normalcy. And the school named after him., a school in North Gates.harding-school-newest

In Governor Roosevelt’s triumphant return to the Convention Hall, October 18th, 1932, a luncheon with Eleanor Roosevelt.

In FDR in Rochester en route to a New Deal landslide, October 17th, 1936, an unfinished portrait.

In When President Truman campaigned in Rochester en route to his upset win over NY Governor Thomas Dewey, a thruway sign.outside-school

In October 23rd and 24th, 1952 when Ike and Adlai were in town back to back. And School 29., the Adlai E. Stevenson School.

In 56 years ago when JFK spoke at the War Memorial. Two days after his debate with Nixon. Nine days after RFK was here., the War Memorial.

In LBJ and RFK in Rochester, October 15th,1964, LBJ and RFK at the airport.

In November 3rd, 1964: When Rochester’s Senator Keating lost to RFK in the wake of LBJ’s landslide. a Federal building.

In 45 years ago when President Nixon visited Rochester. And 3 days later when East High School erupted in racial violence a media briefing at the Landmark Hotel in Pittsford.running-for-prz

In When Carter stumped Rochester in ’76. And Howard the Duck. it was Howard for Prez.

In October 31st, 1976: Gerald Ford two days before the unelected president’s comeback falls just short., a Playboy

In October 29th, 1980: Carter at a rally six days before the Reagan revolution. And when Bernie Sanders campaigned for Barry Commoner, the Citizen’s Party.

In November 1st, 1984: Ronald Reagan five days before his 49 state landslide. And Jesse Jackson at MCC. And a liberal enclave. it was two rallies.

with BrIAN cropped

In 27 years ago today when President George H. W. Bush visited Wilson Magnet High School, a signed chalkboard.

In May 24th, 2005 when President Bush spent political capital in Greece. Dr. Kay discusses political capital.

In 11 years ago when President Bush met J-Mac. And the judgment of history., J-Mac.

In 5 Meliora Weekends ago when President Clinton spoke., Great Books with President Seligman.

In On October 19th, 2012 when Bill Clinton campaigned for Louise Slaughter. And a Socialist at the public market, Peta Lyndsay.

with-billIn A seat at the President’s table three years later, soup and a grilled cheese sandwich at Magnolia’s.

In Next stop Albany. On the road with the Trumprenuers, the Trumprenuers at the airport.

In Memories of presidential visits on Election Day in Brighton, a vote for Talker.