Superior’s presidential past
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
President Calvin Coolidge’s summer stay in Superior in 1928, — when he turned the former Central High School into a summer White House and fished the Brule River, may be the most memorable presidential visit, but it wasn’t the last.
During Coolidge’s stay in Superior, Herbert Hoover, the nation’s soon-to-be 31st president, visited Coolidge in Brule, said Lew Martin, who was there 20 years later when another seated president came to Superior.
In October 1948, President Harry S. Truman chugged into town aboard a train, stopping at the Northwest Station on Ogden Avenue.
Martin said he remembers the event because it was one of the last elections in which candidates gave their stump speeches from the platform at the back of a train. Radio and television replaced the platform, he said.
After giving a stump speech in Superior, Truman’s motorcade headed for Duluth for another campaign event before returning to Superior to board the train headed westward.
The last time a vice presidential candidate was in Superior, Richard Nixon made a stop at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in 1952, when he was running for the vice presidency with Dwight D. Eisenhower. After winning that election with Eisenhower, Nixon never returned to Superior.
Joe Biden is the first seated vice president to find his way to Superior.
While several members of the Kennedy clan, including presidential hopeful John Kennedy, were in Superior during his 1960 campaign against Nixon.
Kennedy returned to the area in 1963, about two months before his assassination in Dallas, but he flew into Duluth then took a helicopter out to Ashland to declare the Apostle Islands a national treasure. He flew over the islands on his way back to Duluth, stayed at the Hotel Duluth, then headed to Grand Forks, N.D.