Statesman Tourists in Miami

Calvin Coolidge Motorcade in Downtown Miami on January 14, 1928

Calvin Coolidge Motorcade in Downtown Miami on January 14, 1928

This podcast episode features the stories of presidents and world leaders who visited Miami from 1920 – 1946. By the start of the second decade of the Twentieth Century, newly elected presidents began traveling to Miami as part of their pre-inauguration vacation to relax, fish and prepare for their presidential term. This was the case for Warren G. Harding in 1921, Herbert Hoover in 1929, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933.

In addition, as Miami grew over the course of the first few decades of the last century, visiting the metropolitan area became politically advantageous for sitting presidents. In January of 1928, Calvin Coolidge made a brief stop in Miami for a parade through downtown to allow local residents to see their president while he was enroute to Havana, Cuba, for a Pan-American conference.

However, it was not just American presidents who enjoyed visiting the Magic City. In the winter of 1946, coming off a loss for his bid for reelection as Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill spent January and February in Miami for rest and relaxation. While his trip may be most be remembered for the commencement ceremony at Roddy Burdine Stadium where he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Miami, he also made time to visit the Hialeah Race Track, Parrott Jungle, and the Surf Club where he painted an ocean vista from his cabana on the beach.

Tune into this week’s podcast episode to hear more about the statesman who visited Miami from 1920 – 1946. This episode is a collaboration with the host of the ‘This Day in Miami History’ podcast, Matthew Bunch. Please check out more episodes from Matthew’s podcast channel.

You can download this episode on your favorite podcast platform (iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Spotify), or listen directly on the Miami-History website by clicking on the play button on the player above. Please remember to click on the subscribe button and to provide a rating and comment on any of the aforementioned platforms.

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Additional Resources:


  • Cover: Parade in Downtown Miami on January 14, 1928. Courtesy of Miami-Dade Public Library, Romer Collection.
  • Figure 1: Winston Churchill at Roddy Burdine Stadium on February 26, 1946. Courtesy of Florida State Archives.