President William Howard Taft (Oct. 26, 1909): He came on an inspection tour of the Mississippi River aboard the flagship of a 16-boat flotilla. Spoke on a stage set up on the terraces at Academic Hall.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (Oct. 1, 1920): Accompanied by his wife, Roosevelt spoke on the Courthouse Park lawn on behalf of his candidacy for the vice presidency and James M. Cox for the presidency. U.S. Sen. Harry S. Truman (Oct. 22, 1940): Truman appeared at a Democratic rally at Houck Field House. Truman was running for re-election. He was also in Cape Girardeau at other times before and after his presidency, but not as a sitting president. He also spoke at the Courthouse Park bandstand on July 26, 1940, when he was running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
U.S. Sen. Robert A. Taft (April 26, 1952): The son of President William Howard Taft, Robert A. Taft was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency.
U.S. Sen. Richard M. Nixon (Oct. 21, 1952): Nixon came campaigning as the vice presidential running- mate of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. He arrived at the railroad depot on South Main Street and spoke at Houck Field House.
Vice President Alben Barkley (Oct. 28, 1952): Just days after Nixon campaigned in Cape Girardeau, Barkley campaigned here on behalf of the ticket of Adlai Stephenson and John Sparkman. He appeared at Houck Field House.
U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (April 25, 1968): Kennedy spoke in the parking lot at the Town Plaza Shopping Center. He was running for the Democratic nomination for president. Forty-one days after his appearance in Cape Girardeau, he was assassinated in Los Angeles.
Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace (Sept. 18, 1968): A third-party candidate for the presidency, he spoke at a rally in Arena Park.
Maryland Gov. Spiro T. Agnew (Oct. 3, 1968): The Republican nominee for vice president spoke in the parking lot of the Town Plaza Shopping Center.
U.S. Sen. Bob Dole (Oct. 18, 1976 and March 7, 1988): In 1976, Dole was the GOP vice presidential candidate. He spoke at a rally on the east terraces at Academic Hall. In 1988, he was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president. He spoke at the Municipal Airport. His wife, Elizabeth, was here Aug. 6, 1987, March 1, 1988, and June 19, 1996, campaigning for her husband. Bob Dole was back in Cape Girardeau in September 1988 as featured guest at a reception for U.S. Rep. Bill Emerson.
Former President Gerald Ford (Sept. 15-16, 1980): After an overnight stay at the Cape Girardeau Holiday Inn, he spoke at a fund-raising breakfast the next morning for Bill Emerson, who was running for Congress.
Vice President Walter Mondale (Nov. 1, 1980): He was campaigning on behalf of the Carter-Mondale Democratic ticket. Mondale spoke briefly at the municipal airport, endorsing Rep. Bill Burlison and Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton. Joan Mondale campaigned in Cape Girardeau in October 1984 on behalf of her husband.
Vice President George Bush (Oct. 22, 1984): He spoke at the University Center at a public question-and-answer forum. He was running for re-election. First lady Barbara Bush visited the SEMO District Fair in 1992, campaigning for her husband.
U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt (Sept. 17, 1987): The candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination spoke at the University Center's ballroom.
President Ronald Reagan (Sept. 14, 1988): Reagan came to town as a sitting president and spoke at the Show Me Center. He was campaigning for Vice President George Bush, the Republican nominee for president. Nancy Reagan campaigned in Cape Girardeau on behalf of her husband in October 1980.
U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (Oct. 24, 1988): The Democratic vice presidential candidate spoke to workers and guests at the Thorngate Ltd. clothing plant.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp (Oct. 31, 1988): The GOP vice presidential nominee spoke at a Republican fund-raising dinner at the Holiday Inn Convention Center.
Vice President Dan Quayle (Oct. 2, 1992): He came campaigning for re-election. Quayle gave a few brief comments at the airport before speaking from a barge at the SEMO Regional Port Authority. He returned here in 1996 and spoke at the Show Me Center.
President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore (Aug. 30, 1996): The sitting president and vice president, along with their wives, appeared at a rally in Capaha Park. The men were seeking re-election. Tipper Gore had visited Cape Girardeau in 1992, campaigning for her husband at Common Pleas Courthouse Park.
Texas Gov. George W. Bush (Aug. 11-12, 1999): The candidate for the Republican nomination for president met Aug. 11 with Rush Limbaugh, Millie Limbaugh and David Limbaugh at the Limbaugh home. The next day he visited the SEMO Regional Port in the morning and met with farmers. Later he attended a fund raiser at the home of eye surgeon Dr. Charles Cozean in Cape Girardeau.
Dick Cheney (Sept. 21, 2000 and Oct. 31, 2002): Cheney campaigned at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport as the Republican vice presidential candidate. In 2002, he made a victory 2002 stop at Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, campaigning for Jim Talent, candidate for the U.S. Senate. He was also here in June 1993, speaking at a Republican fund raiser.
-- Sharon Sanders