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A look at FDR's short but very meaningful visit to Utah

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.

Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Utah in mid-September of 1932 while campaigning for the White House, but it wasn’t until 1935 that FDR returned to the Beehive State.

He didn’t spend a ton of time in the state, but he made sure he visited when he had the opportunity.

During his 1935 visit, he gave some informal remarks at the rear train platform in Salt Lake City.

He praised the city, while also talking about former Utah Gov. George Dern who had gone off to represent the United States as the U.S. Secretary of War in the Philippines, a territory that, at the time, had recently been liberated thanks to the United States.

“I wish I could stay and visit with you today we have to move on and take part in the great ceremony at Boulder Dam tomorrow, a ceremony representing another step forward by this nation,” FDR said in his Salt Lake City speech, according to the FDR Library at Marist College. “It is good to see you and I hope to come back again next year and see you again.”

He returned in 1936 to give a speech at Dern’s funeral.

Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.