Former President George H.W. Bush’s legacy includes the impact he left on Marysville.
The 41st President died Friday at the age of 94, seven months after his 92-year-old wife, Barbara Bush, died April 17. The former President made an effort to be a part of Marysville history while he was president by visiting Saturday, Sept. 26, 1992.
Marysville was his first destination on his whistle-stop tour that morning, and he was greeted by about 10,000 residents. According to a Journal-Tribune article, it was known for being “the first Presidential visit to Marysville in memory,” as he was campaigning for re-election against challenger Bill Clinton.
The president arrived at the North Main Street railroad crossing near the former Champaign Landmark grain elevators at about 11:30 a.m. His arrival was preceded by performances from the Marysville, Fairbanks and North Union high school bands.
Lines were overflowing in Marysville, circling around buildings with residents eager to get a chance to see the president in his train.
Accompanied by his wife, Bush gave a 20-minute speech to supporters about cutting taxes and setting a goal for America to be the first country in the world to achieve a $10 billion economy by the early 21st century.
During his speech, he praised workers from Honda of America and noted he was in the land of “Monarchs, Wildcats and Panthers.”
He also gave a salute to all U.S. veterans, with members of the Union County American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars present.
His speech was met with many residents chanting, “four more years.”
Several children were invited to board the president’s train to shake his hand and talk to him.
He decided to travel to Marysville and Michigan as part of his campaign tour in a train, named Spirit of America, rather than Air Force One, to evoke memories of former President Harry Truman. Other stops he made that day included Arlington, Bowling Green and Plymouth, Michigan.
Barbara had ties to Union County, and highlighted them during the president’s tour. She has connections to the Ohnsmans, Hamiltons, Coes, Robinsons and Sawyers.
Barbara made an unannounced visit to the gravestones of her grandparents, Lula and Judge James Robinson, at Oakdale Cemetery in 1987. After that, she was a guest speaker for the Marysville Alumni Association and honored her mother, Pauline Robinson, who was a Marysville High School graduate.
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