Being 176 years old, Milwaukee is anything but shy of a lengthy historical background. A number of presidents ranging from former president Abraham Lincoln to acting president Joe Biden have visited Milwaukee.
Rather than reading about it in a textbook, residents can actually visit some historical presidential monuments throughout the city. Whether it’s Miss Katie’s Diner or the attempted assassination site of Theodore Roosevelt, historians will not be bored this President’s Day.
President Lincoln, who at the time was just an attorney, spoke at the Wisconsin State Agricultural Fair in 1859. In 1928, a plaque was placed near where he spoke and has since been moved to the corner of N. 13th St. and Wells on the Marquette Campus. What used to be the Gilpatrick Hotel sitting at N. 3rd St. and Kilbourn, is now the Hyatt Regency. It was here in 1912 that an attempted assassination of president Theodore Roosevelt was made. Roosevelt was shot in the stomach and proceeded to give a speech while bleeding through his vest. Miss Katie’s Diner is no stranger to celebrity visits, but the restaurant has actually hosted multiple presidents such as Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump and Barack Obama. There are signed photos in the restaurant and patrons can sit at tables where past presidents sat. Located in front of the War Memorial Center stands a bronze statue of president Lincoln with various inscriptions. The statue was dedicated in 1934 and faces north down Lincoln Memorial Dr. Founded in 1902, restaurant Mader’s has fed nearly 100 celebrity guests, three of which were presidents Ford, Reagan and Kennedy. There are signed photographs in the restaurant, such as the collection from president Ford above. Diners can also sit at the tables where presidents Ford and Kennedy once sat. Inside the Newsroom Pub are around 300 framed signatures hanging on the walls. There is one wall entirely dedicated to presidential signatures including presidents Bush, Carter, Obama, Taft and many more. The Pfister Hotel, located just off of Wisconsin Ave., has hosted every president since President McKinley, either before, during or after their presidency. Above is a photo of President McKinley’s cabinet at a banquet inside the hotel around 1899 creating the nickname for the property as “The Western White House.”