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Republican President comes to Champaign-Urbana… in 1911

Written by Ellen Swain

The Republican National Convention has taken center stage in Cleveland this week.

One of Ohio’s famous Republican politicians has a connection to the University of Illinois!

President Taft reviews the University of Illinois cadet regiment, 1911.


In February 1911, President William Howard Taft (1857-1930) toured Champaign-Urbana and the University of Illinois.  Taft is the only U.S. President (1909-1913) who also served as a Supreme Court Chief Justice (1921-1930). His visit included a tour of the University grounds and a review of the cadet regiment. “To see so many young men and women preparing themselves to meet the problems of life is indeed a rare pleasure,” Taft told the crowd gathered to hear his remarks. Read more about his celebrated visit and his interesting prediction for the cites of Champaign and Urbana in the Urbana Courier-Herald.