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That time the president came to Los Angeles...

It's Presidents Day. And while Los Angeles -- or California itself, for that matter -- couldn't be part of the travel itinerary for presidents George Washington (it wasn't yet part of the United States) and Abraham Lincoln (he was a bit preoccupied with the Civil War), we've compiled a snapshot of some of the presidents who have passed through the City of Angels over the decades.

Check out below Obama giving the commencement speech in 2014 at UC Irvine (OK, so it's not exactly L.A.), a dripping wet JFK emerging from the Pacific, and FDR at the Hollywood Bowl -- along with several other presidents in between. (For more interesting tidbits about Los Angeles, check out #WeAreLA.)

President Obama joins others in making the Anteater sign and sound at UC Irvine's commencement ceremony on June 14, 2014, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. President Obama's address kicked off the campus' 50th anniversary celebration. The university's first commencement speaker was President Lyndon B. Johnson, who dedicated the campus site on June 20, 1964.
President Obama joins others in making the Anteater sign and sound at UC Irvine's commencement ceremony on June 14, 2014, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. President Obama's address kicked off the campus' 50th anniversary celebration. The university's first commencement speaker was President Lyndon B. Johnson, who dedicated the campus site on June 20, 1964. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
President George W. Bush jokes with a fire crew member after touring the Rancho Bernardo area in San Diego in October 2007.
President George W. Bush jokes with a fire crew member after touring the Rancho Bernardo area in San Diego in October 2007. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times )
As President Clinton finishes his morning jog with a stretch in June 1996, Emily Kroll of Santa Monica skates by. "I told him I just finished reading his biography," she said. "It was quite exciting."
As President Clinton finishes his morning jog with a stretch in June 1996, Emily Kroll of Santa Monica skates by. "I told him I just finished reading his biography," she said. "It was quite exciting." (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Jimmy Carter chats with Annette Lee, 6, and other youngsters in front of Jade West Restaurant during a presidential campaign stop in Century City in October 1976.
Jimmy Carter chats with Annette Lee, 6, and other youngsters in front of Jade West Restaurant during a presidential campaign stop in Century City in October 1976. (Los Angeles Times.)
Then-Vice President George Bush rocks a sombrero while campaigning at Farmers Market in Los Angeles in 1988.
Then-Vice President George Bush rocks a sombrero while campaigning at Farmers Market in Los Angeles in 1988. (Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)
While in Santa Barbara in the summer of 1981, President Reagan shows his boot to reporters who asked if he had any problems with the bubonic plague threat in the area. In front of him lies the economic tax relief bill and budget that he signed while on vacation.
While in Santa Barbara in the summer of 1981, President Reagan shows his boot to reporters who asked if he had any problems with the bubonic plague threat in the area. In front of him lies the economic tax relief bill and budget that he signed while on vacation. (Los Angeles Times)
Vice President Richard Nixon greets "space people" during a tour of Disneyland in June 1959.
Vice President Richard Nixon greets "space people" during a tour of Disneyland in June 1959. (Los Angeles Times)
In June 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon, his wife, Pat, and daughters Patricia and Julie enjoy a Disneyland parade.
In June 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon, his wife, Pat, and daughters Patricia and Julie enjoy a Disneyland parade. (Los Angeles Times)
To cap off a 33-hour visit to Los Angeles in 1962, President Kennedy takes an impromptu dip at the beach in Santa Monica as throngs of admirers try to get close.
To cap off a 33-hour visit to Los Angeles in 1962, President Kennedy takes an impromptu dip at the beach in Santa Monica as throngs of admirers try to get close. (Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)
New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt waves to the crowd at the Hollywood Bowl during his presidential campaign in 1932.
New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt waves to the crowd at the Hollywood Bowl during his presidential campaign in 1932. (Los Angeles Times)
President Wilson and his wife, Edith, take part in a parade through downtown Los Angeles in 1919.
President Wilson and his wife, Edith, take part in a parade through downtown Los Angeles in 1919. (Los Angeles Times)
President Wilson steps from a train during his arrival in Los Angeles in 1919. His train continued to his next stop in San Diego, returning the next day for a parade in Los Angeles.
President Wilson steps from a train during his arrival in Los Angeles in 1919. His train continued to his next stop in San Diego, returning the next day for a parade in Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)


A little presidential trivia:

Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president of the United States, was the first sitting president to visit Los Angeles, and the Western region, in 1880, the same year the University of Southern California formally opened.

L.A. was more of a village then. The outlying areas around the city center were transforming from ranchland to orange groves, mostly. (Ever notice the preponderance of Orange Grove streets throughout the region?)

The Los Angeles Times would begin publishing a year later, as the Los Angeles Daily Times. (More on that here.)

As we're living the electoral process now, here's another fun fact: Hayes didn't win the popular vote; he squeaked into office by a margin of one electoral vote.

Although some have praised his commitment to civil service reform and defense of civil rights, historians tend to rank Hayes in the bottom half of U.S. presidents. (Sorry, Mr. President.)

Who knows. Maybe by this time next year, the newly inaugurated 45th president might have already visited our fine city. 

Follow me on Twitter for a curious view of Los Angeles: @mmaltais

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