New Jersey’s long legacy of presidential visits is being examined with a fresh perspective in a new book set to be released as Election Day approaches.
Historian and author Peter Zablocki released Presidential Visits to New Jersey: A History on October 17th. Distributed by Arcadia Publishing, the book explores presidential presence in the state spanning from George Washington’s Revolutionary War battles through Joe Biden’s visit to Manville in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
The book documents some of the state’s more notable visits like Lyndon B. Johnson presiding over the 1964 Democratic convention in Atlantic City alongside some lesser-known political struggles.
After Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 election victory and subsequent secession of southern states, the then president-elect made a critical tour of the Garden State to shore up support before becoming commander in chief.
Other highlights from the book include an examination of the 1912 election that pitted then-New Jersey governor Woodrow Wilson against locally beloved Theodore Roosevelt and the incumbent, Howard Taft.
The Jersey Shore’s presidential visits are also chronicled throughout the book, as presidents from Franklin Pierce and Ulysses S. Grant to Benjamin Harrison and Donald J. Trump have all looked to various beaches as a respite from the stresses of the capital.
Author Peter Zablocki is a 30-year resident who, in addition to writing numerous books detailing New Jersey’s history, runs a podcast called History Teachers Talking that is available on all popular streaming platforms. He lives in Denville and serves as Vice President for the town’s Historical Society, Museum, and Research Center.