The Timeline: US presidential visits

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Indy Politics

1918: Woodrow Wilson

It seemed, said the media, like all the suppressed emotion of the war years erupted to greet President Wilson. Londoners packed the streets for Wilson's journey from Charing Cross Station to Buckingham Palace. Soldiers lined the route for this first presidential visit, bayonets flashing in the Boxing Day sunshine. The 28th president went on to visit Carlisle, his mother's birthplace, and Manchester.

1961: John F Kennedy

JFK's first and only visit to the UK was predominantly a personal one. The first couple stayed at Jacqueline Kennedy's sister Princess Lee Radziwill's house in Pimlico, and attended her daughter's baptism at Westminster Cathedral. Kennedy later became godfather to the little girl. Half a million people lined the arrival route from London to the West End.

1977: Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter gave a lesson in first impressions during his only visit to the UK. In Newcastle, he was rewarded with cheers from the locals for his greeting: "Howay the lads!" which he apparently picked up from a billboard. Down in London, however, he accidentally introduced himself to the Queen Mother by planting a smacker on her lips.

1982: Ronald Reagan

The Queen and the ex-film star president seemed to get on particularly well, and Reagan was the second US president to be invited to stay at Windsor Castle. For his first meal with the Queen, they tucked into fillet of haddock, breast of chicken stuffed with mango, and pancakes filled with raspberry jam and whipped cream.

1994: Bill Clinton

In 1970, Clinton quit Oxford without a degree. He went back to pick it up in 1994, going back to the university where he'd protested against the Vietnam War. The controversial honorary qualification was awarded for the president's contribution to world peace and for his domestic political achievements.

2003: George W Bush

Bush's visit was marked by protests – the organisers say 200,000 turned out; police put the figure at half that. Effigies were burned in Trafalgar Square, and a mock statue was pulled down by furious anti-war campaigners. Bush spent three nights at Buckingham Palace as the Queen's guest, and rounded things off with a Sedgefield pub's fish supper with the Blairs.