Editor’s Note: To celebrate the City of Gainesville turning 200 years old on Nov. 30, 2021, Gainesville Georgia Government is sharing interesting highlights from its centuries-old history. This is the eighth installment in a series, which will be featured monthly through November 2021 on gainesville.org and social media. For July, we present to you information with a patriotic twist spotlighting Gainesville's historic presidential visits, Rock Creek Veterans Park, and local American Legion and VFW branches.
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (July 31, 2021) – Independence Day may have come and gone, but in the City of Gainesville, patriotism is a year-round priority.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
The City of Gainesville has been honored to welcome President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Gainesville on two separate occasions – in 1936 and 1938. The 32nd president of the United States first traveled to North Georgia after a deadly tornado ripped through the historic downtown square. Roosevelt arrived just three days later and pledged support to help rebuild the downtown corridor, leading to Roosevelt Square being named for him. Two years later, Roosevelt returned to Gainesville in March 1938 to dedicate the Civic Center and attend an unveiling of a monument in his honor. That monument was placed in Roosevelt Square by the citizens of Hall County, and it's estimated 35,000-60,000 people gave the president a roaring ovation.
Other presidents who've visited Gainesville-Hall County
Other presidents Gainesville was pleased to welcome to town included Andrew Jackson (pre-presidency in 1818), James Monroe (1819), William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson (pre-presidency), James Madison, Lyndon B. Johnson (1964), George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.*
*Special thanks to the Northeast Georgia History Center, Gainesville, for confirming this list.
Rock Creek Veterans Park
Located on the corner of West Academy Street and Northside Drive, Rock Creek Veterans Park is the gateway into the Rock Creek Greenway, linking parks from downtown Gainesville to Lake Lanier.
The site of impressive World War I (1914-19), World War II (1939-45), Korean War (1950-53), Vietnam War (1961-75) and Persian Gulf War (1991) memorials dedicated to local heroes is a must-see. Rock Creek Veterans Park is conveniently located near the historic downtown square. The site serves as a popular location for veterans ceremonies, including one for Veterans Day in November.
In addition to the war memorial and its close proximity to the square, Rock Creek Veterans Park's other amenities include an amphitheater with seating for 300 people, benches, multi-use trail (Rock Creek Greenway Solar System Trail), parking on Northside Drive (five spaces, including one handicap-accessible space) and pond.
VFW and American Legion
American Legion Post 7 - Gainesville
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, wartime veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7 - Gainesville serves local veterans. The post is included under the umbrella of the American Legion, a nonprofit community service organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members, men and women, in nearly 15,000 American Legion posts worldwide. Learn more about the Gainesville American Legion here.
VFW Post 8452
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the United States is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. VFW Post 8452 is located at 1955 Delta Drive, Gainesville. Learn more here.
To learn more about Gainesville, visit gainesville.org or "Like" and follow the following City-managed social media pages: @GainesvilleGeorgiaGovernment, @DowntownGainesvilleGA, @ExploreGainesville, @GainesvilleParkandRec and @LakeLanierOlympicVenue.