Presidential Visits

Many public figures have toured the Lab, including several senior government officials.

By John Moore, Archivist-Historian, and Alan Carr, Senior Historian | July 6, 2020

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From left to right: Presidents John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton.

On December 7, 1962, President John Kennedy along with Vice President Lyndon Johnson traveled to Los Alamos for a briefing on the details of Project Rover, the Lab's program to develop nuclear rocket engines for space travel. After visiting the Lab, Kennedy address Los Alamos residents at the high school football field and then rode down Central Avenue in a motorcade.

Presidential Visit Kennedy 2020 Summer
President John F. Kennedy in a motorcade in Los Alamos in 1962.

Former Hollywood movie star and future president Ronald Reagan visited Los Alamos in April 1967, when he was governor of California. At that time, the Laboratory was managed entirely by the University of California system.

Presidential Visit Reagan

Gerald Ford visited the Lab on July 12, 1975, shortly before becoming president in August.

Presidential Visit Ford 2020 Summer

Bill Clinton visited twice during his presidency—once on May 13, 1993, and again on February 4, 1998. Here he is with then-Lab Director Sig Hecker (second from right) and others.

Presidential Visit Clinton