Trump inauguration: Presidents have long been drawn to Florida

In July 1974, while President Richard Nixon was at his Key Biscayne compound, he took a helicopter ride to Palm Beach to inspect a mansion the federal government recently had inherited.

The high upkeep that had plagued the former owner also left Nixon noncommittal as to what to do with the sprawling property. Nixon resigned a month later, and in 1980, the feds gave the place back to the former owner’s estate.

It’s now owned by … the president of the United States.

As new President Donald Trump settles into his new digs in Washington, his winter White House, Mar-a-Lago, isn't even the first one in Palm Beach C0unty. Dating to the 1800s, most presidents spent at least a little time in the area, or at least in Florida. Who wouldn't?

Donald Trump (2017- ): Mar-a-Lago, where Trump has spent the Christmas holidays for two decades, isn't The Donald's only Palm Beach County connection. He owns golf clubs in suburban West Palm Beach and Jupiter. Trump Plaza on the West Palm Beach waterfront bears the billionaire real-estate developer's name but he has not owned it since 1991.

Barack Obama (2009-17): The modern-era president who might have spent the least time in Florida is the most recent one, most likely because his winter escape of choice was his native Hawaii. Obama made numerous campaign stops for both himself and other candidates and also had golf outings in 2013, 2015 and 2016 at the Floridian National Golf Club.

George W. Bush (2001-09): He also wasn't a regular visitor to Florida, even though his brother was governor. He made his first visit to Palm Beach County as president in January 2004, when he'd been in office three years.

Bill Clinton (1993-2001): He also took golf visits to the area. In 1997, in town to speak about school crowding, he planned to spend the night at the Jupiter Island home of golfer Greg Norman. The president tripped and wrenched his knee, resulting in a trip to St. Mary's Medical Center.

George H.W. Bush (1989-93): He vacationed in Gulf Stream as president-elect and often visited his mother on Jupiter Island as vice president. But long before Bush set his sights on the White House, he flew military planes over Lake Okeechobee and the seas off Palm Beach, doing training for World War II.

Ronald Reagan (1981-89): As a candidate, he stopped for ice cream in Boca Raton during the 1980 primaries; as president, he returned in September 1988.

Jimmy Carter (1977-81): As his first term drew to a close, South Florida was giving the Georgia peanut farmer big headaches. Already weighed down by the hostage crisis in Iran, he was seen as weak and out of touch for his handling of South Florida's twin calamities: the Mariel Boatlift, and the Miami riots. When he came to Miami, he was ridiculed at Town Hall meetings and crowds stoned his bus.

Richard Nixon (1969-74): The president made numerous trips to his Key Biscayne home. He also had two of his greatest moments in Miami Beach, where GOP conventions in 1968 and 1972 nominated him. And it was at a conference at Walt Disney World where he infamously said "I am not a crook" on Nov. 17, 1973.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69): When Florida Atlantic University, the first four-year state university south of Tampa, opened in September 1964, Johnson cut the ribbon.

John F. Kennedy (1961-63): Kennedy's family owned a compound on Palm Beach since 1933, and he visited often. He spent the last Sunday of his life there, on Nov. 17, 1963 — five days before he was assassinated. A bomb shelter had been built for him at Peanut Island, but he never used it; it's now a tourist attraction. In December 1960, police foiled a plot by a retired post office worker from New Hampshire to ram JFK's motorcade as the president-elect headed for Mass at St. Edward's Catholic Church. The Kennedys sold their compound in 1995.

Dwight Eisenhower (1953-61): In September 1955, Eisenhower suffered a heart attack. He spent the first week of 1956 convalescing at a naval hospital in Key West and told reporters there he hadn't decided yet if he was strong enough to run for a second term. He would, and would win.

Harry S. Truman (1945-53): Truman made 10 winter vacation trips to Key West. He stayed in a large, two-story house that became known as The Little White House. On Dec. 6, 1947, he rode up U.S. 1 to the mainland. There, on a wooden platform, he dedicated America's newest national park: Everglades.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45): On Feb. 15, 1933, Roosevelt — in a time when presidents were not inaugurated until March — addressed an estimated 25,000 at the bandshell in downtown Miami. A .32-caliber pistol rose in the hand of a man just a few yards ahead and to the left. But the man lost his footing atop an uneven chair, and bystanders struck his arm. Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was mortally wounded; four people also were hit.

Herbert Hoover (1929-33): In February 1929, Gov. Doyle Carlton invited President-elect Hoover, a month away from inauguration, to tour Florida's interior. The president, an engineer, had a special interest in flood control. Hoover saw for himself the damage that prevailed some five months after the great 1928 hurricane. In July 1930, he would approve the dike that bears his name. He returned at age 86 to dedicate the dike in January 1963.

Warren G. Harding (1921-23): In 1921, the vacationing president-elect was on a schooner, heading for a golf outing, when the boat ran aground in the channel near Fort Lauderdale. He was stranded with his party for hours. He would not forget his unpleasant day in Florida and later pushed for creation of the Intracoastal Waterway.

William Howard Taft (1909-13): The president came to Key West on Dec. 21, 1912, via Henry Flagler's new railroad, completed only that January. Taft later sailed to inspect construction of the Panama Canal, then in progress.

Grover Cleveland (1885-89, 1893-97): He likely visited Jupiter between his nonconsecutive terms and during his presidency slipped away from an Indian River County hotel to hunt and fish under an assumed name.

Zachary Taylor (1849-50): The Battle of Okeechobee, on Christmas Day 1837, was the largest and last great clash of the Second Seminole War. A large band of Seminoles was routed by a brigade of about 800 federal troops led by the future president, who allegedly cowered behind a cypress tree for much of the battle.

Andrew Jackson (1829-37): When the United States took possession of Florida in 1821, Jackson was named the territory's first governor. He presided over the raising of the Stars and Stripes over Pensacola. But he didn't stick around Florida, and he officially was out of office by the end of the year. He never set foot in the big Florida city named for him.