Presidents leave lasting legacies on Bay Area

The first appearance of a president on video in the Bay Area - or at least a future president - is almost certainly of Teddy Roosevelt in 1898, training with his Rough Riders for the Spanish-American War. 

But who first thought of Tampa Bay as a potentially excellent military base? 

The answer is on a plaque at the downtown intersection Whiting and Franklin. 

Andrew Jackson, the eventual seventh president, suggested troops mass in the area for the First Seminole War.

"Fort Brooke was the military installation that was in Tampa," said Brad Massey, of the Tampa Bay History Center.

In the Second Seminole War, Zachary Taylor took command and wrote a letter in 1839, 10 years before he became president, that is now housed at the Tampa Bay History Center.

"[In the letter] he is requesting supplies and other things to help with the war effort," said Massey, "so he does send correspondence from this part of the state."

Some ties don't have much of an explanation, like a middle school on Bearss named for the fifteenth president, James Buchanan. 

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Perhaps the most obvious is Kennedy Blvd. At one time, it was called Grand Central, but was renamed for the 35th president. 

He had traveled on it four days before he died in 1963.

"Florida is incredibly important in American history and American presidential history," said Massey.

Tampa's presidential history became world history when President Bush - the 43rd - read with school children in Sarasota, then watched as the Twin Towers were hit with hijacked planes on September 11th. 

His successor, Barack Obama, visited MacDill several times as president.

"We have to take a long view of the terrorist threat," Obama said in 2016, just before he left office.

Of course, President Trump has made Florida a lynchpin of his political campaigns.