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Oh, Yeah, Canada

Last week, President Bush made his first official visit to Canada — in his second term. (A planned official visit last year was canceled when Canada failed to support the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.) Previous American presidents have put the U.S.’s northern neighbor and largest trading partner at the top of their must-visit list:

Bill Clinton, elected in 1992, made his first official visit to Canada in 1995. He also visited more than any other U.S. president — five times — and played rounds of golf with then–Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

George H.W. Bush made Canada the first foreign country he visited, in February 1989, his first year in office.

Ronald Reagan also made Canada his first official visit to a foreign country, in March 1981, in his first year as president. At a Quebec City gala in 1985, Reagan sang a duet of "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Official presidential visits have traditionally included a speech to the Canadian Parliament, but Bush declined to do so.

"This is the first time in living memory that a U.S. president has visited the capital without addressing Parliament." (Vancouver Sun)

—Christine Pelisek


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