Tuesday, October 6, 2015
During the final week in September, millions of Americans watched and listened to Pope Francis as he addressed Congress and the United Nations, visited New York and Philadelphia, and met with President Obama. While this was an historic visit and the first time a pope addressed Congress, it was part of a tradition begun fifty years ago.
Pope Paul the VI was the first pontiff to travel outside of Italy since 1809. He visited six of the seven continents of the world and gained the nickname “Pilgrim Pope.” He was also the first pope to visit the United States. During a whirlwind 24-hour visit in October 1965, Paul VI met with President Johnson, addressed the United Nations, and said Mass at Yankee Stadium.
Pope John Paul II visited the United States six times, including a brief refueling stop in Fairbanks, Alaska in 1984. He met with three presidents including Jimmy Carter in 1979; Ronald Reagan in 1984 and 1987; and Bill Clinton in 1993, 1995, and 1999. John Paul II addressed the United Nations in 1979 and 1995. Many local residents had the opportunity to see this pope when he celebrated Mass at the Silverdome in 1987.
Pope Benedict XVI made only one trip to the United States. He was welcomed to the White House on his 81st birthday on April 16, 2008. He also visited Ground Zero in New York City and celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium.
Paul VI addresses the United Nations
John Paul II with President Carter
Benedict XVI at the UN
Pope Francis blesses a child in New York City
To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at email@example.com.