As Donald Trump prepares to enter the Oval Office, there’s already rampant speculation about his international policy. At some point, he’ll board Air Force One and make his first overseas trip. What happens next? Presidential trips overseas are a relatively recent phenomenon in U.S. history; Theodore Roosevelt became the first president to travel abroad in 1906. But those visits have yielded some unforgettable images, some iconic and historic, others obscure and surreal. Here are a few noteworthy images from past presidential trips.
10. Irish Eyes
It’s somewhat unsettling to see President John F. Kennedy in this open motorcade surrounded by thousands of people in Cork, Ireland, in late June 1963, given what happened in Dallas less than five months later. That assassination transformed not only the way the Secret Service operated, but also restricted instances in which the president is exposed to the unscreened public in such a fashion.
9. Hat Trick
One can only wonder what type of hat President Gerald Ford would have given Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev if they had met in the U.S. Ford donned this ushanka on a visit to Russia in 1974 to meet with Brezhnev on nuclear weapons reduction talks.
8. Full Steam Ahead
Theodore Roosevelt runs a steam shovel along the Panama Canal route in November 1906. Roosevelt became the first president to travel abroad on that trip.
7. Sick Day
We’ve all been sick before, and there’s nothing funny about throwing up. Unfortunately, President George H.W. Bush fell ill at a diplomatic dinner in Tokyo in 1992 and threw up on Japanese Prime Minster Kiichi Miyazawa. He also passed out as Secret Service agents scrambled to assist and wife Barbara wiped his mouth. Bush later joked about the incident (“When I get the flu, I get it in a very dramatic, dramatic way,” he said), and comedians poked fun at the incident.
6. Sword Play
Presidents often receive gifts from foreign leaders, but some are a bit more unusual than others. Here, President George W. Bush is presented a sword by King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, after the president’s arrival in Manama, Bahrain.
5. Ancient Mystery
President Barack Obama takes a tour of Stonehenge in 2014 with a property curator and Matthew Barzun, U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
4. Commander in Chief
President George H.W. Bush rides with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf on a visit to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War in 1990.
3. Going Over the Wall
Richard Nixon made history with his surprising 1972 visit to China. The trip yielded plenty of historic photo opportunities, including this image of the president and first lady Pat Nixon visiting the Great Wall of China. The president’s journey opened up relations with communist China, an enemy of the U.S. since it went communist in 1949. Nixon called the visit, “the week that changed the world.”
2. ‘Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!’
President Ronald Reagan stands in front of the Berlin Wall during a 1987 speech that included a famous challenge to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. In retrospect, it might seem like a safe and somewhat obvious sentiment to voice at the time, just a few years before the fall of the Soviet Union. But some of Reagan’s top aides advised against making the remark, afraid it sounded “unpresidential” and might rile Gorbachev.
1. A New World Order
President Franklin D. Roosevelt sits with British Prime Minster Winston Churchill and Russian leader Joseph Stalin at the famous Yalta Summit in 1945. The leaders of the three powers essentially established the future of Europe in an effort to prevent another world war. FDR would die two months later.