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50 Years of Papal Visits to the United States

Pope Francis is scheduled to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia 50 years after Pope Paul VI made the first papal visit to the United States. Here's a look at the nine previous visits:

Oct. 4, 1965: Pope Paul VI spends 14 hours in New York. He addresses the United Nations General Assembly, attends the New York World's Fair and celebrates Mass at Yankee Stadium. He also meets President Lyndon Johnson.

Oct. 1-7, 1979: Pope John Paul II makes his first of seven trips to the U.S. He arrives in Boston, celebrates Masses at New York's Yankee and Shea stadiums, on Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Parkway and in Chicago's Grant Park. He also visits Des Moines, Iowa, and meets President Jimmy Carter in Washington, D.C.

Feb. 27, 1981: John Paul II spends several hours on a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska, after canonizing the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, in Manila.

May 2, 1984: John Paul II meets President Ronald Reagan during a stopover in Fairbanks, Alaska, while en route to canonize 103 martyrs in Seoul, South Korea.

Sept. 10-19, 1987: John Paul II's longest U.S. visit includes Masses in Miami, New Orleans, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles; Salinas, California; and Pontiac, Michigan. He also meets again with Reagan.

Aug. 12-15, 1993: John Paul II condemns threats to society, including pornography, drug abuse and violence, during a mass with 350,000 people at World Youth Day in Denver. He meets with President Bill Clinton.


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Oct. 4-8, 1995: John Paul II visits New York City and New Jersey and celebrates Masses in front of standing-room crowds at a football stadium, a horse track, a pair of cathedrals and Central Park. He also celebrates mass at Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards and meets again with Clinton.

Jan. 26-27, 1999: John Paul II celebrates Mass with more than 100,000 people at a football dome in St. Louis. He again meets with Clinton.

April 15-20, 2008: Pope Benedict XVI meets with President George W. Bush at the White House, celebrates mass at Washington's Nationals Park and in New York at St. Patrick's Cathedral and Yankee Stadium. He also offers a blessing at the World Trade Center site.

Sources: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Associated Press archives.

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