WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — As the city gears up for President Biden’s visit we take a look back at past visits from sitting and former presidents.

This is President Joe Biden’s second visit to Wilkes University, his first as president. Thursday’s visit will mark just another handful of presidential visits for Wilkes-Barre.

No parking signs are up. The gates are out.

The Diamond City is getting ready for another presidential visit as president Joe Biden is expected to speak Thursday at Wilkes University’s Marts Center.

As we prepare to welcome our current sitting president, we recount the history of POTUS stops in the area.

Mark Riccetti Junior Director of Operations and programs at Luzerne County Historical Society says Wilkes-Barre has a long history of presidential visits dating back to 1878 with president rutherford B. Hayes.

“Nearly all of them make their way to the city at one point or another and nearly all of them make their way downtown. President hayes stayed at the Wyoming Valley Hotel which was on river street. So, it’s cliche but history repeats,” explained Riccetti Jr.

Riccetti says at least 14 presidential visits are documented the vast majority– a campaign stop. Other stops made during election years also had a separate cause like President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.

“It was part of his big whistle-stop reelection tour. But he also announced the construction of the first levy,” said Riccetti.

In more recent years many locals remember other presidential visits to the area.

“You know I remember back as a youth I saw president George W. Bush at the baseball stadium,” Samuel O’Connell said.

The former president also visited the Kirby Center and delivered a campaign speech at what is now the mohegan sun arena in wilkes-barre township.

“They come both on presidential election years and on mid-year campaigns because pennsylvania is a very important state as we’ve learned from the last couple of elections and luzerne county is becoming a key county within the state,” explained Riccetti.

Wilkes University itself is no stranger to visits from former or sitting presidents… Like president nixon in 1972 and president bill clinton in 2008.

President Biden is familiar with the colonels campus himself. He visited once before in october 2016 when as vice president in support of presidential hopeful hillary clinton.

The president is expected to give remarks on the ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’ to further reduce gun crime and save lives.

Biden is expected to talk about community safety and crime-related issues.

Local resident Samuel O’Connell says he hoping he get’s to hear the president’s speech for himself.

“I’m a part of a couple organizations down here like the rainbow alliance and we actually recieved an invite to attend so i’m very excited to go and potentially see the president,” stated O’Connell.

Wilkes University put out barriers Wednesday in front of the marts center where the president will give remarks on building on the bipartisan safer communities act.

A topic many local residents are concerned about.

“I’m hoping he answers a lot of questions it’s a good visit for him,” said Evelyn Cappola.

Monet and her daughter Jaleea are hopeful the bill helps prevent violence in schools across the country.

“I mean I would like to see people using guns a little bit more safely you know protecting the schools a little bit more so people don’t have access to just get inside the school,” explained Monett Burkett.

Jaleea an incoming 6th grader says she understands the importance of stronger security in schools.

“I get that they have to check backpacks in some schools because kids are bringing guns to school but sometimes is a bit extra but it makes sense,”

The White House has not yet released the time of his arrival and departure. We’ll bring you that information as soon as we can.