Brian Lamb is an expert on the permanent addresses of America’s presidents.
The C-SPAN CEO recently told ITK he’s visited every single gravesite of the country’s commanders in chief.
“I had interviewed Richard Norton Smith, the historian, and in the interview he told me he had been to every gravesite. And it just intrigued me, so I thought I’d do it,” says Lamb.
It took the 70-year-old TV exec 18 months to check out all the presidential final resting places when he gave the challenge a try about 15 years ago. He snapped a photo at each of the spots to prove his presence. While he says his main motivation was to learn about members of the nation’s executive branch and where they’re buried, he wasn’t done there. He wanted to one-up Smith.
“I decided after I’d shown him that I had been to all the gravesites, just like he had — I went to the vice presidents’ gravesites,” laughs Lamb.
The affable C-SPAN vet calls his tour de the deceased a “great learning experience” that brought him across the United States: “It goes from New Hampshire and Maine — where [former Vice President] Hannibal Hamlin is buried up in Bangor, Maine — all the way to Richard Nixon’s grave in Yorba Linda, down to Texas for Lyndon Johnson, up to Minnesota for Hubert Humphrey. And there’re three of them around [Washington]. There’s Woodrow Wilson at the National Cathedral; William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy are out at Arlington Cemetery.”
And Lamb says he’s getting ahead of the game, even visiting sites that will one day serve as the burial grounds for former presidents who are currently still breathing, “I’ve actually been to George Herbert Walker Bush’s site with him where he’s going to be buried, it’s already instructed. He designed it and it’s right down by his library in College Station, Texas.”
When asked whether it was strange to accompany the former president on such a seemingly morbid visit, Lamb replies, “No. It sounds weird, but it wasn’t.”