Lincoln Presidential Library opens new exhibit on Illinois presidents

Lincoln Presidential Library opens new exhibit on Illinois presidents
Lincoln Presidential Museum open new exhibit on Illinois Presidents. (Source: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library)

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - A new exhibit opened Friday at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library celebrating the lives and legacies of the four United States presidents with roots in Illinois, which is part of the state's 2018 bicentennial Celebration.

The library's executive director, Alan Lowe, officially cut the ribbon welcoming visitors to "From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama," which will run for the rest of the year.

Governor Bruce Rauner toured the exhibit, calling it both humbling and inspiring.

“These four world-leaders were prepared for greatness, right here in Illinois,” Rauner said. “Hearing their words and looking at the artifacts they once held is a tremendous reminder of what Illinois has given the world over the past 200 years. I am humbled by their leadership and inspired to know that every Illinoisan has a voice in making the world a better place.”      

"From Illinois to the White House" takes a look at the connections of those four presidents to Illinois, their political achievements, and the first ladies who helped them succeed. Visitors can see rare artifacts gathered from institutions across the country such as the table where Lee surrendered to future president Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War, the note cards from President Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall" speech, the Grammy that President Barack Obama won for the audio-book version of "Dreams from my Father," the Bible that Grant rested his head on after his death, a love letter from Reagan's wife Nancy, and Obama's notes from his "Bloody Sunday" speech in Selma.

“This nation would be much different today without the contributions of these four presidents, and they, in turn, would have been much different without Illinois’ influence on their characters and careers,” Lowe said. “The state’s 200th birthday is the perfect time for people to get to know these fascinating leaders.”

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology.

 The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art. The museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors. It also has some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.

More information can be found here

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