Four Presidents, One State: Museum Celebrates Illinois’ Presidents


The notes from Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech; the table from Appomattox where General Lee surrendered the Confederacy: just two of the incredible artifacts on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum right now.

But what do they have in common? They were connected directly to American Presidents who called Illinois home. The “From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama” exhibit is the centerpiece of the commemoration of the Illinois Bicentennial in 2018 at the ALPLM. The exhibit ties these four presidents to the state whose history, location and population make it a microcosm of America and a perfect training ground for national leaders. The exhibit will run through December 31, 2018.

WCIA’s Matt Metcalf spoke with the museum’s Executive Director about the importance of interpreting these unique artifacts as part of Illinois (and American) history.

For more information about the ALPLM, visit their web site:

To vote in the Illinois Top 200 poll, link here:

To learn how Illinois will be celebrating the Bicentennial, link here: 

About the ALPLM:

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (located at 212 N. Sixth St., Springfield) 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.

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