Former Congressman and Illinois College graduate Paul Findley was honored yesterday during a dedication ceremony on the campus of IC.
A sizeable crowd gathered outside Whipple Hall for the dedication of a new Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibit. Illinois College President Barbara Farley was proud to present the new exhibit, which she says “highlights…Findley’s pivotal role in the creation of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.”
As Illinois’ 20th District Representative in 1971, Findley sponsored legislation that led to the formation of site in Springfield.
Sara Watson, Executive Director of the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, praised Findley’s career work and the relationship with Illinois College.
“Events like today are why Looking for Lincoln and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area exists. We are keeping alive the story of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, doing it with communities like Jacksonville, with colleges like Illinois College. It has been our pleasure and our honor to work with Illinois College and Congressman Findley to see this come to fruition today,” says Watson.
Also addressing the crowd was Dale Phillips, Superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historical Site. Phillips says the Lincoln Home is a popular historical destination for people well beyond central Illinois.
“I estimate that roughly ten million visitors from over the globe have entered the Lincoln Home since it became a national park in 1972. Those of you that have visited the site you know that we get visitors, every race, every country, every ethnic group. The story of Lincoln resounds throughout central Illinois and the cornerstone of that interpretation is the site at Lincoln Home,” Phillips says.
Findley himself was the last to speak. He said of the 16th United States President, “Lincoln has been so good to me. Had it not been for Lincoln, I would never possibly have been elected to Congress.”
The new Looking for Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area wayside exhibit is entitled “Lincoln Home NHS Created.”