“Illinois to the White House”, ALPLM opens new exhibit

By Benjamin Cox on March 31, 2018 at 9:45am

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield recently opened the new Illinois Presidents exhibit called: Illinois to the White House – Lincoln, Grant Regan, Obama. It’s one of the many ways the ALPLM is celebrating Illinois’ 200th birthday.

Communication Director Chris Wills recently joined our WLDS “What’s on your mind” program and says he’s very proud of the exhibit. Wills gives us a preview of what it’s all about.

“We tried to show people the impact, the legacies of the 4 presidents who call Illinois home. It’s full of amazing artifacts and documents that allow you to connect with these leaders. We have Grant’s saddle he used during the civil war, we got Regan’s yearbook when he was in high school in Dixon. Obama’s Grammy that he won for his audio book.  So it is a chance for people to really explore these 4 men and how Illinois prepared them for the White House and to some degree enable them to reach the White House.”

Wills talks about how they acquired all the different artifacts for the exhibit.

“Basically we decide on the focus of the exhibit and we try to figure out how we can bring that exhibit to life. Then we go to the different institutions to help with us that so we contacted the Ronald Regan Presidential Library. Then we contacted the Ulysses’ S. Grant historic site in St. Louis and the Obama Presidential Library that is getting organized. We asked what could you lend to us that would help us and excite the visitors to help understand your president. They all were gracious to offer some great items. We try achieve and try and build partnerships with other institutions that might be able to help us do it. ” said Wills.

Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Regan and Obama opened on March 23rd. It will be on display until the end of the year. Wills explains some of the other big stories that are happening around the ALPLM during this bicentennial year.

“Most high profile are the bicentennial minutes that we produce everyday. We provide those for radio everyday, so that stations around the state can carry daily looks back at anniversaries in Illinois history, special events that have taken place the last 200 years. We have also started Illinois top 200. Where we are inviting people to vote online and help us choose the top Illinois things in history. Folks can go online and help us decide the top inventions or movies, so we’re having a lot of fun with that.” said Wills.

The price of the exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is included with the museum admission. Adults are $15 and children under the age of 15 are $6. For more information, contact the ALPLM at 217-558-8844.