Two Illinois Presidents Honored This Week

February 13, 2011

Quick: Who was the 16th president of the United States?

Hint: He would have been 202 yesterday.

Second hint: He was an Illinois resident.

Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln

Answer: It was Abraham Lincoln, and there were celebrations in his honor throughout Illinois and the country this weekend.

Don’t worry if you missed it all, there are two new exhibits on display you can still visit.

The Chicago History Museum on Saturday opened “Abraham Lincoln” and “Lincoln’s Chicago.”

The first focuses on Abraham Lincoln as president, from his decision to end slavery to his leadership during the Civil War to his assassination.

The second shows Lincoln’s life in Chicago, which became his second home and political headquarters during his political career.

The exhibits feature photos, lithographs, important papers and other memorabilia on display, including Lincoln’s watch, the bed in which he died and the handcuffs placed around the wrists of his killer, John Wilkes Booth.

Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky and moved to Illinois in his early 20s. But one of our past presidents was an Illinois native.

Another quiz: Who is the only president to be born in Illinois?

Hint: Lincoln was more than double his age.

Ronald Reagan

Native-Illinoisan Ronald Reagan

Answer: It was Ronald Reagan, who would have turned 100 on February 6.

On February 10, 2011, the Illinois Senate passed a resolution honoring the native Illinoisan.

Sponsored by Senator Tim Bivins, Senate Resolution 48 honors Reagan’s youth in Illinois, his career in motion pictures, his military service, his service as Governor of California from 1967 to 1975 and his Presidential legacy.

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