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Presidential Illinois

Presidential Illinois is now open at the ISM-Springfield. The exhibition displays significant artifacts highlighting the four US Presidents who have called Illinois home: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama.

Visitors can expect to see items such as an inkwell that belonged to Abraham Lincoln, a campaign ribbon from Ulysses S. Grant’s third presidential run in 1880, and Reagan campaign buttons worn by an Illinois delegate to the 1984 Republican National Convention. 

For the first time, the public will have the opportunity to see the furniture President Obama used in his office and his chamber chair from when he served in the Illinois State Senate. These items are on loan from the Illinois State Senate. Also featured are other noteworthy items, including a signed copy of Obama’s speech in Springfield when he declared Joseph Biden his running mate. This item is on loan from the Old State Capitol State Historic Site.

“Illinois boasts a rich presidential history, which we are delighted to showcase in this exhibit,” said Erika Holst, the Curator of History at the Illinois State Museum. “We are excited to showcase some truly fascinating objects, including some never before seen.”

The museum is open from Monday to Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free for all visitors.