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April 29, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich announces museum exhibit national tour in honor of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial
One-of-a-kind "Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America" mobile exhibit debuts April 30 in Denver

SPRINGFIELD– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that the “Abraham Lincoln:  Self-Made in America” museum exhibits developed by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) will travel the nation during the next two years to commemorate the Lincoln Bicentennial.  People across the country are encouraged to see these exhibits free of charge.
“The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s success attracting visitors to Springfield has been remarkable, but many interested in the life and times of our 16th President have yet to make the trip,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “With this mobile exhibit, we are bringing the legacy of Abraham Lincoln to the people and offering visitors a taste of the experience they will have when they visit the Springfield museum.” 
The mobile exhibit debuts April 30 and opens to the public at the Colorado History Museum in Denver, and will visit key Bicentennial events through August 2010, as well as the 2008 national political conventions, major sporting events, elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and other venues.  It will inspire visitors with the story of Lincoln’s life and accomplishments.  The only exhibit of its type in the country, the mobile museum uses an engaging mixture of interactive elements, graphics, facsimile documents and artifacts showcased inside a 53-foot-long, double expandable trailer to commemorate the Lincoln Bicentennial.
The mobile exhibit examines Lincoln’s life from his poor beginnings to his ascension to the presidency to his assassination.  Highlights include a visual recreation of Lincoln’s 1861 Farewell Address from a train car in Springfield as he left for the White House, and the award-winning “The Civil War in Four Minutes” video presentation.
“This mobile exhibit will be an ambassador for Illinois tourism, encouraging people from across the country to visit our treasure trove of historic sites and museums,” said Illinois Tourism Director Jan Kostner. 
The “Self-Made in America” mobile exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, with corporate sponsorships being sought.  It was developed by ALPLM curators and historians working in collaboration with Mobility Resource Associates, a Michigan-based leader in custom mobile exhibition tours. 
For up-to-the-minute tour dates and locations, additional information about the mobile exhibit or more information about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit www.abelincolnmuseum.org.  Those interested in sponsoring the tour should contact HPA.self-madetruck@illinois.gov.
A traveling learning station exhibit that mirrors the mobile exhibit themes will be displayed in 40 public libraries and historical societies over the next two years.  It was one of just two “We, the People” programs for the Lincoln Bicentennial funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The learning station exhibit will travel the nation from September 2008 through September 2010. 
The ALPLM, in partnership with the American Library Association and the Tribeca Film Institute, will provide school curricula, educational kits, and templates for public programming and publicity to accompany each exhibition.
The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, formed by Gov. Blagojevich in February 2006, is working closely with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the ALPLM, tourism agencies and many other institutions and organizations to organize events and programming from 2008 - 2010.  The commission is also partnering with local communities on their bicentennial plans. 


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