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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why Is Galesburg So Popular With Presidents?

President Barack Obama visits the Galesburg High School football team, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011, in Galesburg, Ill., during his three-day economic bus tour. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President Barack Obama visits the Galesburg High School football team, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011, in Galesburg, Ill., during his three-day economic bus tour. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

If you’re wondering why President Obama is in Galesburg, Illinois, he has been there before and it turns out he’s not the only president or future president to visit the small prairie town west of Chicago.

Fifteen men who were either in the nation’s highest office or went on to become president have made stops in Galesburg.

The first future President to visit was Abraham Lincoln in 1858 when he was running for the U.S. Senate.

One of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates was held on the Knox College campus that President Obama is visiting today.

When he was a young U.S. senator in 2005, Barack Obama delivered the commencement address at the college and President Bill Clinton also spoke in Galesburg in 1995, unveiling what he called a “Middle Class Bill of Rights.”

Guest

  • Tom Wilson, historian in Galesburg, Illinois.

Read more

Galesburg Register-Mail “Probably the most unusual stopovers of a president occurred during 1967 when Ike Eisenhower and his wife Mamie arrived via the Santa Fe rails on North Broad Street. Ike successfully persuaded the train conductor to hold the train over a short time so he could visit with an 8-week-old Scottish border collie pup that he had earlier purchased from the Don Marshall family of rural Knoxville.”


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