An article with a photo of the tourism officials -- Gleason is
chairman and Ladd is executive director of the organization -- was
written by Decatur Herald reporter Tony Reid recently and was picked
up by the AP news service because of the publicity surrounding the
Spielberg movie "Lincoln."
"Though the movie is referenced in the
article, the story is actually about Lincoln's connection to
Lincoln, Ill., and how he christened the town with the juice of a
watermelon in 1853," said Ladd. He surmised that the ambiguous
headline and admittedly less-than-flattering but very funny photo
selected for the article were the factors that allowed for it to be
chosen for the segment.
"Everyone who knows Paul and I will tell you we both have a great
sense of humor, and so we'll take the publicity hands-down. This is
great -- this is the advertising for our community, our state and
our Lincoln story that we cannot buy. Paul and I would like to
follow up by visiting Jay Leno on his show to explain the backstory,"
"At first I cringed when the story came out with that photo in
the Decatur Herald. The photographer took probably 50-100 photos,
and how they ended up using that one was beyond me, but now I am
The story was picked up by news services and soon appeared in
several newspapers across the country.
[to top of second column]
Lincoln, Ill., also drew quite a bit of media attention with the
opening-night event for the "Lincoln" movie, which debuted Nov. 16
at the newly remodeled and upgraded but still historic Lincoln
Theater in downtown Lincoln. Moviegoers were greeted by professional
Lincoln interpreters Chris Hotz and Deborah Senger, from Timeless
Presentations, a Bloomington-based company, portraying Abe and Mary.
At the movie opening, the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan
County also handed out their brand-new combination rack card and
free postcard, featuring the Guinness-listed world's largest covered
wagon with Abe Lincoln at the helm. The wagon, which functions as an
Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 attraction, was donated to the namesake
city by local philanthropist Larry Van Bibber.
The original article and Jay Leno segment can be viewed at the
tourism bureau website at
[Text from file received from
Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of