The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield will offer $5
off its standard $12 adult admission starting July 1 through Sept. 3
to any verified alumni from a college or university in the United
States. The promotion will commemorate President Lincoln's July 2,
1862, signing of the Morrill Act, which paved the way for the
establishment of the nation's system of land-grant universities.
Those who want to take advantage of the discount need only present
valid alumni identification from any accredited United States
college or university.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Foundation will also offer membership discounts during the same time
of from $10 to $15, depending on the membership level, to all alumni
from the nation's colleges and universities. Membership benefits
include a number of free admissions to the presidential museum.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education has assisted the
presidential museum in making colleges and universities in Illinois
aware of these promotions.
Professor Jonathan Baldwin Turner of Illinois College in
Jacksonville began a political movement in the 1830s calling for the
creation of agricultural colleges nationwide. Turner successfully
convinced the Illinois General Assembly to adopt a resolution in
1853 that called upon Congress to enact a land-grant bill to fund a
system of such colleges. Congressman Justin Smith Morrill from
Vermont took up the cause and introduced the legislation in 1857
that allocated land for these educational institutions to teach
engineering and agricultural subjects. The Morrill Act was passed by
Congress in 1859 but vetoed by President James Buchanan. In 1861
Morrill resubmitted the act, and aided by the secession of many
states that had not supported it, the Morrill Act passed Congress
and was signed into law by President Lincoln on July 2, 1862.
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The Morrill Act for the first time enabled the new western
states, including Illinois, to establish colleges for their citizens
to receive advanced education. The act gave every state that had
remained in the Union a grant of 30,000 acres of public land for
every member of its congressional delegation. The states sold this
land and used the proceeds to establish colleges in engineering,
agriculture and military science. More than 70 land-grant colleges,
as they came to be known, were established under the original
Morrill Act; including the University of Illinois at
Although started as agricultural and technical schools, many
land-grant colleges grew into large public universities, which over
the years have educated millions of people from around the world who
otherwise might not have been able to afford college.
For more information about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum, visit
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
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