Balloons fell from the ceiling when Elise Arnold of Florence,
Ore., entered the museum. She received membership in the
presidential library’s foundation, $100 worth of merchandise from
the museum gift shop, a free lunch and a backstage tour of the
museum’s popular “Ghosts of the Library” show.
“Four million people have now enjoyed this incredible museum and
gained a new appreciation for Lincoln’s enduring legacy. All
Illinoisans can be proud of this institution,” said Gov. Bruce
Rauner. “I congratulate the 4 millionth visitor and look forward to
our state enjoying this museum for generations to come.”
museum’s one millionth visitor arrived January 6, 2007; the two
millionth on July 4, 2009; and the three millionth on Aug. 21, 2012.
Visitors from every state and nearly every nation on earth have
toured the museum.
ALPLM attendance continues to beat projections. Before the museum
opened, estimates (which some considered optimistic) suggested total
attendance after 11 years would be 2.65 million. Actual attendance
is 47 percent above that mark.
If attendance had simply matched projections, the museum would not
reach 4 million visitors for another seven years.
“We are extraordinarily grateful for the public’s embrace of the
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum,” said Nadine O’Leary, the
ALPLM’s acting executive director. “It’s a testament to the great
planning and design that went into the museum, the continued hard
work of our staff and, most of all, the amazing story of Abraham
Elise (pronounced uh-LEES-uh) Arnold visited the museum
with her husband, Tyson, and three children while on a trip from
their current home in Oregon to a new one in Kentucky. She said they
stopped at the Lincoln Presidential Library because, “It’s an
important part of history for our kids to learn about.”
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She said being the center of attention was “a little weird, a little
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a division of the Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency, is dedicated to telling the story of America’s
16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology.
The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents,
photographs, artifacts and art, including the Gettysburg Address, Emancipation
Proclamation, 13th Amendment and Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat. It also serves
as the state’s historical library, with some 12 million items pertaining to
Meanwhile, the museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects
and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors. It also presents an
array of temporary exhibits about Lincoln and Illinois.
The museum, which requires paid admission, is open seven days a week. The
library portion of the ALPLM is open free of charge Monday through Friday for
research. For details, visit
[Chris Wills, Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library and museum]