Lincoln Presidential Library to
honor MLK’s memory with day of activities
Non-profit organizations can get free
admission Jan. 20
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[January 15, 2020]
SPRINGFIELD – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy on Monday, Jan. 20,
by presenting his most famous speech and offering free admission to
community groups that work to better the lives of others.
The presidential library will also host a blood drive on the holiday
that is often called a “national day of service.”
The highlight of the day is actor Reggie Guyton reading King’s “I
Have a Dream” speech. He will perform at 10:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
in the museum’s main plaza.
King originally delivered the speech on the steps of the Lincoln
Memorial during a 1963 civil rights march in Washington, D.C. He
praised Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as “a great beacon light
of hope” but said African-Americans were still chained by
segregation and discrimination.
“Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great because
greatness is determined by service,” King once said. Each year,
thousands upon thousands of Illinoisans turn that philosophy into
action by joining groups to improve education, clean up
neighborhoods, help the needy and much more.
Registered non-profits can visit the Lincoln Presidential Museum for
free on King’s birthday, an offer meant to honor their service and
help children appreciate another great American who prized liberty
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Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Group Tours office at
217-558-8939. Groups may be asked to provide paperwork showing they are
organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes. Groups bringing
children must have one adult chaperone for every 10 children. (Extra chaperones
above that ratio will have to pay for their tickets.) The students can range in
age from 4th grade to college.
The presidential library is partnering with the Central Illinois Community Blood
Center to host the center’s mobile blood unit. Museum guests, staff and
volunteers will have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and donate the
"gift of life" from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To schedule a donation appointment, please go to www.bloodcenterimpact.org and
use the code 61139 for the blood drive. An appointment is not required, but
people who schedule visits will get priority.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum uses a combination of
rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in Lincoln’s
life and times. The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books,
documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items
pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.
For more information, visit