SPRINGFIELD – Illinois boasts a rich history of presidential ties with Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, but only two of these men are recognized at the State Capitol, according to State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap).
“Everyone knows about our extensive Lincoln heritage and President Grant’s military prowess, but they often forget that Ronald Reagan is the only Illinois-born man to reach the White House,” LaHood said. “Currently, the Capitol features prominent statues of Lincoln and Grant, but it’s time for President Reagan to have his place at the Illinois Capitol.”
LaHood and other lawmakers are seeking to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of President Reagan’s death on June 5, with a private fund-raising drive to place a formal statue on the Illinois State Capitol Complex grounds.
Senate Resolution 1242 was introduced on May 27 and requests that an appropriate memorial be placed at the State Capitol. In addition to the resolution, Senator LaHood also sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol and the four legislative leaders stating the desire for the Reagan memorial. That letter was signed by Senators Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), and John Sullivan (D-Rushville).
“We are keenly aware of the state’s fiscal condition, which is why we want to emphasize the need to raise private funds for this Reagan memorial at the Capitol,” LaHood concluded. “Let me make it abundantly clear that this Reagan tribute will not be funded by any taxpayer monies.”
President Ronald Reagan was born Feb. 6, 1911, in Tampico. As a young man, he lived in Tampico, Chicago, Galesburg, and Monmouth before settling in Dixon. Reagan was educated at Illinois’ Eureka College and worked as a radio broadcaster in the Quad Cities before he left for California.
The two-term President and California Governor frequently and fondly looked back on his time in Illinois as what molded him into the great leader that he was. Reagan is credited for ending the Cold War and helping to end Soviet dominance in Europe.
For questions about the donation process, please contact Senator LaHood’s office at 217.782.1942.