Feb 14 2011
Our kids have both Friday and Monday off school this coming weekend, and with the making up of snow days it may be our last long weekend this school year. Long weekends always get me thinking about fun family things we can do, and this one’s no different, especially since my husband is looking at a piece of farm equipment that’s located in Illinois.
Hmmmm… Illinois… long weekend… President’s Day… sounds like the perfect opportunity for a presidential field trip!
Although we may typically think of the presidents as hailing from the eastern United States, and the many monuments in the Washington, D.C. area, the Midwest has its share of presidential places to visit as well. These are some I’ve thought of (with thanks to my friends on Twitter for their input).
- Springfield, Illinois, and area: Abraham Lincoln’s home area. Lincoln’s home is a National Park Service site and I’ve been told the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is spectacular. There are also Lincoln stops in southern Indiana.
- Dixon and Eureka, Illinois: Ronald Reagan. His boyhood home in Dixon is closed during the winter months, but there’s a Reagan museum in Eureka, where he went to college.
- West Branch, Iowa: Herbert Hoover Library and Museum
- Independence, Missouri: Harry S Truman home and library
- Galena, Illinois: Ulysses Grant home
- St. Louis, Missouri: Ulysses Grant National Historic Site
- Medora, North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt enjoyed the time he spent here, and now has a national park named after him
- Omaha, Nebraska: The Durham Museum has a Lincoln Bicentennial exhibit as well as a special exhibit about the presidents’ educations
- Boone, Iowa: Mamie Dodd Eisenhower birthplace (First Ladies also have Midwestern connections!)
Then, of course, there’s Ohio, which has turned out eight presidents, enough for a presidential site post of its own.
I’m hoping our President’s Day “field trip” will work out, but if not, I’ve had fun exploring presidential connections in the Midwest. Do you know of any others?