06 26 2016
  12:14 pm  
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Families, school groups and individuals can enjoy the perfect opportunity to add a meaningful educational component to their next trip by visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Ill.

The museum pays tribute to the author of the Emancipation Proclamation and also revisits the harsh reality of slavery in America while celebrating African American freedom fighters.

"Within its 40,000 square feet of exhibits, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum provides the perfect balance of scholarship and showmanship," Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich said.

"The impressive facility, technology and exhibits take visitors on a 'you are there' journey they will never forget. It's a must-see Illinois attraction."

Museum visitors travel through a series of "journeys," where several facets of the president's life and political career are highlighted. One journey, "The Slave Auction," is a compelling depiction of a family being divided as its members are auctioned off to slave owners.

While traveling down the Illusion Corridor, visitors experience firsthand a sea of crude whispers, bringing the harsh realities of a divided nation back to life as anti-abolitionistsbrashly denounce Lincoln's stance on slavery. The museum immerses guests in the experience, reminding them that the issue of slavery was one of America's most divisive periods.

Another journey brings visitors to a replica of the White House, outside of which sit lifelike figures of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth waiting for the opportunity to speak with the president. Once inside, visitors will see Mrs. Lincoln being fitted for a dress by Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who became her dressmaker and closest confidant during the war years.

There is even a re-creation of the White House kitchen, where visitors can listen as African American workers whisper about the possibility of emancipation.

Other journeys chronicle Lincoln's life as a young boy, to the beginning of his political career and through his assassination and funeral.

A visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum will provide travelers an educational experience ideal for Black History Month and beyond. For more information on the museum, visit www.alplm.org.

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  • ST. LOUIS (AP) — A draft of the Democratic Party's policy positions reflects the influence of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign: endorsing steps to break up large Wall Street banks, advocating a $15 hourly wage, urging an end to the death penalty. Hillary Clinton's supporters turned back efforts by Sanders' allies to promote a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system and a carbon tax to address climate change, and freeze hydraulic fracking. While the platform does not bind the Democratic nominee to the stated positions, it serves as a guidepost for the party moving forward. Party officials approved the draft early Saturday. The Democratic National Convention's full Platform Committee will discuss the draft at a meeting next month in Orlando, Florida, with a vote at the convention in Philadelphia in late July. Sanders said Friday he would vote for Clinton, the presumptive nominee, in the fall election, but so far has stopped short of fully endorsing the former secretary of state or encouraging his millions of voters to back her candidacy. The Vermont senator has said he wants the platform to reflect his goals — and those representing him at a St. Louis hotel said they had made progress. "We lost some but we won some," said James Zogby, a Sanders supporter on the committee. "We got some great stuff in the platform that has never been in there before." Added Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., a Sanders ally: "We've made some substantial moves forward." Deliberating late into Friday, the group considered language on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, an issue that has divided Democrats. The committee defeated an amendment led by Zogby that would have called for providing Palestinians with "an end to occupation and illegal settlements" and urged an international effort to rebuild Gaza. The draft reflects Clinton's views and advocates working toward a "two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict" that guarantees Israel's security with recognized borders "and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity." In many cases, Clinton's side gave ground to Sanders. The document calls for the expansion of Social Security and says Americans should earn at least $15 an hour, referring to the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour as a "starvation wage," a term often used by Sanders. Sanders has pushed for a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Clinton has supported efforts to raise the minimum wage to that level but has said states and cities should raise the bar as high as possible. Sanders' allies wanted the draft to specify calls for a $15 per hour minimum wage indexed with inflation. Clinton's side struck down a direct link, noting the document elsewhere included a call to "raise and index the minimum wage." The committee also adopted language that said it supports ways to prevent banks from gambling with taxpayers' bank deposits, "including an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall." Sanders wants to reinstate the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited commercial banks from engaging in investment banking activities. Clinton does not, but says her proposed financial changes would cast a wider net by regulating the banking system. Also in the draft is a call for the abolition of the death penalty. Clinton said during a debate this year that capital punishment should only be used in limited cases involving "heinous crimes." Sanders said the government should not use it. Sanders, a vociferous opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, was unable to get language into the document opposing the trade deal. As a result, the party avoided an awkward scenario that would have put the platform at odds with President Barack Obama. Clinton and Sanders have opposed the deal. Committee members backed a measure that said "there are a diversity of views in the party" on the pact and reaffirmed that Democrats contend any trade deal "must protect workers and the environment." In a setback for Sanders, the panel narrowly rejected amendments that would have imposed a tax on carbon and imposed a national freeze on fracking. The panel deliberated for about nine hours following several late nights and long hours of policy exchanges between the two campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. Sanders, in a statement, said he was "disappointed and dismayed" that the group voted down the measure opposing the TPP. But he was pleased with the proposals on Glass-Steagall and the death penalty — and vowed to fight on. "Our job is to pass the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party," he said.
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