Arts & Culture
1:22 pm
Tue November 19, 2002

Ribbon Cut at New Lincoln Presidential Library

Springfield, IL – A number of officials helped cut the ribbon in Springfield, Ill. yesterday on a new library honoring Abe Lincoln's life and work.

President Bush sent a video message, encouraging every generation to study Lincoln's life and character. And a number of dignitaries, including Governor George Ryan, Secretary of State Colin Powell and former President Gerald Ford, were also on a video reciting lines from the Gettysburg Address.

The library will house the state's collection of Lincoln documents and artifacts. It opens to the public early next year.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald is criticizing Governor Ryan's chief of staff and his handling of fund raising for the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.

The Republican from Inverness fought the project vigorously. He argued the state would pay inflated construction prices to companies with political connections to state leaders. Ryan yesterday called Fitzgerald's statement a "cheap shot." He says the wealthy senator should donate a couple million dollars to the new library.