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Ray LaHood Tapped to Chair Lincoln Presidential Museum Board

Ray LaHood was appointed Thursday to chair the board of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. 

LaHood is the former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and 18th District congressman. He’s from Peoria and is a graduate of Bradley University.

He’ll be leading the efforts to help turn around the struggling museum.

Governor J.B. Pritzker fired museum director Alan Lowe last week. The museum is several million dollars in debt, and has weighed auctioning off artifacts to pay it off.

Experts have also challenged the provenance of a stovepipe hat that reportedly belonged to the 16th president, and the blood-stained gloves Lincoln allegedly wore on the night of his assassination. Both were purchased by the museum in 2007.

Pritzker also appointed conservator Joan Brodsky, librarian Kathryn Harris, Chicago History Museum President Gary Johnson, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor Eunice Santos to the board. 

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.