The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield is now three million visitors strong. A spur-of-the-moment decision by Becky Hughes of St. Joseph, Mo., led to her being the lucky guest Tuesday morning. Museum officials gave her some items from the gift shop, including an umbrella and a stovepipe hat.
The museum opened in April 2005 and reached the one-million milestone in January 2007. The two millionth visitor arrived in July 2009. Deputy director Dave Blanchette says the pace, arriving at one million in about a year and a half but taking more than three years to get from two million to the current total, is to be expected. “Pacing puts us right at 300,000 visitors a year, which is about where we have been for quite some time,” says Blanchette. “We’re still the most visited presidential library and museum in the country.”
“We did Niagara Falls, we went to the (Rock and Roll) Hall of Fame, and I thought, you know what? We really need to do the Lincoln library while we’re this close.” Hughes is traveling with her daughter, Bailey, and son, Briar, and family friend Ray Neiderhouse, after taking Hughes’ husband to a pipeline job in New York.