On the day after Lincoln was sworn in to his office, this classified ad appeared in the Washington Evening Star on Tuesday, March 5, 1861.
“The citizens of Illinois now in Washington will meet in front of Willard’s Hotel on Tuesday, March 5th, at 3½ o’clock p.m.; from thence to proceed to the Presidential Mansion, and pay their respects to President Lincoln.”
This notice started a tradition that has continued every four years since 1861 of a usually nonpartisan party hosted by the Illinois State Society for every new president regardless of which party wins the White House. The 2009 Inaugual Gala to honor President Barack Obama played host to several thousand guests at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC.
President Abraham Lincoln is the most famous Illinoisan of all time. He was born in Kentucky in 1809, moved to Indiana as a child, then moved to Salem, Illinois. The only home that he and his wife ever owned was the one they purchased in Springfield and lived in for almost 20 years until he left for Washington as president-elect in 1861. He is buried at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield and visitors come from all over the world to see his home and grave site and the new Lincoln Presidential Library.