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May 8, 2001

John Deere Foundation Donates $1 Million to Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today accepted a $1 million donation from the John Deere Foundation to support the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

"With the support of generous donors, this library and museum will become a fitting tribute from this state and this country to America's greatest president," Ryan said. "The John Deere Foundation is making an important contribution to increasing visitors' understanding of Lincoln's life and his ideals."

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is a $115 million, two-building complex being built in downtown Springfield. The Library building will house the state's 46,000 item Lincoln collection, which is equal to the combined Lincoln collections of the National Park Service, the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution. The building will also be the new home of the Illinois State Historical Library, the state's foremost historical and genealogical research facility. The Museum's interactive exhibits and artifact displays will tell the story of Abraham Lincoln's life.

"As one of the few Illinois companies in existence during Abraham Lincoln's presidency that is still operating today, Deere & Company is proud to contribute to this commendable project. It is an honor to support an effort that will inspire and educate countless visitors about a man who dedicated his life to honesty and fairness, and whom many believe to be America's greatest president," said Don Margenthaler, President of the John Deere Foundation.

The John Deere Foundation invests its resources in human services, community development, educational enterprises, and cultural opportunities. Deere & Company, founded in 1837, grew from a one-man blacksmith shop in Grand Detour, Illinois into a worldwide corporation that today does business in more than 160 countries and employs approximately 40,000 people worldwide.

To date, private contributions to the construction and operation of the Library and Museum have totaled more than $4.5 million dollars. The Ameritech Foundation, Starr Foundation, A.G. Edwards & Sons, American General Financial Group, Motorola Foundation, State Farm Companies Foundation and Union Pacific have also contributed to the fund for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

One of the world's oldest and most respected enterprises, Deere & Company (www.JohnDeere.com) creates smart and innovative solutions, in the form of advanced machines, services and concepts, for customers on the farmsite, worksite and homesite worldwide.


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