Excerpt from the Register-Mail:
The day of the Lincoln-Douglas debates on the Knox College campus on Oct. 7, 1858, was marred only by the weatherman. A cold wind and steady rain fell throughout the day. Thousands witnessed the historic event that put Galesburg and Knox College on the national map. More importantly historians have concluded that the debate propelled Abraham Lincoln into the presidency two years later.
The 100th Anniversary of the debate on Oct. 7, 1958, was celebrated with even more pageantry than the original. Ironically, the weatherman decided to participate again, as a steady, drenching rain came down to duplicate the 1858 event. And because of the rain the 1958 debate reenactment on the east side of Old Main became even more dramatic. The participants and spectators proved their Spartan character by their enthusiastic attendance. The difference from 100 years previous was that many wore raincoats and carried umbrellas.