Obama Trail sidetracks Galesburg, Knox

From the Register-Mail:

A Knox College official said this morning she hopes to begin an effort almost at once to add Galesburg to the newly created Barack Obama Trail….

According to The State Journal-Register of Springfield, the capital city and Chicago are the only two cities on the trail at this time. Galesburg already is a stop on the Reagan Trail, as is Monmouth. There also are Lincoln and Grant trails in Illinois.

President-elect Obama, as a U.S. senator, delivered the 2005 commencement address at Knox in June of that year. Once he is inaugurated, he will be just the third U.S. president to be awarded an honorary degree from Knox; the other two being Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton. Heartlein said the honorary degree was the first undergraduate honorary degree for both Lincoln and Obama. Obama earlier had been awarded an honorary graduate degree from another institution.

Obama has a number of connections to Galesburg. He visited Knox just two days after winning the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2004. That same year, he mentioned Galesburg and the closing of the Maytag plant here during a speech at the Democrats’ national convention. That address is cited by many as Obama’s first moment in the national political spotlight.