Over 2,000 visit free Presidents Day event at Nixon Museum in Yorba Linda

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Corey Moore/KPCC

Abraham Lincoln impersonator poses with children at Richard Nixon Museum in Yorba Linda, Presidents Day 2011. (Children: Juliana Pinzon, 12; Janelly Barajas, 14; Dylan Barajas, 7; Deianira Barajas, 9)

At least 2,000 people celebrated Presidents Day at the Richard Nixon Museum and Library in Yorba Linda.

A day off from school didn’t mean a day without education for hundreds of students. They gathered for a free daylong history lesson from the Mount Rushmore presidents - including Abe Lincoln, portrayed by a very convincing actor.

Juliana Pinzon, 12, from Yorba Linda and a few of her friends posed with Mr. Lincoln as parents snapped photos. “We’re learning about the military and how they worked for us.”

Sandy Quinn runs the foundation that’s sponsored the Nixon Library’s free Presidents Day program for just over 20 years. “To see the youngsters in the lobby meeting President Washington and President Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and President Jefferson and be able to ask them questions and look at artifacts and pose with them, get their pictures taken with them, I’m delighted with this expression of interest in the American presidency.”

That expression of interest carried over from the lobby of the museum to the East Room, a beautiful replica of “America’s Grand Ballroom” – the largest room in the White House.

Historian James Humes, who wrote speeches for President Ronald Reagan and others, presented an inside story on Abe Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address in a standing room only lecture.

Organizers say the Presidents Day event may have been their biggest yet. By the end of the day, about 3,000 people showed up.

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