Lincoln impersonator adds to museum exhibit

By Joe Bennett

June 27, 2013 Updated Jun 28, 2013 at 11:26 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Abraham Lincoln was seen eating lunch Thursday along the Peoria riverfront.

Well, a Lincoln look-alike anyway.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum invited president impersonator Fritz Klein to be part of its Lincoln exhibit.

Klein works full time for the Lincoln Institute for Education in Springfield.

The program was composed mostly from Lincoln's actual words and Klein says he decided to paraphrase parts of the speech when he saw so many children in attendance.

He says influencing children is much of the reason he has performed as Lincoln for more than 30 years.

"Human nature doesn't change, and so the struggles that Lincoln went through in many ways are similar to what we go through," said Klein. "That's one of the joys when I find children that say, 'Well, I'm going to try and tell the truth,' or 'I'm going to work hard and not give up.' So yeah, I love it."

The Lincoln presentation was followed by a performance from the Central Illinois Civil War Dance Society.

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