Reagan's boyhood Illinois home designated national historic sit

Saturday, June 15, 2002

DIXON, Ill. -- Ronald Reagan's boyhood home was designated a national historic site Friday, while the street he walked along as a child was dedicated to the former president. Hennepin Avenue, where Reagan's family lived, was renamed Reagan Way.

The school and church he attended and the library he frequented were also located on the street.

U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, whose district includes Dixon, presented a copy of the bill President Bush signed in February declaring the home a historic site.

"I think Ronald Reagan, even when he went to Washington, D.C., brought some of the great Midwestern values he developed at this house and on this street," Hastert said.

Reagan, 91, last visited the area in October 1990, four years before he announced he had Alzheimer's disease and dropped out of public life.

No members of his family joined the crowd of about 200 at Friday's ceremony.

The former president was born in the nearby hamlet of Tampico. Norman Wymbs, chairman of the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Preservation Foundation, said the family lived in several central Illinois towns over the next few years as Reagan's father sought business opportunities.

The family settled at 816 Hennepin Ave. in 1920 and lived there three years.

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