POLITICS
03/07/2013 01:15 pm ET Updated May 07, 2013

Presidential Signatures On Display

As Nancy Bradshaw looked through the Owensboro Museum of Science and History's collection, she stumbled upon many documents, she said.

"These needed to be on display, they're very interesting," she said excitedly.

Bradshaw, the director of the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center, which is housed in the museum, developed "Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Presidential Signatures." The exhibit of signatures is open to the public. An ending date has not been set. The museum is at 122 E. Second St.

The exhibit features various documents signed by 14 U.S. presidents. Enlarged signatures are also copied on the wall at the entrance of the exhibit.

Documents from the museum's collection include a certificate signed by John Adams appointing Joseph Hamilton Daviess as U.S. District Attorney for Kentucky; a letter signed "Jimmy," that Jimmy Carter wrote aboard Air Force One to former governor and retired U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford after a trip to Kentucky; a copy of a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, which was displayed throughout his bicentennial in the states where he lived; and a photo of Ford and Bill Clinton shaking hands at Clinton's 1993 inauguration that's signed by Clinton.

Other documents from the museum's collection boast the signatures of Franklin Roosevelt and George H.W. Bush and a print from a daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams.

Owensboro accountant Robert Kuphal loaned several parts of the exhibit, including documents signed by Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.

"This really gives a sense of our place in history," said Todd Reynolds, programming coordinator at the museum. "This evidence of our government through the years -- you can really feel it when you see it up close."

Bradshaw said the museum will host a formal reception at a later date.

"We're happy to have such important historic records," she said. "People are so generous to loan some of these things for everyone to enjoy."

The exhibit is open during regular museum hours, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $3 per person or free for members and children age 2 and younger.

Angela Oliver, 691-7360, aoliver@messenger-inquirer.com ___

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