September 29: On This Day in Eureka History

It was on this date in 1992 that Vice President Dan Quayle paid a visit to Eureka College when he spoke at a campaign rally in the Reagan Center. With only five weeks remaining in their reelection campaign, the Republican Bush-Quayle ticket found itself locked in an unusual three-way race facing the Democratic Clinton-Gore ticket and the insurgent Reform ticket of Perot-Stockdale. Illinois was viewed as a crucial battleground state in the 1992 campaign.

A capacity crowd was on hand to greet the Vice President when he arrived. Event organizers had bussed nearly 500 junior high and high school students from surrounding communities to attend the campaign rally. This group, in conjunction with Eureka College students, faculty, staff, and a sizeable contingent from the local community, formed a large and spirited crowd. Despite a ninety minute delay in the Vice President's arrival, the crowd waited in anticipation of the campaign event.

This was the first time that a sitting Vice President ever visited the Eureka College campus. In the past, Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson [served from 1893-97 during Grover Cleveland's second administration] visited the campus twice in the early twentieth century after he had left office. Vice President Stevenson was a Founder's Day speaker at the College and he also spoke during one of the early Chautauqua events that were held on the campus.