Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich To Headline Illinois Event

TAMPICO, Ill. (CBS) – Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich will be the keynote speaker at an event honoring President Ronald Reagan near Reagan’s birthplace in Tampico, Ill.

The Feb. 4 event will be a celebration of Reagan’s 100th birthday.

Gingrich is expected to highlight the influence of an Illinois upbringing on Reagan, who was born in Tampico and also lived in Dixon before attending Eureka College.

Gingrich will also screen his documentary about “Reagan’s life, Rendezvous with Destiny,” at Sterling High School’s Centennial Auditorium. .

The event is sponsored by the Illinois Reagan Centennial Commission and the Tampico Historical Society.

Tampico is about 180 miles west of Chicago. Its population is fewer than 800 people, but it is home to the Ronald Reagan Birthplace and Museum.

Reagan also lived briefly in Chicago. As a 4-year-old boy, he resided with his family in a three-flat at 832 E. 57th St. on the western edge of the Hyde Park neighborhood. He also announced his engagement to first wife Jane Wyman at the Chicago Theatre before their wedding in 1940.

Reagan died in 2004.

As for Gingrich, he has reportedly been considering launching a 2012 run for the presidency, but he said Sunday he probably won’t make a decision until late February or early March.

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