BOSTON (CBS) – While this year’s race for the White House heats up, this Presidents’ Day brings a look back. Thousands of kids packed the JFK Library to learn about the presidency, with some very special guests.

Honest Abe Lincoln was there, stovepipe hat and all. And so was President John Adams and First Lady Abigail Adams, showing children what they would have worn when the Adams were in the White House, and inviting them to sign the Declaration of Independence.

Children sign Declaration of Independence at JFK Library (WBZ-TV)

Children sign Declaration of Independence at JFK Library (WBZ-TV)

“Today we celebrate all the Presidents that we’ve had, from George Washington to President Obama,” says Vanessa Ardai, one of the many young people packing the Kennedy Library.

Some looked dapper in Lincoln style hats they made themselves, and others painted portraits of past presidents, and even Presidential hopefuls. “I love history and I love learning about the olden times,” says 12-year-old Courtney Phillips.

The biggest thrill seemed to be interacting with actors playing the past presidents and of course, having their pictures taken. Even adults got a kick out of that. “I am very pleased to meet Abraham Lincoln because he’s one of the greatest presidents,” says Yilin Li.

President Abraham Lincoln at the JFK Library (WBZ-TV)

President Abraham Lincoln at the JFK Library (WBZ-TV)

The past presidents also weighed in on the current state of politics. “If you were asking me if in your time that these elections are nastier than in my time, I would say most assuredly they are not,” according to “President” John Adams.

And Lincoln offered his own brand of wisdom to all candidates. “One of the secrets of being a good arguer is listening. And the Almighty had the foresight to give us two ears and only one mouth,” he said.

Former President Thomas Jefferson was also scheduled to appear at Monday’s celebration, but we’re told he had trouble with his horse drawn carriage, and sent his regrets.


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