Wondering about the bus in which President Barack Obama is traveling the Midwest?
Here are some facts:
It's one of two $1.1 million buses, each the size of a Greyhound bus, purchased by the Secret Service from Hemphill Brothers Co. of Nashville, Tenn. The agency historically has hired buses for election campaigns and retrofitted them for security. By commissioning its own vehicles, the Secret Service's goal is to have the buses pay for themselves over their 10-year lifespan.
Each bus ispainted jet black, with dark tinted windows and flashing red and blue lights. There are no presidential or campaign signs on the exterior sincethey are part of the official U.S. government fleet.
In addition to the president, both buses will be used by other dignitaries and politicians, including the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
Apublic address system is available for the president or dignitary to address crowds as the bus rolls through town.Anonymous sources traveling on the bus have described the interior as "subdued," with none of the glamour associated with music star tour buses.
The codename for the bus when the president is aboard reportedly is "Stagecoach."
Today is Thursday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2013. There are 222 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: Messrs. J. and M. Rosenfield have moved their leather and hidestore to the building formerly occupied by Temple Bufords's store. They buy and sellhides, pelts, furs, wool, beeswax, lard, tallow, etc. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rock Island Lumber Company has recovered 5,000 of the8,000 logs that were carried away by the Mississippi River flood last week. 1913 -- 100 years ago: John J. Ullemeyer has been awarded the contract to furnish RockIsland fire and police department members with uniforms, at the city's expense. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Work on Aledo's new $38,000 swimming pool was started thismorning at South Park when ground for the pool was broken by Mayor John W. Murphy. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Students and teacher at Moline High School called today "MissLeona Day" day at the school in honor of the government teacher who retires at theend of the school term. Although she's been teaching for 43 years at the school, Miss Dayfound a new way of arriving at the school this morning. At 7:30 a.m., a police squad carpulled up in front of Miss Day's home and escorted her to school. A caravan of students' cars joined the procession along the way. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Barbecue cooking and riverfront antics are planned for Discover the River Day Saturday in Leach Park, Bettendorf. A 5K run, wind surfing, a canoe race, hogcalling and more will round out the day under the Interstate 74 bridge.