Category Archives: Illinois / regional

Finally available in a full-color paperback edition, Larry Kanfer’s Barns of Illinois showcases the Illinois photographer’s much-praised images of the Midwest’s iconic structure. As a state abounding with broad farmlands, Illinois has depended heavily on its barns. At once imposing and humble, … Continue reading

On August 30, 1980, the last Hambletonian in Du Quoin got underway amidst local sadness and headlines that harness racing’s top event had scored big money in its move to the Meadowlands in New Jersey. That summer, Bill Haughton—in an emotional … Continue reading

On August 20, 1956, former state auditor Orville Hodge astonished colleagues in the Republican Party and political observers across the state by pleading guilty to embezzlement. A perennial on listicles involving corruption in politics, Hodge grew up in Granite City. He … Continue reading

Answers below. 1. The forty-nine bells on the McFarland Carillon know 500 pre-programmed songs thanks to a computer, or can be played from a keyboard. On September 20, 2008, some visually-oriented pranksters used the under-construction bell tower to recreate which … Continue reading

Forget Halloween. August is the time for monster in Illinois. One peruse of the states long history of monster sightings shows that warm summer nights bring the cryptids out of their otherworldly lairs to frighten rural folk and interrupt teenagers … Continue reading

Inmate No. 40892-424, better known as former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, had hoped to he would be able to return home early. Those hopes were dashed by a the federal judge today, who decided to maintain a 14-year sentence on … Continue reading

On July 30, 1974, the state government of Illinois changed the dream life of its citizens. That day, the first state lottery tickets went on sale. Opened as a cabinet level position earlier that month, the State Lottery racked up gobs … Continue reading

Answers below. 1. Alta Saunders (nee Gwinn) co-founded the U. of I. chapter of the Delta Gamma sorority. Along with her sister Delta Gammas, Alta spearheaded the purchase of the current sorority house at West Nevada and South Mathews by … Continue reading

Summer is definitely the season for aerial tragedy in the Midwest. On July 26, 1911, Professor Harry Darnell took his place in that sad lore. Darnell stands tall in the history of Plainfield, so tall a local craft brewery named … Continue reading

Yesterday marked an unusual 97th anniversary. On July 21, 1919, an airship owned by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber cruised over Chicago, a pair of training runs that interested and delighted the people on the ground and in the city’s … Continue reading