Category Archives: Illinois / regional

An exhibit titled “Working for Change: Stories of Labor History in Illinois” greets visitors as they enter the North-South Corridor of the main library on the UIUC campus. A series of six cases filled with objects ranging from flyers and … Continue reading

Born on July 12, 1909, Herbert S. Zim taught at the University of Illinois in the 1950s. It was during his years in Champaign-Urbana that Zim penned or cowrote several of the Golden Nature Guides that taught generations of schoolchildren about … Continue reading

On July 4, 1054, an extraordinary event attracted the attention of peoples around the world. A supernova appeared in the constellation Taurus. This guest star, to use a Chinese term, suddenly appeared beside a crescent moon. For the next twenty-three days, … Continue reading

The Eads Bridge, named for its designer/builder James B. Eads, materialized  in 1874 amidst a blizzard of superlatives. At 6,442 feet, it was the largest arch bridge on earth, and the world’s first major bridge project of entirely steel construction. The … Continue reading

On June 5, 1942, the Herald-News in Joliet reported on one of the deadliest industrial accidents in state history: the explosion at the Elwood Ordnance Plant. At 2:41 a.m., an explosion took place in a loading line at a plant Building … Continue reading

We’re a day late with this bit of recognition, but here goes. On June 1, 2014, a same sex marriage law passed the previous fall went into effect across the state of Illinois. Passed over opposition and claims it violated … Continue reading

Volvariella bombycina (Schaeffer) Singer [The cap is] oval at first, becoming bell-shaped to broadly complex or nearly flat; whitish or tinged yellowing to brownish in age; the margin not lined; dry; covered with silky hairs. Volvariella bombycina sounds like a nickname … Continue reading

James R. Pennell is a professor of sociology at the University of Indianapolis. He is also a lifelong musician and singer-songwriter who regularly performs in Central Indiana. He recently answered some questions about his book Local Vino: The Winery Boom in the … Continue reading

Born in Vermont, made in America, John Deere helped humans move enough earth to impress even Ruaumoko, the Maori god of earthquakes. Deere’s death on May 17, 1886 marked the end of an era. His inventiveness and the equipment that emerged … Continue reading

The 1927 Mississippi River flood disaster had a far-reaching social impact, inspired timeless music, influenced policy that includes what happened during Hurricane Katrina, and received its due in at least one very interesting book. It even roused the laissez-faire federal government … Continue reading