Category Archives: Illinois / regional

May 20, 1935 proved that budget impasses have played a part in Illinois history for a long time. That day, the papers printed warnings that over a million state residents faced hunger, perhaps outright starvation, due to wrangling between Springfield … Continue reading

Fleeing debt, John Deere made his way from Vermont to Illinois with a dream: to earn big money making tools. The blacksmith settled in the charmingly-named Grand Detour, Illinois, and he soon lived up that town’s name by eventually turning … Continue reading

May 11-13, 2016, the publishing industry will descend upon the City of Big Shoulders for the textapalooza that is BookExpo America. BEA, held at Chicago’s McCormick Place this spring, is the “leading book and author event for the North American … Continue reading

The National Barn Dance was the nation’s most popular country music radio show during the 1930s and 1940s, predating the popularity of the Grand Ole Opry and serving as a precursor to the youth movement of that rose with rock … Continue reading

On May 4, 1927, balloonist Hawthorne C. Gray, a captain in the Army Air Corps, reached new heights in human endeavor. Literally. Taking off from Scott Field near Belleville, Gray ascended to 42,270 feet in a silk, rubberized, aluminum-coated balloon. … Continue reading

Sensing Chicago: Noisemakers, Strikebreakers, and Muckrakers by Adam Mack has been given an award for Superior Achievement by the Illinois State Historical Society. The awards committee noted, “This scholarly book offers a fresh look at the dynamics between the working … Continue reading

Today marks the birthday of famed sculptor Lorado Taft, born in 1860 in Elmwood, Illinois. A graduate of the Illinois Industrial University—forerunner of the University of Illinois at Urbana—Taft studied in France before returning to Chicago to make his reputation and … Continue reading

“My family is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral.” April 27 marks the 194th anniversary of the birth of Ulysses S. Grant, victor of the Civil War and somewhat unsuccessful president of the … Continue reading

With the Cubs shocking the monkey in the early going, the cry goes out: Kris Bryant for president. Or Anthony Rizzo. Or Jake Arrieta. Alas, they are all too young and, in Arrieta’s case, too bearded. We could nominate Chicago manager … Continue reading

April 21, 1967, dawned cool and foggy in northern Illinois. It had been a tough winter and the cold had yet to fully retreat. In fact, it would snow again three days later in some parts. Not the kind of day you … Continue reading