Category Archives: Illinois / regional

In 1862, as the Civil War raged and a Confederate victory seemed quite possible, many of the tensions unleashed by the war found a stage in Pekin. There, on June 25, a group of pro-Union men organized the Union League. This organization, dedicated … Continue reading

The month of June brings countless pleasures to the Midwest. Few exceed the overwhelming presence of fresh produce at semi-affordable prices. At last, we can put aside the beyond-tired apples and oranges of the cold months to exult in ripe … Continue reading

Ninety-eight years ago, the founders of the University of Illinois Press considered its mission. Academics will disagree, of course. Debates raged. Memos were strongly worded. But it all worked out in the end. The founders thankfully put aside any temptation to … Continue reading

June 10 marks the birthday of Leslie E. Keeley, founder of the Keeley Institute in Dwight. A historical curiosity today, Keeley was world famous in his own time as the tireless proponent of his so-called Gold Cure, a snake oil … Continue reading

Horseradish sparks opinions as strong as its taste. Most people, truth to tell, want nothing to do with the root in its fiery, ground-up form. Their relationship to horseradish rests mainly on acting horrified when Uncle Frank dashes some onto his roast … Continue reading

The world changed on May 26, 1926, for on that day Miles Davis entered the world in Alton. The Davises initially lived at 1112 Milnor Street. When Miles was two, they moved to East St. Louis, at the time a … Continue reading

American Airlines Flight 191 crashed on May 25, 1979. All of the 271 people aboard died, as did two more on the ground. The cause: an improperly repaired engine mount that gave out under pressure, smashed a wing of the … Continue reading

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