Tag Archives: 200 Years of Illinois

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

On May 8, 1985, the National Register of Historic Places anointed the famous Starved Rock Lodge and its nearby cabins. Once known as a vacation hotspot with a hotel and dance pavilion, Starved Rock opened as a state park in 1912 … Continue reading

On May 5, 2001, the village of Fulton officially opened the majestic De Immigrant, the 100-foot tall Dutch windmill overlooking the Mississippi River. Built in the Netherlands and reconstructed piece-by-piece by native craftspersons, De Immigrant marked its grand opening by grinding … 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

On April 25, 1980, longtime Rockford congressman and powerful House leader John B. Anderson launched his independent campaign for the presidency.  Today, April 26, marks the anniversary of his first full day out on the stump. Unlike most people who run … Continue reading

On April 19, 1928, Illinois held its last public hanging as bootlegger Charlie Birger went up the rope in Benton on a spring morning. (We’ve published a book that tells his story.) For years, he had fought it out with his violent rivals … Continue reading

March 28 marks the date of a historic moment in the history of comedy. On that date in 1948, Jack Benny’s popular radio show aired one of the great exchanges in the long history of that beloved program: Mugger: Your … Continue reading

Today we turn over the 200 Years of Illinois feature to Steven Lenz and Nicholas Hopkins, authors of an essay (reprinted below) in the new UIP book The University of Illinois: Engine of Innovation. Lenz and Hopkins look into the life and … Continue reading

This weekend marks the anniversary of the Tri-State Tornado, the deadliest tornado disaster in U.S. history. On March 18, 1925, an F5 twister formed near Ellington, Missouri in the early afternoon. The storm packed 300 MPH winds and stayed on … Continue reading

Clear LaRue Road. Today marks the day officials close the storied roadway to assist of one of Illinois’s majestic natural wonders: the spring snake migration in Shawnee National Forest. The limestone bluffs come alive as snakes, as well as various turtles, frogs, toads, … Continue reading