Category Archives: Illinois / regional

Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818. One hundred years later, the University of Illinois Press opened its doors. The Press’s debut book, on Abraham Lincoln, marked the beginning of a remarkable union between the Prairie State and its premier … Continue reading

The Railsplitter always remains newsworthy. Perhaps you remember the recent Lincoln-related crime wave in Kankakee, Illinois, where a thief or thieves took a plaster sculpture of Abraham Lincoln’ hand. Let’s go to local reaction, as reported in the January 3, 2016 … Continue reading

“The University of Illinois Press is destined to be one of the greatest Presses in the country.” —President Edmund J. James in a letter to the first University of Illinois Press director, 1920   When the University of Illinois Board … Continue reading

With hopes for peaceful holiday celebrations everywhere, here is “What I Want for Christmas,” by Robert Green Ingersoll, from Christmas in Illinois, along with the introduction by editor James Ballowe: “Adults have also used the holiday to make known to … Continue reading

I am fortunately immune to nostalgia about past celebrations of the yule, with one exception: the Christmas tree. Not a tree in the abstract, but the Christmas tree I grew up with, a monstrosity of fakery laden with all the menace American manufacturing could … Continue reading

It came from the future: Tevatron. The villain in the new Michael Bay feature? Actually, the world’s largest particle accelerator once it opened in 1983. But to get there, the giant underground atom racer/smasher needed a town to get out of … Continue reading

Flammulina velutipes (Curtis) Singer Edible, but tough. Despite appearances, the commercially produced “enoki” mushroom found in many grocery stores is a cultivated form of this mushroom. One of the best-known and most-produced mushrooms in the world, Flammulina velutipes has a … Continue reading

September 22 is an auspicious date in Illinois history. As this post recounts, boxing history took place on the date. Willie Nelson took time out from his 1985 to team with John Mellencamp and Neil Young on the first Farm Aid … Continue reading

Lex Tate is an adjunct lecturer in journalism and advertising at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and served as associate director of the University of Illinois Office for University Relations. She recently answered some questions about her book An Illini Place: … Continue reading

Entoloma salmoneum (Peck) Saccardo  Entoloma salmoneum can be found growing alone or scattered in leaf litter under hardwoods, or in moss under conifers; frequently on rotting, moss-covered conifer logs. When thumbing through Mushrooms of the Midwest, you see Entoloma salmoneum among the … Continue reading