Tag Archives: 200 Years of Illinois

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

Forget Halloween. August is the time for monster mashing in Illinois. One peruse of the state’s long history of monster sightings shows that warm summer nights bring the cryptids out of their otherworldly lairs to frighten rural folk and interrupt … 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

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