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Bloomington marker commemorates era of racial segregation

Bloomington marker commemorates era...

Speakers at the dedication ceremony included Quincy Cummings,...

Bloomington marker commemorates era of racial segregation

Bloomington marker commemorates era of racial segregation

Speakers at the dedication ceremony included Quincy Cummings, president of the Bloomington-Normal NAACP.
Bicentennial Timeline

Bicentennial Timeline

A random, day-to-day look at Illinois history for November and...

Bicentennial Timeline

Bicentennial Timeline

A random, day-to-day look at Illinois history for November and December 2018.
Not all wore helmets

Not all wore helmets

Illinois State University's World War I Service Collection includes...

Not all wore helmets

Not all wore helmets

Illinois State University's World War I Service Collection includes all sorts of gems, including this postcard of Napoleon's tomb, received by ISNU Librarian Angeline Vernon Milner from former student...

 

Today in history

1/20/1970

Kaskaskia Island, site of the state's first capital, is declared to be part of Illinois by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Historical Markers

Since 1934, the Illinois State Historical Society has erected more than 500 historical markers statewide. Subjects of historical significance to Illinois are co-sponsored by local organizations and supporters. The Illinois State Historical Society coordinates the placement and management of historical markers throughout the state.

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Submit your Bicentennial event

Do you have an exciting local history news story or an event that you would like to share? Use this form to submit it and after a quick review it will be added to our news roll or events calendar. There is even a special category for Bicentennial events. The goal is to add news and events from all over the state to celebrate Illinois’ rich history. Get involved and get the word out about news and events in your area.

Latest News

November - December 2018

Volume 21, Number 6

November - December 2018
100 years ago the bells tolled across the nation announcing the end of World War I. But if history has told us anything, the wounds from that cataclysm persist to the present day and the reverberations echo on and on. It is fitting that we commemorate the anniversary of the end of “The War to End All Wars” by revisiting what Illinoisans who survived it remembered. Great appreciation is offered to guest editor Bill Kemp, who put the bones and flesh on this issue of Illinois Heritage, and to the guest authors who gave it life.

In this issue we also congratulate the 2018 Centennial Award recipients, businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have served Illinoisans for 100 or more years. At a time when we hear so much about companies leaving the state, it is a delight to recognize those corporations whose roots remain deep in the Prairie soil.

Thanks to all of you who have taken time to renew your 2019 membership in the Illinois State Historical Society. Our organization thrives because of your  commitment to our mission of “fostering awareness, understanding, research,  preservation, and recognition of history in Illinois.” 

Wishing you the very best of holiday seasons, and a happy and brilliant New Year. 

Volume 111 Number 3 Fall 2018

Volume 111 Number 3 Fall 2018
For the Fall 2018 issue of the Journal we return to our usual quarterly format. In "Setting the Northern Border of Illinois," longtime Illinois chronicler David W. Scott offers a refurbished account of the boundary disputes that led to the creation of the State of Illinois. Scott surveys the history of the 1787 Northwest Ordinance and the subsequent efforts by territorial leaders to set the current boundaries of the Old Northwest. From the Vantage point of 200 years, it is clear that Nathaniel W. Pope, Illinois Territory's delegate to Congress in 1817, was the leading force behind the statehood bill that pushed the northern boundary of Illinois a full sixty miles north of what the Northwest Ordinance originally called for. Had Pope failed to gain any Lake Michigan shoreline for Illinois, today Chicago and the collar counties would all be in Wisconsin, and Illinois' economic and demographic profile more like modern day Iowa or Kansas. 

The next two articles examine aspects of twentieth century liberalism and its shortcomings. In "Shelter Men': Life in Chicago's Public Shelters during the Great Depression," Chris Wright offers a spirited assessment of New Deal era public relief in Chicago. Wright's fine-grained case study reveals the limitations of municipal relief policy during the Great Depression and how the men responded to the many exigencies and indignities of shelter life. In telling this story, Wright emphasizes the class-conscious agency and essential humanity of the shelter men, as they negotiated and resisted the worst facets of being homeless---or "bums," as the conservative Chicago Tribune labeled them. 

Finally, in "All the Way with Adlai: John Bartlow Martin and the 1952 Adlai Stevenson Campaign," Ray E. Boomhower offers a detailed, behind-the-scenes account of the freelance journalist's role as speechwriter for the 1952 Adlai Stevenson presidential campaign. Boomhower tells the story of Martin's political coming of age as a New Frontier or Great Society liberal Democrat; before 1952, Martin's award-winning journalism was free of partisan calculations or commitments. Yet as it turned out, the subjects of Martin's earlier freelance career---America's underprivileged and forgotten classes---became increasingly central to the policy agenda of postwar liberalism. Boomhower's engaging narrative thus takes us back to a formative moment in the history of the Democratic Party. 


 




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