“Born, Built and Grown in Illinois”
This year marks the bicentennial of the state of Illinois. Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818 when President James Monroe signed the legislation admitting us to the Union. In honor of this occasion, Governor Bruce Rauner in 2016 issued Executive Order 2016-11, which created the state’s Bicentennial Commission. The commission consists of a diverse group of Illinois residents who have a passion and love for this state. David Scott serves as the ISHS representative on the commission. The purpose of the commission is to develop and implement a statewide program to celebrate the bicentennial. The slogan of the commission is Born, Built, and Grown in Illinois. Using almost entirely private money (with the exception of staff support) and working with partners and generous donors, the commission is moving forward with statewide bicentennial celebration plans.
Compiled for Illinois public libraries by John E. Hallwas of the Illinois State Historical Society
This twelve-month reading list includes novels, nonfictional works, and poetry – all by Illinois authors and expressive of the Illinois experience. Along with the twelve-month schedule are some alternative book titles, in case a library wants to customize the 2018 reading list by substituting another notable work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.
The January-February 2018, issue of Illinois Heritage invites its readers to celebrate the state’s bicentennial. Adventures around the Prairie State take us on a veritable road trip around the state without leaving our hearth. Art and literature are celebrated with a look a Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Carl and Mark Van
Doren and the art of Irma Rene Koen. Traveling the state with authors Stephen Leonard and Keith Sculle will surely jog a reader’s memory of their own trips. Finally, be sure not to miss our state’s bicentennial time travel in the first installment of “Illinois in Time.”
With this issue of the Heritage, we welcome our new President Leah Axelrod to the helm. Leah has been a member for 20+ years and she is the fifth woman to serve as ISHS President since 1899. Thanks are due to Randall Saxon as he steps down to take life a little easier, if that is possible for a gardener.
Readers of this issue will enjoy a little bit of everything, from John Hallwas's look at the life of naturalist Donald Culross Peattie to Michael Sublett's look at a proposed 103rd Illinois county, named for wildlife painter John James Audubon. We are also pleased to share Verna Ross Orndorff scholarship winner Anna Sielaff's essay on Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Thanks to our Society members for keeping the lantern burning and the rivers gently flowing! Share your Heritage!