The Prairie State kicks off its 200th birthday party celebration on December 3, 2017, and the Illinois State Historical Society invites you to let us know what you are doing in your county to celebrate this milestone. Our website features an Events calendar that will highlight your events--bicentennial or otherwise historical--but only if you go to www.historyillinois.org and submit your information. Let us help you get the word out and while you're there, check out "Today in Illinois History" for a sampling of what people have been doing here for the last two hundred years or so.
Our year-end issue of Illinois Heritage is a veritable feast of delights. John Hallwas and Kathleen Spaltro highlight writers with Illinois connections and Cindy Reinhardt takes us to the "almost lost" town of Montgomery Station. Continue farther down into Egypt with photographer Gary DeNeal for a look at misty autumn moments downstate.
As we come to year's end, it's also time to reflect back on our Johnny Appleseed trees--all of which have gone to good homes throughout the state, and look forward to recognizing historic businesses and churches in Illinois. If you have a business in your town that is 100 years old or a church that is 150 years old (or older), please consider nominating them for recognition by the ISHS. Applications for both programs can be found in this issue.
Happy, happy holidays!
The coming of autumn conjures up memories of an America that
was and our connections to our state’s past.
Visiting Shiloh Cemetery, the burial place of Thomas and Sarah Bush
Lincoln, leads to a reflection on the mortality of our ancestors, and
ultimately, to our own mortality. Cemeteries are not so much a place to bury
the dead as they are a place where the once-living have finally settled down. So it is with the stories passed down to us
over the years as we find our own way to pay tribute to the past by sharing the
tales in our turn.
Each of the 102 counties that make up Illinois has a wealth
of heritage to share with visitors and residents. Whether we are selecting the perfect pumpkin
or biting into a crisp apple newly picked from the orchard, it is the time of
year when we can savor some of the harvest bounty of our state.
With the September/October, 2017 Illinois Heritage embarks on a third decade of stories unique to
the Prairie State. Share your Heritage.
VOLUME 110 NO. 2 OF THE JOURNAL opens with three studies that about events that dramatically shaped the state’s nearly two hundred year history. In Pocahontas, Uleleh, and Hononegah: The Archetype of the American Indian Princess, Dan Blumlo explores the trope of the Indian Princess– who intervenes at a crucial moment to save a white man from certain death at the hands of savage Indians– evolved and became central to nineteenth and twentieth century conceptions of American nationalism. In Jim Crow Comes to Central Illinois: Racial Segregation in the twentieth Century Bloomington-Normal, Mark Wyman and John W. Muirhead review the persistence of racial segregation in Illinois and the struggles of blacks and sympathetic whites to combat it. In our final article, The Decline of Decatur, longtime Illinois historian Roger Biles presents a timely account of what we today call globalization, and why its history matters so much to residents of countless Rustbelt cities like Decatur.
Southern Illinois is the place to be this August as we anticipate a total solar eclipse, with center stage located over the state's first capital, Kaskaskia. Will two minutes and forty seconds of darkened skies start crickets chirping and bring out the fireflies? We'll just have to wait and see and hope for a cloudless day for the people planning to check out the path of totality. And we'll also have to wait and see whether our great state can come to terms with its budgetary woes and see brighter days ahead.
Welcome to Kristan McKinsey, Director of the Illinois Women Artists Project, as she picks up the excellent editorial work of the late Channy Lyons. Our friends at Illinois Humanities are forging ahead with plans for the upcoming state bicentennial and we can travel with Stephen Leonard and Keith Sculle on their road trip of discovery along the east-west Route 36 across Illinois.
Despite the quagmires of government, the quicksand of politics, and the mosquitoes of summer, Illinois is a glorious place to call home.