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Today in history

11/27/1897

110,000 spectators crowd into Soldier Field for the Army v. Navy game, which resulted in a tie at 21-21. It was also the day the field was officially dedicated as Soldier Field.

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Giving Tuesday

December 1, 2020

Consider giving a gift to the Illinois State Historical Society. Your support helps us to continue the important work of the Society to foster awareness, understanding, research, preservation, and recognition of history in Illinois. You can make a difference today! #givingtuesday

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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. 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.

 

Our online store is now open

The Illinois State Historical Society has worked hard to open an online store which features literature and hard-goods which are related to Illinois. These are often hard to find or limited run items.

If you have a history buff on in your family that is hard to buy for this is your place to shop! While anyone can purchase items we offer additional discounts to ISHS members. Visit our store to browse the current inventory of items, item availability and inventory will change often.

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Becoming a member not only supports the Illinois State Historical Society, but also delivers excellent benefits to you giving you an excellent source of historical literature and resources. We offer multiple membership options for all stages and income levels. Look at our Membership area to find a plan that will work for you and join TODAY.

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Latest News

Illinois Heritage, September–October 2020

Volume 23, Number 5

Illinois Heritage, September–October 2020

Prairie State history is seldom as pristine as our cover might suggest.

Sometimes it is downright gritty…and then there are the horseflies and gnats. But it is always interesting and sometimes downright fascinating. The September-October issue offers so many examples, from the profiles of Ethel Mars, John Dos Passos, Harriett Rendall, and Ada Miser Kepley to the fascinating essay on Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas, author of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which propelled Abraham Lincoln into the White House, provoked a Civil War, and led to the Emancipation Proclamation. Douglas biographer Reg Ankrom opens a window to our past, where we can reflect on the unresolved conflicts that have contributed to our social unrest today. It’s all good reading in your Illinois Heritage.

Thanks again, to all of you who contributed to our COVID 19 appeal, which helped get us through a difficult summer. May you all stay well, and may the autumn fall colorfully, and gently, in Illinois.

Illinois Heritage, July-August 2020

Volume 23, Number. 4

Illinois Heritage, July-August 2020

We are well into the COVID-19 summer and still waiting for the first pitch of the 2020 MLB season. People are marching in the streets, statues of oppressors are coming down, and otherwise reasonable adults are forsaking their PPE for an illusory moment of freedom, despite the risks of sickness and death. The news isn’t encouraging.

But we’ve been in pickles before. Pestilence, war, civil strife––even a canceled baseball season––are in our recent memory. Time to buckle down and…read your Illinois Heritage. The July-August issue is crammed with stories about Illinoisans who scraped through life and rose to challenges the likes we can only imagine. R. O. White, the farm-boy who fought in Mexico; lawyer Elisha Bentley Hamilton, who dodged bullets in the Civil War and politics afterwards; John Francis Snyder, one of the founders of the ISHS, who was a medical doctor, an archaeologist, and a Confederate soldier; and photographer Helen Balfour Morrison, whose photos challenged attitudes of white supremacy in the early 20th century. We also say goodbye to beloved friends and teachers John D. Buenker and Patricia Burnette, who shared their passion for history and inspired us.

Thanks to all of you for your support of the Society during the pandemic, which has challenged us to find new ways to sustain our mission. Your gifts help us keep the lights on, reach out to new audiences, and build on our successes.

Thanks for all you do for the ISHS. Share your Heritage, and keep your mask on.

Illinois Heritage, May-June 2020

Volume 23, Number 1

Illinois Heritage, May-June 2020

This issue of Illinois Heritage looks to the history of previous pandemics and offers some thoughtful instruction on how our ancestors coped with contagion without antibiotics, the CDC, or the Internet. Thanks to Allen Croessmann and John Hallwas for their research and fascination with public health history. 

We also meet some very interesting individuals who added art and perspective to our vision of the Prairie State through our ongoing series “Voices from Illinois History” and “Illinois Women Artists.”

Our other feature articles in the May-June issue deserve your attention too. Beth Young’s article about Civil War-era nurse Louise Maertz is a tribute to our current care providers on the frontlines of the war against COVID-19; the summaries of civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass’s lectures from his 1866 visits to Springfield are revealing of Reconstruction-era politics; and Guy Fraker’s analysis of a forgotten Lincoln legal case should illuminate lawyers and arm-chair scholars alike.

Be safe, practice self-distancing, be kind to others, and share your Heritage.

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