Today in history


The first recorded aerial bombing on US soil takes place in Williamson County during a feud between rival liquor gangs, the Sheltons and the Birgers. Charlie Birger ordered an attack on a Shelton associate's home. The Sheltons quickly retaliated by hiring a barnstorming pilot to bomb the Birger hideout, the Shady Rest, some 10 miles east of Marion. The bombardier tossed three homemade dynamite bombs, only one of which exploded to no strategic effect. Birger men sprayed the sky with submachine-gun fire, missing the plane.

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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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Nominations for ISHS Board of Directors and Advisory Board now being accepted

The Illinois State Historical Society is seeking a few good people to serve on its Board of Directors and Advisory Board.


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