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Today in history

10/25/1959

Senator John F. Kennedy gives a speech at the Egyptian Theatre in Downtown DeKalb in front of a packed house.

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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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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.

 

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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.

Hesler Prints Now Available

Hesler Prints Now Available

Alexander Hesler’s companion portraits of presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, taken in   Springfield on June 3, 1860, are stunning photographs. Exposed on 8” x 10” light-sensitive glass plates, the images are among the most eloquent and revealing of Illinois’ greatest statesman before he left Springfield for Washington.

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.

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