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Thursday, June 30, 2022

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Best of Illinois History Awards

Illinois Heritage, May–June 2022

Volume 25, Number 3

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This issue of Illinois Heritage offers a snapshot of the “Best of Illinois History” ceremony, where we gave out more than 35 awards, including three Lifetime Achievements awards, the Olive Foster Teacher of the Year award, and the new Russell L. Lewis Jr. Young Museum Professional award. We also take a look at Ulysses S. Grant, the soldier from Galena who led the Union Army to victory in the Civil War and became the nation’s 18th President. In this two-part retrospective, we see Grant through the eyes of the soldiers who served under him along the way.

2022 Best of Illinois History Awards

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The Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS) revealed the 2022 “Best of Illinois History” award winners on Saturday, April 9, at 11:30 at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in Springfield. This year’s award recipients traveled across the state and the nation to accept their awards, which celebrate the best Illinois history books and authors, exhibits and exhibitors, filmmakers, playwrights, and over-achievers who make the Prairie State an outstanding place “to foster awareness, understanding, research, preservation, and recognition of history in Illinois.”

Illinois Heritage, May–June 2021

Volume 24, Number 3

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To our readers:

In this issue of Illinois Heritage we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Illinois State Archives, the venerable institution that houses the state’s most important government records. We also announce the winners of the 2021 “Best of Illinois History” awards.

Contributor Clark “Bucky” Halker, labor historian and former director of Illinois Humanities, explores Illinois’ rich history of songwriting and labor activism for the earliest days of coal mining through the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), focusing on the strong religious roots of the movement. In his “Forgotten Voices of Illinois History” essay, John Hallwas reintroduces us to John Hay, the poet, biographer, diplomat, and statesman who had the ear of presidents from Lincoln to Roosevelt. Candace Summers writes about the relatively unknown Bloomington artist Emily Howard, and Todd Carr of Elizabethtown takes us on a spring waterfall hike in the Shawnee National Forest.

Thanks to all of you for renewing your membership in the Illinois State Historical Society. You sustain the great work that began in 1899, to “foster awareness, understanding, research, preservation, and recognition of history in Illinois.” With your continued support, Illinois history will always have a great future.

2020 Best of Illinois History Awards

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Although we weren’t able to celebrate this year, we delight in honoring this year’s winners.

The postponement and eventual cancelation of the ISHS’s “Best of Illinois History Awards and Gala” was a disappointment for many of us, as it is the one time of year we get to celebrate the achievement of the people and organizations, publishers, writers, and exhibitors, who each year demonstrate the variety and depth of Prairie State history. We really enjoy meeting our friends and partners in history and thanking them for reawakening our passion for the past, but shutting the celebration down to keep us all safe from the pandemic seemed a wise choice.

It’s hard to believe we are already six months into the year and time to start thinking about the 2021 awards. Before we do that, let’s toast the winners and salute those who sent in the nominations that made this year’s awards possible.

Click the "Read More" button for the list of this year's Best of Illinois History Award winners.

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