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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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Best of Illinois History Awards

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.

**POSTPONED** ISHS Best of Illinois History Awards/Gala

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To our friends and colleagues,

In cooperation with state mandates concerning the COVID-19 pandemic requiring cancellation of public gathers of more than 100 persons, the Illinois State Historical Society has decided to postpone its scheduled "Best of Illinois History Awards Gala," originally slated for Friday, April 24, 2020. We are following protocols established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health to ensure the safety of the public and request that all persons experiencing flu-like symptoms stay indoors. Likewise those individuals who have been in personal contact with symptomatic people should error on the side of caution to avoid the spread of the novel corona virus.

The Illinois State Historical Society will maintain regular office hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but those who need to conduct business with the staff are advised to call ahead.

The Society plans to reschedule the "Best of Illinois History Awards Gala" when restrictions of public gatherings have been lifted, and our best wishes go out to the ISHS family. The Society's Annual Meeting will also be reschedule when it is deemed safe and practical for its members to gather and vote for new directors and advisors.

Wishing you the best of health and a happy spring!

William Furry
Executive Director

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