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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Newsroom

Annual 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.

Charlotte E. Johnson Recognized for a Lifetime of Achievement

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Charlotte E. Johnson, Alton, has received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS). The award was presented via Zoom on Friday, April 23, with ISHS Director William Furry and Cindy Reinhardt of the Madison County Historical Society (MCHS) delivering the award to her home Tuesday. MCHS nominated Johnson for the award which is given to individuals for sustained and varied contributions to state and local history.

2021 Best of Illinois History Awards

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Congratulations to this year’s achievers. You have given all of us much to discover. Thanks for your hard work and dedication to Prairie State history!

The COVID-19 pandemic was, despite the nationwide lockdown, a banner year for Prairie State history, as this year’s “Best of Illinois History Awards” attest. Nominations came in from all over the state and quite a few from beyond our perimeters, suggesting that Illinois “Wondrous Story” has wings.

This year’s Best of Illinois History harvest includes teachers and students, scholars and researchers, volunteers and professionals, writers and editors, and young and old—people from all walks of life who have broadened our knowledge of what it means to be an Illinoisan and to call this landscape home.

Click on the "Read More" button to view the full list of award winnters.

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.

**CANCELLED** 2020 Best of Illinois History Awards Gala

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the ISHS was compelled to postpone and then cancel our “2020 Best of Illinois History Awards Gala,” an annual event in Springfield at which we recognize and celebrate those individuals, institutions, and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to Illinois history in 2019. We will be sending out certifications and other awards to our 2020 award recipients this week.

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