History

We're talking with Bill Conger, with the Peoria Riverfront Museum, about their new exhibit, "Mythic Creature: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids."

The exhibit looks at how these creatures have been depicted in popular culture, and includes examples of the real-world animals who inspired the legends. Conger says it's designed to appeal to both children and adults, and is an excellent fit for the summer, when families have more free time. The museum is also hosting other events in conjunction with this exhibit -- including an art contest, and a Kids' Night event on July 14th.

The Illinois State Fair's theme is the latest homage to the state's ongoing bicentennial celebration.

The Illinois Senate has approved requiring public schools to teach LGBT history.

An Indiana couple has donated two Civil War documents signed by Abraham Lincoln to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

steeleman204 / Flickr/ CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Groups are working to complete restoration of a century-old landmark known as the Black Hawk statue in northern Illinois. The 48-foot-tall, 270-ton statue in Lowden State Park has been covered in black protective sheets since a restoration effort that started five years ago came to a halt. A lack of state funding and a dispute on the restoration team stopped work.

 

The Illinois Senate has advanced a plan requiring public schools teach a unit on the role and contributions of gays, lesbians and other LGBT individuals in society.

200 Years on Display at PRM

Feb 2, 2018

The Peoria Riverfront Museum debuts a new display Saturday. The Bicentennial Exhibit includes more than 200 objects. 

The Story of the First Wrigley Field

Jan 5, 2018

This is the story of two baseball fields, two teams, and two brothers.

Wrigley Field in Chicago is home to the 2016 World Champions Chicago Cubs. While that Wrigley Field is the major’s second oldest ballpark it was not the first Wrigley Field to bear that name. The first Wrigley Field was in Los Angeles, California.

In 1925, William K. Wrigley Jr. built a new ballpark for the Pacific Coast League’s Los Angeles Angels. That ballpark opened, in 1925, with the name Wrigley Field. Two years later, in 1927, Cub’s Park in Chicago was renamed Wrigley Field.

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Throughout the year, Darien-based historian Leslie Goddard portrays Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, or Louisa May Alcott at libraries or historical societies. This year for the Christmas season, Goddard developed a new presentation. Illinois Public Radio’s Brian O’Keefe has the story. 

Illinois celebrated 199 years of statehood Sun. and kicked off the year-long celebration of the its bicentennial.

Jay Robert Allen / www.jayrobertallen.com

The northern Illinois community of Belvidere has unveiled a new mural honoring a local resident who played in the 1933 World Series. The Rockford Register Star reports the Boone County Arts Council unveiled the mural downtown Belvidere on Saturday. It honors Fred Schulte, who played with the Washington Senators. He hit a 3-run home run to tie Game 5 against the New York Giants. The Giants went on to win the series. 

For years, dusty, battered volumes of records from the 19th and early 20th century have been stored in boxes in a forgotten corner of the Peoria County Courthouse.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships the Nina and the Pinta are moored on Peoria Riverfront.

History Lesson: How Did We Get a Budget Deal?

Jul 6, 2017
UIS

The Illinois House will try again today to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the state’s first full budget in two years. Rauner vetoed the measure Tuesday, just hours later the State Senate overrode that move. The first term Republican rejected the 36-billion dollar budget and its companion tax hike because it didn’t address his demand for reform. Illinois Public Radio’s Brian O’Keefe talked with Illinois Political historian Kent Redfield to see what changed in recent weeks to make a budget deal happen in the first place?

Peoria Historical Society Unveils New Logo

May 18, 2017
Peoria Historical Society / Facebook

There’s a new look for the Peoria Historical Society. For the first time in 83 years, the Society has unveiled a new logo. It replicates the lower left portion of the old Peoria County Courthouse clock. The logo was designed by the Simantel Group and suggests movement through time.

 

Historic Route 66 Restaurant Reopens as Museum

May 1, 2017
Save The Mill / Facebook

A building that was once the longtime home to a Lincoln restaurant is now a museum celebrating the city's links to Route 66. Gov. Bruce Rauner and state and local officials attended Saturday's dedication ceremony at the former home of The Mill restaurant, which opened in 1929 and closed in 1996. More than $90,000 was raised to replace the building's roof, repair 44 windows, restore the original floor and make it accessible for the disabled. Organizers say they've been working for 11 years to restore the building.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

It’s official. The Leslie Knope Best City Hall trophy is headed to Peoria.

On Sat., the organization Engaging Local Government Leaders posted the final results of its inaugural online competition.

Peoria’s 118-year-old City Hall beat Vancouver, Wa.’s shiny, LEED certified structure in the finals, with 59 percent of the votes.

On Sat., Vancouver congratulated Peoria, Tweeting: “we’ll admit it now, it is a beautiful city hall.”

Wikimedia Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - Family members of Navy pilot Edward "Butch" O'Hare are gathering at his namesake Chicago airport to mark the 75th anniversary of his heroic World War II mission.

Archeophone Records / Illinois Public Media

Archeophone , the Champaign-based record label that preserves sounds from the early days of recording, has picked up two more Grammy nominations. They recognize the label’s first foray into sacred music.  Illinois Public Radio’s Jeff Bossert has more.

WikiCommons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and honor the men and women who died there with a ceremony in Springfield. 

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs says the event is scheduled for Wednesday at the Disabled American Veterans Hall. It will include the reading of a proclamation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner and a wreath laying in the waters of Lake Springfield. 

 The Sangamon County Inter-veteran Honor Guard also will play "Taps." 

Peoria Riverfront Museum

Our guest this week is Ann Schmitt, talking about "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," now on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

Flickr Creative Commons/John Munsch

The University of Illinois Springfield is planning an event in which community members can share their political memorabilia with others while also keeping it in their possession.  The university's history department is hosting the "history harvest" Saturday. 

Bradley University

The headstones of Lydia Moss Bradley and her father Zeally Moss received honorary markers yesterday from the Daughters of the American Revolution. The family burial site and headstones in Springdale Cemetery now have permanently affixed markers recognizing Zeally Moss as a soldier in the Revolutionary War and Lydia Moss Bradley’s headstone as a Real Daughter. The Real Daughter designation identifies those whose fathers were soldiers. Zeally Moss saw the surrender of Cornwallis in the Revolutionary War.

Sarah Scott

Road trips are common today among young, single women -- but not so in the 1930s. At that time, camping trips and cross-country travel were exclusive to men. But in 1934 a young beautician from Bradford, Illinois wasn’t about to take no for an answer. She and her friends set out for a summer road trip in a Model-T they affectionately called “The Silver Streak.” Peoria Public Radio’s Daryl Scott visited the car that’s on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and shares some of the story of the so-called “Bradford Model T Girls.”

This week, we're talking with Jack Mertes, author of the new play, "The Springfield Experiment." It explores a chapter in the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, who had been committed to an asylum and sought to regain both her autonomy and control of her finances. Mertes talks about about why he chose this particular moment in Lincoln's life to dramatize, about the long process that led to this production, and what he hopes audiences will learn about Mary Todd Lincoln. The play will be presented Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 at the Inspired Arts Academy in Morton.

Fundraisers planned for historic Sandwich Opera House

Aug 14, 2015
Teemu008/Flickr

SANDWICH, Ill. (AP) - Residents of the DeKalb County town of Sandwich are undertaking a fix of their 135-year-old opera house.  The Sandwich Opera House is home to city hall, a party room for special events, and an auditorium where visitors can see a show. Sandwich Alderwoman Cara Killey says the town is "uniquely lucky" to have the building. The 1878 structure needs repairs, and money is an issue.  

Organizers behind efforts to recreate the train car that carried the body of assassinated President Abraham Lincoln back to Illinois say it is nearly complete. The exterior and windows are finished. All that remains is the interior. 

Tuesday is Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock’s final day in office.  He resigned amid accusations he misspent taxpayer money.  

Bradley University Theatre

This week, we're talking with Susan Felder, who's directing Bradley University Theatre's production of "The Mountaintop." The play, by Katori Hall, depicts an invented interaction between Dr. Martin Luther King and a hotel maid, in the hours before King's assassination. Felder talks about the play's "warts-and-all" look at King, and the realities of race in 1960s America. She also talks about the two actors featured in the production, and working with them to create performances that worth both as history, and as drama.

"Nina" and "Pinta" port in Peoria

Sep 1, 2014

History buffs have a chance to get up close and personal with some living history. Replicas of Christopher Columbus’s ships the “Nina” and the “Pinta” will be sailing into port on the Peoria Riverfront September 12th through the 22nd.  

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