The 21st Show

Lincoln Bible; Quincy Families Still Waiting; Household Hazardous Waste; Who’s Moving To Chicago


The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum obtained Lincoln's Bible that has been passed down and kept safe for nearly 150 years. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Lincoln Museum in Springfield now has a Bible that belonged to the former president. Plus, a year and a half ago, WBEZ reported on Legionnaires’ outbreaks at the Quincy Veterans’ Home. Today, the families who lost loved ones are still waiting for justice. And, as we think about our declining population overall, we’ll talk about who’s actually coming to Illinois. Plus, McLean County will be hosting household hazardous waste collections.

Imagine having an heirloom in your family that once belonged to Abraham Lincoln.

That was the case for Sandra Willingham, whose great-great-grandfather Reverend Noyes Miner was a friend and neighbor of the Lincoln family. After Lincoln’s death, Sandra’s ancestor was gifted a Bible that belonged to America’s sixteenth president.

It’s been in her family for the last 150 years, until now. Her family recently donated the Bible to the Abraham Lincoln Museum and Presidential Library in Springfield to share the family treasure with the public.

Sandra joined us to tell us more about where this Bible has been for the last 150 years. Ian Hunt is the head of acquisitions at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.


It’s been more than 18 months since WBEZ first reported on outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease at the Quincy Veterans home. In the last four years, 13 residents died and dozens more became ill. The state of that veterans’ home and the issue of getting justice for families also came up during last fall’s election season. In addition, a dozen families have sued the state of Illinois over the way this situation was handled.

But those families are still waiting for closure. We were joined by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney.


The term hazardous waste might make you think of glowing, radioactive material. But actually, hazardous wastes can come from products many of us use frequently around the house like drain cleaner, furniture polish or even moth balls.  

You’re not supposed to throw these items away. They are meant to be taken to a special collection facility. But those collections aren’t that easy to find, it turns out.

The cities of Bloomington and Normal are trying to address this issue with a public-private partnership for people in McLean County. Michael Brown is the Executive Director of The Ecology Action Center in Normal, the group behind this partnership.


Every year, thousands of people leave Illinois and move to Illinois. In recent years, there have been more people leaving than coming here.

The question of who's leaving and who’s moving in is more complicated. We know, for instance, that middle and higher income black residents are leaving Chicago for cities in the south. High school students have been leaving Illinois for out-of-state colleges, mainly for financial reasons.

But if you look at the Chicago area, the number of immigrants from Asia has been increasing quickly. In fact since 2010, the number of people living in the Chicago area who were born in Asia increased by 60,000. That mirrors a national trend of Asian-Americans being the fastest growing group overall.

Andy Kang is the executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago. He was on the line with us along with Representative Theresa Mah from Illinois’ 2nd House District. Rob Paral is a demographer with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Story source: WILL