Illinois History Minutes

As WILL-AM celebrates a century of being on the air, we are sharing a minute-long snippet of Illinois history every weekday in 2022. This daily feature includes memorable people, places and events of that helped shape the prairie state.

Hosted by Illinois Public Media reporter Jim Meadows, the minute of Illinois History will air on WILL-AM/FM at 7:42 a.m. during Morning Edition and 5:32 p.m. during All Things Considered; as well as on WILL-AM in the 1 o'clock hour of Here & Now and at 8 o'clock in the evening. We've also made them available below for all of you history buffs!

June 21 Illinois History Minute

It’s June 21, the day in 1892 when former Congressman Adlai E. Stevenson of Bloomington was nominated to be Grover Cleveland’s vice-presidential running mate at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Cleveland went on to win a second non-consecutive term as president.

June 20 Illinois History Minute

It’s June 20. And on this day in 1836, the state of Illinois auctioned off lots in the fledgling Town of Chicago, along the future site of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, to finance its construction. The sale brought in more than one-point three million dollars --- mostly in promises to pay at a later date.

June 17 Illinois History Minute

It’s June 17, the day in 1919, when the Illinois General Assembly passed a waterways act. The legislation paid for the construction of locks and dams, from the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal at Lockport to Utica on the Illinois River.

June 16 Illinois History Minute

It’s June 16, which marks the passage in 1955 of Illinois’ first Reapportionment Act in more than 50 years. For decades, Illinois refused to redraw legislative districts to reflect its growing urban population.

June 15 Illinois History Minute

It’s June 15. And on this day in 1909, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law capping the workday for women at ten hours. Illinois joined other states that had over the years decided it was appropriate to set stricter limits on a woman’s work day than a man’s.

June 10 Illinois History Minute

It’s June Tenth, the day that the Chicago Tribune published its first issue in 1847. The paper was shaped in the 19 century by its editor Joseph Medill, who made it a firm supporter of abolition and Abraham Lincoln.

June 9 Illinois History Minute

It’s June 9, and movies talked on this day in 1922 at the University of Illinois ---- when electrical engineering professor Joseph Tykociner showed off his new sound-on-film technology