Illinois History Minutes

April 19 Illinois History Minute


It’s April 19th, and on this day in 1927, a tornado tore through Greene County and the little town of White Hall. At the Centerville Country School, teacher Annie Louise Keller ordered her sixteen students to get under their desks as the storm bore down on them. Thanks to her quick action, all of the students survived. But Keller was killed by flying debris. A memorial created by Illinois sculptor Lorado Taft stands in her memory in downtown White Hall.

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was born on this day in 1942. Except for two years when Republicans were in power, Madigan served as Speaker from 1983 to 2021 and was state Democratic party chairman for much of that time. Madigan was indicted on federal corruption charges a year after leaving office.