Illinois History Minutes

April 27 Illinois History Minute


It’s April 27th, the day in 1790 that St. Clair County was organized in what was then the Northwest Territory of the United States. The county originally took up most of present-day Illinois. After Illinois became a state, a much smaller St. Clair County became one of its first organized counties. Today, it’s part of the Metro East suburbs of St. Louis, and includes the cities of East St. Louis and Belleville.

Illustrator George Petty was born on this day in 1894 in Louisiana, but grew up in Chicago, where he studied art and became a masterful pinup artist. Petty’s pinup illustrations for Esquire Magazine featured young women with improbably long legs and small heads. Known as Petty Girls, they were widely featured in calendars and on the noses of World War Two fighter planes, notably the Memphis Belle.

I’m Jim Meadows. Illinois Public Media.