Illinois History Minutes

August 17 Illinois History Minute


It’s August 17th, and author Jesse Lynch Williams was born on this day in 1871 in Sterling Illinois. Williams wrote the first play to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama, a 1917 satire about marriage entitled “Why Marry?”. Five years later, he wrote a play about divorce entitled “Why Not?”.

TRIGA Mark Two, the University of Illinois’ nuclear reactor for training and research went into full operation this week in 1960. The U of I operated the reactor until 1998.

That’s theme music from “Soul Train” with Don Cornelius, which premiered as a local program on Chicago’s WCIU-TV on this day in 1970. Soul Train began its long run in national syndication the following year.