Illinois History Minutes

December 13 Illinois History Minute


It’s December 13th, and actor Dick Van Dyke was born in Missouri on this day in 1925, but grew up in Danville with his younger brother Jerry, who also went into show business. Van Dyke, who once considered becoming a minister, was enticed into show business by a drama class at Danville High School (which later named their auditorium after him).  His career highlights include the Broadway musical “Bye Bye Birdie”, the movie musical “Mary Poppins”, the 1960s TV sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the 1990s crime drama “Diagnosis Murder”.

Musician and actor Morris Day was born on this day in Springfield in 1957. Day was around 8 years old when he and his family moved to Minneapolis, and he became a childhood friend of Prince, who put him (and also Rock Island native Jesse Johnson) in his funk band, the Time. Day appeared in Prince’s movies “Purple Rain”, and “Graffiti Bridge” and with the Time, had hit records in the 1980s, including “Jungle Love” and “Get It Up”.

“Jungle Love” was a 1984 hit for Morris Day and the Time. Day was born in Springfield in 1957. He co-wrote the song with Rock Island native Jesse Johnson, and a musician they both met in Minneapolis named Prince.