Illinois History Minutes

December 14 Illinois History Minute


It’s December 14th, the day that the Chicago suburb of Robbins was incorporated in 1917. It’s the second oldest municipality formed by African-Americans in the north, and in its early years, the only northern town entirely governed by African-Americans.

Chicago native Eugene Cernan was the last person to walk on the moon on this day in 1972, as commander of the Apollo 17 mission. Cernan, who had orbited the moon on the Apollo Ten mission, walked on the moon with fellow astronaut Harrison Schmitt. Cernan was the last one to reenter the Lunar Module --- stating as he prepared to climb the ladder: “We leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.”

Cernan died in 2017, the same year that the Artemis program to resume manned lunar missions was established. That U.S.-led program hopes to send a manned spacecraft to orbit the moon in 2024 and land on the moon in 2025.