Illinois History Minutes

February 1 Illinois History Minute


Today is February First, the day when, in 1865, Illinois became the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery in the United States, except as punishment for a crime. Ratification by the Illinois General Assembly came just one day after the amendment was approved by Congress. It took another ten months for the amendment to be ratified by 26 additional states, making it part of the U-S Constitution. 

Don Cornelius died on this day in 2012. The Chicago-born Marine, police officer and journalist created the music and dance program show Soul Train, the first Black-produced national TV show to primarily feature African American musicians and advertisers.