Illinois History Minutes

January 3 Illinois History Minute


It’s January 3rd, and on this day in 1952, the University of Illinois football team was on a train, returning from Pasadena California, where, on New Year’s Day, they upset Stanford 40 to 7 in the Rose Bowl.

Illinois was actually behind for much of the game, until the third quarter when Stanford quarterback Gary Kerkorkian threw a long pass downfield, which was intercepted by Illini player Stan Wallace. The Hillsboro native and future Chicago Bears player returned the pass 56 yards before he was knocked out of bounds. Wallace’s interception set up Illinois’ go-ahead touchdown, contributing to the second Rose Bowl win for Illinois coach Ray Eliot (the first was in 1947).

The NPR news quiz show, “Wait Wait Don’t Tell me” premiered on Chicago’s WBEZ on this date in 1998. Long-time host Peter Sagel would join the show a few months later.