Illinois History Minutes

January 6 Illinois History Minute


Carl Sandburg is shown here as he was writing the commentary for "Bomber," nation defense motion picture just completed by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) film unit.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

Carl Sandburg was born on this day in 1878, to a poor family living in a three-room house in Galesburg. Carl left school at age 13, working manual jobs to support his family, but found time to take some college courses and to start writing poetry.

Carl Sandburg wrote that poem describing Chicago as “Hog Butcher for the World”, and also a poem short enough to teach to schoolchildren, which he recorded years later. Sandburg was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and one for his multi-volume biography of Lincoln during the Civil War. He spent the last part of his life in North Carolina but is buried in Galesburg near the house he was born in.