Illinois History Minutes

January 10 Illinois History Minute


On this day in 1977, Republican James R. Thompson was sworn in for the first of four terms as Illinois governor. Jim Thompson ran on his reputation as a corruption-busting federal attorney. He promised honesty and transparency in this 1976 campaign ad.

January 10th is also the day when two reform-minded Democrats took office as governor --- John Peter Altgeld in 1893 and Adlai Stevenson the Second in 1949. But Democrat Joel Matteson, who took office on this day in 1853 and Republican Len Small, sworn-in on June 10th 1921, both had to pay money back to the state that they had obtained improperly.