Illinois History Minutes

January 19 Illinois History Minute


It's January 19th, and on this day in 1881, the student newspaper at Illinois Industrial University in Urbana announced on its masthead that the school’s proper name was the University of Illinois. In a later issue, editors of the Illini argued the word ‘industrial’ suggested a reform school, and “University of Illinois” would be more dignified. The administration agreed --- four years later. 

The Chicago public TV station WTTW premiered "Bird of the Iron Feather" on this day in 1970. Funded by the Ford Foundation to be a Black soap opera, Black activists fought to have African-Americans not just in the cast, but as writers and directors, creating a drama about a slain Black police officer whose story is told through diary entries.