Illinois History Minutes

January 31 Illinois History Minute


It’s January 31st, the birthday of baseball player Ernie Banks, born in Dallas Texas in 1931. Banks played for the Chicago Cubs for 18 seasons and was considered the team’s greatest and most popular player. His sunny personality was on display when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at an outdoor ceremony in 1977. 

BANKS: “Banks: “We’ve got the setting … sunshine, fresh air, we got the team behind us. So, let’s play two. (cheers).” 

On this day in 1949, NBC premiered its TV soap opera These Are My Children, originating at Chicago’s WNBQ, known today as WMAQ. While it only ran a few weeks, These Are My Children was the first TV soap opera to be scheduled like the radio soaps, airing in the daytime, and running every weekday.