Illinois History Minutes

July 7 Illinois History Minute


It’s July Seventh, and fluorite, also called fluorspar, was designated as Illinois’ official state mineral in 1965. Fluorite has both decorative and industrial uses and was a vital component in steel production during World War Two. Mines in Pope and Hardin Counties in southern Illinois once produced the majority of the nation’s fluorite. But other countries started selling the mineral more cheaply, and the last Illinois fluorite mine closed in 1995.

"A Runaway World" tells how the planet earth broke away from its orbit around the sun, traveling through space to a new orbit around another star. The story appeared in Weird Tales magazine, this month in 1926. It was the science fiction debut of Freeport native Clare Winger Harris, one of the first women to publish in science fiction magazines under her own name.