Illinois History Minutes

June 20 Illinois History Minute


It’s June 20. And on this day in 1836, the state of Illinois auctioned off lots in the fledgling Town of Chicago, along the future site of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, to finance its construction. The sale brought in more than one-point three million dollars --- mostly in promises to pay at a later date. 

Western Electric was ready to hire a young scientist named Lloyd Hall ---  until they discovered he was Black. Hall was born in Elgin on this day in 1894, and from that initial setback, he went on to a career in food preservation, receiving several patents for ways to cure meat safely while preserving its flavor.

((Lionel Richie singing: “Truly”))

And singer-songwriter Lionel Richie, a star of the tennis team at Joliet East High School, was born on this day in 1949.