Illinois History Minutes

March 16 Illinois History Minute


It’s March 16th, and on this day in 1942, a tornado outbreak caused damage and death in five states. Two of the most violent tornadoes struck central Illinois. One killed seven people in Peoria and Marshall Counties, including three in the town of Lacon. Another killed 12 people in rural areas of Piatt, Champaign and Vermilion Counties. The University of Illinois’ Daily Illini reported that the tornado missed hitting Urbana by just a few hundred yards.

Retired baseball all-star player Curtis Granderson, “the Grandyman” was born in the Chicago suburb of Blue Island on this day in 1981. Granderson played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and New York Mets. He’s president of the Players Alliance, which represents Black major league baseball players, both current and retired.