Illinois History Minutes

March 28 Illinois History Minute


It’s March 28th, and on this day in 1981, union workers at the Hi-Flier kite factory in Decatur gathered to learn details of the factory’s imminent closing, after years of declining profits. Harvey A. Sellers had launched the company 60 years earlier in his basement. Hi-Flier grew to be the nation’s largest kite maker, selling designs with elaborate names like American Beauty, Strat-o-Flier and Playmates of the Clouds.

Jonathan Van Ness, the grooming expert on the TV show Queer Eye, was born in Quincy on this day in 1987. The show traveled to Quincy for one episode, where Van Ness visited with the Gay-Straight Alliance at his old high school.