Illinois History Minutes

May 13 Illinois History Minute


It’s May 13th, and on this day in 1905, the Illinois State Board of Health was given authorization to distribute an antitoxin for diphtheria, made from antibodies grown in horses. It’s still used today to treat this potentially fatal disease. The antitoxin is not a diphtheria vaccine however --- that would not be developed until the 1920s.

Film director Robert Zemeckis was born this week (May 14) in 1951 in Chicago. Zemeckis grew up on the south side, where he says television and his parents’ home movie camera were major inspirations. Zemeckis directed Back to the Future, Romancing the Stone, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Forrest Gump.