Illinois History Minutes

May 31 Illinois History Minute


It’s May 31st.Lloyd Quarterman, born on this day in 1918, was one of just a half-dozen Black researchers to work on the Manhattan Project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War Two.

That work brought him to the University of Chicago, and to the new Argonne National Laboratory, which the university administers. There, Quarterman helped develop the nuclear reactor for the first atomic-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus.

Actor Tom Berenger was born Thomas Michael Moore in Chicago on this day in 1949. Berenger played the angry and cynical Sergeant Barnes in Oliver Stone’s movie Platoon. Berenger also appeared in the Major League and Sniper movie series.