Illinois History Minutes

May 9 Illinois History Minute


It’s May Ninth. Illinois Republicans held their state convention in Decatur on this day in 1860, and endorsed Abraham Lincoln for president. The convention introduced Lincoln’s “Rail splitter” nickname, with his cousin, John Hanks bringing two fence rails that he said were among thousands the two of them had split in their youth.

Yesterday marked the birth in 1895 in the Woodford County town of El Paso of Catholic Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, famous for his TV appearances. Sheen had a prime-time network show in the 1950s. And WILL-TV ran his “What Now America” series in 1974.