Illinois History Minutes

November 30 Illinois History Minute


It’s November 30th, and Illinois Governor Henry Horner was born in Cook County on this day in 1878. Horner, a Democrat, became Illinois’ first Jewish governor in 1932. Illinois’ third Jewish governor, JB Pritzker has quoted Horner’s speeches, citing his optimism and determination in the face of the Great Depression.

R.G. LeTourneau, an innovator in the earthmoving industry, was born in Vermont on this day in 1888. LeTourneau built factories across the country and abroad. But one of his biggest was in Peoria, which employed  2-thousand people in the 1960s. Peoria was also the site of LeTourneau’s experiment in home building --- all-steel houses, laid out in a development he called “The Garden City of Tomorrow”. Some of those steel houses are still standing.