Illinois History Minutes

October 11 Illinois History Minute


It’s October 11th, opening day for the first Illinois State Fair, held on the west side of Springfield in 1853. Admission to the fair was 25 cents, and up to 20-thousand people attended on the fair’s third and final day. The Illinois State Fair was held in several cities during the late 19th century, before moving to its permanent site in Springfield in 1894.

Jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie was born on this day in 1941. Bowie moved to Chicago in the 60s, where he became active in the city’s avant-garde jazz scene. One of his groups was the Art Ensemble of Chicago, for which Bowie often performed in a white lab coat and waxed goatee.