Illinois History Minutes

October 19 Illinois History Minute


It’s October 19th, and Ballantine Books first published Waukegan native Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”, on this day in 1953, starting with a mass-market paperback edition. The dystopian novel about a society where a fireman’s job is to burn books, also came out in hardback --- including a limited printing bound in asbestos.

Actor Robert Reed, --- father Mike Brady on “The Brady Bunch” --- was born John Robert Rietz Junior in Highland Park on this day in 1932.  While best known as a sitcom father, Reed was also a dramatic actor. He starred with E.G. Marshall as father-and-son attorneys taking on controversial cases in “The Defenders”. And Reed received Emmy nominations for his performances in the 1970s miniseries “Rich Man Poor Man” and “Roots”.

College basketball coach Bruce Weber was born in Milwaukee on this day in 1966. Weber coached SIU-Carbondale and Illinois teams to multiple NCAA tournament appearances during the first decade of the century, and did the same with Kansas State in the second decade. His Fighting Illini team for the 2004-05 season won 37 games with just two losses, tying NCAA records for most wins in a season for a men’s college basketball team, and playing in the 2005 NCAA Tournament championship game, losing to North Carolina.