Illinois History Minutes

October 24 Illinois History Minute


It’s October 24th, and John F. Kennedy campaigned for president on the University of Illinois Quad on this day in 1960. The Massachusetts senator charged the Eisenhauer administration with failing to see the importance of the space race. Kennedy noted Russia’s unmanned Luna 2 probe of the year before, which spread titanium alloy pennants marked with the Soviet Union emblem, across the surface of the moon.

Illinois’ Hennepin Canal was opened for its entire length on this day in 1907, connecting the Mississippi River at Rock Island with the Illinois River near Hennepin.