Illinois History Minutes

October 31 Illinois History Minute


It’s October 31st, and a severe earthquake shook Illinois and seven other states on the morning of this day in 1895. The quake destroyed most of the chimneys and windows in the Mississippi River town of Cairo, and rattled windows up in Chicago, loud enough to wake people up.

Lincoln Highway, one of the first transcontinental highways built for cars, was formally dedicated on this day in 1913. It’s also known as U-S Route 30, and runs through the Chicago suburbs and northern Illinois.

Today is Halloween, and the state’s biggest Halloween party used to be at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. The raucous street party began in the 1970s. But instances of injuries, property damage and other violence led to a total ban on the event that lasted until 2013.