Illinois History Minutes

September 1 Illinois History Minute


It’s September First, the date in 1931 that marks the release of “The Galloping Ghost”, a 12-chapter movie serial starring former Fighting Illini football star Harold “Red” Grange. Grange plays  -- what else --- a college football star, who chases down gamblers who have blackmailed his teammate.

“You poor fool! You think you can save yourself by one disgrace by plunging into another? Don’t you realize what you’ve done? You’ve sold out your colleagues! Sold out your team! Oh Buddy, you can’t do it!”

“The Galloping Ghost” was Grange’s third and final movie, and his only movie with sound. Afterwards, he continued playing professional football for six more years.

And around this time in 1967, a group of students at the University of Illinois got together as the fall semester began, and formed the rock n roll band REO Speedwagon, named after the REO (“Rio”) Speed Wagon, a forerunner of the pickup truck.