As if Abraham Lincoln wasn’t enough, a small central Illinois town can lay claim to a visit from Marilyn Monroe. The actress visited the community of Bement in Piatt County 60 years ago this week. It's known for being the site where Lincoln and Stephen Douglas met to plan their famous debates. But on a day in the summer of 1955, it was Marilyn’s town.
Alan Guebert has written a syndicated newspaper column about agriculture for about 20 years. Several of those columns have recounted what life was like on the “Southern Illinois dairy farm of his youth” – near St. Louis – and the beloved great uncle who came to “help.” At his daughter’s suggestion, the two of them have gathered those stories into a book, The Land of Milk And Uncle Honey.
High profile racial violence has captivated the nation in recent years. From the death of Trayvon Martin to most recently a fatal shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston South Carolina, an unspeakable tragedy that is reminiscent of the 1960's.
Marja Mills met Nelle Harper Lee while on assignment for the Chicago Tribune. She later moved next door to Lee and her sister Alice Finch Lee for several months and has published a memoir about her friendship with the famous author called The Mockingbird Next Door. Mills gives her take on the new book from Lee and shares memories of the famously private author.
Eighty-five years after Pluto was discovered by an astronomer from Illinois – the New Horizons spacecraft will fly by Pluto and show us what this far-off world looks like. David Leake, the head of Staerkel Planetarium, fills us in on what to expect and the Central Illinois connection to Pluto.
David Hoffman details the story of Adolf Tolkachev, the most valuable Soviet spy during the Cold War, and the CIA agents he passed hundreds of thousands of pages of information to in his new book – the Billion Dollar Spy.