600-800 In 2003 evidence of an Indian village was
found at an Illinois site some 35 miles east of St. Louis, that
dated to the Late Woodland period.
(SFC, 4/21/03, p.A6)
c1000 The Cahokia Indian
settlement in Southern Illinois numbered about 30,000.
(SFC, 3/20/99, p.B4)
c1300 The Mississippian people,
the largest pre-Columbian culture north of Mexico, built the earthen
city of Cahokia about this time. The site, discovered in
southwestern Illinois, probably served as a religious center and may
have had a population of up to 80,000. The Mississippians arose
around 800 AD and remained a powerful influence until about the time
of the first European explorers. The loose-knit theocracy held sway
over much of present-day Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois,
Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and, not surprisingly,
Mississippi. They also had settlements extending sporadically into
the upper Midwest and across the western plains. The largest of the
earthen mounds at Cahokia, called Monks Mound, is 700 feet wide, 100
feet tall and 1000 feet long--representing a colossal public works
program and a government stable enough to order the construction.
1675 May 18, Jacques Marquette
(37), Jesuit, missionary in Chicago, died.
1779 Feb 25, The British
surrendered the Illinois country to George Rogers Clark at
1801 Jun 1, Mormon leader
Brigham Young was born in Whitingham, Vt.
1809 Feb 3, US Congress passed
an act establishing the Illinois Territory.
1810 Mar 6, Illinois passed the
1st state vaccination legislation in US.
1818 Dec 3, Illinois was
admitted as the 21st state.
(AP, 12/3/97)(HN, 12/3/98)
1819 The city of Vandalia was
founded and began serving as the state capital of Illinois. The
capital was moved to Springfield in 1839.
1828 McKendree University, a
private liberal arts college, was founded in Illinois.
1831-1837 Abraham Lincoln lived in New Salem.
During this time he enlisted in the Black Hawk War.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.)(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.T4)
1832 Apr 21, Abraham Lincoln
(23) assembled with his New Salem neighbors for the Black Hawk War
on the Western frontier. Illinois Governor John Reynolds had called
for volunteers to beat back a new Indian threat. Black Hawk, chief
of the Sac and Fox Indians, had returned to his homeland at the head
of a band of 450 warriors, intent on forcibly reversing the treaty
he had signed 28 years earlier that ceded control of the tribe’s
ancestral home in northwestern Illinois to the U.S.
1832 Aug 2, Some 1,300 Illinois
militia under General Henry Atkinson massacred Sauk Indian men,
women and children who were followers of Black Hawk at the Bad Axe
River in Wisconsin. Black Hawk himself finally surrendered three
weeks later, bringing the Black Hawk War to an end.
(HN, 8/2/98)(MC, 8/2/02)
1832 Abraham Lincoln ran for
the General Assembly of Illinois and lost.
(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.T4)
1834 Abraham Lincoln ran for
the General Assembly of Illinois and won.
(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.T4)
1835 Aug 25, Ann Rutledge (22),
said to be Lincoln's true love, died in Ill.
1837 May 27, Legendary
gunfighter James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok was born in Troy Grove,
IL. As a youth, Hickok helped his father operate an Underground
Railroad stop for runaway slaves and during the Civil War became a
daring Union scout. After the war Hickok's fame as a skilled
marksman, Indian fighter and frontier marshal grew, leading to a
stint as a featured attraction with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West
Show. On August 2, 1876, Hickok was shot from behind and killed
while playing poker in Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.
Contrary to his custom, Hickok was sitting with his back to the
1837 Nov 7, A mob attack on the
Alton, Illinois, office newspaper editor Elijah P. Lovejoy and the
subsequent killing of Lovejoy was inspired by the editor’s
anti-slavery writings. Several persons were indicted in the killing,
but they were found not guilty. Lovejoy was killed while defending a
newly arrived printing press. People opposed to Lovejoy‘s
mission had already destroyed three previous presses.
(HNQ, 3/18/99)(HNQ, 6/26/00)
1839 Joseph Smith escaped from
a Missouri prison and the Mormons left Far West, Mo., and started
buying land for a new settlement in Nauvoo, Ill. [see1844]
(SFC, 4/9/96, A-7)(NW, 9/10/01, p.48)
1840 May 10, Mormon leader
Joseph Smith moved his band of followers to Illinois to escape the
hostilities they experienced in Missouri.
1840 A US no-bail-out policy
forced some state into default. Several US states had loaded up on
unsustainable debt following an extended period of easy credit.
These states consequently found payments on their existing bonds
increasingly unaffordable. Between 1841 and 1843 Arkansas, Illinois,
Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania
and one territory – a proto-state called Florida – defaulted.
(Econ, 2/11/12, p.57)(http://tinyurl.com/6pgf4wq)
1841 Joseph Smith Jr. and some
of the Latter Day Saints settled as tenants of Mark Aldrich
(1802-1873), a former Illinois state senator, in what would be
called Warren, Illinois. Smith and Aldrich later had a falling out
and in 1844 Aldrich was accused of ordering his men to kill Smith.
Aldrich was acquitted and moved to California and then to Arizona
where he became the first mayor of Tucson.
1841-1846 The Mormon Temple at Nauvoo was built.
(SFEC, 8/29/99, p.T3)
1842 Sep 2, A letter by Abraham
Lincoln (31) in the Sangamon Journal satirized the Illinois State
Auditor’s call for state taxes to be paid in silver or gold. This in
part led auditor James Shields to challenge Lincoln to a duel.
(ON, 11/02, p.11)
1842 Nov 4, Abraham Lincoln
married Mary Todd in Springfield, Ill.
(AP, 11/4/97) (HN, 11/4/98)
1843-1853 Abraham Lincoln worked at a law office
first with Stephen T. Logan and later with William H. Herndon at
Sixth and Adams in Springfield.
(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.T4)
1844 Jun 27, Mormon Joseph
Smith (38) and his brother, Hyram, were again imprisoned. A mob
stormed the Carthage, Ill. prison and the brothers were killed. [see
1846] James Strang laid claim to being his rightful successor but
Brigham Young soon took control of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. Strang then began evangelizing in the Midwest and
East with some success. His followers were later called
(Smith., Aug. 1995, p.86)(SFC, 4/9/96, A-7)(AP,
1844 Aug 8, Brigham Young was
chosen to head the Mormon church following the killing of Joseph
Smith in Illinois.
(AP, 8/8/97)(HN, 8/8/98)
1844 The Lincolns purchased a 1
1/2 story Greek Revival home at Eighth and Jackson in Springfield.
Mary and Abraham Lincoln paid $1,200 in cash and land for the
one-and-half-story, five-room, wood-clapboard structure. It was the
only home the Lincolns ever owned. They spent the next 16 years
enlarging and improving it.
(SFEC, 3/22/98, p.T4)(HNQ, 5/6/01)
1845 An account of the murder
of Joseph Smith, Mormon leader, was published at Nauvoo, Ill., by an
eye-witness named William M. Daniels.
(LSA., Fall 1995, p.18)
1846 Feb 4, Brigham Young,
Joseph Smith’s successor, led the Mormons overland from Nauvoo,
Ill., to the Great Salt Lake Valley. Mormon pioneer Sam Brannon
gathered some 250 Mormons aboard the ship, Brooklyn, and sailed from
New York to San Francisco. [see 1847]
(SFC, 4/9/96, A-7)(SFEC, 7/21/96, DB p.29)
1846 Feb 10, Members of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons, began an
exodus to the west from Illinois.
1846 May 1, The new Mormon
Temple in Nauvoo was dedicated.
(SFEC, 8/29/99, p.T3)
1847 The Mormon Temple in
Nauvoo burned to the ground. The fire was reportedly set by a
detractor. In 1999 plans were made to rebuild the temple.
(SFEC, 8/29/99, p.T3)
1848 Mar 19, Wyatt Earp (Wyatt
Berry Stapp Earp), later U.S. Marshal, was born the son of a Sheriff
in Monmouth, Illinois. He fought at the Gunfight at the OK Corral
and Paula Mitchell Marks later wrote "And Die in the West," an
account of the incident.
(HN, 3/19/98)(SFEC, 4/12/98, BR p.7)(CHA, 1/2001)
1851 Jan 28, Northwestern
University, near Chicago, was chartered.
1851 The Illinois Central
Railroad was formed.
(SFC, 3/31/00, p.A8)
1854 Oct 4, Abraham Lincoln
made his 1st political speech at Illinois State Fair.
1854 Oct 16, Abraham Lincoln
delivered a speech in Peoria, Ill., part of a series against
legislation proposed by Sen. Stephen Douglas that would allow
settlers to decide the status of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska. In
2008 Lewis E. Lehrman authored “Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning
(WSJ, 7/26/08, p.W9)
1856 John Bennet, a wealthy
Illinois farmer, started a little town he named Judson. The town
closed down after a few years when nearby Grant, begun by Clinton C.
Campbell, was selected as a railroad depot. Grant was later renamed
(SFC, 7/15/03, p.A2)
1858 Jun 16, In a speech
accepting the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in
Springfield, Ill., Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said the slavery
issue had to be resolved, declaring, "A house divided against itself
(AP, 6/16/98)(HN, 6/16/98)
1858 Jul 24, During the
Illinois senatorial campaign Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln
challenged Democrat Steven Douglas to a series of joint debates,
which covered the slavery controversy and its impact on the nation.
The debates illuminated the positions of Lincoln and Douglas on
slavery, which Lincoln regarded as "a moral, a social and a
political wrong," while Douglas evaded the moral issue. Even though
Lincoln narrowly won the popular vote, Douglas prevailed in the
state legislature 54-41 and thus the election. The debates propelled
Lincoln to national prominence.
(HNPD, 9/4/99)(AP, 7/24/08)
1858 Aug 21, The first of seven
debates between Illinois senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and
Stephen Douglas took place in Ottowa, Ill. Douglas went on to win
the Senate seat in November, but Lincoln gains national visibility
for the first time. Douglas stated in the 1st debate: "I believe
this government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made
by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity
forever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men."
(WSJ, 3/3/00, p.W11)(HN, 8/21/00)(AP, 8/21/08)
1858 Aug 27, The 2nd of 7 of
the Lincoln-Douglas debates in the 1858 Illinois senatorial race of
took place in Freeport, Ill. Stephen Douglas formulated what became
known as the Freeport Doctrine, which stated that the people of a
territory could, by lawful means, exclude slavery prior to the
formulation of a state constitution. Douglas first pronounced it in
response to a question posed by Lincoln as to how Douglas could
reconcile the doctrine of "popular sovereignty" with the Dred Scott
(HNQ, 6/4/99)(ON, 4/08, p.2)
1858 Sep 15, The third debate
between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas
was held in Jonesboro, Ill.
1858 Sep 18, Abraham Lincoln
and Stephen A. Douglas held the fourth of their senatorial debates,
this one in Charleston, Ill.
1858 Oct 7, Lincoln and Douglas
held their 5th debate in Galesburg, Ill., on the Knox College
(SFEM, 10/29/00, p.8)(ON, 4/08, p.2)
1858 Oct 13, The sixth debate
between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas
took place in Quincy, Ill.
1858 Oct 15, The seventh and
final debate between senatorial candidates Abraham Lincoln and
Stephen Douglas took place in Alton, Ill.
(ON, 4/08, p.2)(AP, 10/15/08)
1858 Nov 2, In Illinois Abraham
Lincoln won 4,085 more popular votes for the Senate than did Sen.
Stephen Douglas; however Illinois senators were elected by the state
legislatures and Douglas won reelection there by 8 votes.
(ON, 4/08, p.3)
1860 Nov 6, Former Illinois
congressman Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th US president. He
defeated three other candidates, John Breckinridge, John Bell and
Stephen Douglas. He won the US presidential elections with a
majority of the electoral votes in a 4-way race. Lincoln became the
first president elected from the new Republican Party. Following his
election South Carolina seceded from the Union followed by
Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.
Hannibal Hamlin was his vice-president. Lincoln was fatally shot by
John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., on April
14, 1865. In 1996 a new biography of Abraham Lincoln by David Donald
(WSJ, 2/10/95, p.A-8)(SFC, 9/1/96, Par.
p.12)(WSJ, 9/19/97, p.A13) (AP, 2/12/98)(SFC, 12/21/98, p.A3)(AP,
11/6/08)(SFC, 4/30/99, p.E9)
1861 Nov 9, During the Civil
War, soldiers of the Illinois 11th, 18th, and 29th Regiments, after
forcing the Confederates south, set up camp in Bloomfield, Missouri.
Upon finding the newspaper office empty, they decided to print a
newspaper for their expedition, relating the troop's activities.
They called it the Stars and Stripes.
1862 May, Union Colonel
Benjamin H. Grierson was commissioned a major in the 6th Illinois
Cavalry. He proved to be an excellent cavalry leader despite his
prewar experience as a music teacher who hated horses. Grierson had
traveled to various small towns organizing amateur bands. When the
war began, the Midwesterner enlisted as a private in the infantry.
He very much wanted to do his share of the fighting on foot; while a
child, he had been kicked in the face by a horse and still harbored
a severe dislike for the equine creatures. This was not to be. A man
with little military training or experience--and a pronounced
dislike of horses--would soon prove to be one of the most skilled
cavalry leaders of the war. His raids in early 1863 greatly helped
Grant’s army in the siege of Vicksburg.
1865 Feb 1, Lincoln's home
state of Illinois became the first to ratify the Thirteenth
Amendment abolishing slavery throughout the United States.
1865 May 3,
President Lincoln's funeral train arrived in Springfield, Illinois.
1865 May 4, Abraham Lincoln was
buried in a temporary tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield,
1865 Jul 21, Wild Bill Hickok
killed gunman Dave Tutt in Springfield, Illinois, in the first
formal quick-draw duel.
1866 The veteran organization
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was formed in Springfield,
Illinois, in 1866. The patriotic organization of U.S. Civil War
veterans who served in Federal forces was formed to protect the
interests of the veterans. The GAR had a peak membership of more
than 400,000 in 1890 and was a powerful political influence. The
organization was dissolved in 1956.
1867 Willis Polk (d.1924) was
born and grew up in Jacksonville, Ill. He later became an acclaimed
architect in California.
(Ind, 2/9/02, 5A)
1868 Mar 2, University of
1868 Frederick Law Olmsted
began laying out the planned Riverside community outside Chicago
over 1,600 acres of Illinois prairie.
(WSJ, 5/25/99, p.A26)
1868 Gustav and Albert Goelitz,
German emigrants, started the Goelitz candy business in Illinois.
The company later moved to California and invented the all natural
Jelly Belly jelly bean in 1976.
(SFC, 8/11/99, Z1 p.3)
1870 Jun 30, Ada H. Kepley of
Effingham, Ill., became America's first female law school graduate.
1871 Sep 19, President Abraham
Lincoln's body was transferred to a partially completed permanent
tomb at Springfield, Il.
1871 Tad Lincoln (18), son of
Abraham Lincoln, died. Pneumonia was suspected.
(SSFC, 3/20/05, Par p.2)
1871 Haeger Potteries of
Dundee, Ill., dates to this time.
(SFC, 1/4/06, p.G2)
1872 Mar 22, Illinois became
1st state to require sexual equality in employment.
1873 Oct 27, Farmer Joseph F.
Glidden applied for a patent on barbed wire. Glidden eventually
received five patents and is generally considered the inventor of
barbed wire. [see Nov 24, 1874] Joseph Glidden and Isaac Ellwood
formed a company in De Kalb, Illinois to manufacture barbed wire, an
essential product of old West. Patents on barbed wire were granted
as early as 1867, but Glidden was the first to devise a commercially
viable way of producing it after seeing a sample of barbed wire at a
fair in 1873. Glidden and Ellwood’s product greatly increased the
use of barbed wire to protect crops and livestock from roaming
cattle. Open ranges dramatically dwindled in the face of new fencing
over the next two decades.
(HN, 10/27/98)(HNQ, 2/12/01)
1874 Nov 24, Farmer Joseph
Glidden's patent for barbed wire was granted. Glidden designed a
simple wire barb that attached to a double-strand wire, as well as a
machine to mass-produce the wire. The invention was a welcome
alternative to other types of fencing for farming on the arid Great
Plains--wood fences and stone walls were difficult to construct
because of the lack of sufficient rocks and trees, and the existing
wire fences were easily broken when cattle leaned against them. The
use of barbed-wire fences changed ranching and farming life. Farmers
could keep roaming cattle and sheep off their land, but open-range
cowboys and Native American farmers were restricted to the land and
resources not claimed and marked by the new fences. As more settlers
moved onto the plains, the amount of public, shared land decreased
and open-range farming became obsolete.
(HNPD, 11/23/98)(HN, 11/24/98)
1880 George M. Pullman
established his own industrial community at Lake Calumet, south of
(SFC, 7/1/98, Z1 p.6)
1883 The factory of the Racine
Silver Plate Co. re-opened in Rockford, Ill and was re-named the
Rockford Silver Plate Co. Its factory in Racine had burned down in
(SFC,11/26/97, Z1 p.7)
1884 J.P. Newburg built a
500-foot-long greased oak track on a 100-foot cliff above Illinois’
Rock River and launched a flat-bottomed boat down it. The popularity
of the ride led Newburg to open a version in Chicago.
(SFC, 12/24/16, p.C2)
1885 Arcade Manufacturing Co.
of Freeport, Ill., began as a manufacturer of industrial castings
and household items. It introduced toys in the 1890s and by the
1920s was a major manufacturer of high-quality cast-iron toys.
(SFC, 5/17/06, p.G5)
1886 Josephine Garis Cochrane
(d.1913), a housewife from Shelbyville, Ill., patented the first
dishwashing machine. She named it the Garis-Cochran Dishwashing
Machine in honor of her father and late husband.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)(ON, 4/00, p.12)
1887 Apr 10, President Abraham
Lincoln was re-buried with his wife in Springfield, Il.
1887 William D. Gates founded
the American Terra Cotta and Ceramic Co. (Gates Potteries) in Terra
Cotta, Ill. The company was sold in 1930 and renamed American Terra
Cotta Co. It closed in 1966.
(SFC, 5/9/07, p.G7)
1892 Feb 12, Illinois made
President Lincoln's birthday a state holiday. Other states followed
suit over the years.
1894 Feb 14, Jack Benny
(d.1974), comedian, radio and television performer... and violinist,
was born as Benjamin Kubelsky in Waukegan, Ill: "Age is strictly a
case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
(HN, 2/14/01)(AP, 2/14/08)
1894 May 11, Workers at the
Pullman Palace Car Company in Illinois went on strike. Pullman had
cut wages due to the recession but left high rents in his company
town. Mail cars were coupled to Pullman cars and Pres. Cleveland
ordered federal troops onto the trains to insure the delivery of
mail. Illinois Gov. John Peter Altgeld opposed Cleveland’s plans. 34
union workers were killed when federal troops intervened. [see Jun
(AP, 5/11/97)(SFC, 12/3/98, p.A3)(SFC, 10/4/02,
1894 Jun 26, The American
Railway Union with 125,000 workers, led by Eugene Debs, called a
general strike in sympathy with Pullman workers that blocked freight
traffic in and out of Chicago. [see May 11]
(AP, 6/26/97)(SFC, 10/4/02, p.A17)
1894 The Decatur Fairest Wheel
Works of Decatur, Ill., made its first "Fairest Wheel," a glass
wheel with a wood framed glass coin box that dispensed cigars for
(SFC, 3/31/99, Z1 p.6)
1896 Nov 6, Jim Jordan, radio
comedian (Fibber McGee), was born in Peoria, Il.
1896 Jul 7, The Democratic
National Convention opened in Chicago. The National Democratic Party
formed to run a slate of candidates in 1896 because the Democratic
Party had been taken over by the free-silver faction, which called
for the free and unlimited coinage of silver at the 16 to 1 ratio.
They also condemned trusts, monopolies, high protective tariffs and
the use of injunctions against labor. The "sound money" or gold
Democrats withdrew from the party convention, organized the National
Democratic Party and nominated John M. Palmer of Illinois its
presidential candidate. The gold plank in the Republican Party
caused a similar split, with free-silver Republicans bolting the
party and forming the National Silver Republicans, who endorsed the
Democratic Party candidate for president, William Jennings Bryan.
Republican William McKinley won the presidential election.
(AP, 7/7/97)(HNQ, 8/23/99)
1896 Jun 8, William Jennings
Bryan propelled himself to presidential candidacy when he stood
before the Democratic Convention and made his famous "Cross of Gold"
speech. The paramount issue in the 1896 presidential election was
one of economics—the U.S. government promised to pay the holder of
one dollar bill one dollar in gold. Democrats, farmers and
westerners demanded that the government redeem paper money in silver
as well, while Republicans and easterners protested that this policy
would destroy the economy. It was on this dull, technical issue that
36-year-old William Jennings Bryan, a former congressman from
Nebraska, launched his national political career. When he made his
"Cross of Gold" speech, the Democrats had no strong presidential
candidate. His dramatic words—"You shall not press down upon the
brow of labor this crown of thorns; you shall not crucify mankind
upon a cross of gold!"—electrified his audience and resulted in his
nomination for president in 1896. [see Jul 9]
(HNQ, 6/8/98)(MC, 7/8/02)
1899 Feb 20, Illinois Tel &
Tel was granted a franchise for a Chicago freight tunnel system.
1899 Jul 21, Ernest Hemingway
(d.1961), American novelist and short-story writer, was born in Oak
Park, Ill. "Never confuse motion with action."
(AP, 7/21/97)(HN, 7/21/98)(AP, 11/21/98)
1900 Feb 2, Six cities, Boston,
Detroit, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis agreed to form
baseball's American League.
1900 Apr 30, Engineer John
Luther "Casey" Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad was killed in
a Cannonball Express wreck near Vaughan, Miss., after staying at the
controls in an effort to save the passengers.
1903 Dec 19, Heinrich Lienhard
(b.1822), Swiss immigrant to the United States, died in Illinois.
His reminiscences for the years 1822 to 1850 are an important
historical source re California Trail and Sutter's Fort in
California from 1846 to 1850.
1906 The Illinois Cabinet Co.
was founded. It was later purchased by General Electric, renamed to
Illinois Cabinet Works, and used to make cabinets for GE television
(SFC, 10/17/07, p.G2)
1907 Aug 21, Dr. Roy K.
Marshall, TV scientist (Nature of Things), was born in Glen Carbon,
1908 Apr 2, Buddy Ebsen
(d.2003), actor-dancer, was born in Belleville, Ill. He played Jed
Clampett in the popular television series The Beverly Hillbillies.
1908 Aug 8, Arthur J. Goldberg
(d.1990), labor lawyer, UN ambassador, Supreme Court justice
(1962-65), was born in, Chicago, Illinois. He was instrumental in
the merger of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of
(HN, 8/8/98)(AP, 8/8/08)
1908 Aug 14, A race war broke
out in Springfield, Illinois. Angry over reports that a black man
had sexually assaulted a white woman, a white mob wanted to take a
recently arrested suspect from the city jail and kill him. Most
blacks had fled the city, but as the mob swept through the area,
they captured and lynched a black barber, Scott Burton, who had
stayed behind to protect his home. Rioting continued the next day
leaving a total of two blacks and 5 whites dead and hundreds of
thousands of dollars worth of property destroyed. Some 4,000 state
militiamen were required to quell the riot, which helped inspire the
creation of the NAACP the following year.
8/14/08)(WSJ, 1/20/08, p.A12)
1908 Aug 30, Actor Fred
MacMurray (d.1991) was born in Kankakee, Ill.
1908 Nov 12, Harry Blackmun
(d.1999), later Supreme Court Justice, was born in Nashville, Ill.,
and grew up in St. Paul, Minn.
(SFC, 3/5/99, p.A15)(AP, 11/12/08)
1909 Jun 14, Burl Ives, folk
singer, actor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), was born in Hunt, Ill.
1911 Feb 6, Ronald Reagan was
born in Tampico, Illinois. Reagan went on to become a film actor,
governor of California (1967-1975) and the 40th president of the
United States (1981-1989) and was credited with ending the Cold War.
(HN, 2/6/99)(HNQ, 8/20/99)
1911 Sep 29, Walter Brookins
set an American record by flying 192 miles from Chicago to
Springfield, Ill., making two stops.
(NPub, 2002, p.8)
1912 Nov 25, American College
of Surgeons incorporated in Springfield, Ill.
1912 A tornado struck Grant
Park, Illinois, and destroyed the town. 2 local mansions were
(SFC, 7/15/03, p.A2)
Manufacturing Co. of Moline Illinois was incorporated by J.F.
Strombeck and R.D. Becker. They made wooden handles and tent poles
and expanded into toys in 1919 and dollhouse furniture in 1931. In
1962 the company dropped out of the toy business.
(SFC, 8/20/08, p.G4)
1915 Sep 11, Sir William
Cornelius Van Horne, former president of the CPR, died in Montreal.
His mansion was on Minister’s Island in New Brunswick, Canada. The
American-born Van Horne had managed the construction of Canada’s
transcontinental railway (1881-1886). Van Horne was buried in
1917 May 26, Up to eight
separate tornadoes cut a path of destruction for nearly 300 miles
across Illinois and Indiana.
(SFC, 5/26/09, p.D8)
1917 Jul 2, Race riots erupted
in East St. Louis, Illinois. The official death toll was put at 48,
but as many as 200 were believed killed. In 1964 Elliott M. Rudwick
authored Race Riot at East St. Louis, July 2, 1917." In 2008 Harper
Barnes authored “Never Been a Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked
the Civil Rights Movement."
1919 Dec 19, The Thimble
Theatre cartoon strip, by Elzie Segar (1894-1938) of Chesater, Ill.,
made its debut in the New York Journal and featured the characters
Olive Oyl, Castor Oyl, and Ham Gravy, who were the comic's leads for
about a decade. Segar added Popeye in 1929.
1919 The Winnetka Plan was a
widely-imitated approach to elementary education developed in
Winnetka, Illinois. The curriculum, which emphasized individualized
learning, was divided into two sections: common essentials and
creative activities. In the common essentials section, the pupil was
able to advance upon mastering the material. In the creative
section, which included music, art, and physical activities, pupils
could learn as much or as little as they wanted.
1920 Mar 17, John La Montaine,
composer (Pulitzer 1959), was born in Oak Park, Ill.
1920 Apr 20, John Paul Stevens,
103rd Supreme Court Justice (1975-), was born in Illinois.
1920-1928 The Reagan family settled in Dixon,
Ill., and Ronald Reagan attended Dixon Northside High School.
(SSFC, 6/6/04, A12)
1922 W. Clement Stone
(1902-2002) began his Combined Registry & Co., an insurance
operation, in Chicago, Illinois with $100. In 1987 it was renamed
Aon Corp. By the time of his death Combined Int’l. had grown to a $2
1925 Mar 18, The great
Tri-State Tornado killed 695 people in Illinois, Indiana and
Missouri and injured some 13,000 people, and causing $17 million in
property damage. Several other destructive tornadoes in Tennessee,
Kentucky, and Indiana, as well as tornadoes in Alabama and Kansas
brought the total to at least 747 dead.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-State_Tornado)(SSFC, 5/11/03, Par
1925 Nov 17, Actor Rock Hudson
was born in Winnetka, Ill.
1925 The Rockford Silver Plate
Co. was sold to Raymond Sheets and was re-named to Sheets-Rockford
Silver Plate Co.
(SFC,11/26/97, Z1 p.7)
1926 May 25, Miles Davis,
American jazz trumpeter, was born in Alton, IL. He is considered the
prophet of the "cool" school. His albums included The Birth of Cool
and Miles Ahead.
(HN, 5/25/99)(SC, 5/25/02)
1926 Sep 15, Bobby Short,
singer and pianist (Carlisle Hotel), was born in Danville, Ill.
1926 A collection of US roads
from Chicago to Los Angeles were improved and formed what would be
designated as US 66. It was later replaced by 3 interstates, I-55 in
Illinois, I-44 in Missouri and Oklahoma, and I-40 to LA. Route 66
was decertified in 1985. In 2006 Arthur Krim authored “Route 66:
Iconography of the American Highway."
(WSJ, 6/17/06, p.P8)
1926 The town of Monsanto was
founded in southeast Illinois by Monsanto Corp. as a tax and
regulation-free dumping location. The name was changed to Sauget in
the 1970s, after Leo Sauget, the first town president. The area was
later identified as one of the most polluted communities in the
region. In 1992 the rock band Uncle Tupelo produced the song “Sauget
Wind," which included the verse They’re poisoning the air / For
(WSJ, 10/3/06, p.A1)
1927 May 24, The final levee
breach of the 1927 flood occurred at McCrea, Louisiana, on the east
bank of the Atchafalaya levee. The flood along the Mississippi
killed some 500 people and displaced thousands. The levee system
broke in 145 places and caused 27,000 square miles of flooding in
Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
In 1997 the book "Rising Tide" by John M. Barry described the
catastrophe. It was also the subject of the Randy Newman song
p.A12)(SFC, 11/28/03, p.C7)(SSFC, 9/4/05, p.A7)(WSJ, 11/2/05,
p.A2)(Econ, 5/21/11, p.30)
1929 Jan 17, The first Popeye
character appeared in the NY Journal Thimble Theater cartoon strip
by Elzie Segar (1894-1938) of Chester, Ill.
1930 Feb 15, Wenona beat Toluca
in an Illinois Basketball Tournament in 10 overtimes.
1930s Hubley Manufacturing of
Lancaster, Pa., made cast-iron toys that later became valued as
collectibles. The Arcade Manuf. Co. of Freeport, Ill., also made
(SFC, 1/28/98, Z1 p.3)
1932 Jan 6, Julius Rosenwald
(b.1862), president of Sears, Roebuck & Co., died in Highland
Park, Ill. By 1931 he had financed the construction of 5,295 schools
throughout the South in association with Booker T. Washington and
William Baldwin Jr., a Boston railway executive and founder of the
Urban League. In 2015 Aviva Kemper directed the film documentary
p.A22)(WSJ, 4/23/02, p.D7)(SFC, 9/11/15, p.E4)
1932 Federal charges were
brought against Samuel Insull, who had bribed lawmakers and the
Illinois Power Commission to prevent local governments from
generating their own power. His investors lost over $1 billion.
Insull fled the country, was extradited, tried and acquitted of all
(SSFC, 7/14/02, p.G2)
1932 Ronald Reagan graduated
from Eureka College in Eureka, Ill. He majored in economics and
sociology and served as student body president.
(SSFC, 6/6/04, A12)
1935 Jan 10, Sherrill Milnes,
baritone (Scarpia, Rigoletto), was born in Hinsdale, Illinois.
1935 The state legislature
outlawed "English" and designated "the American language" as the
official tongue of the state.
(SFC, 4/15/00, p.D3)
1937 Mar 24, A bus blew a tire,
went out of control and 18 people were killed in Salem, Illinois.
1938 Aug 28, The first degree
given to a ventriloquist’s dummy is awarded to Charlie
McCarthy—Edgar Bergen’s wooden partner. The honorary degree, "Master
of Innuendo and Snappy Comeback," was presented on radio by Ralph
Dennis, the dean of the School of Speech at Northwestern University.
1942 Mar 17, John Wayne Gacy,
serial killer (32 boys), was born in Chicago, Ill.
1942 Oct 31, David Ogden
Stiers, actor (Winchester-M*A*S*H, Doc), was born in Peoria, Ill.
1942 Gertrude Scharff Goldhaber
(d.1998 at 86), research physicist at the Univ. of Illinois,
discovered that spontaneous fission is associated with the emission
(SFC, 2/7/98, p.21)
1944 Oct 28, Dennis Franz,
actor (NYPD Blue), was born in Maywood, Ill.
1946 Feb 4, The first Mormons
left Nauvoo, Ill., and crossed the Mississippi River heading toward
(AH, 2/06, p.14)
1946 Apr 25, A train crash at
Napierville, Illinois, killed 45-48. The "Exposition Flyer" was
1947 Apr 16, Carol Mosely
Braun, later US Senator for Illinois (1992-1998), was born in
(SFC, 1/14/04, p.A2)
1948 Paul Simon (19) borrowed
$3,600 and bought a failing newspaper in Troy, Illinois. He sold his
group of 14 newspapers in 1966 and went on to became a US Senator.
(SFC, 12/10/03, p.A2)
1949 Apr 5, The 60 year old St.
Anthony's Hospital burned and killed 77 in Effingham, Ill.
1951 Aug 11, The Mississippi
River flooded some 100,000 acres in Ks, Okla, Mo and Ill.
1951 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
designed the modernist Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill. The one-story
space was walled on all sides by glass and is considered one of the
greatest private houses of the 20th century. In 2003 it was
purchased by preservationists at auction for $7.5 million.
(WSJ, 5/23/01, p.A24)(SSFC, 12/14/03, p.A2)
1952 In Mattoon Gene Hoots
bought the Frigid Queen ice cream shop from his uncle. He expanded
the business with hamburgers in 1954 and coined the named Burger
King with a registered state trademark. He later lost a suit against
the Florida Burger King chain whose federal trademark was ruled to
hold priority. However the courts ruled that the franchise could not
open within 20 miles of the Mattoon restaurant.
(SFC, 8/19/98, p.B2)
1953 Dec 9, John Malkovich,
actor and director (Killing Fields), was born in Christopher, Ill.
1955 Apr 15, Ray Kroc acquired
the McDonald’s chain of fast food restaurants. He was a food service
equipment salesman who owned the national marketing rights to the
milk-shake mixers used at the chain. He purchased the chain from
Richard (d.1998 at 89) and Maurice McDonald (d.1971) who started the
operation in California in 1948. Kroc built his first restaurant in
Des Plains, Illinois, and later established his world headquarters
and a company museum there.
(WSJ, 5/30/97, p.A1)(HN, 4/15/98)(SFC, 7/15/98,
1955 Jun 27, 1st automobile
seat belt legislation was enacted in Illinois.
1956 Edwina Froehlich
(1915-2008) co-founded the La Leche League in Franklin Park, a
suburb of Chicago, to promote the breast-feeding of babies.
(WSJ, 6/14/08, p.A7)
1957 Dec 3, Maria Ridulph (7)
disappeared while playing in Sycamore, Illinois. In April, 1958, two
people foraging for mushrooms found her remains. In 2011 prosecutors
in Sycamore charged Jack Daniel McCullough (71), a former police
officer, in the abduction of Ridulph after an ex-girlfriend's
discovery of an unused train ticket blew a hole in his alibi. At the
time, McCullough's name was John Tessier. On Sep 14, 2012,
McCullough was convicted of the murder. On Dec 9 McCullough was
sentenced to life in prison.
(AP, 7/3/11)(AP, 9/14/12)(AP, 12/11/12)
1960 Aug 18, Enovid 10, the 1st
commercial oral contraceptive, debuted in Skokie, Ill.
1961 Fred Turner (1933-2013),
operations manager for McDonald’s Corp., founded Hamburger
University in a restaurant basement in Elk Grove, Illinois.
(Econ, 1/26/12, p.82)
1961-1968 Otto Kerner (1908-1976) served as
governor of Illinois. It was later learned that he had accepted
bribes in the form of racetrack shares.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Kerner,_Jr.)(Econ, 6/6/15, p.24)
1962 Joseph Lyford (1918-1992),
Chicago-born author, studied the inner workings of Vandalia, Ill.,
and published the book-length report “The Talk in Vandalia." He
became a journalism teacher in California and died in Orinda, Ca.
1963 J.L. Wade (1913-2007)
built his first purple martin bird houses in Griggsville, Illinois.
In 1965 he authored “What You Should Know About the Purple Martin,"
which became a bestseller among ornithologists. Wade claimed that
each bird ate some 2,000 mosquitoes per day.
(WSJ, 6/23/07, p.A8)
1964 Aug 15, A race riot took
place in Dixmoor, a suburb of Chicago, Ill.
1966 Jul 24, Oakland-born
golfer Tony Lema (32), while flying with his wife Betty to an
exhibition match in Chicago, Illinois, crashed on the seventh hole
of a golf course in Lansing, Illinois, after their chartered
twin-engine Beechcraft Bonanza ran out of fuel. All four people on
board were killed.
1966 Aug 27, There was a race
riot in Waukegan, Illinois.
1966 In Kenilworth, Illinois,
Valerie Percy (21), one of the twin daughters of Senator Charles
Percy, was murdered during a suspected robbery. No one was ever
(SFEC, 5/2/99, Par p.4)
1967 Apr 21, Northern Illinois
was struck by 17 tornadoes, including several in the Chicago
metropolitan area. One violent tornado moved through Belvidere (east
of Rockford), killing 24 people and injuring another 450, including
13 deaths at the local high school. Damage to Belvidere totaled
about $20 million, including destruction of 400 cars at the local
Chrysler plant. A second violent tornado touched down in Elgin
and moved northeast to Lake Zurich, causing $10 million damage. A
third violent tornado touched down near Palos Hills and moved across
the south side of Chicago to Lake Michigan. This tornado struck
during Friday rush hour, and many of the 33 deaths and 500 injuries
occurred in vehicles stopped at traffic lights. Over $50 million
damage was reported from the tornado outbreak.
1967 Jun 5, Murderer Richard
Speck (1941-1991) was sentenced to death in electric chair for the
murder of 8 student nurses on July 14, 1966. The Illinois Supreme
Court upheld his conviction and death sentence on November 22, 1968.
1967 Jul 17, Race riots took
place in Cairo, Illinois.
1967 The US Supreme Court
capped Illinois’s diversion of water from Lake Michigan at 2.1
billion gallons each day.
(Econ, 5/15/10, p.36)
1968 May 3, A Black Student
Sit-In at the Bursar's Office began. It lasted for 38 hours, after
the Northwestern University refused to accede to the demands of For
Members Only, the black undergraduate student group.
1968 Sep 6, Feminists
protesting outside the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.,
tossed articles including cosmetics, girdles and bras into a trash
can ostensibly for burning, although nothing was actually set on
fire. Miss Illinois Judith Ford won the pageant.
1968 Gwendolyn Brooks (d.2000),
African-American poet, became the poet laureate of Illinois.
(SFC, 12/4/00, p.E3)
1968 Paul Simon won election as
lieutenant governor of Illinois.
(SFC, 12/10/03, p.A2)
1968 Capital punishment was
restored by the state.
(SFC, 1/22/98, p.A8)
c1968-1969 James F. Phillips (d.2001 at 70) began
engaging in environmental activism in the Fox Valley area of
Illinois after he found dead ducks in the Fox River. He was later
described as the 1st notorious eco-saboteur.
(SFC, 10/25/01, p.A25)
1969 Sep 7, Senate Republican
leader Everett McKinley Dirksen (b.1896) of Illinois, ("The Wizard
of Ooze") died at 73 in Washington, D.C.
1970 Oct 10, Former Illinois
Secretary of State Paul Powell (b.1902) died. Investigators soon
found nearly half a million dollars in cash and checks, from
unsuspecting drivers paying for their license plates, crammed into
shoe boxes inside his hotel room.
1970 Nov 3, King Peter II
Karadjordjevic of Yugoslavia died in a hospital in Denver, Colorado.
He had been forced into exile three weeks after his country was
invaded by Nazi Germany. He was buried in the Liberty Easter Serbian
Orthodox Monastery in Liberty, Illinois. He was the 1st European
king or queen to die and be buried in the US. In 2013 his remains,
and those of his wife, mother and brother, were interred in the
family tomb at St. George church in Oplenac, central Serbia.
1972 John Wayne Gacy began to
lure young men and boys to his home in Chicago for sex, then
tortured and strangled them. He was arrested in 1978.
(SFEC, 11/22/98, p.A2)
1972 The Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory, Fermilab, near Chicago was completed for
$235 million under the direction of Robert Rathbun Wilson (d.2000 at
85). It was capable of accelerating protons to 400 billion electron
(SFC, 1/22/00, p.A21)
1974 Apr 3, A series of 148
deadly tornadoes struck wide parts of the South and Midwest before
jumping across the border into Canada; some 330 people were killed
in 13 states: Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Total property damage was
estimated at $600 million. In 2007 Mark Levine authored “F5:
Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the
(AP, 4/3/99)(WSJ, 9/13/01, p.B11)(SSFC, 9/4/05,
p.A7)(WSJ, 6/16/07, p.P10)
1976 Oct, William George Bundy
(b.1957), construction worker, disappeared in Cook County, Ill.
Bones of 33 men and boys were found in late 1978 under the home of
John Wayne Gacy (1942-1994). In 2011 authorities identified Bundy’s
bones among those found under Gacy’s Chicago house.
1976 Henry Hyde (1924-2007),
freshman Congressman from Illinois, sponsored an amendment to cut
federal funding for abortions by women on Medicaid.
(Econ, 4/23/05, p.32)(SFC, 11/30/07, p.A6)
1977 Jun 27, Illinois
reinstated capital punishment.
1978 Jan 27, The State Supreme
Court ruled that Nazis can display the Swastika in a march in
1978 May 25, A package bomb
injured Terry Marker, a Northwestern Univ. security guard. It was
later attributed to the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski.
(SFEC,11/9/97, Z1 p.4)
1978 Jun 22, Neo-Nazis called
off plans to march in the Jewish community of Skokie, Ill.
1978 Dec 21, Police in Des
Plaines, Ill., arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the
remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of
murdering. 27 bodies were found under his house, 2 in the back yard
and 4 were fished out of the nearby Des Plaines River. He was
executed in 1994.
(SFEC, 11/22/98, p.A2)(AP, 12/21/98)
1979 May 25, 275 people died in
America's worst domestic air disaster when an American Airlines
DC-10 crashed during takeoff at Chicago's O'Hare International
1980 Jun 10, A package bomb
injured United Airlines Pres. Percy Wood at his home in Lake Forest,
Ill. It was later attributed to the Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski.
1980 Apr 5, Eleven Puerto Rican
FALN members were arrested for attempting to rob an armored truck at
Northwestern University; three were linked to the raid on the
Carter-Mondale campaign headquarters. Several of those arrested were
granted clemency in 1999.
(WSJ, 9/14/99, p.A22)
1980 Aug 8, In Rantoul,
Illinois, Brianna Stickle (3) was found raped and killed. In 2012
Andre Davis (50) was released after spending 32 years in jail. DNA
evidence taken at the scene was found to not be his.
(SSFC, 7/8/12, p.A7)
1980 Peoples Gas was renamed
Peoples Energy Corp. and operated as the holding company for two
local utilities. It had started as Chicago Gas in 1855.
1981 Aug 6, Five people were
killed and one seriously injured when a hot air balloon caught fire
after touching electrical wires and crashed in a suburb of Chicago.
1983 Feb 25, A 10-year-old
girl, Jeanine Nicarico of Naperville in DuPage County, Ill., was
raped and murdered. Rolando Cruz was convicted and served 10 years
on death row before a sheriff's officer recanted on his story and
exonerated Cruz. In 1999 7 prosecutors and sheriff's deputies went
on trial on charges of conspiracy to frame an innocent man. Cruz, a
small-time criminal, started out as an informant in the case.
Charges against 2 prosecutors were dismissed and 4 sheriff's
officers and a prosecutor were acquitted in 1999. In 2005 convicted
killer Brian Dugan was indicted by a DuPage County grand jury, a
full decade after an expert concluded DNA evidence linked him to the
(SFC, 3/9/99, p.A6)(SFC, 4/7/99, p.A5)(SFC,
6/5/99, p.A7)(AP, 2/25/06)
1983 Oct 22, In Marion, Ill., 2
handcuffed inmates at the federal prison killed 2 guards in separate
incidents. This led to permanent lockdown at Marion, the beginning
of the ADX prison, administrative maximum.
(SFC, 12/28/98, p.A3,4)
1983 The US House censured
Reps. Gerry Studds of Massachusetts and Daniel B. Crane of Illinois
for having sexual relations with pages. Studds, a liberal Democrat
who acknowledged having sex with a 17-year-old male page in 1973 and
making sexual advances to two others, admitted an error in judgment
but did not apologize. The first openly gay member of Congress went
on to win re-election until his retirement in the mid-1990s. Crane
admitted having sex several times with a 17-year-old female page in
1980. He apologized to the House in a quavering voice "for the shame
I have brought down on this institution." The conservative
Republican was defeated a year later.
1984 Mar 2, One of the first
McDonald's franchises was closed in Des Plaines, IL.
1984 May 17, A federal bailout
of $4.5 billion kept the Continental Illinois Bank afloat. The 7th
biggest US bank’s loss of half its funds overnight led to America’s
return to strict capital requirements. Fed chairman Paul Volcker
lent $8 billion through the discount window and endorsed the bailout
of uninsured depositors. CIB was later sold to BankAmerica.
(WSJ, 9/24/98, p.A16)(Econ, 5/20/06, Survey
1984 Oct 31, In Decatur,
Illinois, 2 young girls were assaulted and killed. In 2009 DNA
evidence revealed that Melvin Johnson (d.2003) was the murderer.
(SFC, 2/12/09, p.A4)
1984 Illinois voters elected
Paul Simon to the US Senate.
(SFC, 12/10/03, p.A2)
1985 Apr 4, Gary Dotson, who
served six years of a prison sentence for rape, was freed on bail
from the Joliet Correctional Center in Illinois after his accuser,
Cathleen Crowell Webb, testified that the attack had never occurred.
1985 May 12, Illinois Gov.
James Thompson commuted the sentence of Gary Dotson, who'd served
six years in prison for a rape that the alleged victim later said
1985 Sep 22, Rock and country
music artists participated in FarmAid, a concert staged in
Champaign, Ill., to help the nation's farmers. The first Farm Aid
concert was held to support problems facing US farmers and their
(SFEC, 10/13/96, p.A9)(AP, 9/22/05)
1986 In Morton, Ill., the first
pumpkin-tossing contest was held. The winning throw was 50 feet. By
1996 a compressed air cannon projected a pumpkin a record 2,710 feet
at a velocity of more than 600 mph.
(WSJ, 10/23/97, p.A1)
1987 Mar 2, Two sets of
quintuplets were born on the same day in the USA as Rosalind Helms
delivered a basketball team of bouncing babies in Peoria, IL and
Robin Jenkins became the mother of five in Las Vegas, NV,- beating
the odds there, to be sure.
(HC, Internet, 2/3/98)
1987 Illinois Senator Paul
Simon announced that he would seek the nomination for US President.
He suspended his campaign in April, 1988.
(SFC, 12/10/03, p.A2)
1987 The Tevatron, a circular
particle accelerator at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in
Batavia, Illinois, went into operation as the highest energy
particle collider in the world. In 2009 it was eclipsed by the Large
Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Switzerland.
1990 Aug 8, Pete Rose began a
5-month prison term at Marion (IL) Federal prison camp.
1991 Motorola established a
corporate museum in Schaumberg, Ill.
(WSJ, 4/30/98, p.A1)
1992 Jan 12, HAL, the
Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic Computer, from the 1968 Arthur
C. Clark and Stanley Kubrick movie and book, “became operational" at
the HAL plant in Urbana, Illinois. [1997 article claimed 1/12/97 as
birthdate] The book "HAL’s Legacy: 2001’s Computer as Dream and
Reality" was published in 1997 by MIT Press. The birthday in the
movie was 1/12/92.
1992 Mar 17, Democrat Bill
Clinton scored big primary victories in Illinois and Michigan. In
Illinois, Sen. Alan Dixon was defeated in his primary re-election
bid by Carol Moseley-Braun, who went on to become the first black
woman in the U.S. Senate.
1992 Nov 3, In Illinois
Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun became the first black woman elected to
the U.S. Senate. She lost her Senate seat in 1998.
(AP, 11/3/97)(HN, 11/4/98)
1992 Dec 29, David and Sharon
Schoo of St. Charles, Ill., were arrested at O'Hare International
Airport in Chicago upon their return from vacation for leaving their
young daughters at home, alone.
1993 Jan 8, In Palatine, a
suburb of Chicago, 7 people were shot to death at a fried chicken
restaurant. The victims were forced into two walk-in coolers and
shot a total of 24 times with a .38. Some were also stabbed and one
had their throat slit. Their bodies were found the next day. On May
16, 2002, Juan Luna (28) and James Degorski (29) were arrested and
confessed to the killings. "They just did it to do something big."
In 2009 Degorski was convicted in the slayings of 7 people.
1993 Apr 2, In Illinois Andy
Ascher (22) was killed in Rockford. In 1994 Patrick Pursley was
convicted in the murder of Ascher based on ballistic evidence from
the crime scene. In 2017 technological advances eroded confidence in
the evidence and Pursley faced a new trial.
(SFC, 8/10/17, p.A7)
1993 Jul 16, The surging
Mississippi River charged through a levee at West Quincy, Mo.,
closing the Bayview Bridge, the only bridge across the river to
Illinois for more than 200 miles.
1993 Harrah’s opened a
Riverboat Casino on the Ohio River in Joliet, Ill.
(SFC, 8/15/05, p.A2)
1994 Mar 15, Illinois
Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, chairman of the House Ways and Means
Committee, defeated four Democratic primary challengers in his bid
1994 May 10, The state of
Illinois executed convicted serial killer John Wayne Gacy (52) for
the murders of 33 young men and boys. He was executed at Stateville
Correctional Center near Joliet. A search for more bodies was
continued in 1998. Gacy left behind some clown art that was
auctioned and purchased for $20,000 by Joe Roth, who burned all of
(AP, 5/10/97)(SFEC, 11/22/98, p.A2)(SFC, 2/6/99,
1994 May 31, U.S. Rep. Dan
Rostenkowski, D-Ill., maintaining his innocence, was indicted on 17
felony counts alleging he'd plundered nearly $700,000 from the
government. (He later pleaded guilty to two counts of misusing
federal funds and spent 451 days in federal custody).
1994 Aug 14, Eight children who
were left alone died in an early morning house fire in Carbondale,
1995 Jul 8, A deadly heat wave
began in the midsection of the US. It claimed more than 800 lives,
more than half of them in Illinois.
1995 Aug 22, Congressman Mel
Reynolds (Democrat, Illinois) was convicted in Chicago of sexual
misconduct involving an underage campaign volunteer. Reynolds was
sentenced to five years in prison; he was later convicted of lying
to obtain loans and of illegally siphoning campaign money for
personal use. Reynolds was later sentenced to five years in prison;
he ended up serving 2 1/2.
1995 Oct 21, Rioting inmates
surrendered control of a prison dormitory in Greenville, Illinois,
ending a one-day uprising that began after the government ordered
federal prisons locked down nationwide.
1995 Oct, In Kewanee, Ill.,
Scott English killed Jami Pollock (3) as she and her mother slept.
Tabitha Pollock, the mother, was later convicted of 1st degree
murder for not preventing the murder and sentenced to 36 years in
prison. In 2002 the state Supreme Court overturned the sentence.
English was sentenced to life in prison.
(SFC, 11/29/02, p.J3)
1996 Jan 23, Marvin and Kay
Lichtman were murdered and their 22-room mansion was burned during a
robbery in the wealthy Illinois suburb of Barrington Hills. In 2005
Peter Hommerson, a fugitive charged with killing a wealthy Illinois
couple, was captured at a Mexican resort after tourists recognized
him from a crime watch television program.
1996 Apr 9, Former
representative Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), the once-powerful House
Ways and Means chairman, pleaded guilty to two mail fraud charges in
a deal that brought with it a 17-month prison term. He was to pay
his own way at an average rate of $21,352/year. Rostenkowski served
15 months, and was pardoned by President Clinton in 2000.
(WP, 6/29/96, p.A4)(AP, 4/9/06)
1996 Aug 16, In Brookfield,
Ill., a 3-year-old boy fell 15-feet into a concrete area of a zoo’s
gorilla exhibit and was rescued by Binti-jua, a 7-year-old gorilla
with her own 2-year-old on her back.
(SFC, 8/17/96, p.A3)(MC, 8/16/02)
1996 Barack Obama (b.1961) was
elected to the Illinois senate representing the 13th District of
Chicago’s South Side.
1997 Sep 13, Katherine Shindle
of Illinois was crowned Miss America in Atlantic City, N.J.
(SFEC, 9/14/97, p.A2)
1997 Sep 22, In the farming
village of Roby, Illinois, a standoff between police and Shirley
Allen (51) began that turned into a 5-week police siege. Her brother
initially showed up with a court order for a psychiatric exam and
she refused to comply. She was finally captured after being shot
with rubber bullets. Shirley Ann Allen was apprehended when she
stepped out onto her porch on October 30, 1997. Illinois State
Police officers fired several large rubber bullets at her from a
grenade launcher, striking her several times. Apparently not
seriously injured, Allen was taken to St. Johns Hospital in
Springfield, Illinois for her "evaluation." Ending on Thursday,
October 30, 1997 a 39-day police siege, the longest in Illinois
history. According to Illinois State Police Director Terry Gainer
between $750,000 and $1,000,000 of taxpayer money was spent during
the stand-off. After six weeks in a mental hospital, Allen was
released when doctors said she posed no danger to herself or others.
(SFC, 10/14/97, p.A3)(SFC,10/31/97,
1997 Oct 15, Former Illinois
rep Dan Rostenkowski was released from custody for mail fraud.
1997 Dec 22, A small plane
crashed near Hampshire, Ill., and 4 people were killed.
(SFC, 12/5/98, p.A6)
1997 Dec, A bomb at the Oakwood
United Methodist Church killed Brian Plawer (46).
(SFC, 5/26/98, p.A1)
1997 US Senator Paul Simon
(1928-2003) of Illinois retired. He was succeeded by Rep. Richard
(SFC, 12/10/03, p.A2)
1997 In East St. Louis Darnell
McGee, aka "Boss Man," was slain in an apparent robbery. It was
later learned that he had AIDS and may have spread the virus to as
many as 30 women.
(SFC, 2/13/98, p.A3)
1997 Deere & Co. opened a
corporate museum in Moline.
(WSJ, 4/30/98, p.A1)
1998 Jan 21, Lloyd Wayne
Hampton was executed for the murder of Roy Pendleton (69), a retired
janitor in Troy. Hampton was the 11th person executed by the state
since capital punishment was restored.
(SFC, 1/22/98, p.A8)
1998 Feb, In Noble Christopher
Churchill (16) killed his half-brother and 4 others with a hammer
during a drunken rage. He was convicted in 1999.
(SFC, 3/13/99, p.A3)
1998 May 20, In Streamwood
Ill., Frank Capaci, a retired electrician, won the record $195 mil
Powerball lottery of Wisconsin. He chose to take a $104.23 mil lump
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.A3)
1998 May 24, In Danville, Ill,
an explosion occurred at the First Assembly of God Church and
injured 33 members, mostly teenagers. The cause was not yet
immediately known. The cause was determined the next day to have
been a bomb.
(SFC, 5/25/98, p.A1)(SFC, 5/26/98, p.A1)
1998 May 28, In Danville, Ill.,
Rick White (39) died in a garage explosion as FBI agents were
arriving to ask questions in connection with the May 24 Church
(SFC, 5/29/98, p.A3)(SFC, 5/30/98, p.A8)
1999 Feb 20, Gene Siskel (53),
movie critic, died in Evanston, Ill., of complications from brain
(SFEC, 2/20/99, p.D8)(SFC, 7/16/03, p.A19)(AP,
1999 Mar 15, In Bourbonnais,
Ill., the "City of New Orleans" Amtrak train derailed after hitting
a truck loaded with steel. At least 14 people were killed and 119
(SFC, 3/16/99, p.A3)(SFC, 3/17/99, p.A1)(WSJ,
1999 Apr 27, Cicero, a Chicago
suburb, declared itself a "gang-free zone." The police dept. listed
600 gang members among the 71,000 population.
(SFC, 4/27/99, p.A3)(SFC, 5/6/99, p.C5)
1999 Apr 30, A charter bus
flipped in central Illinois that was carrying hearing-impaired
children. One parent died and 16 children were injured.
(SFC, 5/1/99, p.A4)
1999 Jun 15, George Morber (80)
and his daughter Carolyn Frederick (52) were found slain in their
home in Gorham, Ill., about 100 yards from a railroad track.
Rafael Resendez-Ramirez was suspected of the murder.
(SFC, 6/22/99, p.A3)
1999 Jul 2, In northern Chicago
a driveby gunman, Benjamin Nathaniel Smith (21), killed Ricky
Byrdsong, former Northwestern Univ. basketball coach. Smith wounded
6 Orthodox Jews Chicago and fired on an Asian-American couple in
(SFEC, 7/4/99, p.A1)(SFC, 7/5/99, p.A1)
1999 Jul 3, Benjamin Nathaniel
Smith fired at Asians and Blacks in Springfield, and
(SFC, 7/5/99, p.A1)
1999 Jul 4, In Bloomington,
Ind., Benjamin Nathaniel Smith killed Won Joon Moon (26), a
Korean-born Indiana Univ. student. Later the same day he shot
himself dead during a police chase in Salem, Ill.
(SFC, 7/5/99, p.A1,5)
1999 Aug 2, It was reported
that the national death toll from the recent US-East heat wave hit
185 with 80 dead in Illinois and 44 in Missouri.
(SFC, 8/2/99, p.A5)(WSJ, 8/2/99, p.A1)
1999 Aug, A World Freefall
Convention was held in Quincy and Jari Kousma gave a big sales pitch
for his new Bird-Man wingsuit for skydiving.
(WSJ, 9/30/99, p.B1)
1999 Oct 5, Pulitzer Inc.
agreed to buy the Illinois newspapers of Chronicle Publ. For $180
million. These included the Pantagraph of Bloomington and the 7
community papers of the Illinois Valley Press.
(SFC, 10/6/99, p.B3)
1999 Nov 8, High schools were
closed in Decatur as Jesse Jackson worked to reinstate 7 African
American students who were expelled from school for fighting at a
football game on Sep 17. Felony charges were filed against 4 of the
(SFC, 11/9/99, p.A2)(SFC, 11/10/99, p.A2)
1999 Nov 16, Rev. Jesse Jackson
was arrested in Decatur for protesting at Eisenhower High School
against the expulsion of 6 students.
(SFC, 11/17/99, p.A3)
2000 Jan 31, Gov. George Ryan
announced that he would impose a moratorium on the state's death
penalty until an inquiry has been conducted as to why more death row
inmates have been exonerated that executed.
(SFC, 1/31/00, p.A1)
2000 Apr 24, In Peoria, Ill., 3
construction workers were killed when scaffolding broke away from
the McClugage Bridge.
(SFC, 4/25/00, p.A3)
2000 Dec 22, Pres. Clinton
pardoned 59 people including Dan Rostenkowski, former congressman
and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
(SFC, 12/23/00, p.A1)
2000 Jonathan Mcleod worked as
an intern for the office of Illinois Representative J. Dennis
Hastert. He later noted that Congressional Representatives do not
read their mail, that form letters are immediately thrown away, and
that responses to citizen letters are automatically processed with
responses that "say something without saying anything."
(SSFC, 1/11/04, p.D3)
2001 Jan 26, A Salvation Army
van collided with a truck and 10 people were killed on I 55 near
(SFC, 1/27/01, p.A3)
2001 Feb 5, William D. Baker
(66), shot and killed 4 employees at the Navistar factory in Melrose
Park and then shot and killed himself. He was about to begin serving
a 5-month sentence for conspiring to steal engines and parts.
(SFC, 2/6/01, p.A3)
2001 Feb 15, Cicero’s town
president, Betty Loren-Maltese, and 9 others were charged with
stealing $10 million in taxpayer money and spending it on a horse
farm and golf course.
(SFC, 6/16/01, p.A5)
2001 Dec 12, Ali-al-Marri, a
citizen of Qatar, was arrested in Peoria, Ill. He had reportedly
entered the USA legally with his wife and five children on 10
September 2001 to pursue post-graduate studies at Bradley Univ. 18
months later, as he was on the verge of trial for credit card fraud
and other charges, Pres. Bush declared him an enemy combatant and
moved him into military detention. In 2008 the US Supreme Court
agreed to decide whether the president may order that people seized
in the US be held indefinitely and without criminal charges. In 2009
a federal judge sentenced Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri to 8 years in
p.A1)(SFC, 10/29/09, p.A8)
2001 The Illinois Funeral
Director’s Association opened the Museum of Funeral Customs just
outside Oak Ridge Cemetery.
(SSFC, 9/22/02, p.C16)
2002 Feb 28, Dr. Ellen Feinberg
(43) stabbed to death her 10-year-old son and wounded a younger son
(SFC, 3/2/02, p.A6)
2002 Apr 2, Federal prosecutors
indicted the campaign committee of Gov. George Ryan and 2 former top
aids on charges of racketeering, mail fraud and conspiracy to
(SFC, 4/3/02, p.A3)
2002 May 3, In rural Iowa and
Illinois and 6 people were injured when 6 of 8 pipe bombs were
detonated in what was called a case of domestic terrorism. Suspect
Luke Helder was later found incompetent to stand trial.
(SFC, 5/4/02, p.A3)(AP, 5/3/07)
2002 May 7, Lucas John Helder
(21) of Pine Island, Minn., was arrested following a car chase near
Lovelock, Nevada, and charged for the recent series of mailbox pipe
bombs. Helder said he was trying to make a "smiley face" pattern on
the map of his bombings. His series of rural mailbox bombings left
six people wounded in Illinois and Iowa. Helder has since been found
incompetent to stand trial.
(SFC, 5/8/02, p.A1)(SFC, 5/10/02, p.A3)(AP,
2002 May 17, Midwest flooding
left as many as 9 people dead over the last 2 weeks. Missouri Gov.
Bob Holden asked Pres. Bush to declare 37 counties as disaster
areas. Illinois and Indiana were also hard hit.
(SFC, 5/18/02, p.A3)
2002 Jun 27, Mormons in Nauvoo
planned to dedicate a new $30 million temple.
(SFC, 4/29/02, p.A3)
2002 Sep 5, In Illinois Judge
Harold Frobish of Livingston County ruled that prison inmates can
choose to starve themselves rather than endure years of solitary
confinement and that right outweighs the state’s duty to keep them
(SFC, 9/7/02, p.A4)
2002 Sep 21, Erika Harold, Miss
Illinois, was crowned in Atlantic City NJ, as Miss America 2003.
(SSFC, 9/22/02, p.A2)
2002 Oct 15, Illinois opened
hearings on 140 death row cases.
(SFC, 10/15/02, p.A3)
2003 Jan 11, In Illinois
out-going Gov. Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 Death Row inmates
one day after he freed 4 death row inmates. He called the death
penalty process "arbitrary and capricious, and therefore immoral."
The 4 death row inmates had all been convicted on evidence gathered
by police Lt. Jon Burge. In 2008 Burge was arrested and charged with
lying when he denied in 2003 that he and detectives under his
command tortured murder suspects.
(SFC, 1/11/03, p.A3)(SSFC, 1/12/03, p.A1)(AP,
1/11/08)(SFC, 10/22/08, p.A3)
2003 May 4, In Glenbrook, Ill.,
senior girls of Glenbrook North High engaged in a "powder puff"
football game with junior girls that turned into a hazing melee that
was caught on video and shown on national TV. Several seniors were
later suspended for 10 days. A Civil Suit was later filed on behalf
of 3 of the juniors girls.
(SFC, 5/13/03, p.A4)
2003 Sep 2, A car slid off a
boat ramp into Clinton Lake, Ill., and sank under the water. Two
people allegedly made it out of the car before it sank. They were
Amanda Hamm (27) and her boyfriend Maurice Lagrone Jr (28). Three
children were trapped in the car: Christopher Hamm (6), Austin Brown
(3), and Kyleigh Hamm, age 23 months. Hamm and Lagrone were later
charged with murder. In 2007 Amanda Hamm was sentenced to 10 years
in prison. Lagrone was convicted earlier of 1st degree murder and
sentenced to life.
2003 Sep 14, Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich directed the state Special Advocate to draft a plan for
busing inexpensive medications from Canada for state employees and
(SFC, 9/15/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 9, Paul Simon (75),
former Illinois Senator (1984-1997), died in Springfield. His work
included 13 published books.
(SFC, 12/10/03, p.A2)
2003 Dec 17, George Ryan,
former governor of Illinois, was indicted by a federal grand jury on
charges of racketeering. Ryan was alter convicted and sentenced to 6
1/2-years in federal prison sentence for racketeering.
(SFC, 12/18/03, p.A2)(AP, 12/17/08)
2004 Feb 3, Gov. Rod
Blagojevich signed legislation creating a $500 million tax on
Illinois hospitals, which expected increased federal funding under
(USAT, 2/4/04, p.9A)
2004 Feb 26, A mail bombing
injured Don Logan, the diversity director in Scottsdale, Arizona. In
2009 Illinois twins Dennis and Daniel Mahon (58) were indicted for
the bombing. They had allegedly intended to promote racial discord
on behalf of the White Aryan Resistance. On Feb 24, 2012, Dennis
Mahon was found guilty. Daniel Mahon was exonerated.
2004 Apr 20, A tornado hit
Utica, Ill., and 8 people were killed in the basement of a tavern.
(SFC, 4/22/04, p.A6)(WSJ, 4/22/04, p.A1)
2004 Jun 25, Jack Ryan (44), US
Republican Senate candidate from Illinois, pulled out of the race
following the disclosure of details from his 1999 divorce from TV
actress Jeri Ryan.
(SSFC, 6/27/04, p.A5)
2004 Jul, Charles L. Harris
(44), manager of the Tradewinds hedge fund in Winnetka, Ill.,
disappeared after defrauding investors of some $25 million. He then
sent video messages to investors apologizing and asking that they
maintain confidence in his efforts.
(WSJ, 9/16/04, p.C1)
2004 Aug 8, Alan Keyes, the
Republican two-time presidential hopeful, threw his hat into
Illinois' Senate race (he ended up losing to Democrat Barack Obama).
2004 Dec 7, In Illinois after
Babs the gorilla died at age 30, keepers at Brookfield Zoo, decided
to allow surviving gorillas to mourn the most influential female in
their social family. One by one, the gorillas filed into the Tropic
World building where Babs' body lay, arms outstretched. Curator
Melinda Pruett Jones called it a "gorilla wake."
2004 Illinois under Gov.
Blagojevich began a prisoner reform program at its Sheridan Prison.
Over the next 2 years prisoners who successfully completed the
program had a 49% lower risk of returning to prison.
(SFC, 8/7/06, p.A6)
2005 Apr 27, Tonya Vasilev (34)
stabbed to death her 2 children, Christian (9) and Grace (3) at
their Hoffman Estates, Ill., home.
(SFC, 4/30/05, p.A4)
2005 May 8, In Zion, Ill.,
Laura Hobbs (8) and Krystal Tobias (9), out on a Mother's Day
bicycle ride, were stabbed multiple times and left to die near a
bike path. Laura’s father Jerry Hobbs (34), just out of a Texas
prison a few weeks, led police to the girls' bodies in a ravine. He
was charged with murder on the second day of questioning by police.
(AP, 5/10/05)(AP, 5/11/05)
2005 May 9, Eight-year-old
Laura Hobbs and 9-year-old Krystal Tobias were found stabbed to
death in Zion, Ill.; Laura's father, Jerry Hobbs III, was later
charged with killing the girls.
2005 May 20, Illinois lawmakers
voted to have the state sell off about $1 billion worth of
investments in companies doing business with Sudan, part of a
nationwide campaign to protest genocide in the African nation.
2005 Jun 25, Gov. Rod
Blagojevich signed a new state law that requires Illinois to divest
about $1 billion worth of pension investments in companies that do
business in Sudan to protest the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the
country's Darfur region.
2005 Aug 10, Pres. Bush visited
a Caterpillar plant in Illinois where he signed a $286.4 billion
highway bill. It was the most expensive US public works program to
(WSJ, 8/11/05, p.A1)(Econ, 5/31/08, p.38)
2005 Sep 29, US federal agents
raided an Illinois laboratory where the steroid that ignited the
BALCO scandal is suspected to have been created. Chemist Patrick
Arnold was believed to be the man who resurrected the 1960s steroid
norbolethone as “the clear," later known as tetrahydrogestrinone
(SFC, 9/30/05, p.A5)
2005 Nov 15, Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich signed into law his All Kids program, a plan to extend
comprehensive health care to every child in the state, making it the
1st state to try anything like it.
(Econ, 12/3/05, p.33)(http://tinyurl.com/9uu5p)
2005 Nov 23, A commuter train
slammed into several vehicles caught in a traffic jam on a busy road
in Elmwood Park, Ill., starting a chain reaction that injured at
least 10 people.
2006 Mar 12-2006 Mar 13, Swarms
of tornadoes killed at least 10 people across the Midwest states of
Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Dakota, Minnesota and
Wisconsin. It caused so much damage in Springfield, Ill., that the
mayor compared it to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
2006 Jan, An Illinois law took
effect banning investment in Sudan-related bonds, private equity and
stock due to genocide in the Darfur region.
(SSFC, 10/1/06, p.C6)
2006 Apr 17, In Chicago a jury
convicted former Gov. George Ryan of steering state contracts and
leases to political insiders during his term as secretary of state
in the 1990s and then governor for one term.
(SFC, 4/18/06, p.A5)
2006 Jun 13, The Illinois state
agriculture department said a pest blamed for killing millions of
trees across the Midwest has reached Illinois, prompting officials
to prepare a detection and eradication plan they expect to begin
within the next few weeks.
2006 Sep 1, In Chad US Senator
Barack Obama held talks with President Idriss Deby Itno on the
crisis in Sudan's Darfur region and on Chad's oil production, on the
final stop of the African-American politician's tour of the
2006 Sep 6, In Chicago George
Ryan (72), former Illinois governor, was sentenced to 6½ years in
prison for offenses including racketeering, conspiracy and fraud.
(SFC, 9/7/06, p.A4)
2006 Sep 15, In East St. Louis,
Ill., Jimella Tunstall (23) bled to death after sustaining an
abdominal wound caused by a sharp object. Her body was found Sep 21.
On Sep 23 investigators found Tunstall’s 3 dead children in a washer
and dryer. Prosecutors charged Tiffany Hall (24), a family friend,
with the murder of Tunstall and her fetus.
2006 Sep 23, Three young
children were found dead in an East St. Louis, Ill., apartment,
hours after Tiffany Hall was charged with killing their pregnant
mother and her fetus in a grisly attack. Hall has since been charged
with first-degree murder in the deaths of Jimella Tunstall and her
children, as well as intentional homicide of Tunstall's fetus.
2006 Oct 11, In Chicago
businessman Antoin Rezko (51), top advisor and fund-raiser for
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was indicted for scheming to collect
kickbacks from companies doing business with the state. The fraud
scheme included political contributor Stuart Levine and other
(SFC, 10/12/06, p.A4)
2006 Oct 28, In Jerseyville,
Ill., a teenager carrying a Bible and shouting "I want Jesus" was
shot twice with a police stun gun and died the next day at a St.
2006 Barack Obama, US Senator
from Illinois, authored “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on
Reclaiming the American Dream."
(Econ, 10/28/06, p.42)
2007 Jan 16, Sen. Barack Obama
(D-Ill.) launched his bid for the White House.
2007 Feb 10, Democrat Barack
Obama announced in Illinois that he is running for the White House
2007 Mar 30, In Lombard,
Illinois, Hubert D. Thompson (28), a former Michigan State football
player, hurled James Malone (66) to his death from a 3rd floor
apartment balcony. In 2009 an Illinois judge ruled Thompson not
guilty by reason of insanity and ordered him confined to a mental
institution. Thompson was once the nation’s top-rated defensive end
prospect. He was ejected from the 2000 Citrus Bowl for fighting with
a Florida offensive lineman.
2007 Apr 15, A fire in Quincy,
Illinois, killed 5 children. Police arrested Zachary Meeks (27), a
cousin who had a grudge with the victim’s parents stemming from a
drug-related prison sentence.
(SFC, 4/16/07, p.A5)
2007 Jun 2, Thomas M. Siebel
(54), the founder and former chairman of Siebel Systems Inc.,
announced he will make a $100 million donation to the University of
Illinois, his alma mater. This was the largest gift in the
university's history. Siebel pledged to give the gift to the
Urbana-Champaign campus upon his death.
2007 Jun 7, Severe
thunderstorms spawned tornadoes, produced baseball-size hail and
dropped more than 6 inches of rain across the Upper Midwest, killing
a swimmer in Illinois. Four people in Wisconsin were injured, none
seriously. A northern Wisconsin resort was demolished by one of at
least five tornadoes that swept across the state.
2007 Jun 14, In Channahon,
Ill., 3 children and a woman were found shot to death in a sport
utility vehicle parked just off a service road. On June 23
authorities charged Christopher Vaughn (32) with two murder counts
per victim, saying he gunned down his family in their sport utility
(AP, 6/14/07)(AP, 6/24/07)
2007 Sep 19, Julian Walker (34)
of Atlanta, Georgia, suspected in the slayings of his ex-wife and
his girlfriend’s father, shot and killed himself after he was
surrounded by police in Fairview Heights, Ill.
(SFC, 9/20/07, p.A8)
2007 Oct 28, In Joliet,
Illinois, Stacy Peterson (23), the current wife of police officer
Drew Peterson, was last seen. On Nov 10 state police said Peterson
is no longer a person of interest in the disappearance but a
suspect. A coroner's jury ruled the 2004 death of Kathleen Savio,
Peterson's third wife, an accident. On Nov 17 former NYC chief
medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden analyzed Kathleen Savio's remains
and concluded she died after a struggle. In 2008 Dr. Larry W. Blum
said in an autopsy report that Kathleen Savio died by drowning and
her death was ruled a homicide. In 2009 Peterson (55) was arrested
during a traffic stop and faced murder charges.
(AP, 11/10/07)(AP, 11/17/07)(AP, 2/22/08)(AP,
2007 Nov 29, Henry Hyde
(b.1924), former Illinois Republican Representative (1975-2007),
died. In 1976 he attached an amendment to a spending bill barring
the use of federal funds for abortions. In 1998 he led House efforts
to impeach Pres. Clinton for allegedly lying about his affair with
intern Monica Lewinsky.
2007 Dec 23, High wind and ice
coated power lines blacked out tens of thousands of people in the
Midwest. The storm was blamed for at least 22 deaths. At least 8
people in Minnesota, 5 in Wisconsin, 3 each in Indiana and Wyoming
and one each in Michigan, Texas and Kansas were killed in traffic
(AP, 12/23/07)(WSJ, 12/24/07, p.A1)(SFC,
2008 Jan 7, Tornadoes were
reported or suspected in southwest Missouri, southeastern Wisconsin,
Arkansas, Illinois and Oklahoma. Two people were killed in Missouri.
2008 Jan 31, Dorothy Dixon
(29), 6 months pregnant, was found dead at a home in Alton, Ill.
Housemates had used her for target practice with BBs, burned her
with a glue gun and doused her with scalding liquid that peeled away
her skin. Investigators put much of the blame on Michelle Riley
(35), who they said befriended Dixon but pocketed monthly Social
Security checks she got because of her developmental delays. In 2009
Riley pleaded guilty to the torture and killing of Dixon.
(AP, 3/22/08)(SFC, 10/27/09, p.A4)
2008 Feb 14, In DeKalb,
Illinois, former student Steven Kazmierczak (27) killed six people
at Northern Illinois University before committing suicide. 15 people
2008 Mar 19, Flooding forced
hundreds of people to flee their homes and closed scores of roads
across a wide swath of the US midsection as a huge storm system
poured as much as 10 inches of rain on the region. Flooding was
reported in parts of Arkansas, southern Illinois, southern Indiana,
Missouri and Kentucky with over a dozen deaths.
(AP, 3/19/08)(AP, 3/20/08)
2008 Apr 18, A magnitude 5.2
earthquake hit southern Illinois in the Ozark Dome region and was
felt across the Midwest.
(SFC, 4/19/08, p.A5)
2008 Jun 18, In Illinois Jeff
Pelo (43), a former Bloomington police sergeant, was found guilty on
35 counts, including 25 of aggravated sexual assault from 2002-2005.
(SFC, 6/19/08, p.A6)
2008 Jun 18, Floodwaters
breached two levees in western Illinois and threatened more
Mississippi River towns in Missouri after inundating much of Iowa
for the past week. One official estimated up to 47 square miles
could be flooded.
2008 Jun 25, Jerry Brown,
California’s attorney general, sued Countrywide Financial for unfair
business practices relating to home loan mortgages. Lisa Madigan,
the attorney general of Illinois, also filed suit against
Countrywide, which is being acquired by Bank of America. The
Washington State Dept. of Financial Institutions filed an
administrative action against Countrywide alleging discriminatory
(SFC, 6/26/08, p.C1)(WSJ, 6/26/08, p.A3)
2008 Jul 1, Nicholas T. Sheley
(28) was arrested in Granite City, Ill., following a manhunt that
extended into Missouri. The ex-convict was suspected in eight recent
grisly slayings. He was suspected of killing, among others, a
93-year-old man, a toddler and a couple whose blood-soaked dogs were
found roaming a motel parking lot.
(AP, 7/2/08)(SFC, 7/11/08, p.A4)
2008 Oct 3, The Great Lakes
Governors (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) applauded President George W. Bush for
signing a joint resolution of Congress providing consent to the
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
It barred new diversions beyond the Great Lakes Basin.
2008 Oct 5, The Illinois
attorney general's office said that Bank of America was modifying
loans for customers in 11 states.
2008 Oct 15, In Illinois a
medical helicopter crashed just before midnight and killed a
desperately ill 1-year-old girl and three crew members when the
aircraft clipped a radio structure's wire and went down in a
suburban Chicago field.
2008 Dec 9, Federal authorities
arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (51) on charges that he
brazenly conspired to sell or trade the US Senate seat left vacant
by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Upon his
arrest Blagojevich and his wife were awash in over $200,000 in
credit card debt. Blagojevich was released after paying a
(AP, 12/9/08)(SFC, 12/10/08, p.A4)(SFC, 7/2/10,
2008 Dec 30, Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich named former state Attorney General Roland Burris (71)
to replace Barack Obama as state senator. The surprise move put
opponents in the uncomfortable position of trying to block Burris
from becoming the Senate’s only black member.
(SFC, 12/31/08, p.A3)
2009 Jan 5, In Illinois Steven
L. Good (52), chief executive of Sheldon Good & Co, one of the
nation’s largest real estate auction firms, was found dead of an
apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a forest outside Chicago.
In 2003 he authored “Churches, Jails and Gold Mines… Mega-Deals from
a Real Estate Maverick."
(WSJ, 1/7/09, p.A9)
2009 Jan 6, Roland Burris of
Illinois, President-elect Barack Obama's appointed successor, was
turned away when he appeared at the US Capitol to take his in the
convening of the 111th Congress.
2009 Jan 9, The Illinois House
voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, an unprecedented step in
2009 Jan 12, The US Senate said
it will seat Roland Burris, the junior senator from Illinois.
(SFC, 1/12/09, p.A8)
2009 Jan 15, Roland Burris was
sworn in as junior senator from Illinois.
(SFC, 1/16/09, p.A4)
2009 Jan 26, Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich skipped the start of his impeachment trial preferring to
make his case on national TV.
(WSJ, 1/27/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 26, Caterpillar Inc
announced it would cut nearly 20,000 jobs and warned of a tough year
ahead as a downturn that began in the United States metastasized
into a full-blown global recession, gutting orders for earth-moving
equipment. At least 1,500 of the lost jobs were in greater Peoria,
(Reuters, 1/26/09)(Econ, 2/21/09, p.37)
2009 Jan 29, In Illinois Pat
Quinn (60), the Democrat Lt. Gov., became governor after the state
Senate voted 59-0 to convict Rod Blagojevich (52) of abuse of power.
(AP, 1/30/09)(WSJ, 1/30/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 8, In Illinois a
broken holding tank at a Caterpillar plant near Joliet spilled some
65,000 gallons of oil sludge and contaminated a 30-mile section of
the Des Plaines River.
(SFC, 2/9/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 9, The US postal
service released 4 new 42-cent stamps in Springfield, Ill.,
highlighting the personal history of Abraham Lincoln.
(SFC, 2/9/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 15, Illinois
Republicans called for the resignation of Democratic Sen. Roland
Burris following reports of contradicting statements regarding
conversations with close associates of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The next day Burris admitted that he tried to raise money for Gov.
Blagojevich before being appointed to the US Senate.
(SFC, 2/16/09, p.A5)(WSJ, 2/17/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 8, In Illinois Pastor
Fred Winters was shot and killed during his Sunday sermon at First
Baptist Church in Maryville. He had deflected the first of Terry Joe
Sedlacek’s four rounds with a Bible, sending a confetti-like spray
of paper into the air in a horrifying scene that congregants
initially thought was a skit. Churchgoers wrestled Sedlacek (27) to
the ground as he waved a knife, slashing himself and two other
(AP, 3/9/09)(SFC, 3/9/09, p.A4)
2009 Mar 29, In Illinois Duncan
Connolly (9) and his brother Jack (7), missing since March 8 after
visiting with their father, were found dead in his car. The body of
their father, Michael Connolly, was found nearby.
2009 Apr 2, A federal grand
jury issued a 75-page indictment charging former Illinois Gov. Rod
Blagojevich with racketeering, extortion and fraud.
(SFC, 4/3/09, p.A8)
2009 Apr 30, In Illinois Ali
al-Marri (43) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide
material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization. A
second charge of providing material support or resources to a
foreign terrorist organization was dropped. His case had sparked a
legal debate over whether the government can hold terrorism suspects
indefinitely. The Qatar native faced up to 15 years in prison and a
$250,000 fine at his July 30 sentencing. On Oct 29 a federal judge
sentenced Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri to 8 years in prison.
(AP, 5/1/09)(SFC, 10/30/09, p.A8)
2009 May 5, In Columbia,
Illinois, Sheri Coleman (31) and her two sons, Garett (11) and Gavin
(9) were found strangled to death. Husband and father Chris Coleman
(32) was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, but later
pleaded not guilty.
2009 May 8, In the Midwest a
wave of storms damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses
in Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. 5 people were left
2009 Jun 6, In East St. Louis,
Ill., the 34-acre Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park opened. It was
named after Malcolm W. Martin (d.2004 at 91), the lawyer who formed
a non-profit group in 1968 to raise money to protect the tract from
(SSFC, 6/7/09, p.A10)
2009 Jun 19, In Illinois tank
cars loaded with thousands of gallons of highly flammable ethanol
exploded in flames as a freight train derailed in Rockford, killing
Zoila Tellez (41) and forcing evacuations of hundreds of nearby
(AP, 6/20/09)(SSFC, 6/21/09, p.A9)
2009 Sep 21, In Illinois a
couple and their 3 children were found brutally slain in the central
farming community of Beason. On May 31, 2013, Christopher Harris
(34) was found guilty of beating 5 members of his ex-wife’s family
(SFC, 9/23/09, p.A10)(SFC, 6/1/13, p.A4)
2009 Sep 23, In Illinois
Michael Finton (29) was arrested in Springfield after federal
officials said he attempted to detonate what he believed to be
explosives in a van in Springfield. The FBI had provided the decoy
(SFC, 9/26/09, p.A6)
2009 Oct 23, US regulators shut
down 3 small banks in Florida and one each in Georgia, Illinois,
Minnesota and Wisconsin bringing the total for the year of failed US
banks to 106.
(SFC, 10/24/09, p.A6)
2009 Oct 30, US banking
regulators closed nine banks in California, Illinois, Texas and
Arizona. They were all divisions of privately held FBOP Corp. based
in Oak Park, Ill.
(SSFC, 11/1/09, p.A15)
2010 Jan 5, In Illinois a small
Learjet cargo plane crashed into the Des Plains River in Glenview
killing two pilots onboard.
(SFC, 1/6/10, p.A4)
2010 Mar 2, In Darien, Ill.,
the bodies of 3 family members were found shot to death. Prosecutors
later said Johnny Borizov (28) had persuaded Jacob Nodarse (23) to
kill the mother of his son, Angela Kramer, her parents and a brother
over a custody dispute. Nodarse was arrested the next day in
(SFC, 3/8/10, p.A8)(http://tinyurl.com/yaejaep)
2010 May, Benedetta "Beth"
Bentley, a Woodstock, Illinois, woman disappeared after a mysterious
weekend getaway. Her badly burned remains, verified in 2019, were
found in late 2017 in far southern Illinois' Jefferson County in a
rural area near where Bentley was last seen.
2010 Jun 23, Illinois state and
federal officials said an Asian carp has been found for the first
time beyond electric barriers meant to keep the voracious invasive
species out of the Great Lakes, prompting renewed calls for swift
action to block their advance. Commercial fishermen landed the
3-foot-long, 20-pound bighead carp in Lake Calumet on Chicago's
South Side, about six miles from Lake Michigan.
2010 Aug 11, Dan Rostenkowski
(b.1928), former US Rep. from Illinois (1959-1995), died at his home
in Wisconsin. In 1996 he pleaded guilty to mail fraud and served 15
months in prison.
(SFC, 8/12/10, p.A6)
2010 Aug 13, The US Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp. took over the Palos Bank and Trust Co. based
in Palos Heights, Illinois. It was the 110th US bank to go under
(SSFC, 8/15/10, p.D3)
2010 Aug 17, A federal jury in
Chicago deadlocked on all but one of 24 charges against former
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He was convicted of lying to federal
agents. Prosecutors pledged to retry the case as soon as possible.
(SFC, 8/18/10, p.A4)
2010 Sep 13, US EPA officials
said that a leak in an oil pipeline in Reomeoville, Illinois, has
stopped. The volume spilled in the Chicago suburb was unknown. The
pipeline was owned by Enbridge Energy Partners.
(SFC, 9/14/10, p.A4)
2010 Oct 5, Illinois police
officer Brian Dorian (37) of Lynwood, allegedly began a spree of
random shooting that left one person dead and 2 wounded. Dorian was
arrested on Oct 8. Dorian was freed on Oct 13. An attorney said he
was the victim of a botched investigation.
(SFC, 10/9/10, p.A5)(SFC, 10/14/10, p.A9)
2010 Oct 14, Antinette Keller
(18), a Northern Illinois University freshman from Plainfield, Ill.,
was last seen as she left for a walk in a 150-acre nature preserve
in DeKalb, Ill. Her body was found on Oct 23 in a heavily wooded
area of Prairie Park in DeKalb.
2010 Dec 1, The Illinois
Legislature voted to legalize civil unions.
(SFC, 12/2/10, p.A13)
2011 Jan 12, Democratic
Illinois lawmakers beat a looming deadline and approved a 66%
income-tax increase in a desperate bid to end the state's crippling
2011 Jan 13, Gov. Pat Quinn
signed legislation that temporarily raises Illinois income taxes by
two-thirds, risking a political backlash against Democrats but
gaining money to help drag state government out of the deepest
budget hole in its history.
2011 Mar 9, Illinois Gov. Pat
Quinn signed into law a ban on the death penalty and commuted the
sentences of 15 death row inmates to life without parole.
(SFC, 3/10/11, p.A5)
2011 Mar 11, Amazon.com
notified its Illinois partners that it will stop doing business with
them on April 15 because of a new state law requiring the online
store to collect sales taxes.
(SFC, 3/12/11, p.D2)
2011 May 2, The US Army corps.
of Engineers exploded a section of the Mississippi River Birds Point
levee in Missouri to protect the small town of Cairo, Ill. Water
levels receded but a second, smaller section was detonated May 3 to
allow water back into the river.
(SFC, 5/3/11, p.AA4)(AP, 5/5/11)
2011 May 15, In Illinois a fire
in an apartment building in Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, killed 6
people, including 3 children.
(SFC, 5/16/11, p.A4)
2011 Jun 1, Illinois became the
6th US state to allow civil unions or their equivalent.
(SFC, 6/2/11, p.A6)
2011 Jun 27, Rod Blagojevich,
who won two terms as Illinois governor before scandal made him a
national punch line, was convicted in Chicago of a wide range of
corruption charges, including trying to sell President Barack
Obama's Senate seat.
2011 Jul 8, In Illinois Carolyn
Towns (51), former director of a Chicago area cemetery, pleaded
guilty to a scheme of digging up bodies and reselling plots at the
Burr Oak Cemetery. She was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
(SFC, 7/9/11, p.A5)
2011 Jul 27, The Chicago
Sun-Times reported that Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, the tea
party-backed Republican who squeaked into office last year by vowing
to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington and who has been one of
President Barack Obama's most outspoken critics during the standoff
over the debt ceiling, is being sued for more than $100,000 in
unpaid child support.
2011 Aug 8, The US Justice
department and 4 the attorney generals of California, Illinois,
Florida, and Indiana accused Pittsburgh-based Education Management
Corp. of paying recruiters to enroll students in an $11 billion
(SFC, 8/8/11, p.A5)
2011 Aug 21, Northwestern
University researchers reported that they found that the basis of
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a malfunctioning protein
recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord.
2011 Sep 30, The Tevatron
particle accelerator at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in
Batavia, Illinois, was shut down.
(Econ, 10/1/11, p.85)(http://tinyurl.com/42odxlf)
2011 Sep, As of early September
Illinois owed on 166,000 unpaid bills worth a breathtaking $5
billion, with nearly half of that amount more than a month overdue
and hundreds of bills dating back to 2010. The true backlog was even
higher because some bills have not yet been approved for payment and
officially added to the tally. The General Assembly has accepted the
unpaid bills as an unpleasant necessity while Illinois claws its way
out of deficits that once topped $13 billion.
2011 Oct 27, In Illinois John
L. Wilson, Jr (38), stabbed Kelli O’Laughlin (14), and fled with a
bowl of foreign coins, the girl’s Ipod Touch, and her cell phone.
She had walked in on Wilson, who had broken into her family’s home
in Indian Head Park, Cook County. Wilson’s arrest was announced on
2011 Nov 8, In Springfield,
Ill., a municipal water district employee encountered problems with
the city’s water pump control system and a technician determined the
system had been remotely hacked into from a computer located in
Russia. It was later determined that the problem was caused by a
plant contractor traveling in Russia.
(SFC, 11/19/11, p.A7)(SSFC, 11/27/11, p.A13)
2011 Nov 26, In Illinois 4
people were killed when their plane crashed nearthe Chicago suburb
of Crystal Lake.
(SSFC, 11/27/11, p.A13)
2011 Dec 12, The Illinois House
approved a package of tax relief for families and businesses,
including big names like Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange,
that threatened to leave the state. When fully phased in the cuts
will cost state government some $320 million per year.
(SFC, 12/13/11, p.A11)
2011 An Illinois roadkill bill
took effect allowing anyone with a state furbearer license to
salvage pelts or even food from animals killed on the road.
(SSFC, 1/8/12, p.A10)
2012 Feb 29, At least 16
tornadoes ravaged the Midwest and South. 13 people were killed
including 6 in Harrisburg, Illinois, 3 in Missouri, 3 in Tennessee
and one in Kansas.
(SFC, 3/1/12, p.A6)(SFC, 3/2/12,
2012 Mar 20, Mit Romney won the
Illinois Republican primary with 47% of the vote compared with 35%
for Rick Santorum, 9% for Ron Paul and 8% for Newt Gingrich.
(SFC, 3/21/12, p.A5)
2012 Mar 30, Lottery
ticket-holders in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland each selected the
winning numbers for the world record-breaking $640 million Mega
2012 Mar 30, The US government
agreed with Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania
to cut red tape and speed up consideration for wind farms in the
(SFC, 3/31/12, p.A5)
2012 May 5, In Arizona
fugitives Nelson Grant Hallahan (65) and wife Janet Hallahan (54)
were arrested by deputy marshals in Tonopah, a desert community 50
miles west of Phoenix. They had fled punishment in Illinois in 2000
for running a Ponzi scheme that targeted friends, the elderly, and
even family members.
2012 May 7, In Illinois the
former comptroller of Dixon, Rita Crundwell (58), pleaded not guilty
to charges that she stole over $53 million in public money to fund a
lavish lifestyle and create one of the nation’s foremost
(SFC, 5/8/12, p.A6)
2012 Jul 20, Chicago lottery
winner Urooj Khan (46) died weeks after winning a $1 million jackpot
from the Illinois Lottery. Authorities later said he died from
cyanide poisoning and in 2012 began exhumation proceedings.
(SFC, 1/11/13, p.A6)
2012 Aug 6, Thousands of fish
were reported dying in the Midwest as the hot, dry summer dries up
rivers and causes water temperatures to climb in some spots to
nearly 100 degrees. About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in
Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska
fishery officials said they've seen thousands of dead sturgeon,
catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River. Illinois
biologists said the hot weather has killed tens of thousands of
large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Kansas has seen
declining water levels that pulled younger, smaller game fish away
from the vegetation-rich shore lines and forced them to cluster,
making them easier targets for predators. In South Dakota there have
been reports of isolated fish kills in its manmade lakes on the
2012 Aug 23, In Illinois
authorities in Washington Park, a village next to East St. Louis,
raided a house where a teenage girl (17) had been held captive and
repeatedly sexually assaulted for over 2 years. Police took into
custody a 24-year-old man and his mother. They also recovered the
teen's young child, which the girl said was the result of rape by
2012 Sep 6, In Illinois Drew
Peterson (58), the crass former Illinois police officer who gained
notoriety after his much-younger wife vanished in 2007, was
convicted of murdering Kathleen Savio (d.2004), his 3rd wife, in a
potentially precedent-setting case centered on secondhand hearsay
statements. On Feb 21, 2013, Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in
prison for the murder of Savio.
(AP, 9/6/12)(SFC, 2/22/13, p.A7)
2012 Sep 14, In Illinois Jack
McCullough (72) was convicted in the 1957 murder of in Maria Ridulph
(7), with spectators letting out a deafening cheer as the verdict
was announced in one of the oldest unsolved crimes to eventually get
to court in the US.
2012 Oct 2, The US Justice
Dept. paid Illinois $165 million for the long-dormant Thomson
prison. It was built for $140 million, but never opened because the
state lacked the money to operate it.
(SFC, 10/3/12, p.A7)
2012 Nov 14, In Illinois Rita
Crundwell, comptroller of Dixon, pleaded guilty to siphoning over
$53 million since she began handling the town’s finances in the
1908s. On Feb 14, 2013, Crundwell was sentenced to nearly 20 years
(SFC, 11/15/12, p.A8)(SFC, 2/15/13, p.A6)
2012 Dec 11, A federal appeals
court struck down a ban on carrying concealed weapons in Illinois,
the only remaining state where carrying concealed weapons is
entirely illegal. It gave lawmakers 180 days to write a law that
2012 Dec 13, In California the
Illinois-based Walgeen Co. was ordered to pay $16.57 million to
local government and environmental agencies to settle claims of
dumping hazardous wastes.
(SFC, 12/14/12, p.A12)
2013 Jan 27, Illinois
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed a measure into law giving
illegal immigrants permission to drive. Opponents have pointed to
hundreds of fraudulent cases in New Mexico, Washington and Utah
after those states began giving illegal immigrants permission to
2013 Jan 30, Former Illinois
Gov. George Ryan (78) was released from federal prison. He will
remain under house arrest until his 6½-year sentence officially ends
(SFC, 1/31/13, p.A9)
2013 Apr 9, In Illinois former
state Rep. Robin Kelly (D) won the special election for Jesse
Jackson Jr.’s vacated congressional seat.
(SFC, 4/10/13, p.A4)
2013 Apr 19, Floodwaters
swelled the Mississippi River and other Midwestern rivers following
days of torrential rains. In Quiincy, Ill., the river rose nearly 10
feet in 36 hours. Two flood related deaths were in Indiana, a 3rd in
(SFC, 4/20/13, p.A4)(SSFC, 4/21/13, p.A9)(SFC,
2013 May 19, More than two
dozen tornadoes were spotted in parts of Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and
Illinois. A half-mile wide twister struck near Oklahoma City and at
least one person was killed.
2013 Jul 3, Former Illinois
Gov. George Ryan was released from home confinement ending over 5½
years in federal custody for corruption offenses.
(SFC, 7/4/13, p.A8)
2013 Jul 9, Illinois became the
last state in the US to allow public possession of concealed guns.
(SFC, 7/10/13, p.A4)
2013 Jul 27, John Wrana (95), a
WWII veteran, was fatally shot by police with bean bag rounds after
he refused medical treatment and became belligerent at a suburban
Chicago senior facility. In 2014 a police officer was charged with
one count of reckless conduct.
(http://tinyurl.com/penpswl)(SFC, 4/3/14, p.A8)
2013 Aug 1, Illinois Gov. Pat
Quinn eliminated the salaries of 176 members of the state’s General
Assembly for failing to tackle the state’s pension woes.
(SSFC, 9/1/13, p.26)
2013 Aug 14, In Washington, DC,
former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (48) was sentenced to 2.5
years in prison after pleading guilty to scheming to spend some
$750,000 in campaign funds on personal items. His wife received a
one year sentence.
(SFC, 8/15/13, p.A6)
2013 Nov 17, A series of
tornadoes pounded the Midwestern United States, killing six people
across Illinois and flattening Washington, a city of 15,000 people.
The storm killed one person in Washington and destroyed 250 to 500
2013 Nov 20, Illinois Gov. Pat
Quinn signed legislation allowing same-sex marriages starting June
(SFC, 11/21/13, p.A5)(SSFC, 6/1/14, p.A11)
2013 Nov 27, Two Chicago women
became the first same-sex couple to marry in Illinois after a
federal judge granted an expedited marriage license because of one
of the women’s failing health.
(SFC, 11/28/13, p.A6)
2013 Dec 3, The Illinois
Legislature approved a historic plan to eliminate the state’s $100
billion pension shortfall. Gov. Pat Quinn said he will sign it.
(SFC, 12/4/13, p.A9)
2013 Dec 5, Illinois Gov. Pat
Quinn signed landmark legislation to reform the state’s underfunded
pension system. The reforms cut benefits for most employees and
retirees. Unions immediately threatened a lawsuit. On may 8, 2015,
the state Supreme Court struck down the legislation saying it would
leave pension promises diminished or impaired.
(SFC, 12/6/13, p.A10)(SFC, 5/9/15, p.A5)
2013 Dec 11, In Illinois inmate
Stanley Wrice (59) was freed from prison after spending 30 years
behind bars for confessing under torture to a rape that he did not
commit. He had confessed to the 1982 sexual assault after two
officers under former Lt. Jon Burge beat him in the groin and face.
(SFC, 12/12/13, p.A10)
2013 Dec 20, In Illinois an
off-duty sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while trying to break up
an armed robbery in suburban Chicago.
(SSFC, 12/22/13, p.A9)
2014 Jan 6, Three Chicago-bound
trains came to a halt after running into impassable snow and ice.
More than 500 passengers spent the night on board Amtrak trains in
northwestern Illinois, stranded due to the harsh winter weather.
2014 Feb 2, In Illinois Michael
Worsham (43) was found dead in his house after he killed his wife
(42), son (17) and daughter (15) in Robbins, a suburb of Chicago.
(SFC, 2/4/14, p.A4)
2014 Feb 21, US District Judge
Sharon Johnson ruled that same-sex marriages can begin immediately
in Cook County, Ill.
(SFC, 2/22/14, p.A6)
2014 Jun 1, Illinois was
allowed to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
(SSFC, 6/1/14, p.A11)
2014 Jun 24, In Illinois a Cook
County judge threw out the convictions of two men who spent close to
15 years in state prison for their alleged roles as lookouts in the
November 1992 murders of two people near Chicago’s Clarendon Park.
They were the last of four men to have their convictions thrown out
in a case where confessions turned out to be false.
(SFC, 6/25/14, p.A6)
2014 Aug 25, In Illinois an
explosion at a recycling plant in Granite City killed 2 people.
Police said it was caused by a mortar round.
(SFC, 8/26/14, p.A4)
2014 Sep 26, In Illinois Brian
Howard (36), an FAA contract employee, set fire at the Aurora air
traffic control center bringing Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare airports
to a halt with over 2,000 flights cancelled.
(SFC, 9/27/14, p.A7)(SFC, 9/29/14, p.A6)
2014 Oct 30, In southern
Illinois a mother and three of her children on their way to a
Halloween parade were killed and a fourth child seriously injured
when their vehicle was hit by a freight train.
2014 Oct 4, In Illinois
Mohammed Hamzah Khan (19), charged with seeking to provide material
support to a foreign terrorist group, was arrested with two siblings
(16 & 17) at O’Hare Int’l. Airport. The siblings were not
(SFC, 11/4/14, p.A4)
2014 Dec 20, In Illinois 4
people including two young boys were killed in a shooting late today
in a home in Rockford.
(SFC, 12/22/14, p.A8)
2014 Dec, Illinois was reported
to have $111 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, making it the
most underfunded retirement system in the country. The state also
had $56 billion in debt for health benefits for pensioners.
(Econ, 12/20/14, p.37)
2015 Jan 12, Illinois Gov.
Bruce Rauner declared that business as usual is over in his
(Econ, 6/6/15, p.22)
2015 Mar 17, Illinois Rep.
Aaron Schock (33) resigned after weeks of mounting media reports
about questionable expenditures and personal finances.
(SFC, 3/21/15, p.A6)
2015 Apr 1, In Illinois Kamron
Taylor (23), a convicted murderer, escaped from the Jerome Combs
Detention Center in Kankakee. He was recaptured on Chicago’s
South Side on April 3.
(SFC, 4/2/15, p.A5)(SSFC, 4/5/15, p.A9)
2015 Apr 7, In central Illinois
a private plane returning from the NCAA tournament in Indianapolis
crashed killing all 7 people onboard. The dead included Illinois
State University’s associate head basketball coach and a deputy
(SFC, 4/8/15, p.A7)
2015 Apr 9, In northern
Illinois at least two people were killed and 20 others injured when
a powerful tornado rated as a rare EF-4 - the second highest
intensity - ripped through the small town of Fairdale.
2015 Apr 17, Phillips 66 said
it has discovered a diesel fuel leak from a company-operated
pipeline between a terminal in Hartford, Illinois, and the
terminal's barge dock on the Mississippi River. The volume of the
spill was not yet determined.
2015 May 19, In Illinois court
appointed researchers issued a report saying the state has been
unable to meet minimal constitutional standards of health care in
its prison system, which held some 49,000 inmates.
(SFC, 5/21/15, p.A10)
2015 May 28, Former US House
Speaker Dennis Hastert (73) was indicted on federal charges alleging
he agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to a longtime
acquaintance, then lied to the FBI when asked about suspicious cash
withdrawals. The next day it was reported that the payments were
made to conceal alleged sexual abuse of a young man when Hastert was
a high school teacher in Illinois.
(SFC, 5/29/15, p.A10)(SFC, 5/30/15, p.A7)
2015 May 28, A new report said
Illinois remains as the 3rd most corrupt US state after New York and
California. Chicago was reported as still the most corrupt US city.
(Econ, 6/6/15, p.22)
2015 Aug 12, Kraft Heinz said
it is cutting 2,500 jobs in the US and Canada, including about 700
in Northfield, Ill., where the company is headquartered.
(SFC, 8/13/15, p.C2)
2015 Sep 1, In Illinois three
armed suspects reportedly shot dead police officer Lt. Charles
Joseph Gliniewicz (52) in the Chicago suburb of Fox Lake. On Nov 4
it was announced that Gliniewicz had staged his suicide after
stealing and laundering money over the course of years.
(YahooNews, 9/2/15)(SFC, 11/5/15, p.A9)
2015 Dec 31, Midwest
floodwaters began receding. Three days of torrential rain, that had
begun on Dec 26 across a wide swath of Missouri and Illinois, left
25 people dead.
(SFC, 1/1/16, p.A7)(Econ, 1/9/16, p.25)
2016 Jan 29, Caterpillar says
it plans to close five plants, causing a net reduction of about 670
jobs in Illinois and several other states, as part of a broader
cost-cutting campaign announced last year.
2016 May 31, Jurors in Chester,
Ill., found former suburban police officer Drew Peterson (62) guilty
of trying to hire someone to kill the prosecutor who helped to
convict him in 2012 in the killing of his third wife. Peterson was
already serving a 38-year sentence for the 2004 murder of Kathleen
Savio. On July 29 Peterson was given an additional 40 years in
(SFC, 6/1/16, p.A8)(SFC, 7/30/16, p.A6)
2016 Nov 17, In Illinois a gas
explosion rocked downtown Canton killing one person and injuring
(SFC, 11/17/16, p.A7)
2016 Dec 31, In southern
Illinois four people were killed when their single-engine plane
crashed in a wooded area of Johnson County.
(SFC, 1/2/17, p.A4)
2017 Jan 1, In Illinois a new
law took effect that mandated an hour of training for stylists,
barbers, cosmetologists, hair braiders and nail technicians for
abuse training as part of their licensing process.
(SFC, 1/2/17, p.A4)
2017 Jan 11, In Illinois Corey
Walgren (16), an honors student at Naperville North High School,
jumped to his death from a five-story parking deck after being
interviewed by school officials about a video he had made of having
sex with a classmate. In 2019 the city of Naperville approved a
$125,000 settlement to the Walgren family.
(SFC, 9/13/17 p.A8)(SFC, 9/2/19, p.A6)
2017 Feb 28, Tornadoes and
storms killed at least three people and destroyed homes in Illinois
and Missouri. Tornado spotters reported at least 23 twisters in
Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Tennessee and Indiana.
(Reuters, 3/1/17)(SFC, 3/2/17, p.A6)
2017 Jun 14, In Alexandria,
Virginia, several people, including Republican Congressman Steve
Scalise, were wounded in a Washington suburb early today when a
gunman opened fire as they practiced for an annual baseball game
between lawmakers. The gunman was killed and later identified as
James T. Hodgkinson (66) of Belleville, Illinois.
(AFP, 6/14/17)(AFP, 6/15/17)
2017 Jul 6, The Illinois House
voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes of a budget package,
giving the state its first spending blueprint in more than two
(SFC, 7/7/17, p.A4)
2017 Oct 19, Swedish steel
production company SSAB Americas said it is moving its Unites States
division headquarters from Lisle, Illinois, to Mobile, Alabama. The
move will unfold over the course of next year. The company has
operated a mill north of Mobile in Axis since 2001.
2017 Nov 5, In Illinois policer
Jamie Cox (30) was fatally injured in a shooting following a traffic
stop. A civilian was found dead in a crashed car two blocks away in
(SFC, 11/6/17, p.A4)
2018 Mar 12, The Illinois-based
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation said former British
PM Tony Blair is the recipient of this year's Lincoln Leadership
Prize. He is the first British citizen to receive the Lincoln
2018 Apr 7, In Illinois three
passengers on a private bus were fatally shot. Rockford police
identified passenger Raheem King as the shooter and he remained at
(SFC, 4/9/18, p.A4)
2018 May 17, Inmate Larry
Earvin (65) died from blunt trauma to the chest and abdomen
following a clash with prison staff at the Western Illinois
Correctional Center in Mount Sterling. In November his death was
ruled a homicide.
(SFC, 11/19/18, p.A4)
2018 Jun 1, Eddy Clearwater
(83), Mississippi-born Chicago bluesman, died at his home in Skokie,
(SFC, 6/7/18, p.D2)
2018 Oct 5, In southern
California former Marine Andrew Urdiales (54) was sentenced to death
for the murder of five women between 1986 and 1995. He had
previously been senteced to death for killing three women in
Illinois, but that sentence was communted to life without parole
after Illinois barred the death penalty.
(SSFC, 10/7/18, p.A12)
2018 Nov 6, Illinois voters
elected J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotel
fortune, as state governor.
(SFC, 11/7/18, p.A6)
2018 Dec 1, Tornadoes in
central Illinois injured at least 21 people and left at least 100
home in Taylorville with major damage.
(SFC, 12/3/18, p.A5)
2018 Dec 19, Illinois Attorney
General Lisa Madigan issued a blistering report about clergy sexual
abuse, saying the Catholic dioceses of the state have not released
the names of at least 500 clergy accused of sexually abusing
(SFC, 12/20/18, p.A6)
2019 Jan 3, Illinois-based
Career Education Corp. said it will erase $493 million in debt
incurred by former students of Colorado Technical Univ. and
American InterContinental Univ. as part of a settlement across 48
(SFC, 1/4/19, p.A5)
2019 Jan 30, US governors in
Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin declared emergencies as bitter cold
due to a split polar vortex caused temperature drops to as low as
minus 57 degrees. More than 2,600 flights to and from regional
airports were cancelled.
(SFC, 1/31/19, p.A7)
2019 Feb 15, In Illinois Gary
Martin (45), an employee of the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, was
fired. He then killed five people and wounded five police officers
before he was fatally shot. Martin had purchased his handgun in
2014. An initial background check did not catch a 1995 felony
(SFC, 2/16/19, p.A8)(SSFC, 2/17/19, p.A10)
2019 Mar 30, Illinois state
Trooper Gerald Ellis (36) was killed when a wrong-way vehicle struck
his squad car in Green Oaks. The driver of the other vehicle was
(SSFC, 3/31/19, p.A7)
2019 Apr 6, In Illinois a fire
killed a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds, a man (34) and a woman (69) at
the Timberline Mobile Home Park near the village of Goodfield, about
150 miles (240 km) southwest of Chicago. A child (9) was later
charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
2019 Apr 24, Authorities in
Illinois dug up the body of Andrew Freund (5) in McHenry County and
charged his parents with murder.
(SFC, 4/25/19, p.A6)
2019 May 3, In Illinois at
least one person was killed in an explosion and fire at the AB
Specialty Silicones in Waukegan. A 2nd victim died the next day and
a 3rd was found the next day. One person remained missing.
(SSFC, 5/5/19, p.A7)(SFC, 5/6/19, p.A5)
2019 Jun 25, Illinois Gov. J.B.
Pritzker signed legislation legalizing small amounts of marijuana.
Possession would remain a crime until Jan.1.
(SFC, 6/26/19, p.A6)
2019 Aug 23, Illinois state
Trooper Nicholas Hopkins (33) of Waterloo, a 10-year veteran of the
force, was wounded during an exchange of gunfire while serving a
search warrant at an East St. Louis home. Police surrounded the home
and arrested three people. Hopkins soon died at a hospital.
(AP, 8/24/19)(SSFC, 8/25/19, p.A10)
2019 Aug 25, Joe Walsh (57), a
conservative former US congressman from Illinois turned talk show
host, became the second Republican to challenge President Donald
Trump for the party's 2020 White House nomination.
2019 Aug 27, Illinois nurse
Tina Jones (33) was sentenced to 12 years in prison, after admitting
to paying a dark web site $12,000 in bitcoin to have her former
lover's wife killed.
2019 Sep 18, The Chicago
Tribune reported that the Illinois Department of Children and Family
Services has opened 24 new investigations into alleged misconduct by
Catholic priests amid concerns that cases turned over by the
Archdiocese of Chicago weren't properly reviewed.
2019 Oct 4, In Illinois
Prisciliano Carranza (22) used his car as a weapon and deliberately
drove into a family of four and killing another man in Waukegan.
Carranza was soon arrest and held on a $5 million bond.
(ABC News, 10/6/19)
2019 Nov 16, It was reported
that sport fish have declined significantly in portions of the Upper
Mississippi River infested with Asian carp, adding evidence to fears
about the invader’s threat to native species.
2019 Nov 21, A judge concluded
that an Illinois man who spent nearly 20 years behind bars wasn’t
guilty of a crime in the fatal shooting that sent him to prison. The
judge granted Terrence Haynes a certificate of innocence after
determining Haynes shouldn’t have been charged in the fatal 1999
shooting of Cezaire Murrell.