Image from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
For three months the city of Springfield had been in the center of a whirlwind. Its favorite son had been elected President of the United States on November 8, 1860, and since that time the city had experienced a level of excitement not seen before in its history.

Now that time was nearing an end, as Abraham Lincoln, President-elect of the United States, prepared to leave Springfield for the journey to Washington. Outside the Great Western Railroad station at 10th and Monroe a crowd had begun to gather to wish him farewell on the chilly, dreary morning of Monday, February 11, 1861.

When the new year arrives on January 1 it will bring with it nearly 300 new laws in Illinois – everything from addressing confidentiality for victims of human trafficking to lowering fees for trailer license plates.

Insurance companies will now be required to cover comprehensive testing for cancer predisposition, pancreatic cancer screenings and tests for diabetes and vitamin D deficiency. Parking will be made easier for expectant mothers in their third trimester as they will be eligible for a free placard to park in handicap-designated spots. New laws in 2022 will help fund educational scholarships to military families, expand cottage food operations and promote awareness of sarcoidosis.

We’ve even fully legalized kids’ lemonade stands. Curious? Click here to find out more about these and the other new laws taking effect in Illinois on January 1.


A least four tornados hit Illinois; fatalities at Amazon distribution center in Edwardsville. The Amazon distribution center in Edwardsville is a significant logistical center for Amazon to handle packages that go in and out of St. Louis International Airport. Like the other consumer-goods logistical centers of the United States, it had been operating at full or nearly-full capacity for the Christmas holiday season.
Harry Truman winks at the camera from the back of a train. 
By the fall of 1948 U.S. Senate Majority Leader Robert Taft of Ohio was fed up. For weeks President Harry Truman had been riding the rails back and forth across America pillorying Congress in his re-election campaign; an effort which all the experts said was doomed. At last Taft’s frustration boiled over and he vented in public about Truman trashing Congress and its leaders “at whistlestops across the country.”

Without knowing it, Taft had just coined a term which would become a mainstay of presidential campaigning in the 20th century and right on through to today. It was also taken as an insult to many small towns around America, including many here in Illinois.
Redistricting case heard by three-judge federal panel. Three separate plaintiffs and plaintiffs’ groups have joined forces in the current case. Working from different perspectives, they pointed out parallel constitutional challenges to the current Illinois General Assembly map. This map, enacted after a State constitutional deadline, purports to grant equal protection to all of the people of Illinois who will cast future ballots for members of the Illinois House and Senate.
Photo: Illinois Governor Frank Lowden. 
One hundred years ago Illinois’ leaders and many of its citizens had run out of patience with the existing state Constitution. With tremendous momentum they started the process of throwing it out and crafting a new basic law for the state, only to see their efforts collapse into acrimony and inertia, eventually leading to an epic defeat by the electorate.
Reunion of atomic scientists on the 4th Anniversary
of the first controlled nuclear fission chain reaction.
Credit: University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf3-00232,
Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center,
University of Chicago Library.
Announcing the successful deployment of the world’s first atomic bomb in August 1945, President Harry S Truman said that America had won “the race of discovery against the Germans.”

It was apt to have used a sports metaphor to announce the completion of a project which had accomplished one of its most important steps underneath the bleachers of an Illinois football stadium on this day in 1942.