Stephen Douglas

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Statues of two former Illinois leaders with ties to slavery will be removed from outside the state capitol building in Springfield.

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It was only a matter a time that recent events caused someone to focus in on Illinois State Capitol statues dedicated to those with racist pasts.  Now, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is calling for the removal of two statues sitting outside the State Capitol and a portrait inside the chamber of the Illinois House.

UIS

The Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series will happen this Thursday night on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

The topic this year is Lincoln vs. Douglas: Slavery and Race in Illinois History.

IHPA

It takes a lot to upstage Abraham Lincoln.  But if anyone could, it might have been Marilyn Monroe.

The actress visited the small east central Illinois town of Bement, in Piatt County, 60 years ago this week.  Bement is known for being the site where Lincoln and Stephen Douglas met to plan their famous debates.  But in 1955, it was Marilyn's town. 

This year marks the bicentennial of the birth for one of Illinois' most notable politicians.  But Stephen Douglas fell far short of his rival, Abraham Lincoln, in both height and the history books.   Douglas was more than simply a footnote in Illinois' past.  An exhibit underway at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum sheds some light on the Little Giant.  It includes items pertaining to Douglas.

James Cornelius is Curator of the Lincoln Collection at the facility and tells us more. 

On July 25, 1860, members of the Excelsior Base Ball Club met on their baseball grounds in Chicago to settle a political argument. The purpose of the meeting was a baseball game between players who supported the presidential candidacy of Abraham Lincoln and those who supported Stephen A. Douglas. Mostly in their 20s, the club’s players represented an upwardly mobile group of young Chicago residents who hoped to channel their energy and enthusiasm for the coming presidential election through their athletic prowess on the baseball field.