Portal:Illinois/Selected article

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Portal:Illinois/Selected article/1

The observation car (rear) end of the Pioneer Zephyr as seen at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

The Pioneer Zephyr is a diesel-powered railroad train formed of railroad cars permanently articulated together with Jacobs bogies, built by the Budd Company in 1934 for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (CB&Q), commonly known as the Burlington. The train featured extensive use of stainless steel, was originally named the Zephyr, and was meant as a promotional tool to advertise passenger rail service in the United States. The construction included innovations such as shotwelding (a specialized type of spot welding) to join the stainless steel, and articulation to reduce its weight.

On May 26, 1934 it set a speed record for travel between Denver, Colorado, and Chicago, Illinois, when it made a 1,015-mile (1,633 km) non-stop "Dawn-to-Dusk" dash in 13 hours 5 minutes at an average speed of 77 mph (124 km/h). For one section of the run it reached a speed of 112.5 mph (181 km/h), just short of the then US land speed record of 115 mph (185 km/h). The historic dash inspired two films and the train's nickname, "Silver Streak". (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/2

The Smashing Pumpkins on May 24th 2007 at "den Atelier", Luxembourg.

The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band that formed in Chicago in 1988. While the group has gone through several lineup changes, The Smashing Pumpkins consisted of Billy Corgan (vocals/guitar), James Iha (guitar/vocals), D'arcy Wretzky (bass/vocals), and Jimmy Chamberlin (drums/percussion) for most of the band's recording career.

The Smashing Pumpkins broke into the musical mainstream with their second album, 1993's Siamese Dream. The group built their audience with extensive touring and their follow-up, 1995's double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. With approximately 18.3 million albums sold in the United States alone as of 2006, The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands of the 1990s. However, internal fighting, drug use, and diminishing sales hampered the band and led to a 2000 break-up. In April 2006, the band officially announced that they were reuniting and recording a new album. Returning members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin were joined by new additions Jeff Schroeder (guitar) and Ginger Reyes (bass) in 2007 to tour behind their new release, Zeitgeist. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/3

Uncle Tupelo was an alternative country music group from Belleville, Illinois, active between 1987 and 1994. Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heidorn formed the band after the lead singer of their previous band, The Primitives, left to attend to college. The trio recorded three albums for Rockville Records, before signing with Sire Records and expanding to a five-piece. Shortly after the release of the band's major label debut album Anodyne, Farrar announced his decision to leave the band due to a soured relationship with his co-songwriter Tweedy. Uncle Tupelo split on May 1, 1994, after completing a farewell tour. Following the breakup, Farrar formed Son Volt, while the remaining members continued as Wilco.

Although Uncle Tupelo broke up before it achieved commercial success, the band is renowned for its impact on the alternative country music scene. The group's first album, No Depression, became a byword for the genre and influenced artists such as Whiskeytown. Uncle Tupelo's sound was unlike popular country music of the time, drawing inspiration from styles as diverse as the hardcore punk of The Minutemen and the country instrumentation and harmony of the Carter Family and Hank Williams. Farrar and Tweedy lyrics frequently referenced Middle America and the working class of Belleville. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/4

Thematic map of Chicago showing Black or African American population.

The South Side is a major part of the City of Chicago, which is located in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Much of it has evolved from the incorporation of independent townships, such as Hyde Park Township, that have been annexed by the city. Regions of the city, referred to as sides, are divided by the Chicago River and its branches. The South Side of Chicago was originally defined as all of the city south of the Chicago River, but it now excludes the Loop. The South Side has a varied ethnic composition, and it has great disparity in income and other demographic measures. The South Side covers 60% of the city's land area, with a higher ratio of single-family homes and larger sections zoned for industry than the rest of the city.

Although it has endured a reputation as being poor and crime-infested, the reality is more varied, and it ranges from impoverished to working class to affluent. Neighborhoods such as Armour Square, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, Little Village and Pullman tend to be composed of more blue collar residents, while the Jackson Park Highlands District, Hyde Park, Mount Greenwood, Morgan Park, Kenwood, and Beverly tend to have middle, upper class, and affluent residents.

The South Side boasts a broad array of cultural and social offerings, such as professional sports teams, landmark buildings, nationally renowned museums, elite educational institutions, world class medical institutions, and major parts of the city's elaborate parks system. The South Side is serviced by bus and train via the Chicago Transit Authority and a number of Metra lines. In addition, it has several Interstate highways and United States highways to serve vehicular traffic. (Read more...)




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Promotional picture from the 1924 Bears team.

The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL).

The Bears have won nine Professional American Football league championships (eight NFL Championships and Super Bowl XX), trailing only the Green Bay Packers, who have twelve. The Bears have the most enshrinees in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with 26 members.

The club was founded in Decatur, Illinois, in 1919 and moved to Chicago in 1921. The team played home games at Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side through the 1970 season. With the exception of the 2002 season, they have played their home games at Chicago's Soldier Field every year since 1971. The stadium is located next to Lake Michigan and was recently remodeled in a modernization that has attempted to bring stadium amenities expected by today's fans to a historic Chicago building. The team has a fierce, longstanding rivalry with the Packers, whom they have played in over 170 games. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/6

The Chicago Board of Trade Building.

The Chicago Board of Trade Building houses the Chicago Board of Trade, the world's largest futures and options exchange. It is located at 141 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, in the Chicago Loop community area. First designated a Chicago Landmark on May 4, 1977, the building was subsequently listed as a National Historic Landmark on June 2, 1978. The building was then added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 16, 1978. The tallest building in Chicago for over 35 years the structure is known for its art-deco architecture, sculptures and large scale stone carving, as well as large trading floors. A popular sightseeing attraction and motion picture location, the building has won awards for preservation efforts and office management.

The Chicago Board of Trade occupies 33 percent of available space, with financial and trading concerns occupying 54 percent of the 3-building complex. The landmark has been the site of a number of visits by dignitaries, including the Prince of Wales in October 1977. Trading operations have been used as scenes in movies such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and the streetscape in the LaSalle Street canyon is used in the movies The Untouchables and Road to Perdition. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/7

Interstate 355 map.

Interstate 355 is an interstate highway and tollway in the western and southwest suburbs of ChicagoIllinois, U.S.. Like other tollways in the northeastern portion of the state, I-355 is maintained by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (abbreviated ISTHA, but commonly referred to as the "tollway authority"). I-355 runs from Interstate 80 in New Lenox north to Interstate 290 in Itasca, The highway is six lanes wide for its entire length.

The tollway authority opened I-355 as the North–South Tollway in 1989 to ease congestion on Illinois Route 53 (IL 53), a parallel two-lane state highway in central DuPage County. Initially, I-355 ran from I-55 north to I-290. The new highway helped cut travel times for commuters traveling north and south in the county. According to commercial real estate developers at the time, the new tollway also opened the western suburbs of Chicago to commercial and industrial development.

On November 112007, the tollway authority opened a southern extension of I-355 from I-55 to I-80, a distance of 12.5 miles (20.1 km); on its opening, the tollway authority changed the name of the tollway to "Veterans Memorial Tollway". The tollway authority laid the route of the new extension through Will County and a small portion of Cook County, one of the fastest-growing regions in Illinois. The tollway authority expects the extension to cut travel times in the region by 20 percent. (Read more...)




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The John J. Glessner House in Chicago, Illinois.

Prairie Avenue is a north–south thoroughfare on the South Side of Chicago, which historically extended from 16th street in the Near South Side community area to the city's southern limits and beyond. The street has a rich history from its origins as a major trail for horseback riders and carriages. During the last three decades of the 19th century, a six-block section of the street served as the residence of many of Chicago’s elite families and an additional four-block section was also known for grand homes. The upper six-block section includes the historic Prairie Avenue District.

Several of Chicago's most important historical figures have lived on the street. This is especially true of the period of recovery from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 when many of the most important families in the city moved to the street. Residents of the street have influenced the evolution of the city and have played prominent national and international roles. They have influenced the political history, architecture, culture, economy, and the law and government of Chicago. The street has changed over time reflecting the demographics of Chicago.

The importance of the street has declined, but it still has landmark buildings and is the backbone of an historic district. Recently, developments have extended the street north to accommodate new high-rise condominiums along Roosevelt Road (12th street). The redevelopment has extended the street so that it has prominent buildings bordering Grant Park with Prairie Avenue addresses. (Read more...)




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Wilco performing at the 2004 Austin City Limits festival.

Wilco is an American rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. The band was formed in 1994 by the remaining members of alternative country group Uncle Tupelo following singer Jay Farrar departure from the band. Wilco's lineup has changed frequently, with only singer Jeff Tweedy and bassist John Stirratt remaining from the original incarnation. The other current members are guitarist Nels Cline, multi-instrumentalists Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen, and drummer Glenn Kotche. Wilco has released six studio albums, a live double album, and three collaborations: two with Billy Bragg, and one with The Minus 5.

Wilco garnered media attention for its fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002), and the controversy surrounding it. After the recording sessions were complete, Reprise Records rejected the album and dismissed Wilco from the label. As part of a buy-out deal, Reprise gave Wilco the rights to the album for free. After streaming Foxtrot on its website, Wilco sold the album to Nonesuch Records in 2002. Both record labels are subsidiaries of Warner Music Group, leading one critic to say that the album showed "how screwed up the music business [was] in the early twenty-first century." The album was the most successful of Wilco's career, selling over 590,000 copies. Wilco won two Grammy Awards for their fifth studio album, 2004's A Ghost Is Born, including Best Alternative Music Album. (Read more...)




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A view inside the Interstate Exposition Building (known as the "Glass Palace") during the convention.

The 1880 Republican National Convention convened from June 2 to June 8, 1880 at the Interstate Exposition Building in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and nominated James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur as the official candidates of the Republican Party for President and Vice President of the United States, respectively, in the 1880 presidential election.

Of the 14 people nominated for the Republican nomination, the three strongest candidates leading up to the convention were Ulysses S. Grant, James G. Blaine and John Sherman. Grant had served two terms as President from 1869 to 1877, and was seeking an unprecedented third term in office. He was backed by the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party, which supported political machines and patronage. Blaine was a senator and former representative from Maine who was backed by the Half-Breed faction of the Republican Party. Sherman, the brother of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman, was the then Secretary of the Treasury under President Rutherford B. Hayes. He was also a former senator from Ohio and was backed by a delegation that did not support the Stalwarts or Half-Breeds. Garfield's Ohio delegation chose Chester A. Arthur, a Stalwart, as Garfield's vice-presidential running mate. Arthur won the nomination by capturing 468 votes, and the longest-ever Republican National Convention was subsequently adjourned. The Garfield-Arthur Republican ticket later defeated Democrats Winfield Scott Hancock and William Hayden English in the close 1880 presidential election. (Read more...)




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Fountain of Time in southeast Washington Park at the western edge of the Midway Plaisance.

Fountain of Time is a sculpture by Lorado Taft, measuring 126 feet 10 inches (38.66 m) in length, situated at the western edge of the Midway Plaisance within Washington Park in Chicago. This location is in the Washington Park community area on Chicago's South Side. Inspired by Henry Austin Dobson's poem, "Paradox of Time", and with its 100 figures passing before Father Time, the work was created as a monument to the first 100 years of peace between the United States and Great Britain, resulting from the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. Although the fountain's water began running in 1920, the sculpture was not dedicated to the city until 1922. The sculpture is a contributing structure to the Washington Park United States Registered Historic District, which is a National Register of Historic Places listing.

Time has undergone several restorations, due to the deterioration and decline caused by natural and urban elements. During the late 1990s and the first few years of the 21st century it underwent repairs that corrected many of the problems caused by these earlier restorations. Although extensive renovation of the sculpture was completed as recently as 2005, the supporters of Time continue to seek resources for additional lighting, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation has nominated it for further funding. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/12

The BP Bridge viewed from The Buckingham in Lakeshore East.

The BP Pedestrian Bridge is a girder footbridge in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. It spans Columbus Drive to connect Daley Bicentennial Plaza with Millennium Park, both parts of the larger Grant Park. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, it opened along with the rest of Millennium Park on July 16, 2004. Gehry had been courted by the city to design the bridge and the neighboring Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and eventually agreed to do so after the Pritzker family funded the Pavilion.

The pedestrian bridge serves as a noise barrier for traffic sounds from Columbus Drive. It is a connecting link between Millennium Park and destinations to the east, such as the nearby lakefront, other parts of Grant Park and a parking garage. BP Bridge uses a concealed box girder design with a concrete base, and its deck is covered by hardwood floor boards. It is designed without handrails, using stainless steel parapets instead. The total length is 935 feet (285 m), with a five percent slope on its inclined surfaces that makes it barrier free and accessible to all. Although the bridge closes in winter because ice cannot be safely removed from its wooden walkway, it has received favorable reviews for its design and aesthetics. (Read more...)




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USS Illinois in July 1945, just weeks before construction was canceled

USS Illinois (BB-65) was to be the fifth Iowa-class battleship constructed for the United States Navy and was the fourth ship to be named in honor of the 21st US state.

Hull BB-65 was originally to be the first ship of the Montana-class battleships, but changes during World War II resulted in her being reordered as an Iowa-class battleship. Adherence to the Iowa-class layout rather than the Montana-class layout allowed BB-65 to gain eight knots in speed, carry more 20 mm and 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, and transit the locks of the Panama Canal; however, the move away from the Montana-class layout left BB-65 with a reduction in the heavier armaments and without the additional armor that were to have been added to BB-65 during her time on the drawing board as USS Montana.

Like her sister ship Kentucky, Illinois was still under construction at the end of World War II. Her construction was canceled in August 1945, but her hull remained until 1958 when it was broken up. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/14

Isoseismal map of the earthquake (I–III are instrumental to slight, IV is moderate, V is rather strong, VI is strong, VII is very strong)

The 1968 Illinois earthquake was the largest recorded earthquake in the "Prairie State", measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale. Although there were no fatalities, the earthquake caused considerable structural damage to buildings, including the toppling of chimneys. The earthquake was one of the most widely felt in U.S. history, affecting 23 states over an area of 580,000 square miles (1,500,000 km2). In studying its cause, scientists discovered the Cottage Grove Fault in the Southern Illinois Basin.

Within the region, millions felt the rupture. Reactions to the earthquake varied: some people near the epicenter did not react to the shaking, while others panicked. A future earthquake in the region is extremely likely; seismologists and geologists estimate a 90% chance of a magnitude 6–7 tremor before 2055, likely originating in the Wabash Valley seismic zone on the Illinois–Indiana border, or the New Madrid fault zone. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/15

ACS Building.jpg

The Avery Coonley School is an independent, coeducational day school serving academically gifted students in preschool through eighth grade (approximately ages 3 to 14), and is located in Downers Grove. The school was founded in 1906 to promote the progressive educational theories developed by John Dewey and other turn-of-the-20th-century philosophers, and was a nationally recognized model for progressive education well into the 1940s. From 1943 to 1965, Avery Coonley was part of the National College of Education (now National-Louis University), serving as a living laboratory for teacher training and educational research. In the 1960s, ACS became a regional research center and a leadership hub for independent schools, and began to focus on the education of the gifted.

The school has occupied several structures in its history, including a small cottage on the Coonley Estate in Riverside, Illinois, and another building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It moved to Downers Grove in 1916 and became the Avery Coonley School in 1929, with a new 10.45-acre (4.23 ha) campus designed in the Prairie and Arts and Crafts styles, landscaped by Jens Jensen, who was known as "dean of the world's landscape architects". The campus has been expanded several times since the 1980s to create more space for arts, technology, and classrooms. Avery Coonley was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, citing the "long-lasting influence on schools throughout the country" of the educational program and the design of the building and grounds. (Read more...)




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Sufjan Stevens performing on stage during a tour for Illinois. Stevens and his band the Illinoisemakers wore outfits modeled after those of the cheerleaders of the University of Illinois.

Illinois is a 2005 concept album by American indie folk songwriter Sufjan Stevens. His fifth studio album, Illinois features songs referencing places, events, and persons related to the U.S. state of Illinois. The album is Stevens' second based on a U.S. state—part of a planned series of fifty that began with the 2003 album Michigan and that Stevens has since acknowledged was a gag.

Stevens recorded the album using low-fidelity methods and a variety of instruments between late 2004 and early 2005 at multiple venues in New York City, where he also produced the album. The artwork and lyrics explore the history, culture, art, and geography of the state—Stevens developed them after analyzing criminal, literary, and historical documents. Following a July 4, 2005, release date, Stevens promoted Illinois with a world tour. (Read more...)




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Elgin (Illinois) Centennial half dollar obverse.jpg

The Elgin, Illinois, Centennial half dollar was a fifty-cent commemorative coin issued by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1936, part of the wave of commemoratives authorized by Congress and struck that year. Intended to commemorate the centennial of the founding of Elgin, the piece was designed by local sculptor Trygve Rovelstad. The obverse depicts an idealized head of a pioneer man. The reverse shows a grouping of pioneers, and is based upon a sculptural group that Rovelstad hoped to build as a memorial to those who settled Illinois, but which was not erected in his lifetime.

Rovelstad had heard of other efforts to gain authorization for commemorative coins, which were sold by the Mint to a designated group at face value and then retailed to the public at a premium. In 1935, through his congressman, he had legislation introduced into the House of Representatives for a commemorative coin in honor of Elgin's centennial that year. Rovelstad hoped that the proposed coin would both depict and be a source of funds for his memorial to the pioneers. Unlike many commemorative coins of that era, the piece was not bought up by dealers and speculators, but was sold directly to collectors at the issue price. Art historian Cornelius Vermeule considered the Elgin coin among the most outstanding American commemoratives. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/18

This rock marks the site of the execution of John and William Driscoll, two of the leaders of the Banditti.

The Banditti of the Prairie, also known as "The Prairie Bandits," "Pirates of the Prairie," "Prairie Pirates," or simply "The Banditti," in the U.S. state of Illinois, were a group of loose-knit outlaw gangs during the early-mid-19th century. Though bands of roving criminals were common in many parts of Illinois, the counties of Lee, DeKalb, Ogle, and Winnebago were especially affected by them. In the year 1841, the escalating pattern of burglary, horse and cattle theft, stagecoach and highway robbery, counterfeiting, and murder associated with the Banditti came to a head in Ogle County. As the crimes continued, local citizens formed bands of vigilantes known as Regulators. The clash between the Banditti and the Regulators in Ogle County resulted in a lynching in Oregon, Illinois and decreased Banditti activity within the county.

Banditti and Regulator activity continued well after the lynching of 1841. Crimes continued, committed by both sides, across northern and central Illinois. The Banditti were involved in the 1845 torture-murder of merchant Colonel George Davenport, the namesake of Davenport, Iowa. Edward Bonney, an amateur detective who hunted down and brought the killers to justice, wrote of his exploits and alibi, which were recounted in his book, Banditti of the Prairies, or the Murderer's Doom!!: A Tale of the Mississippi Valley, published in Chicago in 1850. The outlaw gangs also continued to be active in Lee and Winnebago counties following the events in Oregon.(Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/19

Harrisburg Illinois Skyline.JPG

Harrisburg is the county seat of Saline County, Illinois, United States. It is located about 57 miles (92 km) southwest of Evansville, Indiana, 111 miles (179 km) southeast of St. Louis, Missouri. The 2010 population was 9,017, and the surrounding Harrisburg Township had a population of 10,790, including the city residents. Harrisburg is included in the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky Tri-State Area and is the principal city in the Harrisburg Micropolitan Statistical Area with a combined population of 24,913.

Located at the concurrency of U.S. Route 45, Illinois Route 13, Illinois Route 145, and Illinois Route 34, Harrisburg is known as the "Gateway to the Shawnee National Forest", and was made infamous for the Ohio River flood of 1937, the old Crenshaw House (also known as the Old Slave House), the Tuttle Bottoms Monster, prohibition-era gangster Charlie Birger, and the 2012 EF4 tornado. A Cairo and Vincennes Railroad boomtown, the city was one of the leading bituminous coal mining distribution hubs of the American Midwest between 1900 and 1937. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/20

Stillman's Run artist depiction1.jpg

The Battle of Stillman's Run, also known as the Battle of Sycamore Creek or the Battle of Old Man's Creek, occurred on May 14, 1832. The battle was named for Major Isaiah Stillman and his detachment of 275 Illinois militia which fled in a panic from the smaller number of Sauk warriors. The engagement was the first battle of the Black Hawk War (1832) which had developed when Black Hawk crossed the Mississippi River from Iowa into Illinois with his British Band of Sauk and Fox. The militia pursued a group of Sauk scouts back to the main British Band camp following a failed attempt at truce negotiations by Black Hawk's emissaries.

During the engagement 12 militia men were killed while making a stand on a small hill. The remainder of the militia fled back to Dixon's Ferry. A 2006 article corroborates that militia volunteer Abraham Lincoln was present at the battleground's burials; although there is little else agreement amongst other sources. This claim, however, was still under investigation as of 2003. In 1901 a monument was erected in Stillman Valley, Illinois commemorating the battle.(Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/21

Carya illinoinensis.jpg

Carya illinoinensis, commonly called the pecan, is a species of hickory native to Mexico and the south central and southeastern United States. The pecan tree is a large deciduous tree, growing to 20–40 m (66–131 ft) in height. A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut, but is technically a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit surrounded by a husk. The seeds of the pecan are edible with a rich, buttery flavor.

Before European settlement, pecans were widely consumed and traded by Native Americans. They can provide two to five times more calories per unit weight than wild game and require no preparation. As a wild forage, the fruit of the previous growing season is commonly still edible when found on the ground. Thomas Jefferson planted Carya illinoinensis, known as "Illinois nuts", in his nut orchard at Monticello in Virginia. George Washington reported in his journal that Jefferson had given him "Illinois nuts", which he then grew at Mount Vernon. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/22

Christopher Columbus whaleback white at Racine.jpg

The SS Christopher Columbus was an American excursion liner on the Great Lakes, in service between 1893 and 1933. She was the only whaleback ship ever built for passenger service. The ship was designed by Alexander McDougall, the developer and promoter of the whaleback design. Columbus was built between 1892 and 1893 at Superior, Wisconsin, by the American Steel Barge Company. Initially, she ferried passengers to and from the World's Columbian Exposition. Later, she provided general transportation and excursion services to various ports around the lakes.

At 362 feet (110 m), the ship was the longest whaleback ever built, and reportedly also the largest vessel on the Great Lakes when she was launched. Columbus is said to have carried more passengers during her career than any other vessel on the Great Lakes. After a career lasting four decades, she was retired during the Great Depression and scrapped in 1936 by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. (Read more...)




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New Nauvoo Temple.JPG

The Mormon Trail is the 1,300 mile (2,092 km) route that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traveled from 1846 to 1868. Today the Mormon Trail is a part of the United States National Trails System, as the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail. The Mormon Trail extends from Nauvoo, Illinois, which was the principal settlement of the Latter Day Saints from 1839 to 1846, to Salt Lake City, Utah, which was settled by Brigham Young and his followers beginning in 1847. From Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Fort Bridger in Wyoming, the trail follows much the same route as the Oregon Trail and the California Trail.

The Mormon pioneer run began in 1846 when, Young and his followers were driven from Nauvoo, leaving to establish a new home for the church in the Great Basin. During the first few years, the emigrants were mostly former occupants of Nauvoo who were following Young to Utah. Later, the emigrants increasingly comprised converts from the British Isles and Europe. The trail was used for more than 20 years, until the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. (Read more...)




Portal:Illinois/Selected article/24

Civil War Memorial Public Square, facing State Street in front of Courthouse, Sycamore, Illinois.

The Civil War Memorial in Sycamore, Illinois, is located in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse on a public square. The memorial was erected in 1896 and dedicated in 1897. The structure is a memorial to the thousands of DeKalb County residents who served in the American Civil War. It incorporates an obelisk which rises to 50 feet (15.2 m) in height. The base is adorned with copper sculpture, completed by an unknown sculptor. On the east facade of the memorial the word "Antietam", denoting the Battle of Antietam, is misspelled. This work of public art underwent its first restoration work in 2005-2006.

The memorial is included among the 187 buildings and structures considered contributing properties to the Sycamore Historic District. The historic district was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The structure also has artistic significance as it is listed by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in their research database. It is one of the few sculptures in DeKalb County found within that database. The Civil War Memorial is owned by DeKalb County. (Read more...)




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A typical class of seven Shimer students seated at an octagonal table.

Shimer College is an American Great Books college in Chicago, Illinois. Founded as the Mt. Carroll Seminary in Mount Carroll, Illinois in 1853, it was renamed Shimer College in 1950, when it began offering a four-year curriculum based on the Hutchins Plan of the University of Chicago. Although the University of Chicago parted with Shimer (and the Hutchins' Plan) in 1958, Shimer has continued to utilize a version of that curriculum. The college left Mount Carroll for Waukegan in 1978, moving to Chicago in 2006.

Its academic program is based on a core curriculum of sixteen required courses in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. All courses are small seminars with no more than twelve students, and are based on original sources from a list of about 200 core texts broadly based on the Great Books canon. Classroom instruction is Socratic discussion. Shimer is governed internally by an assembly in which all community members have a vote. The college occupies a complex designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe on the main campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago's Near South Side.

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This 1886  engraving was the most widely reproduced image of the Haymarket affair.

The Haymarket affair was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at Chicago police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.

In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy. Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were commuted by Illinois governor Richard J. Oglesby to terms of life in prison, and another committed suicide in jail. The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887. In 1893, Illinois' new governor John Peter Altgeld pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.

The Haymarket affair is generally considered significant as the origin of international May Day observances for workers. The site of the incident was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1992, and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004. In addition, the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument at the defendants' burial site in nearby Forest Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

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Mr. Dooley by Gordon Ross (1909).

Mr. Dooley is a fictional bartender created by Chicago journalist Finley Peter Dunne, appearing in print between 1893 and 1915, and again in 1924 and 1926. The bartender's humorous but pointed commentary on American politics and international affairs first became popular during the 1898 Spanish–American War. Dunne's essays are in the form of conversations in an Irish dialect of English between Mr. Dooley, the owner of a fictional tavern in the Bridgeport area of Chicago, and one of the bar's patrons. From 1898 onwards, the essays, and the books collecting them, gained national acclaim. Dunne became a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, although the friendship did not curtail his satire. Beginning around 1905, Dunne had increasing trouble finding time and inspiration for new pieces, and, except for a brief resurrection in the mid-1920s, his columns ended in 1915. Even before his death in 1936, his work was becoming obscure due in part to his use of dialect and unusual spellings. The columns originated lasting sayings such as "the Supreme Court follows the election returns".

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A small disc of Am-241 under the microscope.

Americium is a radioactive transuranic chemical element with symbol Am and atomic number 95. This member of the actinide series is located in the periodic table under the lanthanide element europium, and thus by analogy was named after the Americas.

Americium was first produced in 1944 by the group of Glenn T. Seaborg from Berkeley, California, at the Metallurgical Laboratory of the University of Chicago, a part of the Manhattan Project. The discovery was kept secret and only released to the public in November 1945. Most americium is produced by uranium or plutonium being bombarded with neutrons in nuclear reactors – one tonne of spent nuclear fuel contains about 100 grams of americium. It is widely used in commercial ionization chamber smoke detectors, as well as in neutron sources and industrial gauges. Several unusual applications, such as nuclear batteries or fuel for space ships with nuclear propulsion, have been proposed for the isotope 242mAm, but they are as yet hindered by the scarcity and high price of this nuclear isomer.

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