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Thursday, July 29, 2010 02:34 pm

Whale oil, raw beef and other 19th century beauty secrets

I recently learned a new reason why I’m glad I didn’t live in the 1800s — 19th century cosmetics.I became enlightened about this topic after attending an interesting 3½-hour seminar ...
Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:01 pm

Nicotine poisoning was a hazard when kids made cigars

In the late 1800s reformers in Illinois became concerned about child labor in manufacturing, especially in the state’s larger cities. They had good reason to be. In some shops young children wor...
Thursday, May 20, 2010 05:41 am

Justice on the square was swift and cheaper than jail

Today, Springfield’s downtown square is a peaceful place. Its manicured lawn and grand Old State Capitol suggest that it was a location of thoughtful debate and mannered discourse among our earl...
Thursday, May 6, 2010 07:09 pm
Financial problems are nothing new to the Prairie State. Sadly, neither are inept responses by governmental officials. After the Panic of 1819 one of our own townsmen, an esteemed founding father, was...
Thursday, April 1, 2010 07:34 pm

Eighty years of ministry to men in Springfield

Brother Anthony Joseph came to the St. James Trade School from Syracuse, N.Y., in 1967 to join the Franciscan Brothers in running the school. The Springfield school on the northeast side closed in 197...
Thursday, March 25, 2010 09:05 pm

The story of this area’s earliest residents, before they were forced to walk the Trail of Death

It’s easy in this Land of Lincoln Obsession to think that our area’s history began with the sixteenth president or with white settlers in general. But doing so ignores the many Native Amer...
Thursday, March 4, 2010 01:03 am

A tumultuous time in Illinois, to be explored at history symposium March 7-9

One hundred fifty years ago this year, Abraham Lincoln was elected president and the slavery question was threatening to dissolve the nation.In Illinois, Lincoln’s allegedly “free” s...
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 12:31 pm

University of Illinois symposium looks at the 1960s through the lens of the television drama

From the bored housewife and the determined workingwoman to the philandering businessman, the television drama “Mad Men” explores a cast of 1960s archetypal characters, and displays them w...
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 04:49 pm

New book marks 150 years for Oak Ridge Cemetery, the nation’s second most-visited

One hundred fifty years ago this year, Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery was dedicated by former mayor James Conkling as a “city of the dead.” A new book by former city historian Edwa...
Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 01:00 pm

October 1918: Death rules the capital city

A few weeks ago, as I nursed my son through swine flu, I frequently thought about my great-grandmother. She had lived in Athens, northwest of Springfield, and nursed her son during another flu pandemi...

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