The State of Illinois will celebrate its 200th birthday on Dec. 3, 2018. To help kick off a yearlong celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial, communities across the state hosted a simultaneous Illinois Bicentennial Flag Raising Ceremony at noon on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017.
The McLean County Museum of History is currently taking reservations for a special bus trip to see “The Civility of Albert Cashier”, a limited-run musical that focuses on the life of a Central Illinois Civil War soldier who defied contemporary gender roles. A matinee performance, the show will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, September 17 at Stage 773 in Chicago. A limited number of scholarships for local high school students will be available thanks to the Prairie Pride Coalition.
Born Jennie Irene Hodgers, Albert D.J. Cashier (December 25, 1843 – October 10, 1915) was an Irish-born immigrant who moved to Illinois and lived under a male identity before enlisting in the 95th Illinois Infantry during the American Civil War. Cashier maintained his secret throughout the war and for most of his adult life until a doctor discovered Cashier’s biological gender following an injury. Cashier’s story became famous as one of a number of women soldiers who served as men during the Civil War, however Cashier did not dress in men’s clothing just to join the Army. His male identity was part of his life before and after the war, leading current scholars to reconsider the female narrative that has long framed his legacy.
The story of how Jeanne and Charles Morris met “usually gets a smile,” according to Charles. Jeanne and Charles Morris grew up in entirely different states, but met in college while working at a camp on Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire. Although they then went their separate ways—Jeanne back to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia and Charles back to Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina—the two kept in touch as they finished up their undergraduate degrees.
Judy Stone was born in Columbus, Ohio on July 21, 1932. After growing up in Ohio, Judy received her bachelor’s degree in English and attended Northwestern University in Evanston for her master’s degree in History. It was in Evanston that Judy met her husband Jerry, who was working on his PhD.
Jesse Smart was born on April 29, 1939 on a small family farm in Pike County, IL.
After graduating as class valedictorian at East Pike High School, Jesse went on to study agricultural education at the University of Illinois. It was there, in Urbana-Champaign, that Jesse met his wife Susan.
Jack Porter’s passion for social justice has defined his life and career over five decades. Inspired by his Christian faith and his experiences while studying in India, Jack has long immersed himself in local struggles to end unfair housing practices, to fight racism, to give legal representation to the poor, and to stop predatory actions that threaten people, neighborhoods, and the environment.
Since Father Ric Schneider arrived in Bloomington to become the pastor of St. Mary’s Parish 23 years ago he has built St. Mary’s into an institution that contributes to the well-being of the entire community, serving the needy regardless of faith.
A Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and an internationally respected authority on the game, Jill Hutchison’s first brush with organized athletics was her seventh grade basketball team. But soon after, the self-proclaimed “Army brat” transferred to Germany where she spent three years in a physical education class that featured marching as an appropriate activity for young women. Jill says that disappointing experience would be a motivation for the rest of her career.
It is impossible to study the history of agriculture and rural life in McLean County without examining the career of Gordon Ropp. His dedication to the advancement of agriculture and enrichment of rural life has played an instrumental role in shaping McLean County.