Tara McClellan McAndrew

Tara McAndrew McClellan
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Part 1: Radium poisoning took the lives of perhaps thousands of female factory workers, many in Ottawa, Illinois, in the last century.

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Updating history 

This year is the centennial of America’s entry into World War I. Most stories about the war focus on the fighting overseas, but there was another struggle taking place. An American icon from Illinois helped lead that battle and, for a time, paid for it with her reputation.   

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In April, 1865, there was a major tragedy in American history, but it’s not the one you think. Days after Abraham Lincoln was killed by John Wilkes Booth, there was a disaster on the Mississippi River that killed more people than the Titanic sinking. However, news of it was dwarfed by Lincoln’s death. Yet he was tied to this event, too.
 
Tara McClellan McAndrew describes the disaster in this history story, courtesy of the Sangamon County Historical Society. Much of the information comes from Jerry Potter’s book, “The Sultana Tragedy.”

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Today’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration has changed over the last one hundred sixty years, but a few things remain the same. The Irish still wear green, parade, and finish with a big party. Our local history segment is sponsored by the Sangamon County Historical Society.

An old pocketwatch
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There are eleven time zones in Russia. That sounds crazy, but America used to be much worse. Every city had its own time zone until we synchronized our clocks.  Our local history series, sponsored by the Sangamon County Historical Society, looks at how it changed.

SangamonCountyHistory.org

The Ku Klux Klan was in the news again during last year’s election. While white supremacist groups are on the rise again, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, they are nowhere near as prevalent as they were in the 1920s, when Klansmen served in all levels of government.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Because Illinois is a northern state and the former home of Abraham Lincoln, it isn’t typically associated with slavery. But there was slavery in Illinois for more than 100 years.

Even after Illinois entered the Union, loopholes in its laws allowed the practice to continue, making the future Land of Lincoln a quasi-slave state. 

thehistorybomb.com

Here's an episode from our history series for those still in the Valentine's Day spirit. On that day in 1929 - seven Chicago gangsters were murdered in a surprise attack. The Valentine's Day massacre was a huge shock to the city, and its aftershocks were felt in central Illinois almost immediately. 

Illinoisans who have led
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In many states, including Illinois, Abraham Lincoln's February twelfth birthday is a holiday. But it's not in others. The federal government has never declared it a national holiday, despite one man's lifelong efforts.

Today we get ice from our freezer. But without refrigeration, our ancestors had to buy it from local icemen who were busy harvesting this time of year. Tara McClellan McAndrew brings us this historical account. It's an installment of our history series, sponsored by the Sangamon County Historical Society. Eric Woods provides additional narration:

 

CLICK HERE for more information about ice harvesting.

Tara McClellan McAndrew
Rachel Lattimore / WUIS/Illinois Issues

    

    

courtesy of Tara McClellan McAndrew

Today is the primary election for municipal offices, and we're bringing you a story about a campaign tradition back in Abraham Lincoln's era. Our historical stories are sponsored by the Sangamon County Historical Society and written by Tara McClellan McAndrew, local history columnist for the State Journal-Register. The actors who joined her in this piece were Tom Hutchison and Doug McDonald.