In researching context for newspapers in the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection I came across the fascinating history of Zion, IL, formerly Zion City, which was created as a utopian community in 1901 by an evangelical and early Pentecostal faith healer named John Alexander Dowie. In its early years the city did not allow drinking, dancing, smoking, card playing, theater, or even driving more than 10 miles an hour. Zion is a small town south of Kenosha and north of Waukegan in Lake County, Illinois. It is currently home to a nuclear power plant but boasts a rich history in American religious movements and utopian city planning. Continue reading “Zion, IL: Utopia on the Prairie”
The Twin City Review: A 1920s Labor Newspaper For Champaign County
The Twin City Review went into circulation in November 1920. The Review was originally published in Tolono, Illinois, before relocating to Champaign. The Twin City Federation of Labor published the paper “in the interest of organized labor.” At the time, Champaign County’s primary industries were higher education (the University of Illinois), railroads, and farming. The Review frequently wrote about the perceived need for solidarity between farmers and urban laborers, including an inaugural issue article titled “Farm and City Workers Aim Identical-To Secure Justice” Continue reading “The Twin City Review: A 1920s Labor Newspaper For Champaign County”
The National News: A Trade Unionist Newspaper
The National News was created by editor Carl E. Person after the shutdown of the Strike Bulletin in May 1915. National News began publication only a few months later in October of that year. Person was a famous labor activist who had been put on trial in 1914 for shooting a strike breaker and was later acquitted on the basis of self-defense. Much like Strike Bulletin, the National News was devoted to describing collective labor actions across the United States. However, it also contained excerpts from the some of the latest popular fiction of the day including a novel The Abysmal Brute by Jack London. Person centered the National News in Chicago instead of his earlier location in Clinton, Illinois due to his feelings that Clinton had become a hostile work environment following the end of the Illinois Central Shopmen’s Strike and his near-fatal encounter. Continue reading “The National News: A Trade Unionist Newspaper”
The Illinois Issue and The American Issue: Prohibitionist Newspapers
The Illinois Issue was a weekly newspaper created in January 1906 for an audience of prohibitionist readers. The Illinois Issue was centered in Chicago, IL, and published in Downers Grove, IL. In February 1912, the Illinois Issue ceased production. Starting in July 1913, the Illinois Issue merged with a weekly national publication called the American Issue. Both papers were organized by a political group called the Anti-Saloon League. The American Issue began in 1896. It then ramped up production in 1909 because the town of Westerville, OH, donated a printing plant to the Anti-Saloon League to further the cause of alcohol prohibition. Continue reading “The Illinois Issue and The American Issue: Prohibitionist Newspapers”
Vandalia Whig and Illinois Intelligencer: An Early Illinois Newspaper
The first newspaper in Illinois, the Illinois Herald, was founded as a weekly publication in 1814 based in Kaskaskia. It soon became the Western Intelligencer and carried the title Intelligencer in one form or another for the rest of its existence. The town of Kaskaskia was the Illinois Territory’s capital until 1818 when it became the state capital after Illinois gained statehood. The Intelligencer was created by abolitionist politicians Daniel Pope Cook and Elijah C. Berry. While they were in charge, the paper shared their anti-slavery politics. The boundary between journalism and politics in the 19th century was porous. Multiple editors and publishers for the Intelligencer held elected offices during the Intelligencer’s time in print. William H. Brown notes in his 1857 biography of Cook, “With the printing of the Laws and Journals of the Territorial Legislatures, and blanks for public offices, at prices which would now astonish a practical printer it is certain that the business was lucrative”. As both the early state’s primary newspaper and the official printer of state documents, the Intelligencer wielded strong political clout. Continue reading “Vandalia Whig and Illinois Intelligencer: An Early Illinois Newspaper”
The Strike Bulletin: A Chronicle of a Failed Strike
The Strike Bulletin began publication in April 1913. The Strike Bulletin was a weekly paper marketed to labor unionists in the railroad industry. It was published from Clinton, Illinois for the entirety of its run. The Strike Bulletin was the creation of a labor organization called the Illinois Central System Foundation and was edited by Carl E. Person. Person was affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World. The Illinois Central System Foundation organized laborers who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad.
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The Daily Worker
Daily Worker was created for Communist Party USA members in 1921. The paper was originally titled the Worker, centered in Chicago and marketed as a weekly newspaper for the first three years of its existence. It then moved to New York City and carried out a pre-planned expansion into a daily broadsheet with a new name, Daily Worker. Publication under this new title lasted from 1924 to 1958. Daily Worker was primarily focused on issues relating to organized labor. Continue reading “The Daily Worker“
Halloween Reads at the Library
It is that time of year again! The leaves are changing and the weather is dramatically fluctuating between warm and astonishingly cold as Fall tries to get its footing. The perfect time to curl up under a blanket and read something eerie. If you’re looking for a good non-fiction book to read in honor of Halloween then this is the list for you.
Here are a few of the books in our collection that are excellent for this season:
What can a Czech-American newspaper teach us about the American union?
In August 2016 HPNL and Preservation Services received a fourth round of grant funding for the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a project supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress. The grant supports the funding for the digitization of 100,000 pages of newspapers. For this cycle UIUC focused on immigrant Chicagoland-based newspapers from the late 19th century and early 20th century. As part of this project, I was tasked with producing short essays summarizing the history of two related Czech-American newspapers: Denní hlasatel (Daily Herald) and its weekly counterpart, Týdenní hlasatel (Weekly Herald). The essays were to appear in the Library of Congress powered site, Chronicling America, as well as UIUC’s newspaper portal, the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections (IDNC).
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Treasuring Tea: the World’s oldest Wonder
January is National Tea Month, but there is a tea for every season. Too hot? Iced tea. Feeling chilly? Warm up with a chai! What comes to mind when you hear the word tea? A warm, calming brew sipped at the end of a long day? A strongly steeped morning pick-me-up? A well-traveled, world-renowned part of your pantry? England? China? India? Nepal?
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