Monthly Archives: January 2017

Beach desegregation lawsuit, 1916

Black residents of Springfield filed suit after three African-American men were blocked from swimming at the new Bunn Park Beach shortly after it opened in 1916. Courts ultimately rejected the suit on technicalities. See Women’s bathing suit controversy, 1916.

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Bunn Park Beach

The Bunn Park Beach, Springfield’s first public beach, operated from 1916 until 1928. See Women’s bathing suit controversy, 1916.

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Harriett Reed, women’s rights activist

Harriett Reid was a suffragist, progressive and labor and civic activist in Springfield during the 1910s. Her application to become an workers’ compensation arbitrator with the Illinois Industrial Commission established the precedent that women could not be discriminated against in … Continue reading

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Women’s bathing suit controversy, 1916

Springfield women’s rights activist Harriett Reid made fun of the Springfield Park Board’s 1916 directive that women’s swimsuits at the new Bunn Park Beach include skirts. The park board had voted 5-1 to impose the restriction, which was sponsored by … Continue reading

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Women win civil service hiring rights in Illinois, 1920

Harriett Reid of Springfield placed first in the 1918 examination for arbitrator with the Illinois Industrial Commission. But when the commission decided to hire two more arbitrators in 1920, it advertised that it wanted men for both posts. That set … Continue reading

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, 1933

“The Greatest Show on Earth” might have been at the height of its glory when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus arrived in Springfield on Aug. 28, 1933. The traveling Big Top promised 100 clowns and 800 “arenic … Continue reading

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Carver Convalescent Center fire, 1972

Investigators never agreed on the cause of the fire that killed 10 residents of a shabby nursing home on May 6, 1972. The number of deaths make the fire at Carver Convalescent Center, 1527 E. Washington St., the worst single … Continue reading

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William Yates Sr. (Republican leader)

William Yates Sr. (1908-74) was the Sangamon County Republican Party chairman from 1942 to 1950. He also was the primary co-founder of the former Lincoln Center and Ann Rutledge Pancake House at Monument and Sangamon avenues. Read more about Yates, … Continue reading

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Lincoln Center/Ann Rutledge Pancake House

Lincoln Center is a strip shopping center at Monument and North Grand Avenues, a few blocks south of Oak Ridge Cemetery and Lincoln’s Tomb. Founded by the Yates and Adams families, the center originally took advantage of its location by … Continue reading

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