Category Archives: Spectacles

Gov. Len Small arrested, 1921

The Aug. 9, 1921, arrest of Gov. Len Small for alleged corruption created a daylong drama in Springfield. It was performed on three stages: the Capitol, the governor’s mansion and the Sangamon County Courthouse. Stars included Small, county Sheriff Henry … Continue reading

Posted in Crime and vice, Illinois capital, Law enforcement, Local government, Politics, Prominent figures, Spectacles, State government, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 4 balloon ascension, 1858

Two balloonists were the talk of Independence Day 1858 in Springfield. The balloons were a traveling show, piloted by the “celebrated aeronauts … Messrs. White and Brooks,” the Illinois State Journal reported on July 6, 1858. “An immense crowd congregated … Continue reading

Posted in Air travel, Amusements, Celebrations, Lincoln, Abraham, Spectacles | Leave a comment

White Oaks Mall opening day lineup (1977)

“Think of us as your Big Apple,” White Oaks Mall boasted in ads on Grand Opening Day, Aug. 24, 1977. Ninety-nine stores lined the corridors of the mall that day, including four “anchor” department stores – Myers Brothers, Famous-Barr, Sears … Continue reading

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Joseph Ludgate, “long distance singer”

The “champion long distance singer of the world” called Springfield home for about four months in 1895. Joseph C. Ludgate (1864-1947) arrived in December 1894 to command the local corps of the Salvation Army “with a history,” the Illinois State … Continue reading

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Gov. William H. Bissell

When Gov. William Bissell was reburied in 1871, the crowd may have been bigger than at any Springfield funeral since that of Abraham Lincoln. Bissell was the first Republican, first college graduate and first disabled person elected governor. He also … Continue reading

Posted in Illinois capital, Markers, Oak Ridge signs, Politics, Prominent figures, Spectacles, State government, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Fourth of July, 1921

Springfield residents celebrated the Fourth of July 100 years ago with picnics, sports and reenactment of the World War I battle of Chateau Thierry. There was no single community fireworks show, but a showy sunset, caused by a dust and … Continue reading

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Walkathon Derby, 1934

When Springfield’s Walkathon Derby shut down on May 18, 1934, it left a mountain of unpaid bills and eight groggy couples. The competition, held in a large tent at Second and Mason streets, started May 5 with several dozen pairs … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Spectacles, Sports and recreation, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The “divine healer” sensation, 1896

August Schrader, “the divine healer,” set up shop in Springfield for 10 days in 1896. Thousands of people, complaining of maladies ranging from arthritis to kidney disease to blindness, sought treatment. Crowds blocked downtown streets, and trains brought people to … Continue reading

Posted in Amusements, Journalism, Medicine, Spectacles | 2 Comments

Boys’ Week parade, 1922

Boys’ Week 1922 culminated May 5 with a mile-long parade through downtown Springfield. Boy Scouts, who had “governed” the city the entire week before, led the march, which also involved non-Scouts from every local school, public and private, joined by … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrations, Children, Local government, Photos and photosets, Social life, Spectacles | Leave a comment

Sangamon Fair and Springfield Exposition, 1890

The Sangamon Fair and Springfield Exposition of 1890 would be “one of the grandest events in the way of a local fair that has ever been held in the state of Illinois,” the Illinois State Register proclaimed that August. Everybody … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Amusements, Illinois State Fair, Spectacles | Leave a comment