Hear the story of an Effingham wife and mother who devoted herself to nursing wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Meet the entertainer who helped introduce Japanese culture to Illinois. Learn about the mystery of Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather or the triumphs of three women in early Chicago journalism.
All those stories, and many others, will be featured at the 2016 Conference on Illinois History, which takes place Oct. 6-7 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
The price is $90 to attend both days or $50 for a single day. (The student prices are $45 and $25.) The luncheon sessions are $15 each, and there’s a Friday evening banquet for $50.
The Thursday lunch features three important new faces on the Illinois history scene: Heidi Brown-McCreery, director of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency; Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and Samuel Wheeler, the state historian.
Friday’s lunch session offers veteran archaeologist Mark Wagner discussing the amazing variety of history to be explored in southern Illinois near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
The Thursday evening banquet will showcase the presidential library’s Oral History Program, which just marked its 10th anniversary. Director Mark DePue will describe the program and highlight some of the most interesting and entertaining people who have been interviewed.
Other sessions will discuss:
- The use of DNA to determine the identity of Lincoln’s maternal grandfather
- “Hick” Cady, the Bishop Hill farm boy who played on three World Series teams
- The devastating Plainfield tornado of 1990
- Mary Newcomb, who followed Grant’s army to care for ill and wounded soldiers
- Pioneering female journalists in Chicago
- Michitaro Ongawa, who performed Japanese plays, music and dance during the early 20th century
- What to do with the remnants of buildings associated with the Springfield race riot of 1908.
The conference also includes sessions designed specifically for teachers interested in learning new ways to explore history in the classroom. Participating teachers can earn professional-development credit.
The conference is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.