a Second Look at
Governor Otto Kerner
November 2, 2013
He was a decorated soldier and a tough
prosecutor. He governed a major state and helped the
nation examine racial violence. He became a federal
judge but wound up in federal prison.
Governor Otto Kerner and his complex
legacy will be the focus of a conference presented by
the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
and the Institute for Government and Public Affairs.
Political experts, journalists and former Kerner aides
will gather on Nov. 2 for a reassessment of Illinois’
Panels of experts will examine the
goals and accomplishments of Kerner’s administration,
his public and private personas, his conviction on corruption
charges and the views of the journalists who covered
The public, particularly college students
studying history or political science, is invited to
attend this examination of an important Illinois figure.
The conference begins at 8:30 a.m.
on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Lincoln Presidential Library,
112 North Sixth St., Springfield. It includes lunch
in the library atrium. Seating is limited. View
the conference agenda.
Tickets are $35. Students with proper
identification can attend free of charge. To buy tickets,
please visit http://tinyurl.com/KernerTickets
or call 217/558-8934.
“So many of Kerner’s achievements
in multiple areas – mental health, school reform
and especially civil rights – broke new ground
and bettered people’s lives. We need to understand
both his failures and his achievements,” said
Eileen Mackevich, executive director of the Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Kerner was a Chicago Democrat who won
his first term in 1960. As governor, he modernized state
services for the mentally ill and backed a statewide
system of community colleges.
His name became a household word after
President Lyndon Johnson chose him to lead the National
Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders – known
everywhere as the Kerner Commission. The panel examined
the riots flaring up in African-American neighborhoods
across the country, and it concluded that segregation
and lack of economic opportunity were driving the nation
"toward two societies, one black, one white –
separate and unequal."
Kerner left the governor’s office
soon after the report’s release and was appointed
to the federal bench. But his time as a judge was cut
short by accusations that, as governor, Kerner had accepted
bribes in exchange for granting favorable racing dates
for an Arlington Heights track.
He was convicted in 1973 for mail fraud,
conspiracy, perjury and more. Today, however, some people
question the case against him and the legal theory underlying
November 29-December 1,
State Historic Site
The holiday season will open the traditional
Swedish way during Julmarknad, or Christmas Market,
in the historic community of Bishop Hill. That means
cookies, chocolate, elves and even trains.
The festive event takes place 10 a.m.
to 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday, Nov. 29-Dec 1, and
again Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7-8.
Attractions include tomten, the Swedish
elves who roam through town shaking hands with tourists,
and traditional holiday decorations and quality gifts
to buy for friends and family.
The exhibit “Locomotives, Depots,
Trestles, and Bishop Hill” will be on display
in the Steeple Building. This includes a working model
railroad for the kids and artifacts about Bishop Hill’s
A Christmas Cookie Walk, with homemade
cookies and baked goods that can be purchased by the
pound, will be held from 9 to 4 on Nov. 29 and 30 at
the Colony School. A Chocolate Walk, featuring delights
from area chocolatiers, will be held from 10 to 5 the
next weekend at the historic 1854 Steeple Building.
The Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency operates the Bishop Hill Historic Site. Many
of the holiday activities there are co-sponsored by
the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
Bishop Hill is located 150 southwest
of Chicago and 20 miles east of I-74 in Henry County.
For more information call 309/927-3311, 309/927-3345
or 309/927-3899, or visit www.bishophill.com.
Battle of Chickamauga
and the Battle of Chattanooga
November 12, 2013
In the fall of 1863, Union and Confederate
soldiers clashed near the vital transportation hub at
Chattanooga in two climactic battles. Yankees and Rebels
alike experienced chaotic battles, near-starvation,
incompetent leadership and sudden changes in fortune.
When the bullets stopped flying, nearly 50,000 men were
dead, injured or missing.
A presentation November 12 at the Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will explain
the Battle of Chickamauga and the Battle of Chattanooga,
as well as what resulted. Dr. Mark DePue, director of
the library’s Oral History Program, will discuss
the battle in a PowerPoint presentation, using pictures,
maps and quotes from Civil War veterans.
The free event, part of Illinois’
observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War,
takes place in the museum’s Union Theater at 7
p.m. Reservations can be made by visiting www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov
and clicking on “Special event tickets and reservations”
or by calling 217-558-8934.