The poetry of Langston Hughes has been widely published and analyzed by critics, academics, and students, and it is no surprise that Hughes enjoyed a good relationship with American colleges and universities. Hughes made a side career of speaking engagements at schools, and the University of Illinois was no exception. Hughes made multiple visits to the Urbana campus, including a well-documented trip in 1957.
The exhibit “Dream Singer and Story Teller” explores the background and events related to this visit through historical documents and contemporary accounts.
Welcome, Archives blog enthusiasts and Urbana Sweetcorn Festival attendees! Below are the questions printed on the rally fans given away by the University Archives at the Festival this year, along with links to the answers. Enjoy!
Sculptor and U of I alumnus Lorado Taft had made quite a name for himself in American art circles by the late 1920s. His sculptures and statues, designed in his Chicago studio, had been installed in Chicago, Denver, Washington D.C., and other places around the country.
However, as many of the rich and famous with a listed mailing address probably do, Taft received requests of all different varieties. Some requests were more commonplace: autographs; personal appearances; quotations, recipes, or anecdotes for publication. Some requests were…less commonplace. Continue reading “Lorado Taft’s Unusual Requests”→
When Urbana was chosen as the site of the Illinois Industrial University (now the University of Illinois) in 1867, one of the advantages it had over other potential locations was the Urbana and Champaign Institute, a brand-new, five-story, empty school building that was ready for the University’s immediate use. This building became the University of Illinois in 1867, and was the only campus building until the Mechanical Building and Drill Hall was erected in 1872.
Parades are almost a given at any Homecoming celebration, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is no different. However, in the early years of the 20th century, Illinois Homecoming weekend featured something other than floats: the Hobo Band Parade. Continue reading “Homecoming History: Hobo Band Parade”→
In honor of election season, here’s a photo of John F. Kennedy visiting downtown Springfield, IL on the presidential campaign trail in October 1960. The man beside him is Democratic Governor-to-be of Illinois Otto Kerner Jr., also campaigning that fall.
This was not Senator Kennedy’s first visit to central Illinois. He was invited to speak at the University of Illinois Senior Convocation in Urbana on January 27, 1957, and gave an address entitled “Politics: Our Most Neglected Profession”. Among other topics, he humorously touched upon his brief candidacy for the Vice-Presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago the year before:
I will not comment, on this wholly non-partisan occasion, on that race…except to note what must be a record of some sort. When I got into the race, almost everyone favored my getting in; and when I got out, almost everyone favored my getting out — and all this in about four hours.1
1. “Politics: Our Most Neglected Profession”, John F. Kennedy, January 27, 1957, Record Series 39/1/5, University of Illinois Archives.
EDIT (6-21-2013): The original post erroneously identified the location of the photo as Champaign, IL.
Love them or hate them, everyone knows that squirrels are a fixture on the UIUC campus, and especially on the Quad. And why wouldn’ t they stick around, with all the friendly students throwing food their way? What you may not know is how they came to campus in the first place.