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Today's Opinions

  • Nancy Snyder Blalock preserves history

    “I am the youngest daughter of Henry and Nancy Snyder, and was born on the bank or near the Okaw River, on what was then called the Snyder Hill, now known as the Dan Clark Hill.”
    So begins the story, written by Nancy Snyder Blalock, for the 50th anniversary of The Vandalia Union newspaper, as she joined other old settlers in reminiscences from those earlier times.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    This week’s Mystery Banks Photo: This young man, pictured in 1959, grew up in Fayette County.

  • The Way We Were

    15 Years Ago

    1998 – Mayor Sandra Leidner presented to the city council a proposed restructuring of the Vandalia Tourism Council.
    Vandalia Community High School senior Marc Sikma signed a letter of intent to play football at McKendree College in Lebanon.
    The Vandalia City Council approved the purchase of three lots in the 300 block of South First Street. Mayor Sandra Leidner said she would like to see that area developed into historical park.

  • Managing state's debt distinguished Ford

    Lately, I have been reading the Illinois sesquicentennial edition of Illinois Gov. Thomas Ford’s book, "A History of Illinois From Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847," published posthumously in 1854. Not owning a copy myself, I borrowed the book from the local library.

  • Input needed on proposed nuisance laws

    An old saying goes something like this: “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.”
    It’s a word picture of how we interact with those around us. For instance, one person is perfectly free to swing his fist around, but the moment his fist encounters another person’s nose, the situation has changed.
    The blow is likely result in retaliation by the offended party – either in the form of a return fist or in a complaint being lodged with law enforcement officials.

  • Illinoisans played key roles at Gettysburg

    By Tom Emery
    This week marks the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, the most famous battle of the Civil War. The Union victory on July 1-3, 1863, checked the northern invasion of Robert E. Lee, and is considered the turning point of the war.
    Several Illinoisans played key roles at Gettysburg, including Lt. Marcellus Jones of the 8th Illinois Cavalry, who borrowed a carbine from a fellow soldier and fired the first shot of the battle around 7:30 a.m. on July 1.

  • Marshall Watson shares memories of Avena

    Some time back, Andrew Harner of Charleston shared with me some old photographs of his family, very important people from the village of Avena in the township of the same name.

  • We have much to celebrate on Fourth of July

    Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago, representatives of the 13 American colonies gathered together to do something radical. In essence, they said, “Enough is enough.” They declared their independence from Great Britain.
    Thomas Jefferson, always a man with a flair for words, put in their sentiments into a document known as the Declaration of Independence. It read: