Illinois Turns 200

Illinois Humanities welcomes residents of Vandalia and surrounding communities to join them for a free live taping of Illinois Turns 200, a bicentennial podcast series, this Sunday, from 3-5:30 p.m., at the Vandalia Statehouse.
Illinois Turns 200 looks at the past, present and potential futures of seven Illinois communities that arose along rivers, railroads and significant roads, and tells their stories through live interviews, dramatic readings, archival material and musical performances.
The seven-part series is going be available for broadcast to NPR affiliates across Illinois and for downloading.
The series continues in Vandalia and features: a reappraisal of Joseph Lyford’s 1962 bestseller, “The Talk in Vandalia”; Mary Truitt on William C. Greenup and the National Road; Dale Timmerman on the many possible origins of the name “Vandalia”; and Linda Hanabarger on the hidden history of the Underground Railroad in the area.
Chris Vallillo and Bucky Halker are going to perform music that captures the character and culture of Vandalia, while Randy Duncan will be on hand as Abraham Lincoln to share his thoughts on the place.
Refreshments will be provided after the program.
“The act of remembering together and reflecting together that this project presents, with actual historical reference as a source of inspiration, is exciting to me because I think that when we take time to tell stories about history and make personal connections with that history we discover that our motivations are not so different,” host Kamilah Rashied said.
“I think we also discover through this exercise that the divisiveness we feel in the present moment has much more to do with the past than we might believe,” he said.
Illinois Turns 200 represents a partnership among Illinois Humanities, Studs Terkel Radio Archive and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 
The podcast series is supported by State Farm Insurance and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Established in 1974, Illinois Humanities is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and produces free programs and events, gives out grants and offers educational opportunities to youth and adults all across Illinois.
Its mission is to strengthen the social, political and economic fabric of Illinois through constructive conversation and community engagement. For more information, visit

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