Today's Opinions

  • Statehouse book gives a look at 1840s

    As a volunteer tour guide at the Vandalia Statehouse, one of the topics that I touch on is the fact that only three pieces of furniture in the building are original to it.
    Two are stoves, both Benjamin Franklin models. The Liberty stove, with an eagle emblazoned on it from the Walter Neuman Liberty Stove Co., was used as the model for the 12 reproduction stoves in the building. The second stove, known as a Sally-Ann model, has a bake oven on top and separate firebox below.

  • Remember all you can be thankful for

    As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, what comes to mind? Are your first thoughts ones of gratitude for the many ways you’ve been blessed? Or is your focus on what you don’t have?
    It’s the old question of whether the glass is half full or half empty.
    The uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving has a way of forcing us to land on one side or the other of that question.

  • Banks of the Okaw

    In last week’s Mystery Banks Photo was: Laurna Lowrance.
    Identifying her were: Mildred Morefield, Shirley Cole, Linda Schulte and Jodi Craycroft.
    This week’s Scrambler: veig em ixs rusho ot pohc nowd a eret nad i liwl denps eht rifts urof grenphinsa het exa.
    Can you unscramble it? If so, call The Leader-Union, 283-3374, by 5 p.m. next Monday.
    Last week’s Scrambler: Vision is a compelling image of an achievable future. (Laura Berman Fortgang)

  • The Way We Were

    20 Years Ago

    1993 – Dawn Clark Netsch, Illinois comptroller who was seeking the Democrats' gubernatorial nomination, visited with Fayette County Democrats at the home of Maurice Trexler, chairman of the county Democrats.
    The Vandalia City Council approved the extension of Sunset Drive south from Jefferson Street to Randolph Street.

  • Gettysburg Address still one of the best

    One hundred and fifty years ago, Abraham Lincoln penned one of the most powerful pieces of prose in our nation’s history.
    His 272-word tribute to the men who died on the Civil War battlefields near Gettysburg, Pa., stands unparalleled in American political speeches. Lincoln used simple but powerful words to communicate with the American people – even as the war still raged on other bloody fields.
    First, he set the historical backdrop of this nation’s founding, and the central premise that “all men are created equal.”

  • AFSCME president comments on attack


  • Remembering Vandalia as it was in 1938

    Last week, while working on a research project that required searching back issues of The Vandalia Union, which are available on microfilm at Evans Library, I came across an article in the July 28, 1938, edition titled, "The Editor Cruises Around Town on A Dull Summer Day," by editor Ira Lakin.
    The writer began by stating that Friday, July 22, was a dull mid-summer day with little excitement and nothing out of which to make a newspaper story.  So, he climbed aboard his "bus" and cruised around town looking for a story.

  • Many county residents served in Civil War

    From what has been written about Vandalia in the history books and personal memoirs, our county seat was an armed camp during the years of the Civil War.