AP file photo

The NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament is underway. This is the favorite time of year for college hoops fans.

To commemorate Illinois' bicentennial year, WSIU Radio contributor Pete Peterson gives us a history lesson into the state's most notable teams of all time.


Illinois celebrates its bicentennial in 2018.

Although football has not been around quite that long, the state's  long and successful history on the gridiron started as early as the 19th century.

WSIU contributor Pete Peterson has more in this special report.

Governor Goofs Honest Abe Quote

Feb 2, 2018

As Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner built toward the crescendo of his State of the State address on Wednesday, he implored lawmakers to cut taxes and spending to ensure a more “prosperous future.”

To drive home his point, he ripped out a page from Speechwriting 101 for Illinois politicians.

He quoted Honest Abe.

“Abraham Lincoln once said: ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it,’” said the Republican governor.

But there’s a problem.

Baseball Hall of Fame

The 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame class will be announced next week.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson tells us about the person who some consider the most despised member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Union County Bicentennial Celebration Organization

A southern Illinois county will kick off its bicentennial celebration this weekend.

Pat Brumleve is president of the Union County Historical and Genealogy Society. He says the county actually has a longer history than the state of Illinois.

Humans In Southern Illinois - Long Before Statehood

Jan 3, 2018
Photo Provided by Dr. Mark Wagner Director of Center for Archaeological Investigations at SIU Carbondale.

Centuries   before Europeans arrived in Illinois, Native Americans made the state their home.  One expert illustrates just how long southern Illinois has been inhabited.

Illinois Public Radio/WILL

You’re going to hear a lot of Christmas songs between now and December 25th. And you may hear one that features a little boy asking Santa to replace his two central incisors, after losing them in a slide down the banister. The vocalist that made that song famous was George Rock, a trumpeter hailing from the central Illinois town of Farmer City.

Leslie Goddard has a PhD in history from Northwestern, but she never lets academia get in the way of having a little fun with history. Illinois Public Radio's Brian O'Keefe talked recently about her latest project, the history of Frank Capra’s ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.

Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller reports on this week's marking of the 25th anniversary of Carbondale's Pyramid Apartments fire.

John B. Anderson, who represented northern Illinois for two decades in Congress and ran an independent campaign for President, died Sunday at his home in Washington.

His family announced the death in a statement.

Entering the U.S. House in 1961, he was an ultraconservative supporter of the Barry Goldwater wing of the Republican Party and initially a staunch opponent of many of the Great Society programs of President Lyndon Johnson.

Carbondale Raises Illinois Bicentennial Flag

Dec 4, 2017
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

On Monday, December 4th, 2017, Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry raised the official Illinois Bicentennial flag  in front of a crowd of about a  dozen local officials, and state lawmakers.

Duquesne Athletic Dept.

The SIU Saluki men's basketball team will play in the Las Vegas Classic later this month.

One of its opponents, Duquesne, may be easy to overlook. But as WSIU's Pete Peterson tells us, the Dukes played a pivotal role at the collegiate and professional levels decades ago.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Fr. Joseph Brown of SIUC's African Studies department about the Indie Lens Popup screening of, "I Am Not Your Negro."


The Houston Astros just won their first World Series championship, dethroning the defending champion Chicago Cubs.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson tells us how although the Cubs dominate the headlines in Chicago, it was the city's other team that gave its baseball fans their first World Series title at the beginning of the 20th century.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Construction of the Missouri National Veterans Memorial continues on a site just north of Perryville. WSIU's Brad Palmer talks with Mike and Vicky Lundy about the current and future plans for the project.

Carbondale Celebrates UN's 72nd Birthday

Oct 24, 2017

The United Nations was founded in October of 1945, in the aftermath of World War Two.  Dr. John Jackson, of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, says the Organization has some good accomplishments to its credit, but, also has more work to do.


Dozens of veterans and volunteers from southern Illinois visited to Washington as a part of the region's second Honor Flight.

Across the country, some cities are giving up Columbus Day and replacing the designation with ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” The state of Illinois has tried to find a middle ground.

Replicas of Christopher Columbus' Ships
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

More than 500 years ago, Christopher Columbus set sail in three ships looking for a faster route to Asia.

He ended up discovering the Bahamas and a new world.

Florentine Films/PBS

As the PBS documentary "The Vietnam War" continues, one local man remembers his time in the military, and his separation from it.


The first half of Ken Burns' 10-part PBS series on the Vietnam War aired September 17-21 on WSIU-Television. The second half of the series will begin on September 24.

In his latest edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson talks about how a trip to Vietnam during the war changed the life of a future Major League Hall of Famer.

Morris LIbrary Showcases Old Quadrangle.

Sep 20, 2017

Southern Illinois University's Morris Library is showcasing a display called Old Campus: an Historical Exploration. WSIU's Jordan Maddox has more.

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

A permanent replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. is coming to Perryville, Missouri.

WSIU's Brad Palmer talked recently with Mike and Vicky Lundy of Perryville. They're spearheading the effort that is making this happen.

Wildflower, Inc

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller previews the stage production of Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" at the Varsity Center for the Arts.

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

As Illinois begins its Bicentennial countdown Saturday, the co-chair of the bicentennial committee says the celebration of Illinois offers unique opportunities in this part of the state.

Lee Schreiner of Rockford doesn’t play the piano or sing. He’s a physics teacher with multiple degrees from Northern Illinois University. But his hobby of collecting wartime sheet music has grown over the years.

“I thought maybe I could collect like a hundred sheets," he admits. "Then it was a thousand. Then it was five thousand. It’s amazing and almost unexplored territory because people had not done a lot of research on World War I. I'm trying to understand the history through the music.”

The steel gray KC-135 Stratotankers are massive.

The Boeing jets, first deployed way back in 1956, can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo with the thrust of four turbofan engines.

The plane is also capable of carrying 33,000 gallons of fuel and off-loading it in mid-air.

That’s the primary mission of the Illinois Air National Guard’s 126th Air Refueling Wing, assigned to Scott Air Force Base, near Belleville.

The Rucker Archive

The United States entered World War I one hundred years ago.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson looks at how the First World War affected America's pastime.

Reading Baseball is a series of essays and commentaries by Richard "Pete" Peterson, co-author, with his son Stephen, of  The Slide: Leyland, Bonds and the Star-Crossed Pittsburgh Pirates and editor of  The St. Louis Baseball Reader.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. with comment from Louis Gerteis  — The Confederate Memorial will be removed from St. Louis' Forest Park this week, likely by Wednesday.

The Missouri Civil War Museum and the city of St. Louis settled a lawsuit last week over who owns the memorial, though the action wasn’t announced until Monday morning. The museum will cover the cost of removing and storing the statue, as well as finding an appropriate place to display it — but it can’t be in St. Louis or St. Louis County.

Illinois Public Radio's Maria Altman explores a century of flight at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois.