Secretary of State Calls for New Martin Luther King Statue on Capitol Grounds

22 hours ago
Capitol News Illinois file photo

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White on Tuesday said it’s time for the state to construct a new statue commemorating Martin Luther King Jr., as the current statue’s rendering “does not properly reflect Dr. King,” White said in a news release.

White said he would personally contribute the first $5,000 in funding the new statue that would be situated in a more prominent location on the Capitol grounds.


If moments are fleeting, memories are permanent.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson put his memory to the test trying to remember details from the first Major League Baseball game he attended in person more than 70 years ago.

Reading Baseball is a series of essays and commentaries by Richard "Pete" Peterson, author of Growing Up With Clemente and the editor of The St. Louis Baseball Reader.

Review of State Monuments, Statues Begins at Statehouse

Apr 21, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki

A House committee tasked with reviewing statues and monuments on state property held its first meeting Wednesday, hearing from professors and state government associations on what frameworks can be established to guide the review process.

Rep. Tim Butler, a Springfield Republican who serves as minority spokesperson on the task force, said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s creation of the review body is an “important and correct” decision.

Audit of Springfield’s Lincoln Presidential Museum Shows Gaps in Internal Controls

Apr 20, 2021
Lee Millner, Ilinois Times

Leadership at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum assured state lawmakers Tuesday that its new policies for loaning artifacts will correct the insufficient oversight that led to the improper loan of an original copy of the Gettysburg Address in 2018.

ALPLM Acting Executive Director Melissa Coultas said the agency has established safeguards to protect the safety of artifacts and collection items, including a new policy that requires the ALPLM Board of Trustees to approve any loan requests.

Southeast Missourian

After COVID-19 shut down Major League Baseball’s spring training in 2020, teams are back at it again with the pandemic still impacting our lives.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson looks back at how World War II changed baseball’s spring training schedule and brought teams to our own backyard.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has a new executive director – Christina Shutt.

The Springfield museum and library’s board of trustees announced Friday the selection of its first Black leader. Shutt comes from Arkansas, where she served as executive director of Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock. She holds master’s degrees in both history and library science.

WSIU Staff

Social Justice movements like Black Lives Matter have changed the way Americans think over the last several months. February is Black History Month, and we'll bring you opportunities to learn more about history and culture, as well as ways to get more involved in equity and diversity initiatives.

Mary Flowers, State's Longest-Serving Black Lawmaker, Follows in Footsteps of Firsts

Feb 21, 2021

During the past three and half decades, Rep. Mary Flowers — who in January became the longest-serving African American lawmaker in the Illinois General Assembly’s history — has fought to pass health care reform and advocate for groups marginalized by systemic racism.

It’s a fighting spirit the 69-year-old lawmaker inherited from her mother, who worked in a factory and other odd jobs to provide for her seven children, and one that she honed while following in the footsteps of Black legislative leaders in Illinois who preceded her.

Black History Scholar Bowl Planned February 24.

Feb 10, 2021

The public is invited to an evening of learning Black history on February 24.  Linda Flowers, President of  the Carbondale Branch of the NAACP,  says last year's inaugural Black History Scholar  Bowl, held in person, was enjoyable.

"It was, we were all together in one room, and everyone had an opportunity to learn some history, but to bring the community and the University together."

This year's event, in collaboration with  the SIU's  Black Affairs Council, will be held virtually.  Flowers says people who are not a part of a team are still encouraged to join.

Illinois Stories - Ten Acre Treehouses

Perhaps the most unique lodging opportunity in the state exists among the trees near Nauvoo

Pandemic, Social Unrest, Statehouse Scandals Top 2020 Stories

Dec 31, 2020
Pool photograph by Justin Fowler of the State Journal-Register of Springfield

It was a year like no other, and one most Americans would just as soon forget, but 2020 is sure to last in the history books as one of the most tumultuous in modern history.

SIU Brings Bucky's Legacy to a New Generation

Dec 28, 2020
Mick Haupt unslpash

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, Pioneering Design Professor Buckminster Fuller's ideas are being brought to today's SIU Students, as a part of an Honors Class on the SIU Carbondale Campus.

Citizens of Illinois, I believe, should measure the product of our efforts by these tests: Is the Constitution of 1970 superior to the Constitution of 1870? Is the Constitution of 1970 relevant to the problems of our state at this time? By either test, I submit, the 1970 Constitution possesses a more efficient and economical governmental structure, while strengthening at the same time our commitment to the human needs of our people… the 1970 Constitution talks to a human purpose and a human society.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with author Laurent Pernot about his new book, "There and Here: Small Illinois Towns with Big Names."


Former SIU baseball player Derek Shelton just finished his first season as a major league manager.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson says – unfortunately for him and Shelton – the season went about as he expected…a last place finish for his Pittsburgh Pirates.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with authors Cary O'Dell and Thad Heckman about their new book, "Bucky's Dome."


A statue of a 19th century senator from Illinois who owned slaves and was a longtime nemesis of Abraham Lincoln has been moved from the Illinois Capitol’s lawn into storage.


Women playing professional baseball is almost unheard of. Just over 20 years ago, a California woman had a successful college baseball career and made it to the minor leagues.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson explains why he believes this remarkable woman should’ve been included on a list of the 100 most accomplished and influential women of the past century to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment.


Since a young man named Abner Doubleday invented the game known as baseball in Cooperstown, New York during the summer of 1839, many youngsters have dreamed of growing up to play in the Major Leagues.

Pete Peterson was no different.

In his latest edition of Reading Baseball, Pete tells us about an incident in his teenage years that literally shattered his dream of becoming a professional ballplayer.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with former Illinois Governor George Ryan about his decision to halt executions in Illinois, and push for an end to the death penalty. Ryan has written a book about his change of heart on capital punishment, "Until I Could Be Sure."


19 years ago a series of deadly terrorist attacks hit the east coast of the United States.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson remembers the day of the attack and the aftermath as he and his wife made their way to New York state.

Capitol View
Mark St. George/WSIU

Host Bernie Schoenburg of the State Journal-Register, with guests Dave Dahl of WTAX NewsRadio and Rebecca Anzel of Capitol News Illinois, discuss changes being made to statues on the Capitol grounds, the latest on COVID-19, cutbacks to the US Postal Service operations, some Illinois lawmakers getting mistreated by law enforcement, and remembering former Gov. Jim Thompson.

Statues of two former Illinois leaders with ties to slavery will be removed from outside the state capitol building in Springfield.

The longest serving governor in Illinois history died Friday.  James R. Thompson was 84  Known as Big Jim for his stature (he stood 6'6"), he had a personality to match.  

Charlie Wheeler was already a veteran of the statehouse press corps when Thompson took office in 1977.  He would continue to cover Illinois government through Thompson's fourteen year tenure.

State of Illinois

Former Illinois Gov.  James R. Thompson has died. He was 84.


The only Major League Baseball player to die from a pitch during a game lived in southern Illinois at the time.

In this edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson revisits the story of Ray Chapman on the 100th anniversary of what some refer to as baseball's greatest tragedy.


After years of calls to change its team nickname, the Washington Redskins NFL franchise has finally relented. The team will be known this season as the Washington Football Team.

In this commentary, WSIU Radio contributor Pete Peterson looks back at the origin of the Redskins' name and how history shows changing nicknames is pretty common in professional sports.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with former State Representative Roger Eddy, who has written about his time in the Illinois legislature and during the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich in his new book, "A Front Row Seat."

It was only a matter a time that recent events caused someone to focus in on Illinois State Capitol statues dedicated to those with racist pasts.  Now, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is calling for the removal of two statues sitting outside the State Capitol and a portrait inside the chamber of the Illinois House.

Wearing a mask has become a divisive issue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his latest edition of Reading Baseball, Pete Peterson looks at how crime-fighting heroes in the early days of radio and television -- and some in the sports world -- made wearing a mask popular.