Clint Cargile

History Correspondent, Host of "Drinkin' with Lincoln" and "The Northern Almanac"

Clint Cargile has worked as an English instructor, freelance writer, magazine editor, academic conference coordinator, landscaper, dish washer, car washer, dog washer, and veterinary assistant. He has a BA in English from the University of Alabama, an MFA in creative writing from Southern Illinois University, and an MA in history with a concentration in public history from Northern Illinois University. At WNIJ, he is the creator and host of the podcast Drinkin’ with Lincoln and creator and co-host of the series Curiosity in the Corn. He is the author of two history books, Five Mile Spur Line: A Railroad History of Sycamore, Illinois (2014) and In Search of a Fair Wind: The Sea Letters of Georgia Townsend Yates, 1891-1892 (2017). He lives with his wife and daughters in DeKalb, Illinois.

The Twinkie, America’s model junk food, got its start in Illinois. Twinkies were invented on April 6, 1930 at the Continental Baking Company in River Forest. Manager James Dewar noticed that the equipment used to make the company’s small, baked strawberry shortcakes sat idle when strawberries were out of season. He came up with the idea to inject the spongy yellow cakes with a fluffy, white cream filling, and the Twinkie was born.

No Foolin’: on April 1, 2007, the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Resolution 255, designating every April 1st in Illinois as "Cheap Trick Day."

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, NPG.2009.36

On March 25, 1931, Illinois, and the nation, mourned the loss of suffragist and civil rights icon Ida B. Wells. But before she became a crusader for women’s rights, Wells came to national attention as a crusader against lynchings of African Americans in the South.

National Archives and Records Administration, Public domain

March 17, 1937. Illinois’ Attorney General John E. Cassidy declared that all pinball machines were to be outlawed as gambling devices. He called them “pernicious and dangerous to the public welfare.” Law enforcement officers around the state pledged their support, ready to seize the pinball machines just as they would any slot machine.

On March 12, 1966, just five minutes into the third period against the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawk Bobby Hull scored his 50th goal of the season. The Chicago Stadium crowd roared as their hometown hero tied a league record that he already shared with two others. The Blackhawks’ winger, known as “The Golden Jet” for his speed, skill and dashing blond hair, was one of the most popular players in the National Hockey League.

Internet Archive

Before coal, before oil, even before corn, the biggest and busiest industry in Illinois was salt.  

This once-booming enterprise was located just southeast of Equality, in southern Illinois’ Gallatin County. The heavily brined water was pulled from springs, boiled down and the salt laid out to dry. Native Americans did this for generations, then they taught the process to the French. In 1763, after the French and Indian War, control of the salt springs went to the British.

Courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

William H. Bissell was Illinois’ 11th governor, elected in 1856 and endorsed by Abraham Lincoln. He is known for many Illinois firsts: first Catholic governor, first Republican governor  -- the party was only two years old at the time of his election -- and first governor to die in office.

Wikipedia user Jscott (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Great Blizzard of 1978 was one of the worst storms in Illinois’ history. One-hundred-mile-an-hour winds whipped up snow drifts as high as 12 feet. Wind chills were so low they caused railroad tracks to buckle and break. Northern Illinois, especially Chicago, ground to a halt. And a couple of snowed-in computer nerds created a major technological achievement.

Flickr User Joseph Gage (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Illinoisans have bet on horseracing since 1927, purchased Lottery tickets since 1974 and gambled for non-profit charities since 1986.

But on Feb. 7, 1990, Gov. James Thompson signed the Riverboat Gambling Act, laying odds on economic development and tourism.

One hundred and eighty-eight years ago, Illinois’s nascent anti-slavery movement began to pick up steam. On Feb. 1, 1833, eleven men who shared a fierce loathing of America’s peculiar institution banded together and established the Putnam County Anti-Slavery Society, the first anti-slavery society in Illinois, and one of the first in the western United States.

Library of Congress (LC-DIG-fsa-8a13112)

They call it black gold. Texas tea. But Texas wasn’t the only state to dominate America’s oil industry. Illinois was once one of the highest oil-producing states in the country, and, for a time, the world.

Oil speculators looked to Illinois as early as the 1860s and found some success in the early 1900s. But the real boom began Jan. 27, 1937, when the Adams Oil and Gas company struck oil on Glenn Merryman’s farm in Marion County, setting off a southern Illinois oil boom that lasted half a century.

Library of Congress (88715937)

One hundred and one years ago, America’s non-drinkers really hornswoggled everyone who loved their booze. Prohibition began at midnight, January 17, 1920, a Saturday. Americans had one last Friday to imbibe or sock away their sauce.

In a state known for bootleggers and violence, the transition actually happened without much fanfare.

Winston1085, via Wikimedia Commons

When we think of Illinois, we think of Abraham Lincoln, flat farmland and Chicago. But maybe someday our state will be associated with… sandwiches?

It was this week 37 years ago that the first Jimmy John's opened in Charleston, Illinois. Its founder, Jimmy John Liautaud, had just turned nineteen.

Harlemglobetrotters.com

Before they trotted the globe or dropped in on Scooby Doo, Where Are You?, the Harlem Globetrotters made their traveling debut in the small farming village of Hinckley, Illinois.

It was January 7, 1927. The all-Black basketball team from Chicago’s south side traveled 60 miles west into the cornfields to challenge the Hinckley Merchants.

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original stories for this episode at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original stories for this episode at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

Center for Burma Studies established (1986)

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

College of Engineering & Engineering Technology established (1985)

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

The Northern Almanac is adapted for broadcast by Clint Cargile and presented in collaboration with the NIU 125th Anniversary Oral History Project.

Find the original story at NIU’s 125 Key Moments website:

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