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.

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

In the 1960s and 70s, NIU had a strong base of student activists who were intensely engaged in anti-war and civil rights movements. An early anti-war protest took place in February 1967, when students objected to recruiters from DOW Chemical being on campus because they manufactured napalm being used in Vietnam.

 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary. 

The Northern Black Choir performing at the January 2020 Kick-Off Celebration of NIU’s 125th Anniversary.

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary. 

Thousands of NIU alumni have earned their degrees through off-campus courses or extension programs, but did you know that Northern offered such programs as early as 1939? That year, the school held evening classes at area high schools so working teachers could earn advanced degrees.

After nearly two decades, these classes become formalized under the name “Evening College.” In 1966, the program was reorganized as the College of Continuing Education.

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

Nothing is quite as exciting as the history of a state bond, but there is one key state bond that helped shape the future of NIU for years to come. Between 1950 and the mid-1960s, NIU grew from 2,000 to over 18,000 students, and that included just the first round of baby boomers. This unprecedented growth required a larger faculty and administration, but it also required a larger infrastructure. And to build that infrastructure, the school needed money.

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

Up until the 1950s, Northern had served a single purpose, to educate the educators. But after receiving university status in 1957, NIU needed to be more than just a teacher’s college, so President Leslie Holmes (the namesake of the Student Center) approved the expansion of the school’s offerings. In 1958, it introduced a Masters in Arts and a Masters in Science. And the following year, a Masters in Music and a Masters in Fine Arts.

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

You know that big weird sculpture behind Lowden Hall? The one where the geese might attack you if you try to get too close? It’s actually a really valuable piece of art by one of the most famous sculptors in the world.

 

The Northern Almanac Ep. 20 - 'Huskie Stadium'

Jun 15, 2020

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

In the 1960s, NIU head football coach Howard Fletcher led a streak of nine consecutive winning seasons, with conference championships in 1963, ‘64, and ‘65; and the Mineral Water Bowl appearances in 1962, ‘63 and ’65. But he is most remembered for his perfect 10-0 season in 1963. Fletcher’s success bumped NIU up to NCAA University Division status and also secured a much-needed new stadium. 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

Northern’s University Center, now called Holmes Student Center, was completed in 1962 to meet the growing demands of a huge influx of post-World War II students. The idea for a student center was born in 1940, when Jim Lundberg opened Jimmie’s Tea Room, a popular meeting spot near campus. The university later bought Jimmie’s, renamed it The College Tea Room, and enlarged it into a student union, hosting dances and other activities. 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

It’s hard to imagine in today’s digital world of laptops and personal devices, but NIU didn’t lease its first IBM computer until 1962. NIU’s growth in the 1960s made every organizational process more complex. Payroll, records, research, partnerships and day-to-day activities had moved beyond NIU’s ability to keep track of things by hand. 

 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

At 2 a.m. on October 14, 1960, Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy stood before a crowd at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to share his idea for a new type of world diplomacy called the Peace Corps. NIU fully embraced the concept and began training Peace Corps volunteers. 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary. 

 

What’s in a name? Well, at Northern Illinois University, you can learn a lot about the school’s history from the four names it has operated under. When it was founded in 1895, Northern was called Northern Illinois State Normal School. It offered a two-year teaching degree, which allowed its graduates to teach in elementary schools.

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

Thousands of listeners tune in daily to Northern Public Radio stations WNIJ and WNIU. Northern Public Radio started in 1954 when WNIU began broadcasting from a tiny 10-watt station on DeKalb’s College Avenue. It aired campus events and music for only a few hours a day. According to local legend (and some of the people who actually worked there), the first words broadcast over the air were “Sh**! It didn’t work.” 

 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary. 

 

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Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

Kevin Wood

I refuse to just grow a mustache and say, “Well, my time is done for a while,” and wait for something to happen. –Lincoln Presenter Michael Krebs

Due to Illinois’s shelter-at-home order, many of us are quarantined, working remotely or unable to work at all. But what about our Lincoln presenters? How has the coronavirus disrupted their profession, which relies almost exclusively on live events, many of them taking place in schools and senior centers?

The Northern Almanac Ep. 12 - 'Leslie A. Holmes'

Apr 20, 2020

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

Leslie A. Holmes became Northern’s fifth president in 1949. A native of Freeport, Illinois, Holmes loved nature, studied geology and geography, and had done a stint as a geologist for an oil company. Before leading Northern, he was a popular professor at Illinois State University. 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary.

 

While we celebrate NIU’s 125th anniversary, we also must note that it is the 80th anniversary of NIU’s athletic mascot, the Huskie. But the mascot wasn’t always the Huskie. 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary. 

Angela Dolores Soule

Yesterday morning, Larry Eckhardt walked his final flag line. The marine veteran from Little York, Ill., known affectionately throughout the Midwest as “The Flag Man,” died at his home after a long battle with cancer. He was 63.   

Eckhardt served in the United States Marine Corp reserves and was employed at International Harvester as a machinist for 25 years. He became known as “The Flag Man” in 2005 when he started placing American flags along funeral routes for fallen veterans and first responders.

WNIJ

On this episode, we feature Navy veteran Rick Otey, who took up the mantle of Lincoln at age 67 and uses Lincoln to help those around him (especially veterans). Join host Clint Cargile as he travels to Rick’s hometown of Tremont, Illinois, a town rich with Lincoln history.

In part one, we visit Rick at the Tremont History Museum and then he gives a tour of Lincoln sites around Tremont. We also hear the little-known story of a duel Lincoln took part in, and its connection to Tremont.

The Northern Almanac Ep. 8 - 'The Great War'

Mar 26, 2020

When the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917, Northern’s enrollment was 424 women and 58 men. By the fall of 1918, enrollment plummeted to 223 women and no men. Many male students enlisted, some were drafted, while others left to tend family farms or provide other services for the war effort. Several male faculty and staff also enlisted. There was no football team from 1917 to 1919. Nearly the entire baseball team enlisted as a unit in the Hospital Corps of the 129th Infantry. 

 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary. I'm Clint Cargile.

Fanny Ruth Patterson from Hinckley, Illinois was the first African-American student to graduate from Northern. When she completed her two year degree in 1915, President John Cook wrote her a letter of reccomendation to the St. Louis school system where she had applied for a teaching job.

The Northern Almanac Ep. 6 - 'The Lagoon'

Mar 9, 2020
WNIJ

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary. 

One of most prominent features on the Northern Illinois campus is the East Lagoon. But did you know that it is not even a natural landmark? 

Welcome to the Northern Almanac, the WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU’s 125th anniversary. This week we’re going to look at how NIU continually took steps to distinguish itself as a comprehensive school offering a multitude of opportunities to its students.

Welcome to the Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU’s 125th anniversary.

This week, we're going to cover a few topics, starting with Northern's marching band. Now nearly 200 members strong, the marching band started in 1899 with just 14 young men. They weren't really a marching band back then, but they provided the musical backdrop for football games, pep rallies, and socials. By the 1930s, the band began to resemble the modern-day ensemble, taking the field at halftime in parade formation. 

Northern Almanac Ep. 3 - 'The Northern Illinois'

Feb 17, 2020

Welcome to the Northern Almanac, the WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU’s 125th anniversary.

Before the first classes started at Northern Illinois State Normal school in 1899, a faculty committee headed by professor Fred Charles organized the first student publication, a monthly magazine called, appropriately, ‘The Northern Illinois’. They produced 1,500 copies of the inaugural issue for the school’s September opening. 

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU’s 125th anniversary.

When it opened on September 11, 1899, Northern Illinois State Normal school had 173 students made up of 146 women and 27 men, and as long as they committed to teaching for a time in Illinois schools they paid no tuition.

Welcome to The Northern Almanac, a WNIJ living history project coinciding with NIU's 125th anniversary. Our first installment tells the story of how barbed wire brought Northern Illinois University to DeKalb.

WNIJ

On this episode of Drinkin’ with Lincoln, we’re not drinkin’ with Lincoln at all. Host Clint Cargile marks the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote with a special spinoff episode we’re calling Sippin’ with Suffragists. To celebrate the occasion, he travels to Galena, Illinois, to interview one of the most famous suffragists of all: Susan B. Anthony.

WNIJ

Drinkin’ with Lincoln continues. This episode’s guest is not the 16th president, but someone very close to him. Join host Clint Cargile as he interviews Mary Lincoln presenter Laura Keyes. Laura has portrayed Mary Lincoln for over a decade. She also portrays several other strong historical women: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Irene Adler, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

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