Barack Obama

University of Illinois


In his first major political speech since leaving office, former President Barack Obama took aim at the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress — blaming them for inciting division and stoking fears in the country.

Obama delivered the address at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, where he also accepted the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.


A state law requiring police departments to keep statistics on the race of motorists they pull over is set to expire, and debate is underway about whether the 14-year-old program is effective or simply an expensive, burdensome task for officers.

The landmark study to determine whether Illinois police engage in racial profiling on the roadways — a practice derisively described as combatting the offense of "driving while black" — was one of the major pieces of legislation achieved by former President Barack Obama when he served in the Illinois Senate.

U.S. Government

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of his corruption convictions, the second time in two years it has declined to take up his case.

The nation's highest court offered no explanation for its decision, letting stand the Chicago Democrat's convictions. They included seeking to trade an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president for campaign cash.

Blagojevich, 61, began serving his 14-year prison sentence in 2012. His scheduled release date is 2024.

Talk Radio News Service

Anyone who’s ever listened to a Chicago traffic report knows the names — Edens, Eisenhower, Stevenson, Ryan. Now, an addition: the Barack Obama Presidential Expressway.

That’s the official designation for Interstate 55, from I-294 in the Chicago suburbs south to mile marker 202, near the City of Pontiac. State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, said it’s a route the former state Senator would be familiar with.

“President Obama traveled 55 on his way to Springfield," said Ford. 

Courtesy of the Obama Foundation

The Obama Presidential Center won't be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration.

That move will free the Obama Foundation from amassing an endowment equivalent to 60 percent of the construction cost, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The foundation won't have to adhere to the agency's architectural and design standards, and it won't have to pay NARA to help run an agency-controlled portion of the center.

Barack Obama's name is revered in his home state. But the Illinois House has rejected making his birthday a state holiday.

Legislation to make the 44th president's Aug. 4th birthday a state holiday fell six votes short Tuesday. Chicago Democratic Rep. Sonya Harper says it would honor a man who adopted Chicago as his home and served in the Illinois State Senate.

But Rep. Steven Andersson of Geneva suggested it be honorary. The Republican floor leader says even Obama wouldn't want the cash-strapped state to give state workers another paid day off.  

Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Democratic lawmakers from Chicago have proposed bills to make former President Barack Obama's birthday a state holiday.

All three bills would make Obama's birthday, Aug. 4, an official holiday.

Two House bills, proposed by Democratic Reps. Andre Thapedi and Sonya Harper, would make Aug. 4 a "legal holiday,'' in which state government offices shut down, and schools and businesses have the option of closing.

Under the Senate bill co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jacqueline Collins, "Barack Obama Day'' would be commemorative only and not a holiday.

Talk Radio News Service

President Barack Obama is returning to the city that launched his unlikely political career to give one final speech.

He'll deliver in Chicago a parting plea to Americans not to lose faith in their future, no matter what they think about their next president.

Obama's speech before thousands on Tuesday evening is his last chance to try to define what his presidency meant for America, and a fitting bookend.

Chicago is where the nation's first black president declared victory in 2008 and where he cultivated his decidedly optimistic brand of American politics.

Talk Radio News Service

A group of Illinois House Democrats are proposing President Barack Obama's birthday become the next state holiday.

The proposal says Aug. 4 would be considered a "legal holiday'' in which state government offices, schools and businesses can close.

Bill sponsor Rep. Andre Thapedi says President Obama's distinctions as a Nobel Peace Prize winner and first black president of the United States are reasons to honor him.

Obama served eight years as a state senator and four years as a U.S. senator.

An architectural rendering of the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which may be built on Chicago's lakefront. Credit LMNA Architecture Renderings / Lucas Museum of Narrative Art press kit

The force of the Illinois legislature is behind bringing George Lucas's museum and Barack Obama's presidential library to Chicago.

A measure to ward off legal problems that could prevent the Star Wars creator's museum and the President's library from being located in Chicago first popped up Wednesday evening. 

Less than 24 hours later, it's on the way to the governor. It's supposed to take at three days at minimum for that to happen.

But this measure had support from leaders like House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Two Chicago universities are among four finalists to host the Barack Obama Presidential Library.