MEMBERSHIP

Events & Exhibits

Sep
9

Singing Bird and the Importance of Native American Women in Illinois History

Dressed in her native regalia, Kim will be giving a history of the natives in Illinois with a focus on native women, or what was considered “The Hidden Half.” Her primary focus will be women such as Singing Bird (Blackhawk’s wife), and Hononegah. Kim will bring the audience into these women’s day-to-day lives, including courting, marriage, and child-rearing. She will also talk about their role in their husbands’ lives, and how those lives affected the history of Illinois. Kim will bring native items that women would have used in their daily lives, as she discusses the role women played within the family unit. The audience will be able to pick up and view the items, learn native language and music, and get the chance to play the drum in this interactive experience.
Jun
3

A Brief History of the Reintroduction of the Native Americans into Illinois

Presented by Gerald Savage, HoChunk Native American, In this presentation, Chief White Winnebago will introduce participants to the culture and history of the HoChunk nation. He will examine the history of his tribal territory and settlements, how his family was relocated into Starved Rock, tribal names and culture, his regalia, and artifacts.
Mar
1

Brick by Brick: A History of Naval Station Great Lakes

"Brick by Brick" explores the history of Naval Station Great Lakes, from its founding in 1911 through two world wars, the development of modern warfare technology and its current role as the home of Recruit Training Command, the U.S. Navy's only boot camp.
Feb
23

History of American Pies … and Illinois is well represented! HYBRID Live/Zoom

Pies are as American as pizza is American: we took a great idea, adapted it to our needs and ran with it. Our ancestors used what they had available locally and made the most from it. You might be thinking that pies are just for dessert, but for our American ancestors, they were often considered survival food. Sometimes, they ate pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner for months at a time. Catherine Lambrecht, who achieved Grand Champion and Best of Show at the Lake County Fair for apple pie, will present the history of pies in America and our state.
Feb
15

Bitter Sweet: A Wartime Journal and Heirloom Recipes from Occupied France

… Looking up at me from inside la petite valise was a photographic portrait of a teenage girl dressed in the traditional Alsatian attire of the late 1800s, complete with an oversized black bow in her hair. Blanche Lévy-Neymarck, my great grandmother and namesake. Her portrait partially hid a pocket-size doctor’s notebook titled Carnet Médical 1936, the daily journal of Doctor Prosper Lévy, my great-grandfather, a distinguished army surgeon twice the recipient of the Legion of Honor, that commemorated the advance of the Germans on Eastern France from April to December 1940. 
Dec
7

The Journey of Mollie’s War: WACs and WWII

Using her mother’s letters, Cyndee takes you on a romantic and always frightful journey of an American WAC during the height of WWII. She discusses women in the military during WWII and in particular, her mother’s experiences as a member of the Women’s Army Corps by taking you on a journey from inspiration to publication.
Nov
15

From ‘Peanut Weddings’ to ‘Beef Stands’: The Socio-Culinary History of Chicago’s ‘Italian Beef’

Italian Americans have contributed a considerable number of portable fast foods to regional and local cuisines around the United States, some of which have become extremely popular at the national level. One such food which, despite its frequent discussion in recent food-related media, has remained very much a local dish is Chicago’s ‘Italian beef’. As a sandwich filled with thin slices of roasted beef, this product at first blush looks to be an Italian-American take on the mainstream Anglo-American roast beef sandwich, and popular food writers have accordingly sought its origins in terms of some single ‘inventor’ whose culinary and entrepreneurial stroke of genius came to be imitated by other small entrepreneurs and thus the dish gradually became established throughout the city and ultimately its suburbs. The idea of seeking an individual responsible for the invention of a given dish is common but often misguided, and in the case of Italian beef it is especially so.
Nov
3

The Turkey, An American Story

Food historian Andrew F. Smith’s sweeping and multifaceted history of Meleagris gallopavo separates fact from fiction. Smith presents the turkey in ten courses, beginning with the bird itself (actually several different species of turkey) flying through the wild. Learn practically every aspect of the iconic bird, including the wild turkey in early America, how it came to be called “turkey,” domestication, turkey mating habits, expansion into Europe, stuffing, conditions in modern industrial turkey factories, its surprising commercial history of boom and bust, and its eventual ascension to holiday mainstay.