Craft Item from Illinois’ Sesquicentennial Celebration

I was 12 when my home state of Illinois celebrated its 150th anniversary of its admission to the Union. I don’t remember much about the celebrations, but I do remember making this leather patch/necklace in Girl Scouts. I’m going to guess that the colored yarn represented feathers on a Native American headdress, but I could very well be wrong. Maybe they were just for looks.

And while we’re on the topic of Illinois — I just listened to the state song of Illinois (called Illinois) and remember singing it in school. I remembered the lyrics at the beginning, but near the end is this stanza:

Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois, Illinois,
Can be writ the nation’s glory, Illinois, Illinois,
On the record of thy years,
Abraham Lincoln’s name appears, Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois,
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois.
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois.

Stanza from Illinois’ state song

I knew who Lincoln and Grant were, of course, but I had to look up Logan. This sentence caught my eye:

In 1853, John A. Logan helped pass a law which prohibited all African Americans, including freedmen, from settling in the state.

Wikipedia (see also

This man is honored, not only in the Illinois state song, but has two statues erected of him — one in Chicago and one in Washington DC — and has cities, towns, neighborhoods and at least one college named after him.

I’m surprised no one is talking about this.

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