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5 Fun Facts About May 4 In Illinois History

---Learn Every Day: IL Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history il To: 618-270-4005---

1. On May 4, 1886, the Haymarket Riot occurred in Chicago, which was one of the most significant events in the history of the American labor movement. During a demonstration for an eight-hour workday, a bomb was thrown into a crowd of police officers, leading to violence and bloodshed. The following day, eight anarchist leaders were arrested and convicted for the bombing, even though there was no evidence linking them to the crime.

2. May 4, 1951, marks the birth of Chicago Cubs outfielder Bill Buckner. Buckner played for 22 seasons in the Major Leagues, and though he made several key contributions to his team, he is best known for a pivotal error he made while playing for the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

3. On May 4, 1961, Illinois State University was the site of a speech delivered by President John F. Kennedy in which he encouraged a new generation of Americans to embrace public service. His remarks - known as the "New Frontier" speech - also touched on Cold War fears and urged the nation to continue striving for progress and innovation.

4. May 4, 1970, was the date of the Kent State shootings in Ohio, a tragedy that had significant repercussions for the anti-war movement and the nation's confidence in its leaders. However, it is worth noting that the National Guard members who opened fire on unarmed student protesters were trained at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois.

5. On May 4, 1998, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar was among the first in the country to issue a formal apology for the state's role in slavery. Though slavery was never legal in Illinois, the state's early history includes instances of indentured servitude and other forms of exploitation. Edgar's apology was seen as an important step toward acknowledging and reconciling the wrongs of the past.
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