It's been 110 years since the 1908 Race Riot erupted in Springfield. The violence and its aftermath inspired the founding of the NAACP, the prominent civil rights organization. A number of groups in the city recognized and remembered the violence and lives lost in a series of public events earlier this month. There are also plans to ensure more recognition in the future of a violent period many residents say deserves more attention.
Visitors will notice a new feature at the Western Illinois Museum. An elevated stage has been installed to look like the front porch of a home. Museum Director Sue Scott said it’s a nod to small town life.
The difference between Illinosi towns that thrived and those that faded away, many times, was the presence of a railroad. That’s according to historian and chair of Western Illinois University's Department of History, Simon Cordery.