Image of a woman and her knowledgeJane Addams is recognized annually on Dec. 10 in Illinois for her positive contributions to the lives of women and children. She was born in Cedarville, Illinois, in 1860. As she grew older, she dedicated herself to social work, activism and feminism for women everywhere. She is credited with bringing a Hull House to Chicago to house and educate women in pursuit of social and political reform among the working-class neighborhoods of the city. In addition to being a co-founder of this settlement house, Jane Addams played a formative role in the creation of the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, which fight to expand civil liberties to all people regardless of their origin, creed, race or background.

Jane Addams is a global figure as well. She was the second woman in the world to win the Nobel Peace Prize and the first in the U.S. to receive the award. James Addams Day was first recognized in Illinois in 2006, making Addams one of few women to have a commemorative day across the U.S.

To observe Jane Addams Day, visit the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, which offers tours, exhibits and workshops that spark conversations about what can be learned from Jane Addams and icons like her. The museum is located in Hull Home, a national historic landmark and one of the original settlement house buildings founded by Addams. It features programs and events beyond Jane Addams to continue her legacy of social reform. Patrons can learn about gender equality, governmental accountability, access to food and civic engagement.

Information about the museum, its events and programs can be found here.

burgerIt’s National Fast Food Day in the United States. Food lovers in Illinois and all across the United States have an excuse to indulge at one of their favorite fast food restaurants. Whether they use the drive-thru, dine-in, or get it to go, National Fast Food Day calls for us to sample grilled, fried, and broiled menu staples. First popularized in the United States in the 1950s, fast food is considered any meal with low preparation time served to a customer in a packaged form. The meal makes for quick dine-in, take-out or take-away- and most fast-food restaurants offer drive-thru service.  In fact, there are over 300,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S. alone. The industry is also highly profitable, with U.S. consumers spending more than $110 Billion on fast food every year. One of the most iconic fast food franchises got its start right here in Illinois. Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, opened his first restaurant in Des Plaines in April 1955.

Many companies are offering deals, so people should pay attention to their Twitter and other social media accounts for pending announcements. Carl's Jr. and Hardees, owned by the same parent company, are celebrating National Fast Food Day with a special prices- including a deal on the Big Carl Small Combo, according to a statement sent to Hardee's is dishing up the Big Hardee Small Combo for $5.49. According to, Nov. 15 is the birthday for another major fast food chain, Wendy’s. Wendy’s is celebrating its birthday as well as National Fast Food Day with a free order of fries, any size, as long as you place an order through the Wendy's app. For University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students, the campus good eats newspaper, SPOON  UNIVERSITY, has highlighted a number of local restaurants as well as major chains along Green Street. Students can check out the full list of options by viewing their article here.  

Give a shout out to your favorite fast-food restaurant using  #NationalFastFoodDay to post on social media.  

A graphic that says National Go To An Art Museum DayIllinois is home to a number of famous artists, including Donna Zarbin-Byrne, Teresa Cash, Tony Abboreno, and so many more. Nov. 9th is National Go To An Art Museum Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the talents of artists and content creators everywhere. More than 30,000 museums around the world participate in National Go To An Art Museum Day by hosting events and displaying their exhibits according to a theme that changes annually. Illinois museums offer a variety of ways to discover the abundance of talent in the state.

Illinois has over 1,000 museums. Each location offers unique accounts of not only Illinois excellence but also nationally recognized artistry. These locations can be found across the regions, and their displays demonstrate the influence of every corner of the state. The art Institute of Chicago, for example, is featuring Barbara Kruger, who exposes the power dynamics of identity, desire, and consumerism through animations, photos, and more until late January. The Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois is hosting several temporary exhibits that highlight everything from individual artists, to themes to styles of production.

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Post-it with the words "Believe in Yourself" written on it

Today, October 20, marks the celebration of the energy, spirit, and potential of young people across the nation. Research shows that young people benefit greatly from close, caring relationships with adults who serve as positive role models, but millions of youth lack supportive and sustained mentors. Establishing role models encourages youth to follow in the footsteps of responsible and exceptional individuals. To celebrate National Youth Confidence day, recognize a number of positive role models that hail from Illinois:

Miles Davis, born in Alton, Illinois, became a national music sensation for his experimental approach to jazz. He shaped modern improvisational music by following his melodic intuition and becoming a standard for future generations of musicians.

Walt Disney, the famous director, producer, animator, and screenwriter who created many children’s favorite characters, was born in Chicago. Disney spent his life starting his very own studios and creating ads for magazines, cinemas, and newspapers until he attracted the attention of renowned distributors. Disney is a shining example of the very words he believed: “All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Jane Addams, who is featured in the National Women’s History Museum, is an internationally-recognized peace activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. She was the first American woman to receive this honor. She is known for helping found the Hull House in Chicago, the first settlement house in the United States. The house was intended for educated women to share their knowledge, from basic skills to arts and literature, with poorer people in the neighborhood.

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R. Buckminster Fuller with his domed city design1The famed architect and inventor Buckminster Fuller was born on this day in 1895. For a significant portion of his career, Fuller lived and taught in Illinois.

Richard Buckminster Fuller was born in his home state of Massachusetts on July 12, 1895. After receiving an education from Harvard College, he worked odd jobs and briefly served in the U.S. Navy during World War I while continuing to improve his skills in machining and inventing.

Fuller developed many ideas and inventions, largely focused on providing practical and inexpensive shelter or transportation. Some of Fuller’s earlier inventions included the Dymaxion car and his most famous endeavor, the popularization of Geodesic Domes.

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