Posts in Category: Main

Fun Facts About The Shawnee National Forest In Southernmost Illinois

The boundaries of the Shawnee National Forest were established as a means of protecting the quickly deteriorating forests of Southernmost Illinois in the early 20th century when foresting projects and logging companies had scoured much of the region. Worst of all were the consequences of the projects: farmers were unable to preserve the fertility of the soil at around the same time WWI began, and inevitably moved their family to larger population centers where they could find high-paying work.

Finally, the United States Federal Government set aside 290,000 acres in Southernmost Illinois for a new preserve: Shawnee National Forest.

  1. Shawnee was constructed. Some of the lands that were set aside for the forest had already been cleared by the aforementioned foresting projects. In order for the “national forest” to be born, it first had to be planted. Those who were set to this task planted 62 acres of pine seedlings, but they also serviced 128 miles of roadway, set up telephone poles, and constructed fire towers. Of course, they did a lot more.

  2. The Shawnee National Forest Mint. A quarter featuring the forest was released in 2016 as part of a program to spread awareness about our country’s national forests and parks. This particular quarter is popular, and has helped spur new tourism to the state.

  3. Shawnee was an economic boon. It is one of 155 national forests in the United States, but the only one in all of Illinois. The forest drives millions of dollars worth of tourism to the area and at least 75 federal workers keep the operation running. About a million people visit every year to hike, ride horses, camp, backpack, walk or run, swim, help maintain trails, or take photographs of their adventures.

  4. Logging still occurs in Shawnee. Logging has always been part of the national forest’s history, but the practice creates a fair amount of strife between environmentalists and those who work there. Protesters took it up a notch when they camped out for 79 days in 1990, trying to prevent one of the logging projects from taking place. Although timber is technically a “renewable” resource, the organisms that live in those trees are not.

  5. The Underground Railroad operated there. Before the Shawnee National Forest was built, the region was used as a station for the Underground Railroad. Sand Cave is an assumed shelter for some of the slaves who passed through the region, and stories also say that Crow Knob was used as a point at which signal fires could be set to help guide some to freedom.

Why You Should Visit The Lincoln Home National Historic Site

On your way to explore the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois, you’ll find other major historic attractions in the region such as the Lincoln Log Cabin, the Vandalia Statehouse, and the Looking for Lincoln Story Trail. Obviously there’s plenty to see, but not everyone does. As is so often the case, the people who live in southernmost Illinois are sometimes the ones least likely to experience the history attached to these places!

You might not know that Abraham Lincoln’s parents, Thomas and Sara Bush (who was his stepmother), were two of the first to settle the local area. Historians have preserved as much of the mid-1800s landmarks as possible so people will know what it was like to live in Lincoln’s shoes when times were simpler.

Charleston was also the agreed upon arena where the fourth Lincoln Douglas Debate occurred. 12,000 people were there to see the grand spectacle. That was a lot of people back then!

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site in downtown Springfield marks the site on which Lincoln’s only house stood. Abraham and Mary lived there together for seventeen years. It was built in 1839 and opened to public tours starting in 1887. Since then it was restored to appear as it did in 1860.

The Lincolns raised four sons in that home, and one even died there. The two-floor building houses twelve rooms. In addition to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, you’ll also be able to visit the nearby Lincoln Tomb while exploring Springfield.

Those who wish to see it should be ready for a wait unless they’re in line early, because hundreds of thousands of tourists fight over a spot on the free 15-person tours every day. If interested, you must acquire a ticket in the Lincoln Home Visitor Center. Tours last an average of 25 minutes. You’ll be walked through the formal parlor, sitting room, dining room, guest bedroom, Abraham Lincoln’s bedroom, Mary Lincoln’s bedroom, two more bedrooms meant for a child and/or the hired help, kitchen, and then outside in the backyard to explore the other buildings on the property.

If you would prefer to take a virtual tour, you may do so online.

Other historic buildings still standing in Springfield include the Old State Capitol (Abraham Lincoln served there during his time as a state legislator) and the Lincoln Depot. These landmarks are some of the greatest reminders of our past, and travelers should put them on the collective bucket list to ensure they continue to thrive well into the future!

Who Is Black Hawk?

Black Hawk, whose Native American name was Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak was born in 1767 in Rock Island, Illinois. He was a leader of many Native American tribes such as Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo, and Ho-Chunk. He is most famously known for defying the United States Government after 50 million acres of Native American land were promised to the government from the Treaty of St. Louis in 1804. His decision led to the Black Hawk War in 1832.

Black Hawk did not appreciate white men settling on his land and opted to side with the British during the War of 1812 in hopes of preventing more settlers encroaching on his territory. After being forced to move to Iowa, he banded together with a group of roughly 1000 Native Americans and attempted to recross the Mississippi River to settle back into Illinois, prompting Governor John Renolds to call in a militia.

At first, Black Hawk’s band was able to hold their own, especially during the Battle of Stillman’s Run. As weeks went on, the Native Americans did not fare well. Aid from other tribes as well as from the British never arrived. They had a shortage of food and supplies. Black Hawk and his men retreated north but most of his men were killed in the final battle at Bad Axe River in what is now Wisconsin. Black Hawk managed to escape but surrendered. The government’s treatment of the Native Americans during this war was so impactful, most Native American moved westward leaving the Northwest Territory completely in control of settlers.

During this time Black Hawk remained in government custody. They were paraded around the country from St. Louis all the way to Washington D.C. The trip home included stops in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. He finally made it back home but spent the last five years of his life out of the public eye. He died in 1838 in his home near Des Moines, Iowa.

Who Is George Rogers Clark?

Hailed as the “Conqueror of the Old Northwest,” George Rogers Clark was an American surveyor, defense lawyer, soldier, and military officer. Clark was born on November 19. 1752 in Virginia. His brother is William Clark from the famous duo Lewis and Clark.

Prior to the revolutionary war, Clark spent his time in Kentucky surveying the land with the intention of annexing it as a country for Virginia. However, settlers in Kentucky were involved in a dispute about who owned the land. Richard Henderson from North Carolina entered into an illegal treaty with the Cherokee Indians. In June 1776, Kentucky residents asked for Clark to petition to the Virginia assembly to officially include Kentucky in its boundaries.

After the war began, Kentucky was a hotbed of activity. British armed forces at Fort Detroit were attacking Kentucky settlers in hopes to take control over the land. Clark asked for assistance from Virginia to defend Kentucky and attack British controlled villages such as Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes in the Illinois country. Clark’s victories in Illinois reached General George Washington and was praised. Virginia officially took claim of the formerly British controlled land and officially named it Illinois County, Virginia.

As the war dwindled, Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson promoted Clark to the senior military officer of the militia in Kentucky and Illinois counties. He set his sites on taking over Fort Detroit but never had the manpower to take over the British controlled base. When the war ended, much thanks to this conquest, Britain relinquished control of all their strongholds in Illinois County through the Treaty of Paris (1783). This nearly doubled the size of the original thirteen colonies.

After the Revolutionary War, Clark continued to negotiate treaties between Native Americans and Kentucky settlers. However, there were still many skirmishes between the Indians and settlers in the area. Clark led a group of men against the Native American tribes near the Wabash River in 1786. This action was one of the first battles of the Northwest Indian War. However, this fight was not successful and caused over 300 men to mutiny against Clark due to lack of supplies. Many accused Clark of being drunk on duty. Despite asking for an official inquiry, the government of Virginia condemned him and he never served in the military again.

Which Native American Tribes Once Lived In Southernmost Illinois?

There were a number of Native American tribes once thriving in southernmost Illinois before European settlers started to drive them away from their lands. They built surprisingly complex societies, most of which were much bigger and more expansive than we think. North America was home to a vast network of such societies. Sometimes they would war with one another. Sometimes they would set up trade routes with one another. But who were they?

The Chippewa tribe made our history books because they were part of treaties that would give up their claim to the land in southern Illinois in 1795, 1816, 1829, and 1833. They were also found on the outskirts of Lake Huron and Lake Superior, and had settlements in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. They were feared as one of the most war-ready and fearsome tribes.

American settlers often knew the Meskwaki tribe as another name: the Fox. They were a part of the Sauk culture in the same region. They too lived in the area around the Great Lakes, especially in Illinois. In the early eighteenth century they were on the defensive because of wars with the French. When the United States was formed, they were once again put on the defensive by our encroaching settlements.

Europeans probably wouldn’t have happened upon the Kickapoo tribe until sometime near the end of the seventeenth century because of their migrations. First contact probably occurred in the midst of the La Salle Expeditions when the French started to establish fur trading outposts near their lands. After the U.S. was formed, the tribe sold much of their land and migrated yet again.

The Illinois tribe was more of an umbrella with other smaller tribes underneath, most of which would comprise the Illinois Confederation. It was eventually destroyed due to a combination of factors. The two most substantial were infectious disease brought by caucasian settlers and war made on them by other tribes. The Illinois survived until then by settling almost-permanent villages. When the weather turned cold, they would transition to hunting camps.

There were likely tens of thousands of Wyandot tribespeople when contact with caucasian settlers was made in the early seventeenth century. First contact actually occurred about a century earlier when they met Samuel de Champlain during his explorative travels. They too suffered greatly due to European diseases.

How Many Casinos Operate In Southernmost Illinois?

There’s more pressure than ever on local authorities and legislative bodies to expand casino gambling in Illinois. It’s a controversial issue because opponents of the practice believe it results in government corruption, addictive behavioral issues, higher crime, and a “regressive tax” on those in poverty. It’s also a restricted industry across the United States, but local economies often benefit from tax revenue generated by gambling, and so governments still continue to allow certain types of gambling.

In Illinois, all casino gambling is conducted aboard riverboats (sort of), seven of which are docked boats that don’t actually go out onto the river. Three of the other casinos are technically operating on land, but they get away with qualifying as riverboat casinos because their foundations were built in pits filled with only a couple inches of water. Loopholes at their finest.

Those ten casinos are the only ones in all of Illinois, and the limit stays capped at ten. Only three of these casinos operate in southernmost Illinois.

They’re a little bit different from the casinos to which you may be accustomed. You can’t smoke indoors, and they don’t stay open around the clock. On top of that–and maybe worst of all!–bartenders won’t give you free drinks just for playing a game of blackjack or yanking the handle on a slot machine a few times. Free drinks at casinos are illegal. You must be 21 in order to drink, as usual.

Plus, there are records that lend transparency to casino gambling in Illinois. All records for payback rates of electronic game machines are reported to the public, and you can easily find statistics online.

Most casinos will offer the fundamentals: poker, Mississippi stud, four card poker, Ultimate Texas hold ‘em, let it ride, three card poker, roulette, craps, and blackjack. There’s more, depending on the casino.

Riverboat gambling was first implemented in 1990 after the Riverboat Gambling Act was put into law. It was the second state to implement such a law. A newer “Video Gaming Act” was put into law in July 2009, and authorizes retail establishments to place a maximum of five video gaming terminals. These terminals are regularly monitored by the Central Communications System.

The casinos are regulated through a five-member Illinois Gaming Board to maintain the integrity of the industry.

Who Were The Earliest Inhabitants of Southern Illinois?

A couple of years ago, an old village dating back to the 1100s was discovered in Central Illinois by college students in the middle of a corn field, causing a wave of historical interest in the region. They found arrowheads, fragments of pottery, and tools. The college students went back home to clean the newly discovered artifacts in order to learn as much as they could, but it begs the question: when did Native Americans first inhabit the Southern Illinois region? Surely it was earlier than the 1100s.

In fact, scientists believe the earliest settlers drifted into Southern Illinois as early as 12,000 BC. Although they may have utilized primitive agriculture to survive, they mostly followed a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. By 1000 AD, they had settled the region permanently. Agriculture had developed extensively over the millennia, and the more sustainable form of living gave them the option to form a much bigger society. So that’s what they did.

Although we mostly think of Native American societies as small, roving bands of tribes, the cities that sprang up in Southern Illinois were most likely populated by thousands upon thousands of people. The leaders of this evolving society inhabited the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys, and would use thousands of workers to build huge conical mounds that would be used in conjunction with spiritual ceremony.

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site provides a glimpse at this amazing bit of history, located in Collinsville. This site was a center for commerce in the region, and it was home to the largest prehistoric earthworks anywhere in the Americas. The society that built them disappeared before the first European settlers had a chance to interfere.

When the culture responsible for these impressive feats finally disintegrated, the remaining tribes populated the region we all know and love so well. This event took place by 1500 AD. These aren’t the same Native Americans who thrived there for so long. The new tribes spoke Algonquian, and likely moved there from the east. We learn about them through the artifacts they left behind: burial sites, campfires, weapons, pottery, etc.

Some tribes even built impressive stone forts. One of the remaining forts can be visited in Giant City State Park.

European settlers didn’t reach Illinois until around 1673, when the French arrived from Quebec. These first explorers were the ones who named the region Illinois!

Dirty Jokes and Sexual Harassment

According to federal regulations and NJ Employment Attorneys, an employer cannot discriminate in the workplace on the ground of religion, race, national origin, and/or sex. With this in mind, it’s important to understand some of the responsibilities of an employer when it comes to sexual harassment and dirty jokes or vulgar language.

Does a dirty joke fit the bill for a sexual harassment charge?

In general, sexual harassment in the workplace has to be enough to create a hostile work environment due to the individual’s conduct (i.e. dirty joke). It has to be directed towards the claimant for it to have any validity in the court of law. Of course, there’s a lot more to the equation based on the underlying civility code, where not all sexual and/or profane language can be used to claim harassment.

Recent Cases

The best way to determine what’s allowed and what’s not is to look at recent cases on similar issues.

A case in Alabama look at vulgar language and whether it could be seen as sexual harassment. In this case, the claimant stated she was one of two women working in the shipping facility at the time and some of her male co-workers were creating a hostile work environment with their vulgar language. She stated this was an ongoing issue and was something she had complained about to her manager. In her eyes, most of the language was generalized vulgarity but there were moments where it had been gender-specific. However, at no stage was it directed towards her.

It’s important to look at the last point as it was one of the main reasons for it not being deemed as sexual harassment. The court stated if the harassment claim was legitimate, it would have been directed towards her. Since it was not, the vulgar language was more generalized and not used to harass.

Key Factors

It’s best to look into some of the key factors that pertain to any case of this nature especially with dirty jokes.

The court is going to take a look at a few things such as:

* Types of Profanity (i.e. Dirty Jokes)
* The Level of Hostility in the Workplace
* Intent to Discriminate Against Plaintiff(s)

Even in cases where all three boxes are ticked, it can still lead to inefficient results where the claimant doesn’t win.

Additional factors have also come into action in previous cases when it comes to vulgar language or dirty jokes.

These include:

* Use of Gender-Specific Jokes/Language
* Context of Vulgar Conduct
* Employer’s Response to Vulgar Conduct

All of these variables have a role to play in the grand scheme of things before the employer/employee can be convicted.

As in most situations when it pertains to the law, it is always going to come down to the case’s merits and how valid the claims are. It’s best to avoid dirty jokes in such settings for the betterment of all parties.

Finding The Best Hiking Trails In Southern Illinois

Are you hoping to hike in the near future? If you’re going to be taking a hiking trip, you’re going to want to find some of the best hiking trails in your area. Here’s how you can find the top hiking trails in Southern Illinois.

Find Trails That Come Highly Recommended

See what other people have to say about local trails. Read reviews and see which trails have received a lot of praise. Talk to other hikers you know and see which trails they recommend. Try to find trails that a lot of people love.

If people enjoy a trail, it’s probably for a good reason. You should definitely look at comments from others if you’re trying to find the right trails to visit. See which trails other people are thrilled with. You don’t necessarily have to visit the busiest and most popular trails in Illinois, but you should find trails that have plenty of positive feedback.

Seek Out Trails That Are A Good Fit For Someone Like You

You should try to find trails that match your needs. If you’re fairly new to hiking, you won’t want to visit the most popular trails in Illinois. If you’re an experienced hiker, you probably won’t be satisfied with trails that cater to novices.

Whether you’re looking for a longer trail or a shorter trail, you need to make sure that the trails you visit are a match for your needs. Try to find trails that are in line with what you’re looking for. Spend some time researching trails so that you can find the best trails to visit.

Find The Right Trails For The Season

Illinois experiences all four seasons. Because of this, the best trails to visit will vary based on the time of year. The best trails to visit in the spring may not be the best trails to visit in the fall.

When you’re trying to find the ideal trails, you should consider the season. Look for photos and reviews from people that have visited the trail you’re considering during this season. You should aim to visit the right trails at the right time of year.

There are all kinds of hiking trails in this part of Illinois. If you’re trying to find the best hiking trails in Southern Illinois, you should follow the advice above. These pointers will make it easier for you to find trails that appeal to you. If you are an avid hiker, you might want to subscribe to hiking blogs. They have great information about deals on equipment for consumers.

How to Find Best Casinos In Southern Illinois

A casino can be a fantastic place for a day trip or a weekend getaway. It is certainly better than a nursing home abuse lawyer NYC. While people frequently associate casinos with Las Vegas, there are casinos located all over the country! Here’s how you can find the best casinos in southern Illinois.

Do Some Research

Before you make any plans, you should try to learn more about local casinos. Take a closer look at your options and try to learn as much as you can about the casinos you have to choose from.

It’s a lot easier to make a decision when you have the right information. Start looking into casinos and see how much you can learn about them. There are plenty of ways to gather information. Read reviews, browse websites, and see what you are able to learn.

Ask Your Friends And Family For Advice

There’s a good chance that some of the people you know have visited casinos before. Talk to your friends and family members and let them know you’re hoping to visit a casino in the near future. See where they think you should go.

Getting advice from people you’re close to can be very helpful, especially in a situation like this. You should definitely take the time to ask people about casinos so that you can see what they recommend.

Even if you don’t know anyone that’s visited a casino in Illinois, you can still ask them for advice. Ask them what they wish they knew before they went out to a casino for the first time.

Think About What You’re Looking For

Not everyone is going to have the same definition of what the “best” casino in an area is. Some people prioritize gambling above all else. Other people like to visit casinos that have a lot of ambiances or places that serve great food. You should think about what you want from your casino trip.

Don’t just try to identify the top casinos in this part of Illinois. Take the time to find local casinos that are a great fit for someone like you. You should be able to find some spectacular options.

Finding the best casinos in Southern Illinois shouldn’t be too difficult for you. As long as you’re willing to try out the tips above, you should be able to find plenty of fantastic casinos in this area. Seek out the nicest casinos and make a point of spending some time there!

Remeber to gamble responsibly. If you or somebody you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, you should seek help. If you have incurred a large debt due to gambling that you are unable to pay because of other outstanding debts like your home mortgage, you may need to contact an experienced lawyer.