Gifts in Action – Illinois Humanities Council

Witness to History video
Above: Filming takes place at the Old State Capitol for the Office of Electronic Media video production of The Old State Capitol: Witness to History. OEM staff pictured include Akeem Freeman (far left), Kevin Norris (middle), and Cody Pope (right).

With Support from the Illinois Humanities Council

The Illinois Humanities Council made a gift to UIS’ Office of Electronic Media in support of the production of a video, The Old State Capitol: A Witness to History.

The video, which has also received support from individual donors, will present an entertaining and educational chronicle of historical events at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Since the building opened in 1839, it has been the site of significant events, such as the following:

  • Lincoln gave his “house divided” speech there in 1858;
  • 75,000 mourners filed past Lincoln’s body as it lay in state in 1865;
  • presidential candidate Eugene Chafin was struck by a brick as he tried to protect a fleeing African-American man during Springfield’s race riots in 1908;
  • Barack Obama announced his candidacy on the steps of the Old State Capitol in 2007.

Special Features

  • Historians’ analysis of the building’s importance;
  • Historical photographs and video clips;
  • Historical re-enactments of pivotal moments from the Old State Capitol’s History;
  • Narration provided by former television journalist and news anchor Bill Kurtis.

Where will you see the video?

You’ll be able to see the video at the Old State Capitol, at various other Illinois and Springfield tourism sites, and on public television. Following curriculum development, students in Illinois schools will also have the video available.

Thank you, Illinois Humanities Council, for your support!

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly.