John Williams quizzes listener Tim on Illinois politicians, some of whom are household names, some infamous and some both. Test your knowledge in comparison to Tim’s below!
1. This former governor conspired to commit pay-to-play schemes. Including an attempt to fill the vacant US Senate seat of then-President-elect Barack Obama. The FBI busted him on tape as he ranted, “I’m just not giving it up for f***ing nothing”. After removal from office, he maintained his innocence throughout appearances on Late Show with David Letterman and The Celebrity Apprentice before heading to federal prison in Littleton, Colorado.
2. Born in Sinking Springs Farm, KY, he died at the age of 56. He was an Illinois lawmaker, an Illinois congressman and a president. He is the only president to hold a patent. He received a patent for a floatation device for the movement of boats in shallow water.
3. A newspaper man, famous for his bow tie, from Makanda Illinois, he served in the US Senate but quit in part because he was tired of asking for money. He ran for but did not win the presidency; endorsed Barack Obama for Senate and appeared on Saturday Night Live with a singer of the same name.
4. He was raised in a low-income family in small towns of Northern Illinois. He was twice elected president of the Screen Actors Guild—the labor union for actors—where he worked to root out Communist influence.
5. From Bloomington, Illinois, he wanted to be president and was appointed by President Kennedy as US ambassador to the UN. At the age of 12, while demonstrating rifle technique, he accidentally shot and killed a 16 year old friend. A gifted writer, speaker and Illinois’ 31st governor.
6. He was the only mayor in Chicago history to go to college on a full ride ballet scholarship.
7. In 1993, she was the first woman to wear pants on the US Senate floor – it was against the rules at the time for women to so wear pants. She was the first female African American senator. She was also US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.
8. Her husband, Frank, was the Cicero township assessor and mid-level mobster among other duties. He was the driver for Cicero town President Henry Klosak. Her husband was also a bookmaker for the mob and died in 1991. In 1993, she became town president following the death of Henry Klosak.
9. The first governor earned the nickname “Drunken Dick.” At his inauguration in 1861, he kept President-elect Abraham Lincoln and other dignitaries waiting for half an hour before stumbling into a chair to meet them. The House clerk read his speech for him.
10. The longest serving Governor in Illinois history was…
ANSWERS: 1: Rod Blagojevich, 2: Abraham Lincoln, 3: Paul Simon, 4: Ronald Reagan, 5: Adlai Stevenson II, 6: Rahm Emanuel, 7: Carol Mosely Braun, 8: Betty Loren Maltese, 9: Richard Yates, 10: Jim Thompson