A portrait oil painting of Mary Todd Lincoln is exhibited in the Milch Gallaries in New York City on Feb. 12, 1929 in honor of the 16th president's birthday. The first lady had sat for the painting as a suprise gift for her husband at a gathering of personal friends at the white house.

AP Photo

Why do Americans dislike Mary Lincoln?

Why do we think the wife of Abraham Lincoln was crazy? Some historians are saying that maybe it’s time for a reprisal of the way talk about her. One such historian joined us to talk about her findings. 

The 21st Show - December 08, 2021

Rodney Davis on reelection, infrastructure and civility

After months of speculation about the political future of Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL13) finally made clear his intentions late last month: He's running for reelection. He joined The 21st to talk about his decision to run for Congress again, the infrastructure bills, and more.

Christmas trees for sale at a hardware store in Mount Prospect, Ill., Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The 21st Show - December 07, 2021

Dealing with the Christmas tree shortage

It's Christmas tree season, but this year, whether you prefer a real or artificial tree, you might find it harder to get your hands on one than in previous years. The 21st was joined by two Illinois Christmas tree farmers to talk about the factors leading to the shortage. 

Stephen Parlato of Boulder, Colo., holds a sign that reads

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The 21st Show - December 07, 2021

Could Illinois become a national asylum for abortion seekers?

If Roe v. Wade were to be weakened or overturned entirely by the Supreme Court, abortion access would become much much more difficult in more than half of states. But here in Illinois, clinics could see an uptick in patients traveling from out of state. 

U.S. fashion designer Virgil Abloh thumbs up after the presentation of Off-White Men's Spring-Summer 2019 collection presented in Paris, Wednesday June 20, 2018.

AP Photo/Thibault Camus

The 21st Show - December 06, 2021

The life and legacy of Virgil Abloh

The Rockford born, legendary Black designer Virgil Abloh died last week after battling cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer. He was 41. To talk about his the trailblazing work as a designer and the impact he’s left behind with the chief fashion critic from the New York Times

Dr. Manjul Shukla transfers Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at a mobile vaccination clinic in Worcester, Mass. As the U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of the omicron variant, doctors across the country are experiencing a more imminent crisis with a delta variant that is sending record numbers of people to the hospital in New England and the Midwest.

AP Photo/Steven Senne

The 21st Show - December 06, 2021

The virology of the omicron variant

As we are now in the colder months as well as the holiday season, where gatherings become more frequent, COVID cases and hospitalizations are surging. And while the omicron variant has yet to be detected in Illinois, health officials have a degree of certainty that it has already arrived and is just a matter of time before we find it. The 21st was joined by a professor of microbiology to discuss the new variant and the state of the pandemic. 

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra

Facebook page of Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra

The 21st Show - December 06, 2021

Holiday performances are back in person

As the holiday season approaches, so too does the time for holiday concerts. We were joined by music directors from two Illinois orchestras to talk about programming this year's holiday concerst, approaching concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to keep these concerts interesting for performers year after year. 

Kenzie Sheridan, Creator of the InsideIllinois TikTok account

Kenzie Sheridan

The 21st Show - December 02, 2021

“InsideIllinois” TikToker on Illinois’ hidden gems

Illinois has lots of places to see, things to do, and history to explore, but it also has a lot of strange attractions and obscure history. The 21st was joined by an Illinois native who's has taken to Tik Tok to share her far reaching explorations of the Prairie State.

Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

The 21st Show - December 02, 2021

Why are Black residents leaving Chicago?

After a massive influx to Chicago during the Great Migration, many Black residents are leaving the city. To talk more about the out-migration of Chicago’s black residents, we were joined by the CEO of an resident association, a professor of Urban Planning, a Chicago bakery owner and former professor, and a former Chicago resident who left the city a few years ago.

Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

The 21st Show - December 01, 2021

Do Illinois’ transportation plans match its climate promises?

Illinois leaders have congratulated themselves on the passage of climate legislation and committed to upholding the promises in the Paris Climate Agreement. However, some are pointing out that Illinois has plans to widen and expand roads, which could encourage more vehicular traffic and increase emissions.

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21st century radio for the 21st state. Weekdays at 11 am on WILL-AM 580.