Press Release


Smithsonian exhibition explores importance of journeys in U.S. history

CHICAGO – The Illinois Humanities Council announces the opening of “Journey Stories,” a traveling exhibition of the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution, at the Heritage Interpretive Center on the Mississippi (251 S. State Ave., Hampton). The exhibition will run from December 12, 2009 through January 24, 2010. Viewing hours are 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, additional hours from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays only, and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.       

The grand opening festivities will be on Saturday, December 12th, beginning with a ribbon cutting ceremony with city officials at 1:00pm. Dr. Loren Horton, Emeritus Senior Historian of the State Historical Society of Iowa, will lead a family and oral history workshop, offering advice on the recording and preserving of personal and family journey stories through memoir writing and oral interviews.

This program will be free and open to the public. For more information please contact Ruth Speer at 309.755.8398.


“Journey Stories” tells how we and our ancestors came to America.  From Native Americans to new American citizens and regardless of our ethnic or racial background, everyone has a story to tell. Our history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean. Many chose to move, searching for something better in a new land. Others had no choice, like enslaved Africans captured and relocated to a strange land and bravely asserting their own cultures, or like Native Americans already here, who were often violently removed by newcomers.

 “Journey Stories” is part of the Illinois Humanities Council’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program, a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and state humanities councils nationwide. MoMS serves museums, libraries, and historical societies in towns of fewer than 30,000 residents by bringing them Smithsonian-quality exhibitions.  For more information about MoMS, call Ryan Lewis at 312.422.5585 x231 or visit

 The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.

D A R E  T O  K N O W
# # #