Former U.S. Senator Alan Dixon died Sunday, just shy of his 87th birthday. His political career ended in 1992 when he lost a Democratic primary to Carol Moseley Braun.
In an interview recorded a couple of years ago, Dixon says a neighbor, who was the Democratic Party Chairman of Belleville, took him under his wing. He helped Dixon land his first elected office, as the local police magistrate.
An effort to create a national park at former town site in western Illinois remains stalled in the US Senate. Congressman Aaron Schock, a Republican, is part of a bi-partisan group of lawmakers seeking the designation for New Philadelphia.
That site in Pike County marks the first town in the country founded by an African American. Frank McWorter was a freed slave who created the community in 18-36.
Schock says creating a national park would allow more people to know the story of McWorter. He says it work in tandem with Lincoln attractions in Springfield.