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Claiming the lives of seven adults and seventeen children, the Belvidere tornado struck the most vulnerable at the worst possible time: just as school let out. More than five hundred people suffered injuries. New interviews and fascinating archival history underscore the horrific drama, as well as the split-second decisions of victims and survivors that saved their families and neighbors. Since the tragedy, three more devastating tornadoes have further defined Boone County’s resilience: Poplar Grove in 2008, Caledonia in 2010 and Fairdale in 2015.
Rockford's economic boom of the early twentieth century continued into the Roaring Twenties, when Rockford's newly-erected skyscrapers symbolized the city's "sky's the limit" ambitions. But the good times came to a crashing halt with the arrival of the Great Depression in October 1929. With its longstanding blue collar industrial roots, Rockford would enjoy renewed and even greater prosperity as it readily capitalized on the World War II war effort and the post-war economic boom years. With a collection of nearly 240 vintage postcards, Rockford: 1920 and Beyond captures this dynamic, ever-changing era as Rockford transformed into "Illinois' Second City." Inside, see now-familiar skyscrapers like the Rockford News Tower, Talcott Building, and Faust Hotel enliven Rockford's downtown skyline. Take a nostalgic trip to the Blackhawk Park Zoo and the Central Park and Kiddieland amusement parks. Watch post-war "car culture" change the face of the city with its drive-ins, shopping centers, and expressways. Witness the World War II revival of Rockford's storied Camp Grant. See the famed Wagon Wheel Resort in its high-flying, star-studded Hollywood heydays. Marvel at the destructive power of Rockford's deadly "Cyclone of '28."
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