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Challenges, Choices, and Change:

Since the time that people first occupied McLean County, conflict has been part of its history.

Discrimination, inequality, and denial of rights caused tension that sometimes resulted in violence among residents, especially as the population and diversity of the community grew.

The power to control the outcomes of these conflicts was most often held by the majority. But sometimes who had the power changed.

Explore the stories presented here to learn about major and minor conflicts that have shaped the social fabric of McLean County.

Learn about opposing points of view held by local citizens and decide for yourself who had the power.

Who had the power?

  • Was it the majority?
  • What opportunities, if any, did minority groups have to affect change?
  • What happened when the minority decided to make a stand, defy the norms, or take matters into their own hands?
  • Who in our community wielded the greatest power over time and why?
  • Which words shown below the stories would you use to describe what happened?


The stories shared in this exhibit may evoke strong responses or emotions.


Curated and Designed by

Susan K. Hartzold

Digital Curation by

Torii Moré

Edited by

Hannah Johnson

Special Thanks to

Ky Ajayi
Anthony Bowman
Bob Bradley
Divah Griffin
Gina Hunter
Bill Kemp<br>Kate E. Kettelkamp
Sammi Kern
Gary Iverson
Greg Koos
Adam Lovell
Mike Matejka
Emma Meyer
George Perkins
Candace Summers
Carl Teichman
Jeff Woodard
Samantha Yoder

Additional Thanks to

The Library of Congress
Illinois State University
Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives
The Peoria Historical Society