Famous Front Pages
The Big Game, 1924
There he was, front and center, above the fold: Harold “Red” Grange, ready to take on the Michigan football team. The occasion was the dedication of Memorial Stadium, and later that day, Grange gave the Illini faithful a show they would never forget: four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes, in one of the most famous performances in the history of sports.
JFK Assassination, 1963
As the nation mourned the death of John F. Kennedy, the DI rose to the occasion, turning out one of its finest issues. Editor-in-Chief Roger Ebert “produced virtually the entire editorial and op-ed pages—wonderful copy, too,” recalled Executive Editor John David Reed. Ebert later said that working on the issue was both his happiest and saddest memory of college.
Hall Is Gone!, 1963
But not really. This cover was part of the DI’s decades-long April Fools’ Day tradition to run the most outlandish fake stories it could imagine. The paper ended the tradition in 1982 after its story about President Reagan’s re-institution of the military draft caused panic and then anger among students.
Vietnam War Moratorium, 1969
On Oct. 15, 1969, the U of I took part in a national moratorium over “business as usual,” in protest of the Vietnam War. The DI participated by offering this stark and purposeful front page, which introduced an issue filled with stories about the campus’ anti-war movement.
Farm Aid, 1985
Nearly 80,000 fans packed Memorial Stadium for the first Farm Aid, a benefit concert that raised more than $7 million for America’s family farmers. Fans braved a cold and rainy day to see more than 50 live acts, including Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, B.B. King and Willie Nelson, while the DI’s reporters and photographers worked in shifts to cover the 14-hour event.
U of I’s 150th anniversary, 2017
The DI kicked off coverage of the University’s sesquicentennial with infographics and stories about the history of our school colors, the evolution of Illinois’ student government and upcoming anniversary celebrations across campus.