Question: Back in 1875, when Illinois State Normal University was only 18 years old, the state legislature proposed that the school be turned into what instead? (1) a railway education center; (2) an insane asylum; (3) a printing plant area for state documents.

Answer: Amazingly, it was (2) an insane asylum. At the same time, it was suggested that SIU-Carbondale be turned into a home for “feeble-minded” children. It was then that ISNU President Richard Edwards convinced lawmakers that the college in Normal should remain a university.

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