Thursday, September 18, 2008
Most of you are familiar with the controversy surrounding Chief Illiniwek, the former "mascot" at the U of I that was finally "retired" last year after over a decade of protests. But many of you seemed not to be aware of the former team name of Pekin High School -- the Pekin Chinks. The name was changed in 1980, but apparently you can still find memorabilia (t-shirts, mugs) in some shops in Pekin. And according to James Loewen, author of Sundown Towns, many residents still defend the name and insist it was a compliment. Some say it is a reference to Peking -- now Beijing -- China, which is supposedly where Pekin got its name, but others dispute that origin. Anybody want to do a little research?