Events to honor Joseph Cannon

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Apr. 29—Former 15th District Congressman John Shimkus of Collinsville will return to Danville next week for a special ceremony.

Shimkus will be the keynote speaker at a May 5 event honoring former Speaker of the House Joseph G. Cannon.

Cannon served for nearly five decades in Congress, including 11 years as Speaker. Known as "Uncle Joe," Cannon will be the subject of activities throughout Danville May 5 and May 6.

On May 5 at 6 p.m., The Vermilion County Administration Building will be dedicated as the Joseph G. Cannon Building. The Danville Barbershop Chorus will open the ceremony with the National Anthem.

Local historian Timothy Smith will also speak at the event about Cannon's importance in 2023.

A "Sweets in the Streets Cruise-in Car Show" will run throughout downtown Danville from 5 to 8 p.m. on May 5 as well with coupons for Chuckles candy being passed out. The candy was manufactured in Danville and is known to have been one of Cannon's favorite candies.

In addition to the car show, the Vermilion Voles Baseball Club will demonstrate how baseball was played using 1858 rules.

After the ceremony, the public will be able to tour the building.

The Cannon Celebration continues Saturday, May 6 with a "Do You Know Joe?" 5K walk/run, starting at 8 a.m. at the Vermilion County Museum, 116 N. Gilbert St.

Advance registration for the walk/run is available online at and will also be available the morning of the race at the Vermilion County Museum. Cost is $5 and all participants will get a Joseph Cannon pin.

After the race, there will be an open house at the Fithian Home from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cannon artifacts are on display there.

T-shirts honoring Cannon will be available for purchase at all events May 5 and May 6.

The Joseph G. Cannon Committee is chaired by Illinois Rep. Mike Marron.