Historical Society plans 100th anniversary year program on Alton’s Gentle Giant

wadlow robertThe Madison County Historical Society will host a program on Robert Wadlow, Alton’s “Gentle Giant,” on Sunday, April 15, at 2 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Immanuel United Methodist Church at 800 N. Main St. in Edwardsville.

Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, was born in Alton 100 years ago. Although of normal size when born, a dysfunctional pituitary gland caused him to grow at a phenomenal rate so that by his death at age 22 in 1940 he had reached a height of 8 feet 11.1 inches tall.

The program will be presented by the History Chix, a group of three women, Nancy Alexander, Cathy Bagby, and Mary Westerhold, who share their love of history with local audiences. They will discuss Wadlow’s life, and share videos and photographs from Wadlow’s life. In the past, in addition to the story of Robert Wadlow, History Chix programs have included Mary Lincoln, Elijah Lovejoy, the Underground Railroad and steamboats.

MCHS programs are free to the public. For additional information, call (618) 656-7569.

PHOTO: In this photographic postcard circa the late 1930s, Robert Wadlow is shown with his father, Harold, whose height was 5 feet-11.5 inches. Photo via Wikipedia. The photographer is not known.

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