Metro-East Living

Homegrown White House correspondent will speak at SIUE

Peter Maer, a Granite City native, had an award-winning career as a White House radio correspondent.
Peter Maer, a Granite City native, had an award-winning career as a White House radio correspondent.

Peter Maer, recently retired White House correspondent and Southern Illinois University alum, will return to SIUE to discuss his experiences as a radio journalist covering the presidential beat for approximately 40 years.

The Granite City native will present “My Journey from Granite City to the White House” at 7:30 Thursday in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. He will describe how his hometown roots guided his reporting, and will offer opinions about media coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Throughout his career, Maer said, he kept a simplistic and honest approach to his reporting by considering “What would the people back in Granite City, Illinois, want to know about this.?”

Maer is a five-time recipient of the Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure and received the Edward R. Murrow Award.

Tickets are $25 general admission; $15 students from any school or college; $20 for SIUE staff, faculty, retired, alums, seniors; free for SIUE students. You can get them at the Morris University Center welcome desk, or call 866-698-4253.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

“Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

If little Zuzu’s line in the Frank Capra classic brings a tear to your eye every time, you’ll want to see Karolyn Grimes, who portrayed the cute 4-year-old in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” She will be on hand for two showings at 2 and 7 p.m. Thursday at the Wildey Theatre, 252 N. Main St. in Edwardsville. She will sign autographs, answer questions and share stories.

An “It’s a Wonderful Life” trivia contest will take place at 6:30 p.m., prior to the evening show.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for senior citizen (55 and older) and students (under 18). Call 618-307-1750 or go to

At the library

The Belleville Public Library has two lofty events you might want to catch on Tuesday.

A commemoration of the 152nd anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the library, 121 E. Washington in Belleville. Sponsored by the Civil War Living History Regiment, it will feature a color guard, Civil War soldier re-enactors, a Lincoln display, Civil War-era music and a sing-along of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”

Robert L. Cook, of Southwestern Illinois College’s speaker’s bureau, will have a presentation on “Lincoln at Gettysburg.”

From 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, the library will hold a star gazing party, with telescopes available for viewing. Call 618-234-0441 to register.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Patrick Kuhl: 618-239-2537, @KuhlPatrick1