Feminist pioneer Betty Friedan grew up, like Richard Pryor, in Peoria — though her primary affiliation was with the city’s middle-class Bluff, not its working-class Valley.

Before publishing The Feminine Mystique, Friedan was a working journalist (not simply a housewife, as The Feminine Mystique led some to think.) In this 1955 piece for Reader’s Digest — redacted from a longer piece in Redbook — she decried the moral turpitude of the city of her youth and glowingly praised the reform movement that was trying to clean up her hometown. Friedan ascribed much of the strength of the city’s reform movement to the return of World War II veterans, who were willing to take on the corruption of the town in order to make it a place worth returning to.