Illinois 200

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Happy Illinois Bicentennial Birthday Bash

It’s Gonna Be a Party!

On December 3, 2018, the great state of Illinois will be 200 years old! A birthday this monumental cannot go uncelebrated.

Our new program, “Happy Illinois Bicentennial Birthday Bash” will discuss everything from Illinois’ early years, historical happenings, famous Illinoisans, as well as supplemental online info on Illinois counties as the big date draws near.

It may be customized for all ages, and similar to all of our other programs is approximately 45-60 minutes in length.

Finally, there’s just one thing to say…It’s Gonna Be a Party!

Famous Citizens

Born December 5, 1901, in Hermosa, Illinois, Walter Elias “Walt” Disney and his brother Roy co-founded Walt Disney Productions, which became one of the best-known motion picture production companies in the world. Walt was an innovative animator and created the cartoon character Mickey Mouse.

Early Days

The first Europeans to visit Illinois were the French explorers Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette in 1673, but the region was ceded to Britain after the French and Indian War. After the American Revolution, Illinois became a territory of the United States and achieved statehood in 1818.

News Makers

On December 2, 1942, Enrico Fermi and a small band of scientists and engineers demonstrated that a simple construction of graphite bricks and uranium lumps could produce controlled heat. The space chosen for the first nuclear fission reactor was a squash court under the football stadium at the University of Chicago.

The General Assembly

The legislative branch is made up of the House and Senate and is called the Illinois General Assembly. Members of the House are called Representatives; members of the Senate are called Senators. The Illinois General Assembly is divided into two-year segments.


Lake Michigan accounts for most of the water present in the state. It is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume.

Odd But True

Illinois’ is home to the world’s only river that flows backward. (Chicago River)

Try Your Hand at the Illinois County Game!

Coming Soon!

HFK Bicentennial Minutes

Learn about Illinois history, people, and places every day of this Bicentennial year.

Laura & Terry's Illinois Adventure!

Laura and Terry Lynch will travel to all 102 counties in Illinois.

Learn about the history, people and places in Illinois.

It is Must See Video!

Did you miss an episode?  You can always watch previous episodes on our YouTube Channel:

“Laura & Terry’s Illinois Adventure”

Did You Know...

 Significant episodes in the state’s history include”

–Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Quincy, and Alton hosted the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates that stirred interest in the slavery issue all over the country.

–Illinois is home to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, which is the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico.

–Chicago is home to the Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station, the only buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire.

Illinois by the Numbers

— Organized as territory: Feb. 3, 1809

–Entered Union (rank): Dec. 3, 1818 (21)

–Present constitution adopted: 1970

–5 Most Populous Counties:  Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, and Kane

–5 Least Populous Counties:  Hardin, Pope, Calhoun, Scott, and Gallatin

Early Illinois History

What makes the state of Illinois so great?

(1673) French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet arrived in Illinois

(1675) Marquette founded mission at Great Village of the Illinois

(1680) French traders Rene Robert Cavelier, the Sieur de La Salle and Henry de Tonty built Fort Crevecoeur on Illinois River; Iroquois Indians destroyed Great Village

(1682) La Salle, Tonty built Fort St. Louis across Illinois River from site of Great Village

(1699) Cahokia founded, oldest town in Illinois

(1717) Illinois part of French colony of Louisiana

(1720) Fort de Chartres became seat of civilian, military government in Illinois

(1730) French troops, Indian allies in central Illinois massacred Fox Indians

(1754 - 1763) French Indian War

(1763) French Indian War ended, Illinois ceded to Britain in Treaty of Paris

(1769) Illinois Indians besieged, starved at Fort St. Louis (now Starved Rock)

(1778) George Rogers Clark defeated British at Kaskaskia

(1787) Illinois became part of Northwest Territory

(1800) Illinois included in Indiana Territory

(1803) Kaskaskia Indians ceded nearly all Illinois lands to U.S.; U.S. Army established Fort Dearborn

(1804) Lewis and Clark expedition started near Wood River

(1809) Congress created Illinois Territory

(1811) First coal mine in Illinois opened in Jackson County; parts of southern Illinois damaged by New Madrid earthquake

(1812) Potawatomi Indians destroyed Fort Dearborn, massacred 52 troops and civilians

(1817) Veterans of War of 1812 received 160-acre land warrants in Illinois Military Tract between Illinois and Mississippi Rivers

(1818) Illinois became 21st U. S. state, Kaskaskia chosen as capital

Illinoisans Speak

Quotes from hometown Illinoisans.  Hover over the quote to find out who said it!

Then, click the READ MORE button to learn more about these Land of Lincoln originals!

``Keep moving forward``

Walt Disney

``Being a lady does not require silence.``

Betty Ford

``Don't let doubt stop you from getting where you want to be.``

Jennifer Hudson

``Jump and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall.``

Ray Bradbury

``Nothing in this world happens unless first we dream.``

Carl Sandburg

``The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.``

Ernest Hemingway

``When you've set goals and dreams, you don't feel old.``

Burl Ives

``Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.``

Betty Friedan

``History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.``

``History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.``

Ronald Reagan

``When you see how the President makes political or policy decisions, you see who he is. The essence of the presidency is decision making.``

Bob Woodward

``Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.``

Bob Newhart

``The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.``

Jane Addams

Histories for Kids / HFK Presents     P.O. Box 2337     Orland Park, Illinois  60462

Phone:  708-218-7001     Email:  hfktales@gmail.com

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