Illinois Quick Facts|
Illinois State Capitol
Illinois State Seal
White Oak - The State Tree of Illinois
Cardinal - The State Bird of Illinois
Native Violet - The State Flower of Illinois
Illinois's Flag - The Illinois flag is a simple representation of the Great Seal of Illinois against a white background. In 1969, the General Assembly voted to add the word "ILLINOIS" under the Great Seal of the flag. The State's name was added to the flag to ensure that people not familiar with the Great Seal of Illinois would still recognize the banner.
History of Illinois - French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, in 1673, were the first Europeans of record to visit the region. In 1699 French settlers established the first permanent settlement at Cahokia, near present-day East St. Louis. Great Britain obtained the region at the end of the French and Indian Wars in 1763. The area figured prominently in frontier struggles during the Revolutionary War and in Indian wars during the early 19th century. Significant episodes in the state's early history include the growing migration of Eastern settlers following the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825; the Black Hawk War, which virtually ended the Indian troubles in the area; and the rise of Abraham Lincoln from farm laborer to President. Today, Illinois stands high in manufacturing, coal mining, agriculture, and oil production. The sprawling Chicago district (including a slice of Indiana) is a great iron and steel producer, meat packer, grain exchange, and railroad center. Chicago is also famous as a Great Lakes port. Illinois ranks third in the nation in export of agricultural products, first in corn and soybeans, and third in hog production. An important dairy state, Illinois is also a leader in corn, oats, wheat, barley, rye, truck vegetables, and the nursery products. The state manufactures a great variety of industrial and consumer products: railroad cars, clothing, furniture, tractors, liquor, watches, and farm implements are just some of the items made in its factories and plants. Central Illinois is noted for shrines and memorials associated with the life of Abraham Lincoln. In Springfield are the Lincoln Home, the Lincoln Tomb, and the restored Old State Capitol. Other points of interest are the home of Mormon leader Joseph Smith in Nauvoo and, in Chicago: the Art Institute, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Merchandise Mart, and Chicago Portage National Historic Site.
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