Route 66 in Illinois: Route 66 in Illinois followed
roughly the same path as present-day Interstate 55, linking
the major cities of Chicago and Saint Louis. Part of Route
66 made use of a pre-existing road, highway 4, which was a
major Illinois artery at the time Route 66 was established
in 1926. Parts of that alignment are still brick-paved. You
can access part of this older alignment south of the city of
Springfield. In 2004, Pontiac, Illinois became the new home
of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame, which was formerly
housed at the Dixie Truckers Home in McLean.
The towns of
Ottawa, Freeport, Jonesboro, Charleston, Galesburg, Quincy
and Alton hosted the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates that
stirred interest across the United States in the slavery issue.
The first Aquarium opened in the city of Chicago, 1893.
The world's first Skyscraper was built in Chicago, 1885.
Home to various sports teams, including: the Chicago Bears Football Team; Chicago Blackhawks
hockey team; Chicago Bulls basketball team; Chicago Cubs and
Chicago Whitesox baseball teams; and Chicago Fire soccer team.
The first Mormon Temple in Illinois was constructed in
Peoria is the oldest community in Illinois.
Chicago's Sears Tower is the tallest building on the
North American continent.
Metropolis (the home of Superman) really exists in Southern
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site - most sophisticated
prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico
Illinois had two capital cities, Kaskaskia, and Vandalia
The NFL's Chicago Bears were first known as the "Staley
Bears". They were organized in 1920, in Decatur.
Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to
the Constitution abolishing slavery (1865).
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.
Des Plaines, Illinois is home to the first McDonald's
Restaurant franchise (started by Mr. Ray Kroc). The actual
first McDonald's was located in San Bernadino, California
Richard and Maurice McDonald.
Dixon is the boyhood home of President Ronald Reagan.
Springfield is the state capital and the home of the
National Historic Site of the home of President and Mrs.
Chicago is home to the Chicago Water Tower and Pumping
Station, the only buildings to survive the Great Chicago
Before Abraham Lincoln was elected president he served in
the Illinois legislature and practiced law in Springfield.
Abraham Lincoln is buried just outside Springfield at
Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site.
Carlyle is the home of the largest man-made lake in
Illinois has 102 counties.
Ronald Wilson Regan from Tampico became the 40th president
of the United States in 1980.
The highest point in Illinois is Charles Mound at 1235 feet
above sea level.
The state motto is: State Sovereignty, National Union
The ice cream "sundae" was named in Evanston. The piety of
the town resented the dissipating influences of the soda
fountain on Sunday and the good town fathers, yielding to
this churchly influence, passed an ordinance prohibiting the
sale of ice cream sodas on Sunday. Ingenious
confectioners and drug store operators obeying the law,
served ice cream with the syrup of your choice without the
soda. Objections then were made to christening a dish after
the Sabbath. So the spelling of "sunday" was changed.
The ice cream "sundae" was born.
The round Silo for farm storage of livestock food was
first constructed on a farm in Spring Grove, Illinois.
The Illinois state dance is square dancing.
Illinois has more units of government than any other state
(i.e., city, county, township, etc.). Over six thousand. One
contributing reason may be the township governments, which
are generally six miles square.
The worst prison camp during the Civil War in terms of
percentages of death was at Rock Island.
Illinois boasts the highest number of personalized license
plates, more than any other state.
The University of Illinois Conservatory is 37 feet at
its highest point.
In 1905, president of the Chicago Cubs filed charges against
a fan in the bleachers for catching a fly ball and keeping
Chicago's Mercantile Exchange building was built entirely
without an internal steel skeleton, as most skyscrapers; it
depends on its thick walls to keep itself up
The abbreviation "ORD" for Chicago's O'Hare airport comes
from the original name Orchard Field. O'Hare Airport was
named in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward H. "Butch"
The trains that pass through Chicago's underground freight
tunnels daily would extend over ten miles total in length.
The slogan of 105.9, the classic rock radio station in
Chicago: Of all the radio stations in Chicago... we're
one of them.
In Mount Pulaski, Illinois, it is illegal for boys (and only
boys) to hurl snowballs at trees. Girls are allowed to do
In Illinois Michael is the top name chosen for boys.
is the most chosen name for girls.
Illinois is known for its wide variety of weather. Major
winter storms, deadly tornadoes and spectacular heat and
The first birth on record in Chicago was of Eulalia Pointe
du Sable, daughter of Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable and his
Potawatomi Indian wife in 1796.
Chicago's Mercy Hospital was the first hospital opened in
The first animal purchased for the Lincoln Park Zoo was a
bear cub, bought for $10 on June 1st, 1874
The University of Chicago opened on October 1, 1892 with an
enrollment of 594 and a faculty of 103.
New York Sun editor Charles Dana, tired of hearing
Chicagoans boast of the world's Columbian Exposition, dubbed
Chicago the "Windy City."
Comedy showcase "Second City" was founded on North Wells
Street in a former Chinese laundry in 1959.
Chicago's first African American mayor, Harold Washington,
took office in 1983.
The 4 stars on the Chicago flag represent Fort Dearborn, the
Chicago Fire, the World's Columbian Exposition, and the
Century of Progress Exposition.
The Chicago Public Library is the world's largest public
library with a collection of more than 2 million books.
The Chicago Post Office at 433 West Van Buren is the only
postal facility in the world you can drive a car through.
The Chicago River is dyed green on Saint Patrick's Day.
The world's largest cookie and cracker factory, where
Nabisco made 16 billion Oreo cookies in 1995, is located in
21st state in the USA; it became a state on December
State Abbreviation - IL
State Capital - Springfield
Largest City - Chicago
Area - 57,918 square miles [Illinois is the 25th biggest
state in the USA]
Population - 12,419,293 (as of 2000) [Illinois is the fifth
most populous state in the USA, after California, New York,
Texas, and Florida]
Name for Residents - Illinoisan
Major Industries - agriculture (corn, soybeans, wheat, oats,
barley, rye, sorghum), cattle, manufacturing, mining.
Presidential Birthplace - Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico on February 6, 1911 (he was the 40th US President,
serving from 1981 to 1989)
Major Rivers - Mississippi River, Ohio River, Illinois
River, Wabash River
Major Lakes - Lake Michigan, Rend Lake
Highest Point - Charles Mound - 1,235 feet (376 m) above sea
Bordering States - Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa,
Bordering Body of Water - Lake Michigan
Origin of the Name Illinois - Illinois comes from the word Illini, a confederation of the Cahokia, Kaskaskia,
Michigamea, Moingwena, Peoria and Tamaroa Indian tribes.
State Nickname - Prairie State
State Motto - State Sovereignty, National Union
State Song - "Illinois"
Illinois's original state flag was designed in 1913 by Lucy Derwent (who had won a contest), but was redesigned in 1970
by Mrs. Sanford Hutchinson. The flag's design is based upon
the state's seal, which was designed by Sharon Tyndale,
Illinois' secretary of state, in 1868.
The flag has a white background, and much of the Illinois
state seal is pictured in the center. There is a bald eagle
perched on a rock holding a red, white, and blue shield in
its talons (the stars are white on a blue background and the
stripes are red and white). The shield has 13 stripes and 13
stars, representing the original 13 colonies of the USA. The
eagle is holding a banner in its beak which reads "STATE,"
"SOVEREIGNTY," "NATIONAL," and "UNION." The word sovereignty
is upside down. The rock has the dates 1818 and 1868 written
on it; 1818 refers to the year Illinois became a state and
1868 refers to the date the state seal was redesigned.
Illinois Native (purple) Violet
(Tullimonstrum gregarium) -
A soft-bodied sea animal that lived during the Carboniferous period.
Information From 50states.com and EnchantedLearning.com