Illinois is Midwestern state of the USA. The name
"Illinois" comes from a Native American word meaning
"tribe of superior men.“
Illinois was the 21st state to enter the Union.
Illinois is in the north-central U.S. and borders on Lake Michigan.
Surrounding states are Wisconsin to the north, Iowa and Missouri
to the west, Kentucky to the south, and Indiana to the east.
Illinois also borders Michigan, but only via a water boundary in
Lake Michigan. Nearly the entire western boundary is the
Mississippi River, except for a few areas where the river has
French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored
the Illinois River in 1673. In 1680, other French explorers
constructed a fort at the site of the nowadays city of Peoria,
in 1682 a fort atop Starved Rock in nowadays Starved Rock
State Park. As a result of this French exploration, Illinois
was part of the French empire until 1763, when it passed to
The Illinois Territory was created on
February 3, 1809, with its capital at
Kaskaskia. In 1818, Illinois became the 21st
U.S. state. It was one of 5 states on
Chief Black Hawk
Significant episodes in the state's early history include
the influx of settlers following the opening of the Erie
Canal in 1825; the Black Hawk War in 1832, which
virtually ended the Indian troubles in the area; and the
rise of Abraham Lincoln from farm laborer to president.
men served in the Union Army, more than any other
northern state except New York, Pennsylvania, and
Ohio. Beginning with President Lincoln's first call for
troops and continuing throughout the war, Illinois
mustered 150 infantry regiments, which were
numbered from the 7th to the 156th regiments.
diverse Midwestern state and the 5th most populous in
the nation. Illinois has a broad economic base; it is an
important transportation hub. An Associated Press
analysis of 21 demographic factors found Illinois the
"most average state“.
Nicknames: Land of Lincoln; The Prairie State
Motto: State sovereignty, national union
Admission to Union: December 3, 1818 (21st)
Capital: Springfield (after Kaskaskia and Vandalia)
Largest city: Chicago
Area: 140,998 km² (ranked 25th in US)
Population: 12,852,548 people (ranked 5th in US)
Name for Residents: Illinoisan
Highest point: Mound Charles (376 m)
Longest river: Illinois (432 m)
Highest structure: Sears Tower, Chicago (527 m)
Major Industries: agriculture (corn, soybeans, wheat,
oats, barley, rye, sorghum), cattle, manufacturing,
agriculture, and oil production. The state's manufactures include
food and agricultural products, transportation equipment, chemicals,
industrial machinery, and computer equipment.
Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans, corn, and hogs. Other
agricultural commodities include cattle, wheat, oats, sorghum, and
features a bald eagle pitched on
a rock carrying a shield in its
talons and a banner with the
state motto "State Sovereignty,
National Union" in its beak.
state flag has a
and depicts the
Great Seal of
In extreme northwestern Illinois, the
Driftless Zone, a region of unglaciated and
therefore higher and more rugged
topography, occupies a small part of the
state. Charles Mound, located in this
region, has the state's highest point
There are about 500 rivers
and 950 lakes in the State.
The Illinois River is a
principal tributary of the
Mississippi River, about 439
km long. The state's largest
inland water system is
Carlyle Lake, which covers
26,000 acres in Southern
Illinois has a continental climate, with large
temperature extremes not moderated by either
mountains or oceans. Illinois is vulnerable to
tornadoes with an average of 35 occurring annually.
The deadliest tornado on record in the nation
occurred largely in Illinois. The Tri-State Tornado
of 1925 killed 695 people in three states; 613 of
the victims lived in Illinois.
born in Kentucky, in 1809. Lincoln served as a
congressman from Illinois before being elected
President in 1861.
The 18th President of
the USA General Ulysses
S. Grant was born in
Ohio. Lived in Galena,
Ronald Wilson Reagan,
the 40th President of
the United States of
America, was born in
Before being elected President, Barack
Obama, the 44th President of the USA,
served as legislator from Illinois.
of 116,482. The city was originally called "Calhoun"
after Vice President John C. Calhoun; as public
sentiment turned against Calhoun the city was
renamed Springfield. Springfield became the capital
in 1837. It is the 3rd capital after Kalkaska and
The city of Springfield is dotted with sites centered around U.S. President
Abraham Lincoln, who started his political career in Springfield. These
include: the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, a National Historical Park
that includes the preserved surrounding neighborhood, the Lincoln-Herndon
Law Offices State Historic Site, the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, the
Old State Capitol State Historic Site, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum.
affiliation with food. The corn
dog on a stick was invented in the
city under the name “Cozy Dog”,
although there is some debate to
the actual origin of the popular
The horseshoe sandwich, also
originated in Springfield. The
city is also known for its chili
or “chilli”. In 1993 the Illinois
state legislature adopted a
Springfield the “Chilli Capital
of the Civilized World”.
attractions such as the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop.
The alleged first U.S. drive-thru window is still in
operation in Springfield at the Maid-Rite Sandwich
state of Illinois. It is the nation's
third largest city. Its population is
nearly 3 million people. The name
Chicago is thought to come from an
Algonquian word meaning “onion” or
“skunk.” Chicago is called the "Windy
City", "Chi-Town", "Second City“, and
the "City of Big Shoulders".
After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed a third of the city,
including the entire central business district, Chicago experienced rapid
rebuilding and growth. Ever since the city was rebuilt, it became known as
the Second City, since the first city was largely destroyed in the Fire.
the tallest building in North
America The Sears Tower
which has 110 stories.
The first skyscraper in
the world was the 10storied Home Insurance
Building in Chicago. It
was built in 18841885, using steelskeleton construction
and universities. The prestigious University of Chicago founded in 1890
was the site of the world’s first man-made self-sustaining nuclear
chain reaction. Affiliated with 82 Nobel Prize laureates, the University
of Chicago is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost
universities. On December 2, 1942, physicist Enrico Fermi conducted
the world’s first controlled nuclear reaction at the University of
Chicago as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project.
Among Chicago's attractions are the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field
Museum of Natural History, the Jane Addams–Hull House Museum, Navy
Pier, Chicago Historical Museum, Jackson Park and numerous architectural
landmarks such as the Sears Tower and Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House.
Dick Van Dyke
Amphibian: Eastern Tiger Salamander
Animal: White-tailed Deer
Insect: Monarch Butterfly
Flower: Purple Violet
Tree: White Oak
Reptile: Painted Turtle
Prairie Grass: Big Bluestem
Dance: Square Dance
Fossil: Tully Monster
Seal: The Great Seal