Illinois History

By | October 15, 2021

Illinois is a US state. The state capital is called Springfield, but Chicago is the largest city. The population in 2006 was 12.8 million.

Illinois’ northeastern border is Lake Michigan. To the east, Illinois borders Indiana, to the north Wisconsin, to the west to Missouri and Iowa along the Mississippi River, and to the south, Kentucky along the Ohio River. Illinois also has a border with Michigan, but this border is located in Lake Michigan.

Illinois was admitted as the 21st state of the United States on December 3, 1818.

The state’s nickname is Land of Lincoln after Abraham Lincoln, who lived in the state when he was elected President of the United States, but the only president born in Illinois is Ronald Reagan.

In the past, Chicago was best known for the legendary gangster showdowns of the 1920s and 1930s with Al Capone at the center. However, crime in Chicago’s poorest areas in the southern and western parts of the city is on the rise, and the city has had a very high murder rate in recent years. See directoryaah for museums in Illinois.


16th Century – The pre-Columbian civilization of Cahokia originally lived in the area, but disappeared for unknown reasons in the 15th century.

1680 – On January 5, the French explorers René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle and Henri de Tonti established Fort Crèvecoeur.

On April 15, Henri de Tonti left the fort with Father Ribourde and two other men, to begin the fortification of the settlement at Starving Rock. The next day, the remaining 7 men looted the fort for all the provisions and ammunition, destroyed the fort and most of them fled back to Canada.

On September 10, de Tonti tried to delay the invasion of the Kaskaskia village by the armed Iroquois Indians so that the Indians in the city from the Illionois Federation could flee with their women, children and the elderly. But Tonti was wounded by an Iroquois Indian who stabbed him with a knife. The village was then burnt down and the Iroquois built a fort on top of the site at Starved Rock. Tonti and his allies fled to La Baye.

1673 – Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet arrive in Illinois.

1699 – The oldest city in Illinois, Chaokia, is established.

1700 – There were approx. 25,000 Indians in Illinois, but systematic attacks and genocides committed by the Iroquois Federation reduced that number by 90%.

1804 – The Lewis and Clark expedition begins near the Wood River.

1809 – The territory of Illinois is formed with the capital of Kaskasia. The capital was moved to the city of Vandalia in 1819, and in 1837 Springfield became the state capital.

1811-12 – The New Madrid earthquakes occurred, twice on December 16, 1811, and January 23, and February 7, 1812, the most powerful earthquakes in U.S. history.

1812 – Battle of Fort Dearborn, a battle between American troops and Potawatomi Indians that lasts only a quarter of an hour with a complete victory for the Indians, who massacred 52 soldiers and civilians, on 15 August.

1818 – Illinois became the USA’s 21st state.

1830 – Abraham Lincoln moves to Illinois; The first state prison was built in Alton.

1837 – Chicago, founded as a port city on the Great Lakes, experienced rapid growth in the mid-19th century.

1844 – Mormon leaders, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, were assassinated on June 27, when they were attacked by a group of Mormon haters. Joseph was killed while imprisoned in Carthage, charged with ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, a newspaper whose first and only edition claimed Smith practiced polygamy and cultivated theocracy. Mormons consider Joseph and Hyrum Smith martyrs. And here.

1846 – Mormons leave Illinois for Utah.

1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected President of the United States. Read more here.

1861-65 – During the American Civil War, over 250,000 men from Illinois participated in the Union Army. Illinois fielded 150 infantry regiments, 17 cavalry regiments and 2 light artillery regiments.

1865 – Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in Washington DC on April 14 by John Wilkes Booth, and buried in Springfield, IL.

1868 – Ulysses S. Grant became US president. Read more here.

1871 – Most of Chicago burns in ” The Great Chicago Fire “. At that time there were approx. 300,000 residents of the city. In all, over 18,000 buildings had been lost, and in the center there were only quite a few constructions that survived. In addition, a third of the population had become homeless, while about 300 died as a result of the fire.

1886 – On May 4, the Haymarket riots take place in Chicago when striking workers demonstrate for an eight-hour workday at Haymarket, Hay Market. Two hundred policemen attacked them to dismantle the demonstration when someone suddenly threw a bomb from a side street. In the chaos that followed, police and workers began shooting at each other; seven policemen and four workers lost their lives.

1892 – The iconic street circuit, ” the L ” in Chicago, opened and has since appeared as a backdrop in countless films. In the fast-growing city, the track was built as bridges over the existing street network, giving the desired passability. Since the 1980s, many films have been shot in the city, including The Blues Brothers, A Wild Toddler Day, Alone at Home, The Refugee, I, Robot, Wanted, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Transformers: Age of Extinction.

1903 – The Iroquois Theater in Chicago is destroyed by fire on December 30, killing about 605 people. Read more here.

1908 – Race riots in Springfield, August 14, are started by two African-American prisoners who are transferred out of prison by the local sheriff. They had been charged but not convicted of provocative criminal acts against white people, and the crowd went mad that they were not hanged. The group ravaged the black neighborhoods, destroying and burning down businesses and homes owned by the African Americans who were killed.

1909 – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), formed after the riots in Springfield ; A coal mine fire left 259 victims.

1915 – The steamer Eastland runs aground on the Chicago River and 1812 passengers die.

1917 – National Guard troops are sent to eastern St. Louis. louis to quell racial unrest.

1918 – A flu epidemic in Illinois kills 32,000 citizens.

1919 – Racial unrest in Chicago leaves 38 dead, 500 wounded and thousands homeless.

1922 – Violence, known as the ” Herrin Massacre “, takes place in Herrin, June 21, when some non-union miners are shot after strikers marched on the site. The following day, union members killed 19 out of 50, and many brutally. See pictures here.

1925 – The tornado that has claimed the most lives in the United States hits Illinois and 2 other states, killing 695 people, including 613 in Illinois.

1926 – Charles Lindbergh begins his daily mail flight between Chicago and St. Louis. Louis. The following year, on May 27, he took the trip across the Atlantic with the “ Spirit of St. Louis “.

1929 – “ Skt. The Valentines Day Massacre ”in Chicago, took place on February 14, and was a showdown between the North Side Irish gang and Al Capone’s gang, the South Side Italian. Read more here.

1933 – Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak dies on March 6, after being shot during the assassination attempt on President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the month before in Miami. It was not the shot that killed him, but a bleeding colitis that created problems during the operation.

1937 – The oil industry boomed after a strike, and by 1939 the state had become the fourth largest oil producer in the United States ; The ” Memorial Day Massacre ” took place on May 30.

1949 – Orchard Place Airport is renamed O’Hare Field in honor of Lt. Commander Edward O’Hare, who was killed during World War II. The airport is today one of the largest in the world and is located in northern Chicago. Read more about the airport here.

1954 – Raymond Kroc opens the first McDonald’s fast food restaurant in Des Plaines. Read more about the museum here.

1958 – A December 1 fire at Our Lady of Angels School in Chicago kills 92 children and three nuns.

1968 – Mass riots in 1968 following the assassination of Martin Luther King (April 4) and Robert F. Kennedy (June 5), political unrest, especially riots in more than 100 cities, cause the Democratic National Convention to be disrupted, and 650 were arrested in Chicago. Read more here.

1972 – Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield is declared the first historic site in Illinois. Read more here.: The worst train collision in Chicago’s history happened in the middle of rush hour on October 30th. 45 passengers were killed and over 200 injured.

1974 – The Sears Tower, which with its 447 meters (with antenna 527.9 m), became the tallest building in the world, was completed in Chicago. The building changed its name in 2009 to Willis Tower.

1983 – Harold Washington is elected the first African-American mayor of Chicago.

1993 – Floods in southern and western Illionois wreak havoc. With $ 20 billion in damage and 50,000 homes destroyed, it helps make it one of the worst natural disasters in the United States. Read more here.

1997 – The Field Museum of Natural History pays $ 8.4 million for Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil found to date.

2003 – A few days before his resignation, Governor George Ryan changed the death penalty for all 156 inmates on death row for life because he did not find the death penalty could be carried out responsibly. Ryan’s political career had been marred by scandals and corruption for some time.

2004 – Democrat Barack Obama is elected as one of Illinois’ two senators. The other is named Richard “Dick” Durbin and is just like Obama the Democrat.

2006 – The FBI arrests seven people suspected of blowing up the Sears Tower. ( Liberty City Seven ); American immigrants protested against the changed immigration rules ( HR 4437 ). Over 400,000 attend Chicago.

2008 – While Barack Obama was elected president, Rod Blagojevich was charged with attempting to sell Obama ‘s Senate seat. The following year, he appeared before the Supreme Court for abuse of power.

2011 – Blagojevich is found guilty of corruption. The following year, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison, after being convicted of 18 cases of federal corruption.

Illinois History