Illinois

Illinois State Flag Gifts & Merchandise

Date of Statehood: December 3, 1818

Capital: Springfield

Population: 12,830,632 (2010)

Size: 57,916 square miles

Nickname(s): Prairie State; Land of Lincoln

Motto: State Sovereignty, National Union

Tree: White Oak

Flower: Violet

Bird: Cardinal 

Illinois Timeline
  • 1673 - French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet arrive in Illinois and claim the land for France.
  • 1763 - The British take over the land after winning the French and Indian War.
  • 1783 - Illinois becomes part of the United States after the Revolutionary War.
  • 1787 - The Northwest Territory is established. It includes many states along with Illinois.
  • 1809 - The Illinois Territory is separated from the Northwest Territory.
  • 1818 - Illinois becomes the 21st state.
  • 1832 - The Black Hawk War occurs and the Native Americans are forced to return to Iowa.
  • 1839 - The capital city is moved to Springfield.
  • 1844 - Mormon leader Joseph Smith is killed. The Mormons leave Illinois for Utah.
  • 1861 - Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln becomes president of the United States. The Civil War begins.
  • 1871 - A large portion of Chicago is destroyed by fire.
  • 1889 - Hull House is opened by Jane Adams to help recently arrived immigrants.
  • 1955 - McDonald's Corporation is founded in Des Plaines, Illinois.
  • 1973 - The Sears Tower (Willis Tower today) is completed. It is the tallest building in the world until 1998.