Illinois is a state in the Midwestern United States. It is the 5th most populous and 25th largest state, and is often noted as a microcosm of the country. With Chicago and its suburbs in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base and is a major transportation hub.
Prehistoric Illinois was the site of Cahokia, the largest urban center of the Mississippian culture. The Illinois Confederation, from which the state takes its name, dominated the region during the contact period, but by the time of the American Revolution, only about 2,000 Native Americans and a small number of French villagers inhabited the area. Anglo-American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1810s. Illinois achieved statehood in 1818. Northerners arrived later via the Great Lakes, founding Chicago in the 1830s. The invention of the steel plow and growth of railroads made it possible to profitably farm the rich prairie land of central Illinois, attracting large numbers of immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. Northern Illinois provided major support for Illinoisans Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant during the American Civil War. By 1900, industry was growing rapidly in the northern cities, along with coal mines in central and southern areas. This industrialization attracted large numbers of immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe and many African Americans in the Great Migration from the Southern United States, who developed renowned jazz and blues cultures in the city.
The Battle of Stillman's Run, also known as the Battle of Sycamore Creek or the Battle of Old Man's Creek, occurred on May 14, 1832. The battle was named for Major Isaiah Stillman and his detachment of 275 Illinois militia which fled in a panic from the smaller number of Sauk warriors. The engagement was the first battle of the Black Hawk War (1832) which had developed when Black Hawk crossed the Mississippi River from Iowa into Illinois with his British Band of Sauk and Fox. The militia pursued a group of Sauk scouts back to the main British Band camp following a failed attempt at truce negotiations by Black Hawk's emissaries.
During the engagement 12 militia men were killed while making a stand on a small hill. The remainder of the militia fled back to Dixon's Ferry. A 2006 article corroborates that militia volunteer Abraham Lincoln was present at the battleground's burials; although there is little else agreement amongst other sources. This claim, however, was still under investigation as of 2003 . In 1901 a monument was erected in Stillman Valley, Illinois commemorating the battle.(Read more...)
Joseph W. Tkach was the appointed successor of Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God. Tkach became President and Pastor General of the church upon the death of Armstrong in 1986. Tkach spearheaded a major doctrinal transformation of the Worldwide Church of God, abandoning Armstrong's unconventional doctrines and bringing the church into accord with mainstream evangelical Christianity. His son, Joseph Tkach Jr., continued his work and in 1997 the Worldwide Church of God became a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.
During Tkach's tenure, the changes that he implemented stirred much controversy and significant dissent among those who continued to follow Armstrong's theology. The dissenters labelled the changes as heresy and many left to form new church organizations. Within the mainstream Christian community, some have hailed Tkach's reforms, which brought a church from the fringe to orthodoxy, as unprecedented in the history of the Christian church. (Read more...)
- September 18, 2014: Based on millions of user reviews, TripAdvisor names the Art Institute of Chicago (pictured) the "Best Museum in the World."
- September 11, 2014: Trustees of the University of Illinois uphold the decision not to hire Steven Salaita because of a series of harshly worded tweets opposing Israeli policies.
- September 10, 2014: The teachers of Highland CUSD in Highland, Illinois begin the first strike in the school district's history.
- September 2, 2014: The first patients apply for permits to use legal medical cannabis in Illinois.
- August 24, 2014: South Korea defeats Illinois in the championship game of the 2014 Little League World Series.
- August 22, 2014: The Illinois Supreme Court rules that a referendum to impose term limits on members of the Illinois General Assembly shall not appear on the ballot in the 2014 Illinois Elections, ruling that it would not be permissible under the state constitution.
- August 22, 2014: The Illinois State Board of Elections rules that candidates for statewide office from the the Constitution Party and Green Party will not appear on the ballot in the Illinois elections of 2014, while approving the candidates from the Libertarian Party.
- August 14, 2014: The unemployment rate in Illinois drops to a six-year low of 6.8%.
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