Portal:Illinois

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Illinois is a state of the United States and the 21st state admitted to the Union. Illinois is the most populous state in the Midwest and the fifth most populous in the nation. Its balance of the metropolis of Chicago and its suburbs in the northeast, as well as rural areas, small industrial cities, and the coal mines of the south give it a highly diverse economic base. Its central location, connecting the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River via the Illinois River, made it a transportation hub for 150 years.

About 2,000 Native American hunters and a small number of French villagers inhabited the area at the time of the American Revolution. American settlers began arriving from Kentucky in the 1810s; they achieved statehood in 1818. Yankees arrived a little later and dominated the north, founding the future city of Chicago in the 1830s. The coming of the railroads in the 1850s made highly profitable the rich prairie farmlands in 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, factories were being rapidly built 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 also led to the state's material contribution as a major arsenal in both world wars. In addition to immigrants from Europe, large numbers of blacks left the cotton fields of the South to come to Chicago, where they developed a renowned jazz culture.

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A view inside the Interstate Exposition Building (known as the "Glass Palace") during the convention.

The 1880 Republican National Convention convened from June 2 to June 8, 1880 at the Interstate Exposition Building in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and nominated James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur as the official candidates of the Republican Party for President and Vice President of the United States, respectively, in the 1880 presidential election.

Of the 14 people nominated for the Republican nomination, the three strongest candidates leading up to the convention were Ulysses S. Grant, James G. Blaine and John Sherman. Grant had served two terms as President from 1869 to 1877, and was seeking an unprecedented third term in office. He was backed by the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party, which supported political machines and patronage. Blaine was a senator and former representative from Maine who was backed by the Half-Breed faction of the Republican Party. Sherman, the brother of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman, was the then Secretary of the Treasury under President Rutherford B. Hayes. He was also a former senator from Ohio and was backed by a delegation that did not support the Stalwarts or Half-Breeds. Garfield's Ohio delegation chose Chester A. Arthur, a Stalwart, as Garfield's vice-presidential running mate. Arthur won the nomination by capturing 468 votes, and the longest-ever Republican National Convention was subsequently adjourned. The Garfield-Arthur Republican ticket later defeated Democrats Winfield Scott Hancock and William Hayden English in the close 1880 presidential election. (Read more...)

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Michael Jordan.

Michael Jordan is a retired American professional basketball player. Widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he became one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was instrumental in popularizing the NBA (National Basketball Association) around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.

After a standout career at the University of North Carolina, Jordan joined the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1984. He quickly emerged as one of the stars of the league, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the foul line at Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness." He also gained a reputation as one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat". Though Jordan abruptly left the NBA in October 1993 to pursue a career in baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships (1996, 1997, and 1998). His 1995–96 Bulls team won an NBA-record 72 regular-season games. Jordan retired for a second time in 1999, but he returned for two more NBA seasons as a member of the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003. (Read more...)

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Lincoln's Tomb.JPG
The Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln is buried alongside Mary Todd Lincoln and three of their sons.
Photo credit: User:Rklawton

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