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Celebrate National Illinois Day (December 7th)

November 19, 2018 | By Louis Tully

This December 7th, the state of Illinois proudly celebrates its very own national holiday, National Illinois Day! Famously known as the “land of Lincoln” and the “Prairie state “, Illinois is a state that shares a special part of American history. Take a look at some quick history, fun facts and everything else you need to know about the marvelous state of Illinois.

A Brief History

French explorers, Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, were the first Europeans to arrive on Illinois soil in 1673. For a time, the land belonged to the British government – until after the American Revolution, that is. It was after the Revolution that Illinois officially became a territory of the United States, giving birth to the grand city of Chicago, which attracted migrants to the area from all over the world for a chance to work and live out the American dream.

Fun Facts About Illinois

  • Achieved statehood in 1818
  • Has two nicknames, the “Prairie State” and the “Land of Lincoln”
  • Has a statewide population of 12.8 million people as of 2017
  • Home to the world’s largest bottle of catsup
  • Before Springfield, Illinois had two previous capitals: Kaskaskia and Vandalia
  • Illinois produces more nuclear power than any other state.
  • Aurora, a neighboring city just 20 miles west of Chicago, was given the name, “The City of Lights” because it was the first U.S. city to use electric street lights throughout the entire city
  • The first full-color TV station debuted in Chicago (Chicago 5)
  • A vast majority of Illinois’ land area is farmland
  • Legendary rock bands such as Cheap Trick, Styx and the Smashing Pumpkins are from Illinois
  • Illinois has its own state song

Gearing Up for the Holidays on the Horizon

After taking December 7th to step back and appreciate one of America’s finest places of history and culture, you’ll probably want to get back to the other holidays at hand. But before you do, remember that the holidays in general mean more than swiping credit cards for gifts and parties. The holidays are about observance, honor, and celebration.

This year, avoid the need for a cash advance from spending too much money on festivities. Instead, spend time with friends and family. Spend time learning about what these holidays are really about. Research their origin. Learn something about the stories behind the traditions. Who knows, maybe you can gain a deeper appreciation for them and treat them more than just extra trips to the store!