64 Interesting Facts about Illinois

Illinois is a state located in the Midwest region of the United States. The state is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and bustling cities. The state’s largest city is Chicago, which is known for its architecture, food, and cultural attractions. The city is also a major economic center, with a thriving business community and world-renowned universities. Illinois is home to several major universities, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago. These institutions are known for their world-class academic programs and research facilities, attracting students and scholars from around the globe. The state is also home to a number of smaller colleges and community colleges, providing opportunities for higher education to students of all backgrounds.

Illinois has a rich agricultural tradition, with corn and soybeans being the state’s two largest crops. The state is also a major producer of pork, beef, and dairy products. In addition to agriculture, Illinois has a thriving manufacturing industry, with factories producing everything from automobiles to chemicals to steel. Illinois also has a rich history that is reflected in its many historic sites and museums. The state played a major role in the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by slaves to escape to freedom. The state is also home to several presidential libraries, including the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, which is dedicated to the life and legacy of the 16th president of the United States.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Do you want to know more about Illinois interesting facts? Here are 64 interesting facts about Illinois.

  1. Illinois is the 5th most populous state in the United States, with a population of over 12 million people.
  2. The state was named after the Illiniwek Native American tribe, who once inhabited the region.
  3. The state motto is “State Sovereignty, National Union.”
  4. The first McDonald’s restaurant was opened in Des Plaines, Illinois, in 1955.
  5. The Willis Tower in Chicago (formerly known as the Sears Tower) was the tallest building in the world from 1974 to 1998.
  6. The Chicago River is dyed green every year on St. Patrick’s Day.
  7. Illinois is home to the largest public university library in the world, located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  8. The Illinois state flag features the state seal surrounded by a white field and the state name in blue letters.
  9. The Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox are the state’s two Major League Baseball teams.
  10. The Illinois state song is “Illinois.”
  11. The state tree is the white oak.
  12. The Illinois state insect is the monarch butterfly.
  13. The Illinois state animal is the white-tailed deer.
  14. The state dance is the square dance.
  15. The Chicago River flows backwards due to a series of engineering projects undertaken in the early 20th century.
  16. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is the largest presidential library in the country.
  17. Illinois has the most personalized license plates in the United States.
  18. The state fish is the bluegill.
  19. The state fossil is the Tully Monster.
  20. The world’s largest bottle of catsup (ketchup) is located in Collinsville, Illinois.
  21. Illinois has more units of local government than any other state in the United States.
  22. The state reptile is the painted turtle.
  23. The state amphibian is the eastern tiger salamander.
  24. The state slogan is “Land of Lincoln.”
  25. The Illinois state quarter features a portrait of Abraham Lincoln and a Chicago skyline.
  26. The state mineral is fluorite.
  27. Illinois is known as the “Prairie State” because of its vast grasslands.
  28. The state soil is Drummer silty clay loam.
  29. The state gemstone is the fluorite.
  30. The Illinois state theater is the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
  31. The state vegetable is sweet corn.
  32. The state grain is corn.
  33. The state fruit is the GoldRush apple.
  34. The state snack food is popcorn.
  35. The state musical instrument is the guitar.
  36. The state poet laureate is Angela Jackson.
  37. The state grass is big bluestem.
  38. The state tree fruit is the white oak acorn.
  39. The state wildflower is the wild violet.
  40. The state prairie grass is big bluestem.
  41. The state pie is pumpkin pie.
  42. The state snack is popcorn.
  43. The state mineral is fluorite.
  44. The state bird is the northern cardinal.
  45. The Chicago Riverwalk is a popular tourist attraction, offering scenic views and access to restaurants and shops.
  46. The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield features a 361-foot tall dome, making it one of the tallest capitol buildings in the United States.
  47. The Illinois state reptile, the painted turtle, can be found in almost every lake, pond, and river in the state.
  48. The state’s largest lake is Lake Michigan, which is shared with Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
  49. The first controlled and sustained nuclear chain reaction took place at the University of Chicago in 1942, marking a major milestone in nuclear physics.
  50. The state fruit, the GoldRush apple, was developed by the University of Illinois in the 1990s.
  51. Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery.
  52. The state has a rich history of blues music, with legendary performers such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Willie Dixon all hailing from the state.
  53. The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, dating back to 1868.
  54. The state’s largest employer is the State of Illinois, with over 70,000 employees.
  55. The Illinois State Fair, held annually in Springfield, features livestock shows, carnival rides, and live music.
  56. The state’s official snack food, popcorn, is primarily grown in central Illinois.
  57. The Illinois state fossil, the Tully Monster, was discovered in a coal mine in 1955.
  58. The state’s largest city, Chicago, is home to several world-renowned museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History.
  59. The state has a thriving craft beer industry, with dozens of breweries located throughout the state.
  60. The Illinois and Michigan Canal, completed in 1848, connected the Illinois River to Lake Michigan, making it a major transportation route for goods and people.
  61. The Illinois state tree, the white oak, can live for up to 450 years.
  62. The state’s official insect, the monarch butterfly, can travel up to 3,000 miles during its annual migration.
  63. The Illinois state soil, Drummer silty clay loam, is highly productive and used for growing a variety of crops, including corn and soybeans.
  64. Illinois is home to several professional sports teams, including the Chicago Bears (football), the Chicago Bulls (basketball), and the Chicago Blackhawks (hockey).

Illinois is a diverse state with a rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty. From the bustling city of Chicago to the peaceful countryside, Illinois offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, art, or nature, there are countless opportunities to explore and learn in this great state. With a strong economy and a thriving industry, Illinois is a great place to live, work, and visit. Its people are known for their resilience, hard work, and friendly demeanor, making Illinois a welcoming and inclusive place for all.

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