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Portal:Illinois

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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 Chicago.

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Mr. Dooley by Gordon Ross (1909).

Mr. Dooley is a fictional bartender created by Chicago journalist Finley Peter Dunne, appearing in print between 1893 and 1915, and again in 1924 and 1926. The bartender's humorous but pointed commentary on American politics and international affairs first became popular during the 1898 Spanish–American War. Dunne's essays are in the form of conversations in an Irish dialect of English between Mr. Dooley, the owner of a fictional tavern in the Bridgeport area of Chicago, and one of the bar's patrons. From 1898 onwards, the essays, and the books collecting them, gained national acclaim. Dunne became a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt, although the friendship did not curtail his satire. Beginning around 1905, Dunne had increasing trouble finding time and inspiration for new pieces, and, except for a brief resurrection in the mid-1920s, his columns ended in 1915. Even before his death in 1936, his work was becoming obscure due in part to his use of dialect and unusual spellings. The columns originated lasting sayings such as "the Supreme Court follows the election returns".

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Paul Cornell

Paul Cornell (August 5, 1822 – March 3, 1904) was an American lawyer and Chicago real estate speculator who founded the Hyde Park Township that included most of what are now known as the south and far southeast sides of Chicago, Illinois. He turned the south side Lake Michigan lakefront area, especially the Hyde Park community area and neighboring Kenwood and Woodlawn neighborhoods, into a resort community that had its heyday from the 1850s through the early 20th century. He was also an urban planner who paved the way for and preserved many of the parks that are now in the Chicago Park District. Additionally, he was a successful entrepreneur with interests in manufacturing, cemeteries, and hotels. His modern legacy includes several large parks now in the Chicago Park District: Jackson Park, Washington Park, Midway Plaisance and Harold Washington Park. (Read more...)

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Campana Factory - Batavia.jpg

The Campana Factory in Batavia. It was built in 1936 to serve as a factory for The Campana Company, which produced Italian Balm, the most popular hand lotion in the United States during the Great Depression. The Streamline Moderne and Bauhaus design by Frank D. Chase features many innovative technologies, such as air conditioning.
Photo credit: User:MrPanyGoff

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