Tuesday, March 17, 2009


This is the second article I did on for February newsletter of WOSIB newsletter.



By Kathleen

This month’s state is Illinois. Illinois is also known as ‘The Land Of Lincoln’ and ‘The Prairie State’.
The state of Illinois is named after the French adaptation of the Algonquian language. The word apparently means ‘s/he speaks normally’. The name is alternately associated with Illiniwek, a consortium of Algonquian tribe that use to thrive in the area. Illiniwek means ’tribe of superior men’, which is frequently incorrect. But the government of Illinois chooses to say the meaning of the state name means ’tribe of superior me’. Who knows which one of the meanings of Illinois is true.

Symbols Of Illinois
Illinois State Flag is called ‘History’.

  • Illinois State Seal is called ‘The Great Seal’.

  • Motto: State sovereignty, national union
  • Amphibian: Eastern Tiger Salamander
  • Animal: White-Tail Deer
  • Bird: Cardinal
  • Dance: Square Dance
  • Fish: Bluegill
  • Flower: Purple Violet
  • Fossil: Tully Monster
  • Insect: Monarch Butterfly
  • Mineral: Fluorite
  • Prairie Grass: Big Bluestem
  • Reptile: Painted Turtle
  • Snack Food: Popcorn
  • Song: ‘Illinois’ lyrics by: Charles H. Chamberlin music by: Archibald Johnston
  • Tree: White Oak
  • History

    Cahokia, a pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, resided in Illinois. Like the Mississippian people in Indiana, the Cahokia too disappeared off the face of the map in the 15th century.
    The next culture to take over was the Illiniwek Confederation or Illini. In the 1700’s, there was 25,000 Illini but due to the attacks from the Iroquois 90% of the Illini were wiped out.
    The next group of Indians that settle into Illinois were the Sauk, Potawatomi, Miami and others tribes. They came in from the east and north.
    In 1673, French explorers, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, explored the Illinois River, which lead other French explorers coming to Illinois. Illinois was part of the French empire until 1763. Illinois then went into the hands of British. Due to the American colonist uprising, the British only had Illinois for a short time. Illinois became a territory of the United States. On August 26th, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state to enter the United States.
    When President Lincoln first called for troops at the Civil War, Illinois sent 250,000 men to serve in the Union Army.
    Illinois emerged as one of the important states during the 20th century with a population bordering around 5 million. Illinois reached over 12 million by the end of the century.
    In 1957, the Argonne National Laboratory activated the first nuclear power generating system in the United States near Chicago. Chicago became an ocean port with the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway in 1959. In 1960, Dresden 1, the first privately finance nuclear plant, was dedicated near Morris, Illinois. In 1960, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines (which still exists today as a museum, with a working McDonald's across the street).
    In 1985, the first Farm Aid concert was held in Champaign, Illinois to benefit the American farmers.
    In 2008, Illinois U.S. Senator Barack Obama was elected our 44th president. He is also the first African-American president. He is also the third president that came from Illinois.
    If you are interested a more detail history of Illinois, you can go to the following links. The sites will take you to other links pertaining to Illinois history like The Great Chicago Fire, The Great Flood of 1993, The Blackhawk War, etc.



    • Former President Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois.
    • Politics in the state of Illinois, particularly Chicago area, have been famous for highly visible corruption cases. Here are two of them. In 1912, William Lorimer, the GOP boss of Chicago, was expelled from the U.S. Senate for bribery. In 1921, Governor Len Small (R) was found to have defrauded the state of a million dollars.

    Illinois is an important agricultural state. The main agricultural produces are soybeans and corn. The other major crops of Illinois includes hay, wheat, and sorghum. Hogs and cattle are the principal sources of farm income.
    Beneath the fertile topsoil of Illinois lies mineral wealth, including fluorspar, bituminous coal, and oil. Illinois ranks high among the states in the production of coal. Its reserves are greater than any other states east of the Rocky Mts.
    Illinois manufactures are electrical and nonelectrical machinery, food products, fabricated and primary metal products, chemicals, printed and published materials.
    Illinois is the leading refiner of petroleum in the Midwestern states. It is also ranked 14th in oil production in the states.
    Illinois is ranked first in nuclear generating capacity among the 31 states with nuclear plants. Almost half of Illinois electricity is generated by nuclear plants.
    Metropolitan Chicago, the country's leading rail center, is also a major industrial, as well as a commercial and financial center. Chicago also host most of the professional sports in Illinois.
    Decatur is one of the leading producers of ethanol from corn.

    • Illinois has numerous museums. The state of the art Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield is the largest presidential library in the country.
    • There are numerous museums in the city of Chicago. These include the John G. Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Science and Industry. The Museum of Science and Industry is the only building remaining from the 1893 Columbian Exposition held in Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the new world.
    • The Illinois state park system began in 1908 with Fort Massac State Park. Fort Massac State Park became the first park in a system, encompassing over 60 parks and about the same number of recreational and wildlife areas.
    • The areas protected and controlled under the National Park Service include the Illinois And Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor, The Lewis And Clark National Historic Trail, the Lincoln Home National Historic, the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, the Trail Of Tear’s National Historic Trail and the Kickapoo State Park.



    My Home State Of Indiana

    About three months ago, I started writing "State Of The Month" articles for the WOSIB Newsletter. My first article was on my home state of Indiana. That was because I just signed up for to do the article and there was only about three or four days to get the article done before deadline, lol. So I pick a state I was fimiliar with. I am putting it up in my blog because got to clean my archives out. I will be putting up the other two state articles in my blog too.


    State Of The Month

    Written By Kathleen

    The name Indiana means ‘The Land of Indians’ or ‘Indian Land’. Indiana is known as the Hoosier State. The people from the State of Indiana are know as Hoosiers. How Indiana got the name of Hoosier State and people of Indiana Hoosiers is unknown. There are a lot of stories and legends how it came about. You can find a few of the stories and legends at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoosier

    Indiana Symbols

    Indiana’s State Flag

    The Seal Of Indiana

    Indiana Bird: Cardinal
    Indiana Flower: Peony
    Indiana Motto: The Crossroads of America
    Indiana Poem: ’Indiana’ by Arthur Franklin Mapes
    Indiana Song: ‘On The Banks Of The Wabash’, ‘Far Away’
    Indiana River: Wabash River
    Indiana Stone: Limestone
    Indiana Tree: The Tulip Tree

    Indiana History

    It was originally thought that Indiana was inhabited by migratory tribes of ’Native Americans’ as early as 8000 B.C. In 2003, archeologists found a tool carved from deer bone dating back 10,400 years ago. Which basically proved the first thought wrong.
    By 900 A.D. a mound building Native Americans called Mississippians settled in Indiana. The Mississippians were dominant in Indiana until 1450 in which their entire civilization totally disappeared for some unknown reason. You can learn more about the Mississippians at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippian_culture
    Indiana entered into recorded history when Europeans started to settle here. We were known as part of the ‘Kingdom Of France’ until ‘The French And Indian Wars‘. The British won that war and we became the ’Kingdom Of Great Britain’.
    But due to our American rebellious nature called ‘The American Revolutionary War‘, the ’Kingdom Of Great Britain’ was short lived. We, here in Indiana, became a territory of the United States in which we placed under the governorship of William Henry Harrison. Indiana became the 19th state of the United States in 1816.
    Following statehood, our new government (Indiana) set out to transform our state from a wilderness frontier into a populated and thriving state. Our state founders started programs for railroad, canals, roads, and public schools which almost bankrupt us. Due to the increase land value and produces saved our butts.
    During the American Civil War, Indiana became a political influence in our nation. We were one of the first western states to mobilize our soldiers at the start of the Civil War.
    In the 1900’s, we became a strong manufacturing state. Of course, the depression almost destroyed our manufacturing. We recovered during World War 2.
    This is only a brief history of my home state of Indiana. If your interested in learning more like the birth place of Abraham Lincoln, Tecumseh’s War, War Of 1812, etc. Here are some webpages that will give you a start in the world of discovering more of my home state of Indiana‘s history: http://www.in.gov/visitindiana/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana#State_symbols http://www.answers.com/topic/indiana

    Indiana Economy

    Our highest income percentage is in manufacturing like pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, steel, automobiles, electrical equipment, transportation equipment, chemical products, rubber, petroleum and coal products, and factory machinery.
    Our major crop is corn and soybeans. Believe me when I say, you can’t take a ride on the highway or a back road here in Indiana during the summertime without seeing rows of corn or soybeans.
    We are becoming one of the leading state in the biofuels. Reynolds, located north of Lafayette is now known as BioTown, USA. The town is experimenting with using biofuels and organic fuels, such as those made with manure, to power the town.
    Our mining is in limestone and coal.

    Fun Facts In Indiana

    Santa Claus, Indiana: During Christmas season Santa Claus, Indiana receives over a million letters and requests.
    Stolen Profits: In June of 1972, Lowell Elliot of Peru, Indiana was said to have found $500,000 in cash on his farm. It looked like the money fell from the sky. It did. A skyjacker parachuting out of a plane had dropped his stolen profits over Elliot’s farm. Elliot returned the money to the authorities.
    Corn: Half the cropland in Indiana is corn.
    The Slippery Noodle Inn: Was establish in 1850. It is one of Indiana’s oldest bars. During Prohibition, the Al Brady and John Dillinger gangs were patrons of the inn. The gangs used the building in the rear (originally a horse stable for the Inn) for target practice. Today, several bullets remain embedded in the lower east wall.

    Places To Visit In Indiana:

    Indiana has plenty of places to visit depending on the kind of person you are. Turkey Run State Park is a park one can go hiking, canoeing, fishing, camping and enjoy nature.
    There is Indiana Beach, an amusement park on Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana. They have over 30 rides and attractions. I am not sure if one can do it now but when I was a kid, my brothers, sisters, and I use to throw our popcorn in the lake to watch the cod pop up to eat it. What can I say it was amusing to us besides the rides.
    There is Wolf Park. A park which is a preserve for wolfs.
    Mounds State Park is known for its prehistoric Indian mounds in Anderson, Indiana. You can go fishing, swimming, hiking, and picnicking.
    You can go to Parke County and visit the 30 Cover Bridges driving tour. Parke County has the largest concentrate of covered bridges in our nation.
    In Battleground, Indiana, there is a small graveyard and monument dedicated to the soldiers that fought in the ‘Battle Of Tippecanoe’. Behind this is a lovely creek one can sit and enjoy the tranquility of the area.
    If you are a person that enjoys art, Lafayette, Indiana, has a lovely art museum.
    Oh, yeah, I can’t forget Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace in southern Indiana. The park has hiking, the old Lincoln homestead, the gravesite of Good Ole Abe’s mother.
    There are other places to visit in my home state. To find out more go to the website: http://www.in.gov/visitindiana/index.aspx