Monday, September 19, 2016

6 Unexpected Facts about Illinois

1. Three Presidents were elected while officially residing in Illinois: Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, and Ulysses S Grant. Ronald Reagan is the only President born and raised in the state.

2. Illinois is the only state whose capital is Springfield.

Wind turbines on the prairie in northwestern Illinois
3. Popcorn and Gold Rush apples are the official state foods.

4. The first European settlers were French Canadians who arrived via the Mississippi River. They mispronounced a term  they heard from the people already resident there (who called themselves Inoka) which English speakers misspelled Illinois. The original term meant "he speaks the regular way."

5. One of the state nicknames is "The Prairie State." (Another is listed on our other Blog)

6. John Deere's invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned the prairie into farmland by the mid-1800s.

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