Illinois leaders mark state's 199th birthday; eyes on 200th

Dec 4, 2017

Illinois celebrated 199 years of statehood Sun. and kicked off the year-long celebration of the its bicentennial.

Gov. Bruce Rauner participated in events at Chicago's Navy Pier Sunday, the day Illinois became the 21st state 199 years ago. Other commemorations took place in Springfield.

On Mon, local governments across the state are sharing in a noontime ceremonial bicentennial flag raising. There are such events at 12pm at Peoria City Hall, the Peoria County Courthouse Plaza, East Peoria City Hall and Washington City Square. The City of Pekin’s flag raising is at 11:45am.

Illinois' recorded history began in 1673 when missionary Jacques Marquette and fur trader Louis Jolliet became the first Europeans to explore it. President James Monroe's signature made it a state on Dec. 3, 1818. 

State Rep. Tim Butler is a Springfield Republican and member of the Bicentennial Commission. He has said the bicentennial offers an opportunity for Illinoisans to "foster a renewed pride in our state."