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All about Illinois

Historical Note:

Re-inventing the wheel . . .

George W. Ferris, inventor of the Ferris wheel, introduced his amazing amusement ride in 1892 at Chicago's World Columbian Exposition, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus's voyage to America. This colossal, mechanical wheel measured 250 feet in diameter and provided 36 boxes, or "cars" which carried dozens of people standing in each box. Imagine standing in one of those things . . . and being stuck at the top, 250 feet in the air!

Name Origin: Indian. (From ancient Indian tribe, "Illinewek," or "Superior Men")

Capital: Springfield

Population: 11,752,000

Area: 56,345 square miles

Statehood: December 3, 1818 (21st)

Nickname: The Prairie State

Motto: "State sovereignty-National union."

Famous For: Hogs, Pigs, Cattle, Electronics, Chemicals, Manufacturing, Ancient Burial Mounds, Lake Michigan, Chicago "Windy City", Sears Tower, Wrigley Building

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