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Illinois History Timeline

  • (1673) French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet arrived in Illinois
  • (1675) Marquette founded mission at Great Village of the Illinois
  • (1680) French traders Rene Robert Cavelier, the Sieur de La Salle and Henry de Tonty built Fort Crevecoeur on Illinois River; Iroquois Indians destroyed Great Village
  • (1682) La Salle, Tonty built Fort St. Louis across Illinois River from site of Great Village
  • (1699) Cahokia founded, oldest town in Illinois
  • (1717) Illinois part of French colony of Louisiana
  • (1720) Fort de Chartres became seat of civilian, military government in Illinois
  • (1730) French troops, Indian allies in central Illinois massacred Fox Indians
  • (1754 - 1763) French Indian War
  • (1763) French Indian War ended, Illinois ceded to Britain in Treaty of Paris
  • (1769) Illinois Indians besieged, starved at Fort St. Louis (now Starved Rock)
  • (1778) George Rogers Clark defeated British at Kaskaskia
  • (1787) Illinois became part of Northwest Territory
  • (1800) Illinois included in Indiana Territory
  • (1803) Kaskaskia Indians ceded nearly all Illinois lands to U.S.; U.S. Army established Fort Dearborn
  • (1804) Lewis and Clark expedition started near
    Wood River
  • (1809) Congress created Illinois Territory
  • (1811) First coal mine in Illinois opened in Jackson County; parts of southern Illinois damaged by New Madrid earthquake
  • (1812) Potawatomi Indians destroyed Fort Dearborn, massacred 52 troops and civilians
  • (1817) Veterans of War of 1812 received 160-acre land warrants in Illinois Military Tract between Illinois and Mississippi Rivers
  • (1818) Illinois became 21st U. S. state, Kaskaskia chosen as capital
  • (1819) Kickapoo Indians moved west of Mississippi, ceded most of their lands in central Illinois
  • (1820) Vandalia became state capital
  • (1823) Galena became lead mining center
  • (1824) Constitutional convention call to permit slavery defeated by voters
  • (1829) Potawatomi, Ottawa, Chippewa Indians ceded lands in northern Illinois by treaty at Prairie du Chien
  • (1830) Abraham Lincoln moved to Illinois; first state prison built at Alton
  • (1837) Chicago incorporated as city; pro-slavery mob murdered abolitionist editor, Elijah P. Lovejoy at Alton; John Deere designed self-scouring steel plow
  • (1839) National Road completed from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia; Springfield became state capital; Cherokee Indians passed through southern Illinois on "Trail of Tears"
  • (1844) Mormon leaders, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, assassinated at Carthage by anti-Mormons
  • (1846) Mormons left Illinois for Utah
  • (1847) Cyrus Hall McCormick opened plant in Chicago for manufacturing wheat reapers
  • (1848) Chicago Board of Trade organized; Illinois & Michigan Canal completed
  • (1853) Legislation enacted by General Assembly to prevent free blacks from setting in Illinois
  • (1855) Free public school system adopted
  • (1856) First railroad bridge across Mississippi River completed between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island
  • (1860) Abraham Lincoln elected U. S. President
  • (1861) Civil War began; Cairo became troop, supply center for Union Army
  • (1864) Lincoln reelected U.S. President
  • (1865) Illinois first state to ratify Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery; Lincoln assassinated in Washington, D.C., buried in Springfield
  • (1867) George M. Pullman founded Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago, manufactured railroad sleeping cars
  • (1868) Ulysses S. Grant elected U. S. President
  • (1871) Chicago fire destroyed 18,000 downtown buildings, $200 million estimated losses
  • (1883) First compulsory school attendance legislation enacted by General Assembly; world's first skyscraper, Home Insurance Building, designed in Chicago
  • (1886) Riot and bombing in Chicago at Haymarket Square during labor rally
  • (1892) Myra Bradwell, Chicago attorney, first woman admitted to practice before U. S. Supreme Court; Adlai Stevenson I elected U. S. Vice President
  • (1893) World's Fair held in Chicago
  • (1894) Strike at Pullman factory in Chicago became national railway strike; federal troops called in to control mob violence
  • (1898) United Mine Workers won labor disputes after 11 miners, guard killed at Pana and Virden
  • (1890) Frank Lloyd Wright established studio in Oak Park to design prairie-style architecture
  • (1903) Iroquois Theater in Chicago destroyed by fire, nearly 600 killed
  • (1906) Chicago White Sox defeated Chicago Cubs in World Series
  • (1908) Race riots held in Springfield
  • (1909) National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) formed after Springfield riots; coal mine fire at Cherry killed 259
  • (1915) Steamship Eastland capsized in Chicago River, 1812 died
  • (1917) National Guard troops sent to East St. Louis to quell race riots; Chicago White Sox beat New York Giants in World Series
  • (1918) Influenza epidemic in Illinois killed 32,000
  • (1919) Chicago White Sox players accused of gambling on World Series; Chicago race riots left 38 dead, 500 injured, thousand residents left homeless
  • (1921) Football team, the Staleys, moved from Decatur to Chicago, won national championship
  • (1922) Mob violence, the "Herrin Massacre", at strip mine in Williamson County, killed three union miners, 20 strikebreakers; Staleys became Chicago Bears
  • (1925) Charles Gates Dawes became U. S. Vice President; 695 deaths in three states (including Illinois) caused by tornado
  • (1926) Charles Lindbergh began daily mail delivery flight service between Chicago and St. Louis
  • (1929) St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago - Alphonse Capone's gunmen murdered seven rival Chicago mobsters
  • (1933) Chicago mayor, Anton J. Cermak, died during assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt; first All-Star Baseball Game held at Comiskey Park
  • (1934) Chicago Black Hawks won National Hockey League Championship (Stanley Cup)
  • (1937) Police shot, killed ten strikers at Republic Steel in Chicago
  • (1949) Orchard Place Airport renamed O'Hare Field in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward O'Hare, killed in World War II
  • (1954) Raymond Kroc opened first McDonald's fast-food restaurant in Des Plaines
  • (1955) Richard J. Daley elected to first of six terms as Chicago mayor
  • (1957) World's first nuclear power generating station activated at Argonne National Laboratory
  • (1958) Illinois Tollway opened; fire at Our Lady of Angels school in Chicago killed 92 children, three nuns
  • (1968) 650 arrests took place during civil disturbances at Democratic National Convention in Chicago
  • (1970) Voters adopted new Constitution
  • (1972) Chicago Union Stockyards closed; Abraham Lincoln Home in Springfield designated first national historic site in Illinois; commuter trains collided in Chicago, 45 passengers killed, over 200 injured
  • (1974) Sears Tower, world's tallest building, completed in Chicago; state lottery approved by General Assembly
  • (1979) Jayne Byrne Chicago's first female mayor
  • (1980) Ronald Reagan elected U. S. President
  • (1983) Harold Washington elected first African-American mayor of Chicago
  • (1986) Chicago Bears won Super Bowl
  • (1993) Flooding in southern and western Illinois
  • (1997) Field Museum of Natural History paid $8.4 million for Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil, Sue
  • (1998) Fire destroyed historic Chicago Pullman railroad-car factory; Chicago Bulls won NBA Championship
  • (2003) Governor George Ryan commuted death sentences for all 156 inmates on death row
  • (2005) Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum opened; Chicago White Sox won World Series; All Kids health insurance bill passed
  • (2006) FBI arrested seven people suspected of plotting to blow up Sears Tower; U.S. immigrants staged boycott, over 400,000 participated in Chicago
  • (2007) Illinois Senator Barack Obama announced bid for U. S. President
  • (2008) Barack Obama elected U. S. President; Governor Rod Blagojevich, charged with trying to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat
  • (2009) Governor Rod Blagojevich impeached for abuse of powers
  • (2010) Chicago Blackhawks won Stanley Cup
  • (2010) Chicago Blackhawks won Stanley Cup
  • (2011) Ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich, found guilty of corruption
  • (2011) Former White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, elected mayor of Chicago
  • (2012) Former Governor, Rod Blagojevich, began 14-year prison sentence after being convicted of 18 counts of federal corruption

Illinois Photographs

jacques marquette meriweather lewis 71st illinois ulysses s. grant abraham lincoln chicago world fair chicago fire cyrus mccormick edward o'hare charles lindbergh william clark ss eastland frank lloyd wright george rogers clark haymarket riot union stockyard john deere joseph smith mccormick reaper ronald reagan

Illinois Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Quincy Adams 217
Cairo Alexander 618
Greenville Bond 618
Belvidere Boone 815
Mount Sterling Brown 217
Princeton Bureau 815
Hardin Calhoun 618
Savanna Carroll 815
Beardstown Cass 217
Champaign Champaign 217
Taylorville Christian 217
Marshall Clark 217
Flora Clay 618
Carlyle Clinton 618
Charleston Coles 217
Chicago Cook 847 , 312
Robinson Crawford 618
Neoga Cumberland 217
DeKalb DeKalb 815
Clinton Dewitt 217
Tuscola Douglas 217
Naperville DuPage 630
Paris Edgar 217
Albion Edwards 618
Effingham Effingham 217
Vandalia Fayette 618
Paxton Ford 217
West Frankfort Franklin 618
Canton Fulton 309
Shawneetown Gallatin 618
Carrollton Greene 217
Morris Grundy 815
McLeansboro Hamilton 618
Carthage Hancock 217
Elizabethtown Hardin 618
Oquawka Henderson 309
Kewanee Henry 309
Watseka Iroquois 815
Carbondale Jackson 618
Newton Jasper 618
Mount Vernon Jefferson 618
Jerseyville Jersey 618
Galena Jo Daviess 815
Vienna Johnson 618
Elgin Kane 847
Aurora Kane 630
Kankakee Kankakee 815
Oswego Kendall 630
Galesburg Knox 309
Ottawa La Salle 815
Waukegan Lake 847
Lawrenceville Lawrence 618
Dixon Lee 815
Pontiac Livingston 815
Lincoln Logan 217
Decatur Macon 217
Carlinville Macoupin 217
Granite City Madison 618
Centralia Marion 618
Henry Marshall 309
Havana Mason 309
Metropolis Massac 618
Macomb McDonough 309
Crystal Lake McHenry 815
Bloomington McLean 309
Petersburg Menard 217
Aledo Mercer 309
Waterloo Monroe 618
Litchfield Montgomery 217
Jacksonville Morgan 217
Sullivan Moultrie 217
Rochelle Ogle 815
Peoria Peoria 309
Du Quoin Perry 618
Monticello Piatt 217
Pittsfield Pike 217
Golconda Pope 618
Mounds Pulaski 618
Granville Putnam 815
Chester Randolph 618
Olney Richland 618
Moline Rock Island 309
Belleville Saint Clair 618
Harrisburg Saline 618
Springfield Sangamon 217
Rushville Schuyler 217
Winchester Scott 217
Shelbyville Shelby 217
Wyoming Stark 309
Freeport Stephenson 815
Pekin Tazewell 309
Anna Union 618
Danville Vermilion 217
Mount Carmel Wabash 618
Monmouth Warren 309
Nashville Washington 618
Fairfield Wayne 618
Carmi White 618
Sterling Whiteside 815
Joliet Will 708
Marion Williamson 618
Rockford Winnebago 815
Metamora Woodford 309

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.