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1673, French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet were the first Europeans to arrive in Illinois.
In 1809, the Illinois Territory was created with its own governor and capital city in Kaskaskia.
Illinois stayed loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Even though there were no major battles in Illinois, over 250,000 men from Illinois served as soldiers in the Union Army. The war ended in 1865 with the surrender of the Confederate Army.
Illinois becomes the 21st state.
1839 - The capital city is moved to Springfield.
1844 - Mormon leader Joseph Smith is killed. The Mormons leave Illinois for Utah.
1861 - Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln becomes president of the United States. The Civil War begins.
1871 - A large portion of Chicago is destroyed by fire.
1955 - McDonald's Corporation is founded in Des Plaines, Illinois.
1973 - The Sears Tower (Willis Tower today) is completed. It is the tallest building in the world until 1998.
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