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7 Pieces Of History Near Belleville, IL

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Belleville, IL is steeped in history, having been founded in 1814. Over the years, a number of important historical events have taken place in and around the city. Here are 7 of the most significant:

1. Battle of Cahokia: In 1814, just months after Belleville was founded, a battle took place near Cahokia between American forces and a group of Sauk and Fox Native Americans. The Native Americans were pushed back and forced to abandon their homes, leading to the relocation of many tribes.

2. Dred Scott Case: In 1857, Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in Belleville, sued for his freedom in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. The court's decision infamously stated that slaves were not citizens and could not sue for their freedom, further inflaming tensions over slavery.

3. Illinois Traction System riot: In 1922, a strike by streetcar workers in East St. Louis led to a violent riot that killed dozens of people, including some in Belleville.

4. Cahokia Mounds: The Cahokia Mounds, just a few miles from Belleville, are the remains of a thriving Native American city that existed from 800-1400 AD. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provide insight into ancient American history.

5. Belleville Masonic Temple fire: In 1937, the Belleville Masonic Temple caught fire, killing 23 people and leading to stricter fire codes.

6. Gateway International Raceway: In 1997, the Gateway International Raceway opened in nearby Madison, IL. The track hosted a number of NASCAR and IndyCar events before closing in 2010.

7. National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows: Located in nearby Fairview Heights, the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows is one of the largest outdoor shrines in the world. It is a popular destination for Catholic pilgrims and draws millions of visitors each year.

These events and places have all played an important role in the history of the Belleville area, reflecting the rich cultural and social history of the region. Whether you are interested in Native American history, auto racing, or religious pilgrimage, there is something for everyone near Belleville.
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