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5 Fun Facts About April 17 In Illinois History

---Learn Every Day: IL Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history il To: 618-270-4005---

1. On April 17, 1902, the first YMCA building in Chicago was dedicated. The organization would go on to become a staple of American gym culture, with over 2,700 YMCAs across the United States today.

2. In 1931, the Illinois state government purchased the Popeye comic strip rights from creator E.C. Segar. Today, the city of Chester, Illinois boasts itself as the "Home of Popeye," with an annual Popeye festival and museum.

3. On April 17, 1964, the Ford Motor Company introduced the iconic Mustang at the New York World's Fair. Though not invented in Illinois itself, the Mustang would later go on to be a cultural touchstone in American history.

4. In 1971, the Illinois General Assembly voted to create Independent Authorities Act, giving individual state agencies greater control over their budgets and operations. This act was later renamed "The Illinois Administrative Code" in July of the same year.

5. Finally, on April 17, 1990, Chicago native Flannery O'Connor was honored with a posthumous award at the Pulitzer Prize ceremony. O'Connor had passed away in 1964, but left behind a body of literature that greatly influenced the American literary canon.
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