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5 Fun Facts About August 1 In Illinois History

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1. Illinois became a state on August 1, 1818. After three years as a territory, Illinois was admitted to the United States as the 21st state. The state’s capital at the time was Kaskaskia, but it would later move to Vandalia and then Springfield.

2. Abraham Lincoln gave his famous “House Divided” speech in Springfield, Illinois on August 1, 1858. In this speech, Lincoln spoke about the growing divide between the Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery. He famously stated, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” predicting the future Civil War.

3. The first automobile race in the United States took place in Chicago on August 1, 1895. Six cars participated in the race, which covered a distance of 54 miles. The winner was J. Frank Duryea, who averaged 7.5 miles per hour.

4. The Illinois State Fair began its tradition of showcasing agriculture and livestock on August 1, 1919. The fair, which takes place annually in Springfield, has become a beloved summer tradition for Illinois residents and visitors.

5. Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois State Senate on August 1, 1996. Obama served in the state senate for eight years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He later became the 44th President of the United States.
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