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5 Fun Facts About August 11 In Illinois History

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1. On August 11, 1927, the Illinois State Fair opened in Springfield, featuring horse racing, livestock exhibitions, and agricultural displays. The fair continues to be an annual tradition, drawing over 500,000 visitors from around the state.

2. August 11, 1861, marks the date of the first major battle fought by Union forces in the Civil War, the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri. Many Illinois soldiers, including members of the famed "Blackhawk" regiment, fought bravely in the battle.

3. On August 11, 1965, the historic Illinois Tollway system officially opened to traffic. The 187-mile highway network was the first toll road system in the country and was instrumental in the modernization of transportation in Illinois.

4. August 11, 1901, was the birthdate of famed Illinois sculptor Lorado Taft. Taft is perhaps best known for his monumental works, including "The Fountain of Time" and the "Eternal Indian," and his influence can still be seen in the public art and architecture of Chicago and beyond.

5. On August 11, 1984, the Chicago Cubs played their 8,000th game at Wrigley Field. The historic ballpark, which opened in 1914, remains a beloved fixture of Chicago sports and entertainment, known for its ivy-covered walls and iconic marquee.
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