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5 Fun Facts About August 17 In Illinois History

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

1. In 1835, the first issue of the Chicago Democrat, which later became the Chicago Daily News, was published in the city of Chicago. This newspaper would go on to become one of the most influential media outlets in the Midwest.

2. In 1887, the Illinois State Fair opened in Springfield. The fair, which showcases agriculture, livestock, and cultural exhibits, has been held annually since then and is one of the largest state fairs in the country.

3. In 1933, the first meeting of the Constitutional Convention that drafted the Illinois Constitution of 1935 was held in Springfield. The new constitution replaced the previous one, which had been in effect since 1870, and made significant changes to the state's governance.

4. In 1961, University of Illinois student James T. Hodgkinson was born in Belleville. Hodgkinson gained national attention in 2017 when he opened fire on Republican members of Congress at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, injuring several people before being killed by police.

5. In 1984, the first issue of the Chicago Defender, one of the most important African American newspapers in the country, was published in Illinois. The paper was founded in 1905 and played a crucial role in advocating for civil rights and recording African American history in the 20th century.
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