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1. On December 22, 1858, Illinois senator Stephen A. Douglas died suddenly of a heart attack in Chicago. Douglas had a storied career in politics, serving in the federal House of Representatives and Senate, as well as running for president against Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

2. December 22, 1917 marked the opening of the legendary Chicago Theatre. The theater was designed in the French Baroque style and quickly became one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Today, it is a cherished landmark of Chicago's Loop.

3. In 1943, the first known successful open-heart surgery was performed by Dr. Dwight Harken at the University of Chicago. The procedure involved repairing a stab wound to the heart, and it paved the way for many lifesaving surgeries in the years to come.

4. On December 22, 1967, the state of Illinois officially passed the Illinois Fair Employment Practices Act. The act made it illegal to discriminate in hiring based on race, religion, or ethnicity. It was a significant milestone for civil rights in the state and helped pave the way for similar legislation nationwide.

5. In 1995, Illinois native Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls basketball team, became majority owner of the Chicago White Sox baseball team. Reinsdorf made history by becoming the first person to own two major league sports teams in the same city. He remains one of the most successful and respected owners in professional sports.

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