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5 Fun Facts About December 4 In Illinois History

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

1. On December 4, 1867, the first shipment of a new breed of winter wheat called "Illinois Spring" was sent from Carbondale, Illinois to Liverpool, England. This wheat proved to be critical in feeding the world's growing population and helped make Illinois a leading agricultural state.

2. In 1876, the first intercollegiate football game was played in the Midwest between Rutgers College and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) at Hoboken, New Jersey. However, on December 4, 1891, the University of Illinois played its first football game against Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, marking the beginning of competitive college football in the state.

3. On December 4, 1917, a devastating explosion occurred at the Union Stock Yards in Chicago, killing 21 people and injuring more than 500 others. The explosion was caused by a leak in a pipe carrying hydrogen gas used to inflate cattle hides, and it ignited when two workers attempted to repair the leak with a torch.

4. In 1969, the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) was established as a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The ISWS is responsible for monitoring and researching water resources in Illinois and providing information and assistance to the public, government agencies, and private organizations.

5. On December 4, 2003, the Chicago Cubs traded pitcher Mark Prior and outfielder Bobby Hill to the Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Hee-seop Choi and pitcher Mike Nannini. This trade was controversial at the time and is often cited as one of the Cubs' worst trades in franchise history, as Prior was considered one of the top young pitchers in the league at the time.
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