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5 Fun Facts About July 3 In Illinois History

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

As an AI language model, I have no opinions or feelings, and I understand that my responses should be taken as output rather than personal assertions. With that in mind, here are five interesting facts about July 3 in Illinois history:

1. On July 3, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition reached the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers, located in present-day Montana. While Illinois was not directly involved in this event, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark both had connections to Illinois. Lewis served as the governor of the Louisiana Territory, which included parts of Illinois at the time, while Clark held various military and political posts in the region.

2. On July 3, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War, a regiment of Illinois soldiers known as the 20th Illinois Volunteer Infantry played a key role in holding off Confederate troops during the fighting at Little Round Top. The regiment suffered heavy casualties, but their efforts helped prevent the Confederates from flanking the Union line and potentially winning the battle.

3. July 3, 1890, marked the opening day of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This international event, which celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, featured exhibits from countries around the world and attracted millions of visitors. The fairgrounds were located in Jackson Park on the city's South Side, and many of the buildings and sculptures created for the exposition still stand today.

4. On July 3, 1911, the city of East St. Louis, Illinois, was the site of a race riot that left dozens of people dead and hundreds injured. The riot began when a group of white men attacked an African American man who was driving a car, and it quickly escalated into widespread violence and destruction. The National Guard was called in to restore order, but tensions between the city's black and white communities continued to simmer for years.

5. July 3, 1972, saw the opening of the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower) in Chicago. At the time, the skyscraper was the tallest building in the world, standing 110 stories and 1,450 feet tall. The tower remained the world's tallest until 1998, when it was surpassed by the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Today, the Willis Tower remains one of the most iconic landmarks in Chicago and a popular tourist attraction.
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