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5 Fun Facts About March 17 In Illinois History

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

1. St. Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago
One of the biggest and most famous events in Illinois on March 17 is the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago. It is one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the country, drawing close to a million spectators each year. The parade began in 1843 and has been a beloved tradition in the city ever since.

2. The First Irishman in U.S. Senate
On March 17, 1812, James Shields became the first Irish-born person to serve in the United States Senate. He was originally from County Tyrone and later moved to Illinois, where he represented the state from 1849-1855.

3. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Opens
On March 17, 2005, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum opened its doors in Springfield, Illinois. The museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy and memory of Abraham Lincoln, who is considered one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history. It features numerous exhibits, including an exact replica of the White House, interactive displays, and relics from Lincoln's life.

4. Illinois Becomes a State
Illinois was admitted to the Union as the 21st state on December 3, 1818. However, the state celebrates its birthday on March 17, which is when the first state legislature convened in Kaskaskia, Illinois.

5. The Great Chicago Flood
On March 17, 1992, the Great Chicago Flood occurred when workers drilling under the Chicago River accidentally punctured a tunnel, causing water to flood into the basements of nearby buildings. The flood caused significant damage and cost millions of dollars in repairs, but fortunately, there were no fatalities.
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