1. Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818, but it wasn't until March 19, 1867, that the Illinois legislature authorized the creation of the Illinois State Board of Health, which was among the first state public health boards in the United States.
2. On March 19, 1915, the Eastland disaster occurred in Chicago, when the overloaded passenger steamship Eastland capsized in the Chicago River, leading to the deaths of 844 passengers and crew. This remains the deadliest maritime disaster in Great Lakes history.
3. March 19, 1945, saw the beginning of the famous Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II, which resulted in a victory for the United States after a month of intense fighting. A large number of Illinois soldiers took part in this battle.
4. On March 19, 1982, the Chicago Blackhawks retired the jersey number 21 in honor of Stan Mikita, one of the most iconic players in the team's history. Mikita was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
5. March 19, 2019, marked the election of Lori Lightfoot as the first African American woman and openly LGBTQ person to be elected mayor of Chicago. Her victory represented a historic milestone in a city with a long history of political corruption and racial tensions.
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