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5 Fun Facts About May 20 In Illinois History

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

1. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Paris, Illinois, during a promotional tour for the then newly-built Spirit of St. Louis airplane.

2. On May 20, 1936, the infamous gangster Al Capone was released from the federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, after serving seven years for tax evasion. He would eventually move to Miami, Florida, where he lived out the rest of his life.

3. In 1953, Illinois Governor William G. Stratton signed the bill that authorized the construction of the Illinois tollway system, which today includes over 286 miles of tollways connecting the state's major cities.

4. The original Soldier Field stadium in Chicago, Illinois, first opened on May 20, 1924. It was named in honor of American soldiers that served in World War I, and would go on to host numerous football games, concerts, and other sporting events throughout its history.

5. On May 20, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, which granted 160 acres of public land to any person who was willing to settle on it and improve the property. Illinois was one of the many states that saw a boom in homesteading as a result of this act.
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