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5 Fun Facts About May 24 In Illinois History

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

1. 1830 - Lincoln and Berry Duel: On May 24, 1830, Abraham Lincoln, who was still a young man at the time, was involved in his first recorded duel at Bloody Island in St. Louis with James Shields. They were dueling over letters written about Shields that were published in a local newspaper. The duel was interrupted at the last minute when the seconds of both men stepped in and prevented the shooting.

2. 1901 - African-American Boxer Wins Heavyweight Title: In 1901, Jack Johnson, a prominent African-American boxer, defeated Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia to win the heavyweight title. Johnson was a controversial figure at the time, as his victories over white opponents made many people uncomfortable. He would go on to hold the title for several years, cementing his legacy as a trailblazer in the sport of boxing.

3. 1939 - Rural Electrification in Illinois: May 24, 1939, was an important day for rural Illinoisans. On this day, the Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative was established in Decatur. The nonprofit organization aimed to bring electricity to rural areas that had been left in the dark, improving the lives of thousands of families across Illinois.

4. 1945 - Victory in Europe Day Celebrated: On May 24, 1945, people across Illinois and the United States celebrated Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). This momentous occasion marked the end of World War II in Europe, and soldiers and civilians alike took to the streets to celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany.

5. 1991 - First World Series at New Comiskey Park: On May 24, 1991, the first World Series game was played at the newly-renovated New Comiskey Park in Chicago. The game featured the Chicago White Sox facing off against the Pittsburgh Pirates. While the White Sox did not ultimately win the series, the game marked an important moment in Illinois baseball history.
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