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5 Fun Facts About May 9 In Illinois History

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1. On May 9, 1934, the infamous criminal duo Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed by law enforcement officials near Sailes, Louisiana. Although the event did not occur in Illinois, the notorious pair had a significant impact on American popular culture and their criminal exploits often made headlines across the country.

2. May 9, 1968 marked a significant moment in the civil rights movement in Illinois. On this day, Reverend Jesse Jackson initiated the Operation Breadbasket program in Chicago, which sought to address economic injustice and inequality faced by African-American communities in the city. The program was later renamed Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) and continued to be an influential force in the civil rights movement throughout the 1970s and beyond.

3. In 1822, the first steamboat to navigate the Illinois River, the Juliet, was launched on May 9. The river served as a vital transportation route for goods and people in the early years of the state's history and the emergence of steam-powered vessels marked an important development in transportation technology.

4. May 9, 1893 saw the opening of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The exposition, which celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas, was a massive cultural and commercial event that drew millions of visitors from around the world. The fair featured impressive architectural and technological innovations, including the first Ferris wheel.

5. On May 9, 1985, the first McDonald's restaurant in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow. The fast food chain's arrival in the country was seen as a symbol of American cultural influence and drew significant media attention at the time. The restaurant was a major success, with long lines of Muscovites waiting to try the burgers and fries. Today, McDonald's has more than 650 locations across Russia.
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