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September 12 has been an important day in the history of Illinois for various reasons. Here are five interesting facts about September 12 in Illinois history:

1. In 1848, the Illinois and Michigan Canal was opened for traffic. This 96-mile-long canal connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and played a significant role in the development of Chicago and the Midwest. Today, the canal is a popular recreation area and a National Heritage Corridor.

2. In 1873, the first Chicago Public Library building was opened to the public. The library was founded in 1871 and quickly grew to become one of the largest and most comprehensive public libraries in the country. Today, the Chicago Public Library system comprises 80 branches and serves millions of people every year.

3. In 1960, John F. Kennedy spoke at a rally in downtown Chicago during his presidential campaign. The rally was held at Daley Plaza and attracted thousands of people. Kennedy's speech focused on the need for a strong national defense and a commitment to social justice.

4. In 1973, the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower) in Chicago was completed. At the time, it was the tallest building in the world, standing at 1,450 feet tall. Today, it remains one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city and is an important part of Chicago's skyline.

5. In 2015, the Loyola University Chicago men's soccer team defeated the University of Illinois-Chicago in a historic match. The game was the first-ever NCAA Division I men's soccer match to be played on the newly opened soccer field at Loyola's Lakeshore Campus. The victory marked an important milestone for Loyola's soccer program and highlighted the growing popularity of soccer in Illinois.

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