This Illinois marker is in a small roadside park on Hwy 106 (old Hwy US 36) about 3 miles SE of Hannibal MO.
Illinois Department of Transportation and The Illinois State Historical Society
The fertile prairies in Illinois attracted the attention of French trader Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette as they explored the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in 1673. France claimed this region until 1763, when it was surrendered to Great Britain by the Treaty of Paris. During the American Revolution, George Rogers Clark and his small army scored a bloodless victory when they captured Kaskaskia for the commonwealth of Virginia, and Illinois became a county of Virginia. This area was ceded to the United States in 1874, and became in turn a part of the Northwest Territory and the Indiana and Illinois territories. On December 3, 1818, Illinois entered the Union as the twenty-first state.
The markers that designate US Highway 36 in Illinois as a 33D Division Memorial Highway were dedicated on Memorial Day 1963. The 33D Division was organized in August, 1917, from National Guard Units of the State of Illinois. It became famous in the Meuse-Argonne offensive and by November 11, 1918, was poised for a breakthrough on the Hindenburg Line. In World War II, the Division fought in the Pacific Area and liberated Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines.
US 36 passes through Pittsfield, where John Nicolay and John Hay, President Abraham Lincoln's private secretaries, formed their friendship. Stephen A. Douglas studied law and taught in Winchester, and held his first elective office in Jacksonville. Lincoln's Home, Tomb, and the Old State Capitol are in Springfield, and a courthouse where Lincoln practiced in Mount Pulaski.
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