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The Origin of the National Memorial Day

The Origin of the National Memorial...

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, as Commander-in-Chief of the...

The Origin of the National Memorial Day

The Origin of the National Memorial Day

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan, as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), issued General Order No. 11 designating May 30 “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or...
Foundations of Faith

Foundations of Faith

ISHS hosts sesquicentennial house of worship luncheon

Foundations of Faith

Foundations of Faith

ISHS hosts sesquicentennial house of worship luncheon
Remember the Ladies

Remember the Ladies

More than 50 Illinois towns were named for women--now mostly forgotten

Remember the Ladies

Remember the Ladies

More than 50 Illinois towns were named for women--now mostly forgotten

 

Today in history

6/18/1844

Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, delivers his last public sermon. He and his brother Hyrum were murdered nine days later in the Carthage jail.

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Historical Markers

Since 1934, the Illinois State Historical Society has erected more than 500 historical markers statewide. Subjects of historical significance to Illinois are co-sponsored by local organizations and supporters. The Illinois State Historical Society coordinates the placement and management of historical markers throughout the state.

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Submit your Bicentennial event

Do you have an exciting local history news story or an event that you would like to share? Use this form to submit it and after a quick review it will be added to our news roll or events calendar. There is even a special category for Bicentennial events. The goal is to add news and events from all over the state to celebrate Illinois’ rich history. Get involved and get the word out about news and events in your area.

Latest News

Liberty Bell of the West Celebration (Kaskaskia Island)

  • 29 June 2017
  • Author: Elaine Evans
  • Number of views: 884
  • 0 Comments

Event date: 7/4/2017 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Export event

Liberty Bell of the West Celebration (Kaskaskia Island)
It was on July 4, 1778, that George Rogers Clark and his men reached Kaskaskia, seizing it from the British and bringing the colonies’ battle for independence to the western edge of British territory in North America.  

Villagers celebrated by ringing a bell that is known today as “the Liberty Bell of the West.” Made in 1741, the bell is actually older than Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, and it is no longer rung for fear of damaging it.
 
Activities at the state memorial begin at 1 p.m., Tuesday, July 4. They include:
 
  • David Joens, director of the Illinois State Archives and Illinois State Historical Society board member, will give the featured remarks titled “Proud to be from Illinois.” 
  • The tolling of church bells.
  • Music by the Chester Municipal Band with vocalist Steve Colonel.
  • A rifle volley from historic interpreters Les Companie Franche de La Marine de Fort de Chartres.
  • Plate lunches and other refreshments. (Some chairs will be available, but visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. There will not be a tent.)
The event is sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which operates the memorial; Chester Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion; the City of Chester, and the Kaskaskia Church Foundation. 

Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial is located on an island in the Mississippi River, about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. Kaskaskia, the territorial and then state capital from 1809 until 1820, was once physically connected to the state, but the Mississippi River changed course in 1881, flooding much of the village and cutting it off from the rest of Illinois.
 
Today, Kaskaskia is reachable only from Missouri. Travelers must go to St. Mary, Mo., take Highway 61 to the Old Channel Bridge, turn right and then follow Kaskaskia Bell Markers for 5 miles.
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