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The People's Building

The People's Building

The Illinois State Capitol is known as the people's building. The...

The People's Building

The People's Building

The Illinois State Capitol is known as the people's building. The July-August 2018 issue of Illinois Heritage is a special issue devoted to the building with three unique stories about the capitol. 
Protect your family history

Protect your family history

Make sure your efforts to preserve the past are not endangering it.

Protect your family history

Protect your family history

Make sure your efforts to preserve the past are not endangering it.
The Illinois Supreme Court in the State Capitol

The Illinois Supreme Court in the...

The Illinois Supreme Court chambers as they looked when the court was...

The Illinois Supreme Court in the State Capitol

The Illinois Supreme Court in the State Capitol

The Illinois Supreme Court chambers as they looked when the court was housed inside the Illinois statehouse from 1878-1907.

 

Today in history

9/20/1965

WXXW (now WYCC) TV channel 20 in Chicago, IL (PBS) begins broadcasting.

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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.

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Liberty Bell of the West Celebration (Kaskaskia Island)

  • 29 June 2017
  • Author: Elaine Evans
  • Number of views: 1248
  • 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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