Illinois timeline

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bullet 1673 -French explorers Jacques Marquette (1637-1675) and Louis Jolliet (1645-1700) descend the Mississippi to the Arkansas River and return to Wisconsin via the Illinois River—the first Europeans to reach the Illinois country.
bullet 1675 - Marquette founds a mission at the Great Village of the Illinois, near present Utica.
bullet 1680 -
  • French traders René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687) and Henry de Tonty (1650-1704) build Fort Crèvecoeur on the Illinois River, near present Peoria.
  •  Iroquois Indians destroy the Great Village of the Illinois.
bullet 1682 - La Salle and Tonty build Fort St. Louis across the Illinois River from the Great Village of the Illinois site.
bullet 1696 - Jesuit priest Pierre François Pinet (1660-1704?) establishes the Guardian Angel mission at present Chicago.
bullet 1699 - Priests of the Quebec Seminary of Foreign Missions found the Holy Family mission at Cahokia, the first permanent settlement in the Illinois country.
bullet 1703 - Jesuit priest Gabriel Marest (1662-1714) moves the Immaculate Conception mission from present St. Louis to Kaskaskia.
bullet 1717 - Illinois becomes part of the French colony of Louisiana.
bullet 1718 - John Law (1671-1729) is granted a French charter for colonizing the Mississippi Valley; his "Mississippi Bubble" scheme bursts in 1720.
bullet 1720 - Fort de Chartres in Randolph County becomes the seat of military and civilian government in Illinois.
bullet 1730 - In a major battle, hostile Fox Indians are massacred in east-central Illinois by French troops and Indian allies.
bullet 1763 - French and Indian (Seven Years') War ends; Illinois country is ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris.
bullet 1769 - According to legend, northern tribes besiege and starve Illinois Indians tribes at Fort St. Louis, now known as Starved Rock.
bullet 1778 - George Rogers Clark (1752-1818) defeats the British at Kaskaskia, securing the Illinois country for Virginia.
bullet 1779 - Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (1745?-1818) establishes a trading post at present Chicago.
bullet 1783 - Treaty of Paris extends the United States boundary to include the Illinois country.
bullet 1784 - Virginia relinquishes its claim to Illinois.
bullet 1787 - Northwest Ordinance places Illinois in the Northwest Territory.
bullet 1788 - Arthur St. Clair (1734-1818) becomes the first governor of the Northwest Territory.
bullet 1800 - Congress creates the Indiana Territory, which includes Illinois.
bullet 1803 -
  • Kaskaskia Indians cede nearly all of their Illinois lands to the United States.
  • United States Army establishes Fort Dearborn at present Chicago.
bullet 1804 - William Clark (1770-1838) and his troops depart from Camp Dubois, Madison County, to join Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) for westward explorations.
bullet 1809 - Congress organizes the Illinois Territory, with Kaskaskia the capital, Ninian Edwards (1775-1833) the governor.
bullet 1811
  • The first coal mine in Illinois is opened in Jackson County.
  •  New Madrid, Missouri, earthquake, the largest in United States history, damages southern Illinois (recurs in 1812).
bullet 1812 - Potawatomi Indians massacre fifty-two troops and civilians in destroying Fort Dearborn.
bullet 1813 - Land offices are opened at Kaskaskia and Shawneetown.
bullet 1814 - The first newspaper in the state, the Illinois Herald, is published at Kaskaskia.
bullet 1816
  • Fort Armstrong is built at Rock Island, and Fort Dearborn is rebuilt at Chicago.
  • The first bank in Illinois, at Shawneetown, is chartered by the territorial legislature.
bullet 1817
  • Morris Birkbeck (1764-1825) and George Flower (1780-1862) establish an English settlement at Albion.
  • War of 1812 veterans begin receiving 160-acre land warrants in the Illinois Military Tract, a region between the Illinois and Mississippi rivers.
bullet 1818 - Illinois becomes the twenty-first state, with Kaskaskia the capital and Shadrach Bond (1773-1832) the first governor. Population of the state is 34,620.
bullet 1819 - Kickapoo Indians move west of the Mississippi, relinquishing most claims to central Illinois lands.
bullet 1820 - Vandalia becomes the state capital.
bullet 1821 - General Assembly charters a state bank at Vandalia, with branches at Shawneetown, Edwardsville, and Brownsville.
bullet 1823 - Galena becomes a center for lead mining.
bullet 1824 - Voters defeat a constitutional convention call to permit slavery in the state.
bullet 1825
  • Gurdon S. Hubbard (1802-1886) establishes the Vincennes Trace from southern Illinois to Lake Michigan.
  • General Assembly enacts the first public school law and levies a school tax.
  • Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) visits Kaskaskia and Shawneetown on a tour of the United States.
bullet 1827 - John Mason Peck (1789-1858) founds Rock Spring Seminary, the first college in the state.
bullet 1829 - Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi cede lands in northern Illinois by treaty at Prairie du Chien.
bullet 1830
  • The first state prison is built at Alton.
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) moves to Illinois from Indiana.
  • James Hall (1793-1858) launches Illinois Monthly Magazine, the first literary periodical published west of Ohio.
bullet 1832 - Black Hawk War ends with Sauk and Fox Indians leaving the Illinois lands they had ceded in 1804.
bullet 1833 - Treaty of Chicago provides for United States acquisition and settlement of the last remaining Indian lands in Illinois.
bullet 1835 - General Assembly grants a charter for the Jacksonville Female Academy, the first institution in the state for women's education.
bullet 1836
  • Illinois and Michigan Canal construction is begun between Lake Michigan and the Illinois Valley; completed in 1848.
  • Galena and Chicago Union Railroad is chartered; completed twelve years later.
bullet 1837
  • Chicago receives a city charter; William Ogden (1805-1877) becomes the first mayor.
  • At Alton a pro-slavery mob murders abolitionist editor Elijah P. Lovejoy (b. 1802).
  • John Deere (1804-1886) of Grand Detour designs a self-scouring steel plow.
bullet 1838 - Northern Cross Railroad construction is begun between Meredosia and Springfield; the line is completed in 1842.
bullet 1839
  • Cherokee Indians pass through southern Illinois on the "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma.
  • Springfield becomes the state capital.
  • National Road is completed from Cumberland, Maryland, to Vandalia.
bullet 1839 - Joseph Smith (1805-1844) chooses Nauvoo as headquarters for the Mormon church.
bullet 1841 - Chicagoan John S. Wright (1815-1874) begins publishing Prairie Farmer magazine.
bullet 1842 - British author Charles Dickens (1812-1870) visits southern Illinois, described in his American Notes (1842).
bullet 1844 - Anti-Mormons assassinate Mormon leaders Joseph and Hyrum (b. 1800) Smith at Carthage.
bullet 1846
  • Mormons leave Nauvoo for the Great Salt Lake Basin in Utah.
  • Donner party leaves Springfield by wagon train for California; forty-two perish in Sierra Mountains snowstorms.
  • Erik Jansson (1808-1850) and Jonas Olson (1802?-1898) establish a Swedish religious colony at Bishop Hill.
bullet 1847
  • Joseph Medill (1823-1899) founds the Chicago Tribune.
  • Jacksonville educator Jonathan Baldwin Turner (1805-1899) introduces Osage orange hedges as farm fencing.
  • Inventor Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809-1884) opens a plant in Chicago for manufacturing wheat reapers.
bullet 1848 - Chicago Board of Trade is organized; it is now the largest and oldest commodity futures exchange in the world.
bullet 1849 - Ètienne Cabet (1788-1856) establishes a French Icarian communal settlement at Nauvoo.
bullet 1850
  • Population of the state is 851,470.
  • Illinois Central Railroad receives the first federal land grant for rail construction.
bullet 1853
  • The first state fair is held at Springfield.
  • General Assembly enacts legislation to prevent free blacks from settling in the state.
bullet 1855 - General Assembly adopts a free public school system.
bullet 1856
  • The first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River is completed between Rock Island and Davenport, Iowa.
  • Illinois Central Railroad is completed between Chicago, Galena, and Cairo.
  • Rand McNally is established in Chicago; by 1880 it is the world's largest mapmaking company.
  • Chicago Historical Society is founded, with William H. Brown (1796-1867) the first president.
bullet 1858 - Republican Abraham Lincoln and Democrat Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861) hold seven debates in the United States Senate contest; Douglas wins the election.
bullet 1860
  • Lincoln is elected President of the United States, defeating three other candidates.
  • Luxury steamer Lady Elgin sinks in Lake Michigan; nearly three hundred perish.
bullet 1861 - Civil War begins; Cairo becomes a troop and supply center for the Union Army.
bullet 1862 - Union League of America is founded in Pekin for the promotion of patriotism and Union loyalty.
bullet 1864 - Lincoln is reelected President.
bullet 1865
  • General Assembly repeals measures against black settlement (Black Laws); is the first state legislature to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.
  • Lincoln is assassinated in Washington, D.C.; buried in Springfield.
  • Chicago Union Stock Yards opens; by 1900 employs more than one third of packing industry laborers in the nation.
bullet 1866 - Grand Army of the Republic is established in Decatur; the first GAR convention is held in Springfield.
bullet 1867
  • General Assembly establishes the Illinois Industrial University at Champaign-Urbana, renamed the University of Illinois in 1885.
  • George M. Pullman (1831-1897) founds the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago, manufacturing railroad sleeping cars.
  • Illinois Normal University geologist John Wesley Powell (1834-1902) begins surveys of the Rocky Mountain region; becomes director of the United States Geological Survey in 1880.
bullet 1868
  • Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), Civil War general from Galena, is elected President of the United States.
  • Marshall Field & Co. department store opens in downtown Chicago; at his death, Field (1834-1906) is the city's wealthiest citizen.
bullet 1871 - Chicago Fire destroys eighteen thousand downtown buildings, with losses estimated at $200 million.
bullet 1872
  • Chicagoan John Jones (1816-1879) becomes a Cook County commissioner, the first African-American to hold elective office in Illinois.
  • Chicago merchant Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844-1913) establishes the first large-scale mail order business.
  • General Assembly grants communities taxing authority to establish and maintain public libraries.
bullet 1873
  • Frances Willard (1839-1898) founds the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Evanston.
  • Joseph F. Glidden (1813-1906) of DeKalb develops barbed wire fencing, patented in 1874.
bullet 1876 - United States Supreme Court establishes in Munn v. Illinois the principle that business of a public nature is subject to state regulation.
bullet 1877 - General Assembly establishes the Illinois National Guard.
bullet 1878 - Bell Telephone Company of Illinois begins service in Chicago.
bullet 1880 - Leslie E. Keeley (1832-1900) and John R. Oughton (1858-1925) establish the Keeley Institute in Dwight for treatment of alcoholism; by 1900 franchised sanitoriums are operating in many states.
bullet 1883
  • General Assembly enacts the first compulsory school attendance legislation.
  • William LeBaron Jenney (1832-1907) designs the ten-story Home Insurance Building in Chicago, generally known as the world's first skyscraper.
bullet 1886 - Haymarket Square bombing and riot in Chicago during a labor rally cause several deaths; eight anarchists are convicted, four are hanged, and one dies in prison.
bullet 1888 - Chicago attorney Melville W. Fuller (1833-1910) is named Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
bullet 1889
  • Jane Addams (1860-1935) and Ellen Gates Starr (1859-1940) open Hull House, one of the nation's first settlement houses, for foreign-born residents of Chicago.
  • Evangelist Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) founds the Chicago Bible Institute for training missionaries to foreign lands.
  • Illinois State Historical Library is established by the state legislature.
  • John Mitchell (1870-1919) of Spring Valley becomes president of the United Mine Workers of America (to 1908).
bullet 1890
  • University of Chicago is incorporated, with William Rainey Harper (1856-1906) the first president.
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra is established, with Christian Theodore Thomas (1835-1905) the first conductor.
  • African-American surgeon Daniel Hale Williams (1858-1931) organizes Provident Hospital in Chicago, the first black hospital in the United States; performs the first open-heart surgery in 1893.
bullet 1892
  • Chicago attorney Myra Bradwell (1831-1894) becomes the first woman admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
  • Canal construction to reverse the Chicago River flow is begun; completed in 1900.
  • Illinois and Mississippi (Hennepin) Canal construction is begun between the Illinois and the Rock rivers; completed in 1907.
  • Adlai Stevenson I (1835-1914) of Bloomington is elected Vice President of the United States on the ticket with Grover Cleveland.
bullet 1893
  • World's Columbian Exposition is held in Chicago, commemorating the 400th anniversary of European exploratory voyages to the western hemisphere.
  • General Assembly establishes regulations for child labor and factory inspections.
  • Governor John Peter Altgeld (1847-1902) pardons three imprisoned Haymarket anarchists.
bullet 1894
  • Pullman factory strike in Chicago becomes a national railway strike; federal troops are called to quell mob violence.
  • Chicago attorney Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) unsuccessfully defends socialist leader Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) on charges relating to the Pullman strike.
bullet 1896 - Salem native William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925) wins the first of three presidential nominations; is defeated each time.
bullet 1898 -United Mine Workers win labor disputes at Pana and Virden, after eleven miners and guards are killed.
bullet 1899 - General Assembly creates the first juvenile court system in the nation.
bullet 1900
  • Population of the state is 4,821,550.
  • Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal opens between Chicago and Lockport.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959) establishes a studio in Oak Park for designing "prairie style" architecture.
  • Chicago newspaperman Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) launches his literary career with Sister Carrie, the first major novel set in Chicago.
bullet 1903
  • Fire destroys the Iroquois Theater in Chicago; nearly six hundred perish.
  • Joseph G. Cannon (1836-1926), Danville, elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1872, begins the first of four successive terms as Speaker of the House (to 1911).
bullet 1905
  • Paul P. Harris (1869-1947) and other Chicago businessmen organize the Rotary Club.
  • Eugene Debs, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones (1843?-1930), and others found the Industrial Workers of the World union in Chicago.
bullet 1906 - Chicago White Sox defeat crosstown rival Chicago Cubs in the baseball World Series.
bullet 1908 - Springfield race riot leads to formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.
bullet 1909
  • Coal mine fire at Cherry, resulting in 259 deaths, is one of the worst mine disasters in history.
  • Architect Daniel Burnham (1846-1912) designs the "Chicago Plan" for development of the lakefront and business district.
bullet 1910
  • William D. Boyce (1858-1929), Chicago and Ottawa businessman, founds the Boy Scouts of America.
  • Winchester native and Northwestern University Dental School dean Greene V. Black (1836-1915) receives the first International Miller Prize in dental science.
bullet 1911- Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft (1860-1936) completes his most famous work, "The Indian" (later called "Black Hawk"), a massive statue overlooking Rock River in Ogle County.
bullet 1912 - Harriet Monroe (1860-1936) launches Poetry: A Magazine of Verse in Chicago; includes writings of Springfield poet Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931).
bullet 1913 - General Assembly grants women the right to vote for presidential electors and provides state aid for county road construction.
bullet 1915
  • Poet and novelist Edgar Lee Masters (1869-1950) publishes Spoon River Anthology, a volume on small-town Illinois.
  • Excursion steam Eastland capsizes in the Chicago River; 1812 perish.
bullet 1917
  • With support from Governor Frank O. Lowden (1861-1943) General Assembly adopts a modern civil administrative code for state government.
  • In May and July Illinois National Guard troops are sent to East St. Louis to quell race riots.
  • Chicago White Sox defeat the New York Giants in the World Series.
bullet 1918
  • Influenza epidemic causes thirty-two thousand deaths in the state.
  • Voters approve a $60 million bond issue for paving state roads.
  • Robert Paul Prager (b. 1886), a German-born socialist suspected of disloyalty to the United States, is lynched by a pro-war mob in Collinsville.
bullet 1919
  • Chicago White Sox players (the "Black Sox") are accused of gambling on the World Series, which they lost to the Cincinnati Red Legs.
  • Chicago race riots leave thirty-eight dead and more than five hundred injured; a thousand residents are left homeless.
bullet 1920
  • John L. Lewis (1880-1969) of Springfield is elected president of the United Mine Workers of America (to 1960).
  • Governor Lennington Small (1862-1936) pardons twenty members of the Communist Labor party convicted under the Illinois Sedition Act.
bullet 1921 - George Halas's (1895-1983) football team, the Staleys, moves from Decatur to Chicago, and wins the national championship; in 1922 the Staleys become the Chicago Bears.
bullet 1922
  • Decatur manufacturer A. E. Staley (1867-1940) opens the first commercial soybean-processing plant.
  • In the "Herrin Massacre," three union miners and twenty strikebreakers are killed in mob violence at a strip mine in Williamson County.
bullet 1924 - At the University of Illinois' new Memorial Stadium, Harold "Red" Grange (1904-1991), the "Galloping Ghost," scores four touchdowns in twelve minutes against the University of Michigan.
bullet 1925
  • Charles Gates Dawes (1865-1951) of Evanston becomes Vice President with President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933); receives the Nobel Peace Prize for the "Dawes Plan" to restore the German economy after World War I.
  • The worst tornado in United States history devastates parts of Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana; 695 deaths.
  • Chicago Cardinals win the professional football championship; repeat in 1947.
bullet 1926 - Aviator Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) begins daily mail delivery flights between Chicago and St. Louis.
bullet 1929 - Gunmen of Alphonse Capone (1899-1947) murder seven rival Chicago mobsters in the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre."
bullet 1930
  • Utilities founded by Chicagoan Samuel Insull (1859-1938), and valued at more than $2 billion, produce one tenth of the nation's electric power.
bullet 1931
  • Jane Addams wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
bullet 1932
  • Disgruntled United Mine Workers organize the Progressive Miners of America at Gillespie and Benld, eventually enlisting twenty thousand members.
  • The number of unemployed Chicago workers during the Great Depression reaches 750,000.
  • Chicago Bears win the professional football championship; repeat in 1933, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1946, 1963, and 1986.
bullet 1933
  • Century of Progress International Exposition commemorates the centennial of the incorporation of Chicago (held again in 1934).
  • Chicago mayor Anton J. Cermak (b. 1873) dies in Miami, Florida, in an assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945).
  • Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward (1896-1955) organizes the first baseball All-Star Game, played at Comisky Park and won by the American League.
  • Illinois and Michigan Canal is closed to river traffic.
bullet 1934 - Chicago Black Hawks win the National Hockey League championship (Stanley Cup); repeat in 1938 and 1961.
bullet 1937 -
  • General Assembly creates an unemployment compensation system.
  • On Memorial Day, Chicago police fire on strikers at Republic Steel, resulting in ten deaths.
bullet 1939 - Chicago author Richard Wright (1908-1960) publishes Native Son, set in Chicago and the first major novel about the black experience in America.
bullet 1940 - Chicago theater-chain owner John Balaban (1894-1957) establishes WBKB, the first television station in Illinois.
bullet 1942 - University of Chicago scientists, led by Nobel Prize winner (1938) Enrico Fermi (1901-1954), achieve the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction.
bullet 1945
  • Chicago Cubs win the National League pennant, lose the World Series to the Detroit Tigers.
  • American Airlines inaugurates direct air service from Chicago to London.
bullet 1949 - Orchard Place Airport in Chicago is renamed O'Hare Field, Chicago International Airport in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward H. O'Hare (1914-1943), Congressional Medal of Honor recipient killed in World War II.
bullet 1950
  • Population of the state is 8,712,176.
  • Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917) becomes the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize; is named Illinois poet laureate in 1968.
bullet 1951 - Illinois and Mississippi Canal is closed to river traffic.
bullet 1952 - Governor Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965) is the Democratic nominee for president; defeated by Republican Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969).
bullet 1953 - State Auditor Orville Hodge (1904-1986) is convicted of $1.5 million theft of state funds.
bullet 1954 - In Des Plaines, Raymond A. Kroc (1902-1984) opens the first in a chain of McDonald's fast-food restaurants.
bullet 1955 -Richard J. Daley (1902-1976) is elected to the first of six terms as Chicago mayor.
bullet 1957 -The nation's first nuclear power generating station is activated at Argonne National Laboratory in DuPage County.
bullet 1958
  • The first section of Illinois toll roads is opened from O'Hare International Airport to the Wisconsin border.
  • Fire at Our Lady of Angels elementary school in Chicago claims the lives of ninety-two children and three nuns.
bullet 1959
  • Everett M. Dirksen (1896-1969) is elected Republican leader of the United States Senate.
  • Chicago White Sox win their first American League championship since the 1919 Black Sox scandal but lose the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
bullet 1959 - Chicago native Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) wins the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for A Raisin in the Sun, the first play by an African-American woman to be presented on Broadway.
bullet 1962
  • General Assembly names Pulitzer Prize-winner Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) the first poet laureate of Illinois.
  • Governor Otto Kerner (1908-1976) leads businessmen on the first Illinois trade mission to Europe.
bullet 1964 - General Assembly approves an at-large election of 177 representatives after the 1963 veto of a reapportionment bill.
bullet 1966 - Illinois for the first time leads the nation in exports of agricultural and manufactured products.
bullet 1968 - Civil disorder erupts during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; police report 650 arrests.
bullet 1970 -
  • After the death of Secretary of State Paul Powell (b. 1902), $800,000 is found in shoeboxes in his Springfield hotel room.
  • Voters adopt a new Constitution, the first in one hundred years.
  • "Chicago Seven" defendants are convicted on charges relating to violence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; the decision is overturned in 1972.
bullet 1971 - Chicago political and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson (b. 1941) founds Operation PUSH — People United to Save (later Serve) Humanity.
bullet 1972 -
  • Chicago Union Stock Yards closes.
  • Abraham Lincoln Home in Springfield is designated the first national historic site in Illinois.
  • Two Illinois Central commuter trains collide in Chicago; forty-five passengers are killed and more than two hundred are injured.
bullet 1973 -Otto Kerner is convicted on charges involving the sale of racetrack stock while governor.
bullet 1974 -
  • The world's tallest building, Sears Tower in downtown Chicago, is completed.
  •  General Assembly approves a state lottery.
bullet 1976 -
  • James R. Thompson (b. 1936) is elected to the first of four gubernatorial terms (to 1991), the longest-serving governor in Illinois history.
  • Chicago author Saul Bellow (b. 1915) wins the Nobel Prize in Literature.
bullet 1979
  • Jane Byrne (b. 1934) becomes the first female mayor of Chicago.
  • American Airlines crash at O'Hare International Airport kills 275, the worst air disaster in United States history.
  • Centralia native Roland Burris (b. 1937) becomes Comptroller, the first African-American to hold a statewide elective office in Illinois.
bullet 1980 - Ronald Reagan (b. 1911) in Tampico, is elected United States President; John B. Anderson (b. 1922) of Rockford is defeated as an Independent candidate.
bullet 1981
  • Morton Grove ordinance bans the possession of handguns, the most restrictive gun control measure in the nation.
  • Peoria native John B. "Jack" Brickhouse (1916-1998) retires after broadcasting more than five thousand Chicago Cubs and White Sox games; receives the National Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award in 1983.
bullet 1982 - General Assembly fails to ratify the proposed equal rights amendment to the United States Constitution.
bullet 1983 - Harold Washington (1922-1987) is elected the first African-American mayor of Chicago.
bullet 1984 - Seventeen Chicago attorneys, police officers, and judges are indicted in Operation Greylord on charges of improperly influencing court cases; convictions include the first for a sitting state court judge in Illinois.
bullet 1988 - Diamond-Star Motors, an automobile manufacturing venture between Mitsubishi Motors of Japan and the Chrysler Corporation, opens in Bloomington.
bullet 1989 - Clarence Page (b. 1947) of the Chicago Tribune is the first African-American columnist to win a Pulitzer Prize.
bullet 1990 - Population of the state is 11,430,602.
bullet 1991- Chicago Bulls win the first of three consecutive National Basketball Association championships.
bullet 1992 - Carol Moseley-Braun (b. 1947) of Chicago becomes the first African-American women elected to the United States Senate.
bullet 1993 - The worst floods in the state's history ravage western and southern Illinois.
bullet 1994 - Bonnie Blair (b. 1964) speed skater from Champaign, wins her fifth Olympic Games gold medal, the most by an American woman.
bullet 1995 -
  • Navy Pier in Chicago, constructed in 1916 as a shipping terminal and then used for wartime navy and marine training and as a campus of the University of Illinois, is renovated and reopens with a giant Ferris Wheel, children's museum, stage pavilion, and retail shops.
  • Commuter train strikes a school bus in Fox River Grove, killing seven and injuring thirty students.
bullet 1996 - Chicago Bulls post a 72-10 season, best in league history, then wins the National Basketball Association championship. Guard Michael Jordan (b. 1963) sets NBA records with his eighth scoring title and fourth Most Valuable Player designation.
bullet 1997 - The Field Museum of Natural History, outbidding museums throughout the United States, pays $8.4 million for Sue, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil yet discovered.
bullet 1998 -
  • Fire destroys the historic Pullman railroad-car factory in south Chicago.
  • Eighteenth District Congressman Ray LaHood (b. 1945) presides as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives during the impeachment of President William J. Clinton.
bullet 1999 - Fourteenth District Congressman J. Dennis Hastert (b. 1942) is elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

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