Illinois Bicentennial | WGLT

Illinois Bicentennial

Roger W. / Flickr

Illinois settlement patterns did a lot to shape the early politics of the state and remain a force today, according to Illinois Wesleyan University Political Scientist Jim Simeone.

Combine harvests corn in a field
Seth Perlman / AP

In many ways, the history of farming is about its future—how we went from hand tools and horses to self-driving tractors and $10,000-an-acre farmland.

Illinois residents have picked "The Blues Brothers" as the top movie in state history, making it the first item on a list of Illinois' top 200 people, places and things.

Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas
Abe Lincoln (by Alexander Hesler) and Stephen Douglas: / Library of Congress

For all practical purposes Illinois embraced slavery at its founding in 1818, despite entering the Union as a non-slave state.  For example, Illinois' first governor, first lieutenant governor, and president of the state's first constitutional convention were all slaveholders.

jeff kubina / Facebook via Creative Commons

Illinois residents are invited to help choose the 200 greatest people, place and things in state history as part of Illinois' bicentennial celebration.