Illinois Marks Bicentennial With Celebration at Navy Pier

Monday marked an important milestone in Illinois' history - the state's 200th birthday.

A star-studded celebration at Navy Pier was to be held at Chicago's Navy Pier, showcasing the people, places and things that have come from Illinois in the past two centuries.

The state has had an impact on the nation and the world, from agriculture to leadership, education and the arts.

Of the 45 U.S. presidents, four have called Illinois home: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

The state also played a major role in the fight for civil rights, dating back to its influence on the Underground Railroad, helping bring slaves to freedom, and being the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ending slavery.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a major civil rights organization, was also formed after the 1908 riots in Springfield.

Illinois' agriculture stands out across the nation, thanks to soybeans, corn and dairy products grown in the Land of Lincoln.

All that and more was slated to be celebrated at Monday's bicentennial birthday bash, held at Navy Pier's Aon Grand Ballroom beginning at 7:30 p.m.

There will be appearances from Illinois leaders in entertainment, sports, and politics - including joint appearances by Gov. Bruce Rauner and Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker.

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