Illinois leaders mark state's 199th birthday; eyes on 200th

Harwood Heights officials help kick off state's 200th birthday celebration

"The objective of this celebration is to remind the citizens of the state and others every day that fantastic things are born, built and grown in IL", said Eschbach from the resolution.

IL is kicking off a yearlong celebration leading to the state's bicentennial.

"There's a long rich history in IL", said La Salle County board chairman Jerry Hicks, who shared a list of important points in Illinois' history. Go to illinois200.com for more information.

"The goal of this celebration is to remind the citizens of the state and others that unbelievable things are born, built and grown in Illinois", Eschbach said.

"The Illinois Bicentennial is a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to fall in love with Illinois all over again".

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Gov. Bruce Rauner says in a prepared statement that he hopes "we will use this lofty vantage point to look ahead" to "unparalleled opportunities for growth".

He said the veteran organizations of La Salle County were asked to represent veterans with the beginning of the bicentennial. "Together we can inspire pride in IL and show the world what makes this state so great".

"We are proud in Will County to display this handsome flag and acknowledge our state's 200th birthday", Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr. said at that ceremony, according to a news release from the county. VFW post members at the event were from Ottawa, Marseilles and Mendota.

Statewide events include a Martin Luther King celebration on January 15 and a bicentennial celebration on Presidents Day, which is February 19.

Sunday marked Illinois' 199th birthday - as IL became the 21st state in the union on December 3, 1818, according to the proclamation/resolution read into the record at the ceremony.

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