I’ll admit it: It’s easy to lose sight of the great things in Illinois, especially when you’re faced with a broken state government that seems to only work for corrupt politicians.
But guess what? You can fall in love with this great state again! Illinois has a lot to offer, and I will help remind you with these Illinois fun facts. Do you have a fun fact about Illinois? Be sure to share it with us in the comments below!
30 Illinois Fun Facts:
1. The University of Illinois Extension shared this interesting fact about farming in Illinois!
2. This Illinois fun fact is courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
3. It’s no wonder why Charles Lindbergh was nicknamed “Lucky Lindbergh!” His first crash was in Rutland Township, and the second was in Covell.
4. The Australian Lungfish named Granddad arrived at the Shedd Aquarium during the 1933 World’s Fair.
5. This Mount Pulaski law only applies to boys. Girls are allowed to hurl snowballs at trees.
6. The modern silo was invented and built in 1873 by Fred Hatch on his father’s farm. Hatch was also a graduate of Illinois Industrial College, which later became the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
7. In 1990, Gov. Jim Thompson signed into law a bill designating the Square Dance as the American folk dance of the State.
8. Can you believe this weird law from Galesburg?
9. Dr. Bernard Fantus, a Hungarian immigrant and University of Illinois graduate, coined the term “blood bank.”
10. Jane Addams, the co-founder of the world famous Hull-House in Chicago, was born in Cedarville.
11. What do you think of this Illinois city’s trick-or-treating law? Fair? Unfair?
12. This is a cool fun fact about a famous Illinois native! — in Troy Grove, Illinois.
13. This fun fact about wind power in Illinois comes from the University of Illinois Extension!
14. Not only is Peoria our state’s oldest community, it’s also home to the country’s oldest community theater and the country’s oldest Santa Claus parade!
15. Olney, Illinois has squirrel protection laws. Fines for violating these laws can cost you up to $750 per offense!
16. Here’s an interesting one: our state alone accounts for about 10 percent of national nuclear generation.
17. If you had a Radio Flyer wagon growing up, then you’re going to appreciate this Illinois fun fact: The World’s Largest Wagon is 27 feet long, 13 feet wide, and weighs 15,000 lbs!
18. Betcha didn’t know this one: The Smiley Face Water Towers are located in these Illinois towns: Aroma Park, Atlanta, Calumet City (which has 2 towers named “Mr. & Mrs. Smiley”), Makanda, Thomasboro (near Rantoul) and Watseka!
19. Because of its east-west orientation, the sun sometimes appears to set into the Mississippi River. This may be why Mark Twain nicknamed the region the “Land of Sunsets.”
21. While the movie “Halloween” was set in Illinois, it was filmed entirely in California.
22. This replica was originally built to hide water filtration tanks for two outdoor recreational swimming pools.
23. Abraham Lincoln was the state representative who introduced the bill to move the capital from Vandalia to Springfield. His bill was supported by eight legislators, and their group was called the “Long Nine” because their combined height was 54 feet.
(source: Illinois digital archives)
24. Libby’s Pumpkin is located in Morton, which hosts an annual pumpkin festival to celebrate pumpkin canning season. This year was the festival’s 48th anniversary!
25. Robert Wadlow was 8 ft 11.1 in tall, making him the tallest man in medical history for whom there is irrefutable evidence.
26. The Kaskaskia Dragon in Vandalia will only shoot fire for dragon coins!
27. Elementary school students and their teacher proposed making popcorn the official state snack food, and it was voted an official Illinois symbol in 2003. (source: Illinois State Museum)
28. A cool fact about Twinkies and Illinois: The Twinkie was invented in 1930 by James Dewar, the Continental Baking Co. bakery manager. The original Twinkie also had banana cream filling!
29. The creator of the cartoon Popeye, Elzie C. Segar, was born in Chester, Illinois. He based several characters from his experiences with people in his hometown.
30. Last but not least…
- 12 Illinois counties with the highest sales tax
- 21 famous Illinoisans who are buried in Illinois
- The trail of Lincoln: 26 sites for any Abe enthusiast
- Watch: Is Bruce Rauner hedging on campaign promise with “stunningly bad” assessment?
- Want to tell your elected officials what you think of the state of government in Illinois? Use our Sound Off tool.