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The Illinois Portal

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Illinois ( IL-?-NOY) is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois River, through the Illinois Waterway. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics. (Full article...)

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1856 illustration of the murder of George Davenport

The Banditti of the Prairie, also known as "The Prairie Bandits," "Pirates of the Prairie," "Prairie Pirates," or simply "The Banditti," in the U.S. state of Illinois, were a group of loose-knit outlaw gangs during the early-mid-19th century. Though bands of roving criminals were common in many parts of Illinois, the counties of Lee, DeKalb, Ogle, and Winnebago were especially affected by them. In the year 1841, the escalating pattern of burglary, horse and cattle theft, stagecoach and highway robbery, counterfeiting, and murder associated with the Banditti came to a head in Ogle County. As the crimes continued, local citizens formed bands of vigilantes known as Regulators. The clash between the Banditti and the Regulators in Ogle County resulted in a lynching in Oregon, Illinois and decreased Banditti activity within the county.

Banditti and Regulator activity continued well after the lynching of 1841. Crimes continued, committed by both sides, across northern and central Illinois. The Banditti were involved in the 1845 torture-murder of merchant Colonel George Davenport, the namesake of Davenport, Iowa. Edward Bonney, an amateur detective who hunted down and brought the killers to justice, wrote of his exploits and alibi, which were recounted in his book, Banditti of the Prairies, or the Murderer's Doom!!: A Tale of the Mississippi Valley, published in Chicago in 1850. The outlaw gangs also continued to be active in Lee and Winnebago counties following the events in Oregon.(Read more...)

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Henry Darger ( c. April 12, 1892 - April 13, 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist who worked as a hospital custodian in Chicago. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story. The visual subject matter of his work ranges from idyllic scenes in Edwardian interiors and tranquil flowered landscapes populated by children and fantastic creatures, to scenes of horrific terror and carnage depicting young children being tortured and massacred. Much of his artwork is mixed media with collage elements. Darger's artwork has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art. (Read more...)

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Cities: Aurora o Carbondale o Champaign o Chicago o Cicero o Decatur o Elgin o Joliet o Marion o Naperville o Rockford o Peoria o Springfield o Waukegan

Culture: Chicago Blues Festival o Chicago Jazz Festival o Chicago Symphony Orchestra o Cornerstone Festival o Dillo Day o Illinois Shakespeare Festival o Illinois State Fair o Illinois' Poets Laureate o List of museums in Illinois o Lollapalooza o Lyric Opera of Chicago o Music o Pitchfork Music Festival o Ravinia Festival o Taste of Chicago

Education: Higher education o Secondary education

Environment: Ecoregions of Illinois o Geography of Illinois o Geology of Illinois o Protected areas of Illinois

Government: Constitution o Economy o Politics o State Capitol

History: Chicago o Illiniwek o Illinois Central o Illinois-Wabash Company o Illinois Territory o Abraham Lincoln o Black Hawk War o Cahokia o 1871 Great Chicago Fire o Makataimeshekiakiak o Miami o Mississippian culture o Northwest Territory o Potawatomi o Route 66 o Sauk

People: Governors of Illinois o Mayors of Chicago o Longest Serving Mayor in Illinois o Order of Lincoln Laureates

Sports: Chicago Bandits o Chicago Bears o Chicago Bulls o Chicago Cubs o Chicago Fire o Chicago Rush o Chicago Sky o Chicago White Sox o Chicago Wolves o The Fighting Illini o Illinois State Redbirds o Northwestern Wildcats o Peoria Rivermen o Rockford IceHogs o Rockford Thunder o Southern Illinois Miners o Southern Illinois University Salukis o Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac o Chicago Marathon

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