December 3, 1818Illinois becomes the 21st U.S. state.
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a broad economic base. Illinois is a major transportation hub. The Port of Chicago connects the state to other global ports from the Great Lakes, via the St. Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean; as well as the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois River. For decades, O'Hare International Airport has ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. As the "most average state", Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and politics.
January 28, 1851Northwestern University becomes the first chartered university in Illinois.
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has 12 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees. Northwestern was founded in 1851 by John Evans, for whom Evanston is named, and eight other lawyers, businessmen and Methodist leaders to serve the people of a region that had once been known as the Northwest Territory. Instruction began in 1855; women were admitted in 1869. Today, the main campus is a 240-acre (97 ha) parcel in Evanston, along the shores of Lake Michigan. The university's law and medical schools are located on a 25-acre (10 ha) campus in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood. In 2008, the University opened a campus in Education City, Doha, Qatar with programs in journalism and communication. In academic year 2010-11, Northwestern enrolled 8,397 undergraduate and 7,870 graduate and professional students.