Illinois Log Homes & IL Log Cabins
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ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: French derivative of Iliniwek, meaning "tribe of superior men," an Indian group formerly in the region. NICKNAME: The Prairie State. SLOGAN: Land of Lincoln. CAPITAL: Springfield. ENTERED UNION: 3 December 1818 (21st). SONG: "Illinois." MOTTO: State Sovereignty–National Union. FLAG: The inner portion of the state seal and the word "Illinois" on a white field. OFFICIAL SEAL: An American eagle perched on a boulder holds in its beak a banner bearing the state motto; below the eagle is a shield resting on an olive branch. Also depicted are the prairie, the sun rising over a distant eastern horizon, and, on the boulder, the dates 1818 and 1868, the years of the seal's introduction and revision, respectively. The words "Seal of the State of Illinois Aug. 26th 1818" surround the whole. ANIMAL: White-tailed deer. BIRD: Cardinal. FISH: Bluegill. INSECT: Monarch butterfly. FLOWER: Native violet. TREE: White oak. MINERAL: Fluorite. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln's Birthday, 12 February; George Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Election Day, 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November in even-numbered years; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 6 AM CST = noon GMT.
Illinois has a temperate climate, with cold, snowy winters and hot, wet summers—ideal weather for corn and hogs. The seasons are sharply differentiated: mean winter temperatures are 22°F (–6°C) in the north and 37°F (3°C) in the south; mean summer temperatures are 70°F (21°C) in the north and 77°F (25°C) in the south. The record high, 117°F (47°C), was set at East St. Louis on 14 July 1954; the record low, –36°F (–37.8°C), was registered at Congerville on 5 January 1999.
The average farm sees rain one day in three, for a total of 36 in (91 cm) of precipitation a year. An annual snowfall of 37 in (94 cm) is normal for northern Illinois, decreasing to 24 in (61 cm) or less in the central and southern regions. Chicago's record 90 in (229 cm) of snow in the winter of 1978–79 created monumental transportation problems, enormous personal hardship, and even a small political upheaval when incumbent Mayor Michael Bilandic lost a primary election to Jane Byrne in February 1979 partly because of his administration's slowness in snow removal.
Illinois ranked 5th in population in the US with an estimated total of 12,600,620 in 2002, an increase of 1.5% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Illinois's population grew from 11,430,602 to 12,419,293, an increase of 8.6%. The population is projected to reach 13.4 million by 2025. Illinois ceded its 3rd-place ranking to California by 1950, and 4th place to Texas during the 1960s. In 2000, population density was 223.4 per sq mi, the 10th-highest in the US.
The population of Illinois was only 12,282 in 1810. Ten years later, the new state had 55,211 residents. The most rapid period of growth came in the mid-19th century, when heavy immigration made Illinois one of the fastest-growing areas in the world. Between 1820 and 1860, the state's population doubled every 10 years. The rate of increase slowed somewhat after 1900, especially during the 1930s, although the population more than doubled between 1900 and 1960. Population growth was very slow in the 1970s, about 0.3% a year; the rate of growth from 1980 to 1990 was a tiny 0.04%. However, a rebound occurred in the 1990s. The age distribution of the state's population
Forestland covering 4,331,000 acres (1,753,000 hectares) comprises about 10% of the state's land area. Forests in the northern two-thirds of the state are predominately located in the northwestern part of the state and along major rivers and streams. The majority of Illinois's forests are located in the southern one-third of the state. Some 4,087,000 acres (1,654,000 hectares) are classified as commercial forests and are 90% privately owned. As of 2003 Illinois had two national forests, with a total National Forest System acreage of 857,000 acres (347,000 hectares). In 2002, lumber production totaled 130 million board feet.
Flimsy cabins and shacks provided rude shelter for many Illinoisans in pioneer days. Later, the balloon-frame house, much cheaper to build than traditional structures, became a trademark of the Prairie State. After a third of Chicago's wooden houses burned in 1871, the city moved to enforce more stringent building codes. The city's predominant dwelling then became the three-or five-story brick apartment house. Great mansions were built in elite areas of Chicago (first Prairie Avenue, later the Gold Coast), and high-rise lakefront luxury apartments first became popular in the 1920s. In the 1970s, Chicago pioneered the conversion of luxury apartment buildings to condominiums, which numbered 242,653 (5.4% of all housing units) in 1990.
In 2002 there were an estimated 4,981,258 housing units in Illinois, of which 4,627,667 were occupied; 67.6% were owneroccupied. About 57.6% of all units were single-family, detached homes. Most units rely on utility gas for heating. It was estimated that 199,427 units were without telephone service, 20,546 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 22,999 lacked complete kitchen facilities. The average household size was 2.65 people.
In 2002, 60,971 new privately owned units were authorized for construction. The median home value was $147,353. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,284, while renters paid a median of $665 per month. During 2002, Illinois received over $312.3 million in community planning and development aid from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Illinois has six major league professional sports teams, all of which play in Chicago: the Cubs and the White Sox of Major League Baseball, the Bears of the National Football League, the Bulls of the National Basketball Association, the Fire of Major League Soccer, and the Blackhawks of the National Hockey League.
The Cubs last won a World Series in 1908, the White Sox in 1917. The Bears won the Super Bowl in 1986. The Bulls established a remarkable basketball dynasty fueled by the play of Michael Jordan, perhaps the best athlete in the history of basketball, winning NBA championships in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998. They were the first basketball team to win three consecutive championships since the Boston Celtics set the probably unbreakable record of eight consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966. The Bulls' string of titles has ended, however, as Jordan retired in 1999 and the title-winning team has been dismantled. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 1934, 1938, and 1961. The state also has minor league baseball, basketball, and hockey.
The White Sox built a new ballpark, Comiskey Park, which opened in 1993. The Cubs play their home games at Wrigley Field, perhaps one of the most venerable parks because of its ivycovered outfield walls. Horse racing is very popular in the state, with pari-mutuel betting allowed. The Golden Glove Boxing Tournament is held annually in February in Chicago.
In collegiate sports the emphasis is on basketball and football. The University of Illinois and Northwestern compete in the Big Ten Conference. Illinois won the Rose Bowl in 1947, 1952, and 1964, and was named national champion in 1923. In a remarkable revival of its football program, Northwestern won its first Big Ten title in 46 years in 1995. The Wildcats played in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1949, when they recorded their only victory in the New Year's Day game. Southern Illinois won the National Invitational Tournament in basketball in 1967. The DePaul Blue Demons of Conference USA consistently rank high among college basketball teams.
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