Illinois State Facts – Part II

26. State flower – Violet
27. State amphibian – Eastern Tiger Salamander
28. State reptile – Painted Turtle
29. State dance – Square Dance
30. State food – Gold Rush Apple; Popcorn
31. Largest Cities – Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville
32. About 90% of Illinois is covered by the Central Plains region. These fertile plains were carved and leveled by glaciers during the Ice Age. The Central Plains can be divided into three sections; the Great Lakes Plain, the Driftless Plains and the Till Plains.
33. The Great Lakes Plain – This flat stretch of land along Lake Michigan develops some hills north and west of Chicago.
34. The Driftless Plains – Located in the northwest corner of Illinois, the Driftless Plains offer the highest elevations in the state. Large hills and valleys are present here. Charles Mound, the highest point in Illinois, is located here.
35. The Till Plains – The largest section of the Central Plains, the Till Plains is a massive expanse of fertile soil, helping to make Illinois one of the leading agricultural states in the nation.
36. The Shawnee Hills – The Shawnee Hills region stretches across the southern part of Illinois, south of the Central Plains. This small area is characterized by higher elevations, from 300 to 1,065 feet, and contains rivers, valleys, and woodland.
37. Weather – Because of its nearly 400-mile distance between its northernmost and southern points, Illinois has a widely varying climate.
38. Weather – Most of Illinois has a humid continental climate, with hot, humid summers and cold winters. The southernmost part of the state borders on a humid subtropical climate, with more moderate winters.
39. Weather – Illinois is vulnerable to tornadoes, with an average of 35 occurring annually.
40. Weather – The nation’s deadliest tornadoes on record have occurred mostly in Illinois, as it is the most populous state in Tornado Alley.
41. Crops – Many crops are grown throughout Illinois, with the two main crops being soybeans and corn.
42. Crops – Illinois leads the nation in the production of pumpkins.
43. Crops – There are 9,700,000 acres of soybeans in Illinois – more than anywhere else in the United States.
44. Crops – Apples are the most important fruit crop in Illinois.
45. Hogs are the most important livestock product in Illinois, followed by beef, milk, chicken, and eggs.
46. Mining – Coal is the most important mined product in Illinois.
47. Service industries provide the largest portion of income to the economy of Illinois.
48. Famous events – French Explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in 1673. As a result, the Illinois Country was part of the French empire until 1763, when it passed to the British.
49. Famous events – In 1783, the Illinois Country was ceded to the United States and became part of the Northwest Territory.
50. Famous events – The Illinois Territory was created on February 3, 1809.