Beginning Illinois’ Bicentennial
By Alex Haglund
Illinois, The Land of Lincoln, was founded 199 years ago, December 3, 1818. Of course, it wasn’t actually called The Land of Lincoln then, because the future president was only nine years old and was still living in Kentucky at that point.
Nevertheless, Illinois is coming up on 200 years old, and the state’s bicentennial celebration is set to last for an entire year.
This bicentennial kicked off this Monday, December 4, with Illinois’ Bicentennial flag being raised at 12 p.m. at villages towns and cities all through the state.
A ceremony was held at the Oakdale Grade School where the flag was raised, the whole student body gathered, along with teachers and staff, and members of Oakdale village government.
After the flag was raised by Oakdale seventh grader Xavier Speiss and eighth grader Charlene Kroener, the school choir sang “Illinois”, the state’s anthem, touching upon the state’s natural features, cities, and its history, particularly regarding the Civil War and Lincoln.
Oakdale Mayor Cecil Alfeldt then read a proclamation while the students listened.
“Illinois’ Bicentennial will remind us all that every day in Illinois, amazing things are born, built and grown,” Alfeldt read.
Alfeldt’s proclamation then stated that Oakdale encouraged its citizens to participate in the bicentennial over the coming year, and directed them to the website Illinois200.com and to use the hashtag #IllinoisProud
In Nashville, Mayor Erik Rolf and City Councilor Kelly Sheridan raised the flag in front of the Nashville City Hall.