Bicentennial celebration: Take the quiz

Bicentennial celebration: Take the quiz

Return the favor and quiz Tom Kacich by clicking here

For the 200th birthday of the state of Illinois, we celebrate some of its history with this quiz, courtesy longtime News-Gazette reporter Tom Kacich:

1. When Illinois became a state in 1818, there were just 15 counties (102 now). What is now Champaign-Urbana was originally in what county?

a. Vermilion County

b. Sangamon County

c. Champaign County

d. Crawford County

2. The Illinois Central Railroad was created with a grant of millions of acres of land from the state of Illinois to the railroad's organizers. As a show of gratitude, the railroad's corporate headquarters now is located in what city?

a. Chicago

b. Decatur

c. Champaign

d. Montreal

3. Illinois, with a population of 12.8 million, has 18 representatives in Congress. It is anticipated it will lose at least one representative after the federal Census of 2020. How many congressional representatives did the state have in 1930, when its population was 7.6 million?

a. 18

b. 14

c. 11

d. 27

4. Where was the Illinois Industrial University located?

a. Chicago

b. Decatur

c. Peoria

d. Urbana-Champaign

5. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. It cleared Congress in Jan. 31, 1865, and went to the states for ratification. Of the 27 states that ratified, where did Illinois fall in order?

a. first

b. second

c. 21st

d. 27th

6. William Ferguson traveled through Illinois in 1855 and wrote a book about it. What area was he writing about in this passage: "I do not fancy there exists in the old world such a sight as we beheld. From an eminence, as far as the eye could comprehend the scene, it traversed the richest undulating fields of grass, almost unbroken by fence, plough or house."?

a. Douglas County

b. McHenry County

c. Champaign County

d. Piatt County

7. When Illinois became a state in 1818, where was the nearest American Indian settlement of more than 30 people from what is now Champaign-Urbana?

a. the area now known as Danville

b. the area now known as Monticello

c. the area now known as Decatur

d. an area in what is now southeastern Edgar County

8. When statehood became official on Dec. 3, 1818, how long did it take for word to reach the people of Illinois?

a. one minute

b. one day

c. 18 hours

d. 18 days

9. During the Civil War there was a group of Southern sympathizers — even in Abraham Lincoln's Illinois — known as "Copperheads." In what area village did a group of Copperheads attack Union soldiers?

a. Danville

b. Decatur

c. Tuscola

d. Charleston

10. Where is Lincoln County in Illinois?

a. near Springfield

b. near Chicago

c. near East St. Louis

d. there is no Lincoln County

11. Edward Coles, the second governor of Illinois for whom Coles County is named, is known for what?

a. founder of Eastern Illinois University

b. great-grandfather of former Gov. Jim Edgar

c. He was a Copperhead.

d. He was an ex-slaveholder who opposed slavery.

12. Which of these Illinois cities has not been proclaimed an All-American City by the National Civic League?

a. Oak Park

b. Champaign

c. East St. Louis

d. Decatur



1. (D) Crawford County was the largest county in the state, covering what is now about 35 counties, or more than 20,000 square miles. The 1818 Census said its entire population was 2,839 people.

2. (D) Montreal, Canada. The Illinois Central Railroad was acquired by the Canadian National Railway in 1998.

3. (D) Twenty-seven of the 435 seats in Congress went to Illinois. New York had 43 seats, Pennsylvania 36 and California had 11 (now 53).

4. (D) Urbana-Champaign. Its name was changed to the University of Illinois in 1885.

5. (A) Illinois was the first to do so on Feb. 1, 1865, one day after the amendment was approved by the U.S. House.

6. (C) Champaign County. "The agricultural resources of this country are incredible," Ferguson wrote. "We made a detour from this edge of the grand prairie, by cultivated fields, till we reached the timber; and skirting it, returned to Urbana."

7. (D) The section in what is now southeastern Edgar County was the northernmost settlement in the state. Most of the American Indians were in settlements along the Mississippi, Wabash and Ohio rivers.

8. (D) Eighteen days. Gov. Shadrach Bond issued a proclamation on Dec. 22 that said in part: "Whereas information has been received that by a resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in congress Assembled the State of Illinois has been declared to be one of the United States of America and has been admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original states in all respects whatever ..."

9. (D) On March 24, 1864, a group of Copperheads attacked several Union soldiers on furlough who were resting outside the Coles County Courthouse in Charleston. Five Union soldiers were killed and 12 were injured.

10. (D) There is no Lincoln County, although there almost was one created out of parts of Champaign and Vermilion counties. What would have been Illinois' 103rd county, with its county seat in Homer, was put to a vote in 1867, two years after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The effort failed.

11. (D) Coles, born in Virginia, self-financed an anti-slavery society in Illinois.

12. (B) Champaign has not won the award. Among Illinois winners: Peoria (four times), Quincy (twice), Decatur (1960), Bloomington (1955), East St. Louis (1959), Springfield (1969), Carbondale (1971), and Alton (1959).

Tom Kacich is a News-Gazette columnist.

Sections (3):News, Local, State