Editorial | Illinois Constitution Day

Editorial | Illinois Constitution Day

Sunday is Constitution Day in Illinois, but you'd hardly know it based on the lack of bicentennial-related events scheduled in East Central Illinois.

Illinois will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the adoption of its first Constitution Sunday with several events around the state. Unfortunately, none will be held in East Central Illinois.

At the time the first constitution was adopted on Aug. 26, 1818, at Kaskaskia, nearly all of the state's population resided in deep southern Illinois. The only towns of any size were Kaskaskia, near the Mississippi River, and Shawneetown, along the Ohio River. There were few settlers between southern Illinois and the land along Lake Michigan, although within 20 years that would change dramatically.

Nonetheless, there will be events around the state this Sunday to mark the bicentennial of the adoption of the constitution: in Chester, DuQuoin, Springfield and East St. Louis in the southern half of the state, and in Addison, Galena, Dixon and Highland Park in the northern half.

But there will be no events Sunday in East Central Illinois, another example of the disappointing dearth of Illinois bicentennial-related activities, not just in this area, but statewide. For Illinoisans who recall the states' sesquicentennial in 1968, the tepid bicentennial celebration this year has been a letdown. It doesn't befit a state with the fifth-greatest population in the United States, one of the greatest cities in the world, an internationally known public university and extraordinary cultural and business institutions.

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