This Day in History: December 3, 1818
Illinois, The Prairie State, Land of Lincoln, The Corn State, The Garden of the West
Illinois State Motto: “State Sovereignty, National Union.”
The most familiar nickname for Illinois is The Prairie State since most of the state was at one time mostly covered with prairie grasses. Second in line would be Land of Lincoln for Illinois is the state where Abraham Lincoln began his political career serving four terms in the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois was also where Lincoln lived when he became President of the United States in 1861. “Land of Lincoln” became the Official State Slogan of Illinois in 1955. Another nickname is The Corn State because the region of the country referred to as the Corn Belt is centered in Iowa and Illinois. The old nickname The Garden of the West came about because of the rolling prairies of Illinois and the miles of cultivated fields that made Illinois one of the leading producers of corn and later, soy beans, in the United States.
After the American Revolution, Illinois became a territory of the United States. It achieved statehood on December 3, 1818 becoming the 21st state to join the union. Illinois is often noted as a microcosm of the entire country.