Portal:Illinois

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Illinois (/ˌɪləˈnɔɪ/ (About this soundlisten) IL-ə-NOY) is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois River, through the Illinois Waterway. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.

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Carya illinoinensis foliagenuts.jpg

Carya illinoinensis, commonly called the pecan, is a species of hickory native to Mexico and the south central and southeastern United States. The pecan tree is a large deciduous tree, growing to 20–40 m (66–131 ft) in height. A pecan, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, is not truly a nut, but is technically a drupe, a fruit with a single stone or pit surrounded by a husk. The seeds of the pecan are edible with a rich, buttery flavor.

Before European settlement, pecans were widely consumed and traded by Native Americans. They can provide two to five times more calories per unit weight than wild game and require no preparation. As a wild forage, the fruit of the previous growing season is commonly still edible when found on the ground. Thomas Jefferson planted Carya illinoinensis, known as "Illinois nuts", in his nut orchard at Monticello in Virginia. George Washington reported in his journal that Jefferson had given him "Illinois nuts", which he then grew at Mount Vernon. (Read more...)

Selected biography

Otto Graham in 1959 as football coach at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

Otto Graham (December 6, 1921 – December 17, 2003) was a professional basketball and American football player. He played quarterback for the Cleveland Browns in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) and National Football League (NFL). Graham is regarded by critics as one of the dominant players of his era, having taken the Browns to league championship games every year between 1946 and 1955, winning seven of them. While most of Graham's statistical records have been surpassed in the modern era, he still holds the NFL records for career average yards gained per pass attempt and for the highest career winning percentage for an NFL starting quarterback.

Graham grew up in Waukegan, Illinois, the son of music teachers. He entered Northwestern University in 1940 on a basketball scholarship, but football soon became his main sport. After a brief stint in the military at the end of World War II, Graham played for the Rochester Royals of the National Basketball League (NBL), winning the 1945–46 championship. Paul Brown, Cleveland's coach, signed Graham to play for the Browns, where he thrived. Graham's 1946 NBL and AAFC titles made him the first of only two people to have won championships in two of the four major North American sports. After he retired from playing football in 1955, Graham coached for the College All-Star Game, the Coast Guard Academy, and the Washington Redskins. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965. (Read more...)

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Cities: AuroraCarbondaleChampaignChicagoCiceroDecaturElginJolietMarionNapervilleRockfordPeoriaSpringfieldWaukegan

Culture: Chicago Blues FestivalChicago Jazz FestivalChicago Symphony OrchestraCornerstone FestivalDillo DayIllinois Shakespeare FestivalIllinois State FairIllinois' Poets LaureateList of museums in IllinoisLollapaloozaLyric Opera of ChicagoMusicPitchfork Music FestivalRavinia FestivalTaste of Chicago

Education: Higher educationSecondary education

Environment: Ecoregions of IllinoisGeography of IllinoisGeology of IllinoisProtected areas of Illinois

Government: ConstitutionEconomyPoliticsState Capitol

History: ChicagoIlliniwekIllinois CentralIllinois-Wabash CompanyIllinois TerritoryAbraham LincolnBlack Hawk WarCahokia1871 Great Chicago FireMakataimeshekiakiakMiamiMississippian cultureNorthwest TerritoryPotawatomiRoute 66Sauk

People: Governors of IllinoisMayors of ChicagoLongest Serving Mayor in IllinoisOrder of Lincoln Laureates

Sports: Chicago BanditsChicago BearsChicago BullsChicago CubsChicago FireChicago RushChicago SkyChicago White SoxChicago WolvesThe Fighting IlliniIllinois State RedbirdsNorthwestern WildcatsPeoria RivermenRockford IceHogsRockford ThunderSouthern Illinois MinersSouthern Illinois University SalukisChicago Yacht Club Race to MackinacChicago Marathon

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