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The Illinois Portal

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Illinois ( IL-?-NOY) is a state in the Midwestern region 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. (Full article...)

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Fountain of Time in southeast Washington Park at the western edge of the Midway Plaisance.

Fountain of Time is a sculpture by Lorado Taft, measuring 126 feet 10 inches (38.66 m) in length, situated at the western edge of the Midway Plaisance within Washington Park in Chicago. This location is in the Washington Park community area on Chicago's South Side. Inspired by Henry Austin Dobson's poem, "Paradox of Time", and with its 100 figures passing before Father Time, the work was created as a monument to the first 100 years of peace between the United States and Great Britain, resulting from the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. Although the fountain's water began running in 1920, the sculpture was not dedicated to the city until 1922. The sculpture is a contributing structure to the Washington Park United States Registered Historic District, which is a National Register of Historic Places listing.

Time has undergone several restorations, due to the deterioration and decline caused by natural and urban elements. During the late 1990s and the first few years of the 21st century it underwent repairs that corrected many of the problems caused by these earlier restorations. Although extensive renovation of the sculpture was completed as recently as 2005, the supporters of Time continue to seek resources for additional lighting, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation has nominated it for further funding. (Read more...)

Selected biography

Photo of Smith in The School Music Journal,1909

Eleanor Sophia Smith (15 June 1858 - 30 June 1942) was an American composer and music educator. She was one of the founders of Chicago's Hull House Music School and headed its music department from 1893 to 1936.

Born in Atlanta, Illinois into a musical family, Smith taught herself to play the piano and later became a classically trained musician. Earning a teaching degree, she began publishing music compositions for children using the philosophy of Friedrich Fröbel, advocating for less memorization and drilling and more attention to intuitive appreciation of music. Studying composition and voice in Germany, she also toured the country observing choirs and their teaching techniques.

Returning to the United States in 1890, Smith began working at the settlement house, Hull House, as a music instructor. Within three years she had co-founded the Hull House Music School, a school which followed her progressive teaching ideas, cross-training students in vocal music as well as instruments. Simultaneously, she worked in several institutions in the Chicago area which trained music educators.vSmith published numerous compilations of songs, including two six-volume textbook series, which were widely used throughout the United States. Most of her writings were focused on children's voices and contained short songs written with attention paid to the limited range and short attention span of children. Many of her compositions were still being used in music education programs in the latter part of the 20th century. (Read more...)

Did you know...

  • ... that Candace Brightman was the Grateful Dead's longtime lighting engineer?
  • Ava Cherry 2016.jpg
    ... that Ava Cherry (pictured), David Bowie's partner and muse, spent a year searching for him in Europe after he cancelled a tour of Japan on which she was to be a backup singer?
  • ... that a former owner of Illinois radio station WRBA carried an expired police badge to allow him to get to its transmitter site quickly if need be?
  • Lurie Children's Hospital
    ... that when Lurie Children's Hospital (pictured) moved within Chicago to a new location in June 2012, it took more than 10 hours to transfer nearly 200 children?
  • ... that when the fireman's pole was invented at Chicago's Engine Company 21, other firefighters thought its use was crazy--until 21 started being the first crew to arrive at fires?
  • Chequamegon ship 1.jpg
    ... that the tugboat Robert C. Pringle (pictured) was discovered "remarkably intact" 86 years after it sank?
  • ... that the cover of Red Meat Republic, a book on the history of beef production in the United States, has the look and texture of butcher paper?
  • ... that although Walt Whitman and Abraham Lincoln never met, Whitman once wrote "I love the President personally"?

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Cities: Aurora o Carbondale o Champaign o Chicago o Cicero o Decatur o Elgin o Joliet o Marion o Naperville o Rockford o Peoria o Springfield o Waukegan

Culture: Chicago Blues Festival o Chicago Jazz Festival o Chicago Symphony Orchestra o Cornerstone Festival o Dillo Day o Illinois Shakespeare Festival o Illinois State Fair o Illinois' Poets Laureate o List of museums in Illinois o Lollapalooza o Lyric Opera of Chicago o Music o Pitchfork Music Festival o Ravinia Festival o Taste of Chicago

Education: Higher education o Secondary education

Environment: Ecoregions of Illinois o Geography of Illinois o Geology of Illinois o Protected areas of Illinois

Government: Constitution o Economy o Politics o State Capitol

History: Chicago o Illiniwek o Illinois Central o Illinois-Wabash Company o Illinois Territory o Abraham Lincoln o Black Hawk War o Cahokia o 1871 Great Chicago Fire o Makataimeshekiakiak o Miami o Mississippian culture o Northwest Territory o Potawatomi o Route 66 o Sauk

People: Governors of Illinois o Mayors of Chicago o Longest Serving Mayor in Illinois o Order of Lincoln Laureates

Sports: Chicago Bandits o Chicago Bears o Chicago Bulls o Chicago Cubs o Chicago Fire o Chicago Rush o Chicago Sky o Chicago White Sox o Chicago Wolves o The Fighting Illini o Illinois State Redbirds o Northwestern Wildcats o Peoria Rivermen o Rockford IceHogs o Rockford Thunder o Southern Illinois Miners o Southern Illinois University Salukis o Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac o Chicago Marathon

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