Planning is already underway to give Illinois a big birthday party in 2018.
Governor Pat Quinn has announced the creation of an Illinois Bicentennial Commission to mark the 200th anniversary of its statehood. The governor, statewide constitutional officers, and the directors of several state agencies will each get to appoint members. Another 40 members will be chosen from various walks of life, including business, the military, the education community, and the arts.
Quinn wants the yearlong celebration to leave a “lasting legacy” for future generations. To mark Illinois’s 100th birthday in 1918, the state built the Centennial Building in Springfield. The governor's office says the 2018 observance will "rely heavily" on private donations.