The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – July 2020: Illinois

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – July 2020: Illinois

1bhabeck
Edited: Jun 29, 2020, 11:11am

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. This month, we stay in the Midwest - let’s head to Illinois.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – July 2020: Illinois


History

Illinois (IL-ə-NOY) is a state in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its capital is Springfield and its largest city is Chicago. Illinois is ranked 25th in area at 57,915 square miles (149,997km square) and is the 6th in population with approximately 12.7 million residents as of 2019 (it is 12th in terms of density). The state's name comes from the Miami-Illinois verb "irenwe-wa" which means "he speaks the regular way" which was further adjusted by the French when they changed the /we/ ending to /ois/.

American Indians of successive cultures lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years be for the arrival of the Europeans. French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet explored the Illinois River in 1673. French Canadiens settled in the area, particularly along the Mississippi River and Illinois was part of first New France, then La Louisiane until 1763, when it passed to the British with their defeat of the French in the Seven Years' War. Few British or American settlers moved into the area as the Crown made it part of the territory reserved for Indians west of the Appalachians. In 1778, George Rogers Clark claimed Illinois County for Virginia. In a compromise, Virginia ceded the area to the new United States in the 1780s and it became part of the Northwest Territory. Illinois became the 21st US state on December 3, 1818.

Following the American Revolutionary War, settlers began arriving in Illinois from Kentucky via the Ohio River and the population began to grow from south to north. Commercial activity increased in the Great Lakes following the construction of the Erie Canal, thus Chicago was formed at one of the few natural harbors in southern Lake Michigan. Soon, immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden were attracted to Illinois with the invention by John Deere of the self-scouring steel plow which turned Illinois' rich prairie into some of the world's most productive and valuable farmland. With the Illinois and Michigan Canal connecting Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River, Illinois became a transportation hub for the rest of the nation.

By 1900, industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern regions, fueled economic growth in the state. Illinois became an important manufacturing center during both world wars. The "Great Migration" from the Southern States established a large community of African Americans in the state, including Chicago, who founded the city's famous jazz and blues cultures.

Geography


Illinois is bordered to the east by Lake Michigan and Indiana, to the southeast by Kentucky, to the west by Missouri and Iowa and to the north by Wisconsin. Most of the western border is the Mississippi River, similar to the border with Kentucky which is defined by the Ohio River.

Illinois lies entirely in the Interior Plains region. However, there is some minor variation in its elevation in the extreme northwestern area which is known the Driftless Area, a region of unglaciated land. Charles Mound, the state's highest elevation at 1,235 feet (376 m) above sea level is located in this area.


Fun Facts

The state is the country's largest producer of pumpkins, second-largest producer of corn, and leading producer of arguments about whether or not ketchup is an acceptable condiment for a hot dog.

Illinois is one of the flattest states in the US – so flat that the highest natural point, Charles Mound, is just 1,235 feet above sea level. Unlike most landmarks, this one is at the top of a family's driveway. They allow visitors just a few weekends a year and set up lawn chairs for taking in the view.

Chicago's low elevation and lack of a municipal sewer system led to serious flooding and disease outbreaks in the 19th century. To get out of the mud, engineers used hydraulic jacks to raise every city building up to 6 feet higher. Old, unwanted structures were put on rollers and moved to the suburbs.

Chicago's nickname, the Windy City, has nothing to do with meteorology. The epithet – from a New York City journalist – actually referred to the boastful, long-winded politicians campaigning for the World's Columbian Exhibition of 1893.

Illinois is the most populous state in the Midwest region. Chicago, the 3rd-most populous city in the US, is the center of the Chicago metropolitan area (nicknamed "Chicagoland"). Although Chicagoland comprises only 9% of the land area of the state, it contains 65% of the state's residents.


Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th amendment to abolish slavery.

The Nabisco factory in Chicago is the world's largest bakery in the world at 1,800,000 square feet.

The world's first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885. Another skyscraper, the Sears Tower, renamed Willis Tower in 2009, is a 110-story building in Chicago. The tower is 1,450 feet high. At the time of its completion in 1973, it was the world's tallest building. The Willis Tower is now the 2nd tallest building on the North American continent. From its Skydeck, you can see four states – Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.


Illinois is home to the Chicago Bears Football team, Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, Chicago Bulls basketball team, the Chicago Fire soccer team and the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Whitesox baseball teams.

The slogan of 105.9fm, the classic rock radio station in Chicago: "Of all the radio stations in Chicago…we're one of them."

The Chicago River is dyed green on St. Patrick's Day. This river is also one of only a few in the world that flows backwards. A system of three canals was built from 1892 to 1922 to reverse the flow and empty sewage into the Mississippi, instead of Lake Michigan.

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is one of the world's busiest airports. It was ranked at the 6th spot in 2017 for the most passenger arrivals and departures.

Illinois is considered one of the most politically corrupt states in the US. Six governors of the state have been charged with crimes and 4 of them have been sent to prison. The local government of Chicago has seen its share of corruption, dating all the way back to its incorporation in 1833. Research by the University of Illinois reports that the Chicago/Cook County judicial district recorded 45 public corruption convictions for 2013 and 1,642 since 1976, when the Dept of Justice began compiling statistics. A tabulation of federal public corruption convictions make Chicago the most corrupt city in the US, which the cost of corruption estimated at "at least" $500 million per year.

Notable Residents


Three US Presidents hail from Illinois: Abraham Lincoln (#12, March 4, 1861-April 14, 1865), Ulysses S. Grant (#18, March 4, 1869-March 4, 1877) and Barack Obama (#44, January 20, 2009-January 20, 2017). However, only one US President was actually born in Illinois – Ronald Reagan (#40, January 20, 1981-January 20, 1989). Nonetheless, the state's official nickname has been the "Land of Lincoln" since 1955. (previously, it was the "Prairie State").

Other well-known people from Illinois include Actors: Harrison Ford, Robin Williams, Mr. T., Mandy Patinkin, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Jim Belushi; Politicians: Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama; Singers: Common, Jennifer Hudson, Lou Rawls, Benny Goodman, and Gretchen Wilson. Also from Illinois, Carl Sandburg (journalist), Stephen Ambrose (historian and biographer) and Emil J. Brach (candy mogul).

In honor of ILLINOIS, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Lake," "Wind," "Fire," or "Crime" in the title or has a skyscraper, a lake, a brownie or a pumpkin on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book in which a character is a corrupt politician or the story takes place in a very large city (e.g. New York, London, Paris, Chicago, etc);

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in ILLINOIS.


Happy Reading ❤

2bhabeck
Edited: Jul 8, 2020, 9:20pm

Brenda's July 2020 Americana Challenge - Illinois
2 of 3 complete


In honor of ILLINOIS, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Lake," "Wind," "Fire," or "Crime" in the title or has a skyscraper, a lake, a brownie or a pumpkin on the cover;
One Last Lie by Paul Doiron; Lake on cover; 7/3/20; 4 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book in which a character is a corrupt politician or the story takes place in a very large city (e.g. New York, London, Paris, Chicago, etc);
Immortal in Death by J. D. Robb; Takes place in NYC; 7/6/20; 4 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in ILLINOIS.
Someone Else's Daughter by Linsey Lanier; 7/--/20; -- stars

3Carol420
Edited: Jul 9, 2020, 8:18am



📌 - ★

3/3
Carol Tackles a giant Illinois Pumpkin...and this challenge

📌1. A Mystery/Suspense book with "Lake," "Wind," "Fire," or "Crime" in the title or has a skyscraper, a lake, a brownie or a pumpkin on the cover.
A Crime of Passion - Scott Pratt - 5★

📌2. A Mystery/Suspense book in which a character is a corrupt politician or the story takes place in a very large city (e.g. New York, London, Paris, Chicago, etc).
Zero At The Bone - Mary Willis Walker- 5★ (Takes place in Austin,Texas)

📌3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in ILLINOIS.
Girl Last Seen - Nina Laurin - 3★ (N & L)

4gaylebutz
Jun 29, 2020, 5:20pm

I'm going to read The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison. It takes place in a very large city - Chicago.

5Sergeirocks
Edited: Jul 31, 2020, 1:34pm

Just keeping my place in the queue! 😉

Here we go:

12 July 2020 - Everywhere That Mary Went - Lisa Scottoline 4★s (Author's initials in 'ILLINOIS')
14 July 2020 - Goodbye to Berlin - Christopher Isherwood 3★s (Story takes place in a large city)
31 July 2020 - Well of the Winds - Denzil Meyrick 4.5★s ("Wind" in the title)

6Olivermagnus
Jul 1, 2020, 12:21pm

Lynda and Oliver's July 2020 Americana Challenge - Illinois

0
of 3 complete

In honor of ILLINOIS, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Lake," "Wind," "Fire," or "Crime" in the title or has a skyscraper, a lake, a brownie or a pumpkin on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book in which a character is a corrupt politician or the story takes place in a very large city (e.g. New York, London, Paris, Chicago, etc);

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in ILLINOIS.

7garnetbookfan
Edited: Jul 8, 2020, 1:25pm

2/3
In honor of ILLINOIS, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with "Lake," "Wind," "Fire," or "Crime" in the title or has a skyscraper, a lake, a brownie or a pumpkin on the cover;

• A Mystery/Suspense book in which a character is a corrupt politician or the story takes place in a very large city (e.g. New York, London, Paris, Chicago, etc);

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initials (BOTH the first AND last) can be found in ILLINOIS.

I plan to participate.

A Lake on the cover: The Guilty by Jason Pinter

Takes place in a big city: London

8bhabeck
Jul 2, 2020, 11:43am

>7 garnetbookfan: welcome! Let us know if you have any questions.

9Carol420
Jul 2, 2020, 5:17pm

>7 garnetbookfan: Welcome to the challenge. Glad to have you here.

10Sergeirocks
Jul 4, 2020, 7:13pm

>7 garnetbookfan: Welcome. Happy Reading!

11garnetbookfan
Jul 8, 2020, 1:25pm

Please let me know if I'm not posting correctly ☺

12bhabeck
Jul 8, 2020, 9:22pm

>11 garnetbookfan: you're doing fine. We all post our challenge results a little differently -- whatever works for you, works for us. :)

13Carol420
Edited: Jul 9, 2020, 8:21am



Another fun one. Thanks for all your hard work on this, Brenda.

14nrmay
Jul 9, 2020, 4:52pm

Finished these -

Iron Lake by William Krueger and
On target Mark Greaney. Corruption, and worse, in Sudan.

15Carol420
Edited: Jul 9, 2020, 5:47pm

>14 nrmay:


You're doing really well on this. Congratulations.

16bhabeck
Jul 9, 2020, 6:15pm

>13 Carol420: congrats!

>14 nrmay: nicely done!

17gaylebutz
Jul 15, 2020, 5:44pm

Done - takes place in a very large city - Chicago
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison - 3.5 ★

18Carol420
Jul 15, 2020, 7:05pm

>17 gaylebutz:



Good job, Gayle

19gaylebutz
Jul 16, 2020, 5:36pm

>18 Carol420: Thanks Carol! I'm enjoying this Americana challenge even if I am only able to complete 1 of the 3 options.

20Carol420
Edited: Jul 17, 2020, 6:43am

>19 gaylebutz: We don't care how many you complete...we're just happy that you join with us in the fun.

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