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Illinois bicentennial

Library of Congress

The Illinois Top 200 Project celebrates the state's bicentennial by allowing residents to vote on their favorites in a variety of categories. And the results show two of the state's top authors are from this region.

Illinois will soon mint commemorative coins to mark the state’s 200th birthday. They're the latest in a string of products the state is offering to mark its bicentennial year.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs hosted a several months-long contest, challenging designers to capture Illinois’ history on a single coin face. Submissions poured in from far and wide, but they were eventually whittled down to five finalists, whose designs were then voted on by the public.

Rich Egger

Brief ceremonies were held around Illinois -- including at the McDonough County Courthouse and Macomb City Hall -- to mark the start of the state's bicentennial year.