Illinois Leg Of 2010 Tour

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On Sunday, September 19, 2010, I (Stanley Bronstein) walked for 2 hours on the campus of the University of Chicago and the surrounding area. I then walked for 3 hours along Lake Shore Blvd. starting from the Lincoln Park area.

Highlights of the Illinois leg of the tour:

  • It was a nice quiet Sunday in Chicago.
  • Walking on the campus of the University of Chicago was gorgeous.  Lots of old buildings with lots of old trees.  Really lovely.
  • The weather held up for me once again, despite the threat of rain.
  • Lake Shore Blvd was fantastic.  Lots of people walking, running and cycling.  The water was crystal clear and flat.  Downtown looked awesome.
  • Met a really cute dog named Violet.
  • Got to spend a lot of time walking with one of my long-term friends.

As usual, I recorded a podcast which can be listened to
by clicking the button right below these words.

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Here are pictures from my walk.


Here are 5 fast facts about the state of Illinois:

  • Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. It is the most populous state in the Midwest region, however with 65% of its residents are concentrated in the Chicago metropolitan area.
  • As the “most average state”, Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and politics, though the latter has not really been true since the early 1970s.
  • In the 1810s settlers began arriving from Kentucky; Illinois achieved statehood in 1818. Chicago was founded in the 1830s on the banks of the Chicago River, one of the few natural harbors on southern Lake Michigan. Railroads and John Deere’s invention of the self-scouring steel plow turned Illinois’ rich prairie into some of the world’s most productive and valuable farmlands, attracting immigrant farmers from Germany and Sweden. By 1900, the growth of industrial jobs in the northern cities and coal mining in the central and southern areas attracted immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe. Its manufacturing made the state a major arsenal in both world wars. The Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to Chicago, established a large community that created the city’s famous jazz and blues cultures.
  • Three U.S. Presidents have been elected while living in Illinois — Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, and Barack Obama. However, only President Ronald Reagan grew up in the state; he was born in Tampico, and raised in Dixon. Lincoln is the only president buried in Illinois; he is interred at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. Today, Illinois honors Lincoln with official state slogan, Land of Lincoln, which is displayed on its license plates.
  • The state has a varied history in relation to slavery and the treatment of African Americans  in general. Some slave labor was used before it became a territory, but slavery was banned by the time Illinois became a state in 1818. As the southern part of the state, known as “Little Egypt”, was largely settled by migrants from the South, the section was sympathetic to the South and slave labor. For a while, the section continued to allow settlers to bring slaves with them for labor, but citizens were opposed to allowing blacks as permanent residents. The Illinois Constitution of 1848 was written with a provision for exclusionary laws to be passed. In 1853, John A. Logan, later a Union general in the American Civil War, introduced such bills. Laws were passed to prohibit all African Americans, including freedmen, from settling in the state.

Next stop, South Bend, Indiana – The University of Notre Dame.