Illinois turns 200 on Dec. 3, 2018, and over the course of the next year The Southern is helping to commemorate the event.

The Southern and dozens of publications throughout Illinois will print a weekly series of articles featuring key moments, figures, industries and events that help to make Illinois unique. Some of the first articles include the Underground Railroad, coal mining, the dueling Peoria territory and top Illinois athletes through the years.

Other topics include Illinois’ role in the Civil War, World War I and World War II; transportation, from the railroads to the interstates to aerospace; and the arts, including jazz and the blues.

Newspapers contributing articles in this series include the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, the Belleville News-Democrat, the Pantagraph of Bloomington, The Southern Illinoisan of Carbondale, the News-Gazette of Champaign, the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Decatur Herald & Review, The Paper from Dwight, the Galesburg Register-Mail, the Hancock Journal Pilot, the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, the Lebanon Advertiser, the County Journal of Percy, the Journal Star of Peoria, the Dispatch Argus of Rock Island, the Rock River Times, the Rockford Register Star, the State Journal-Register of Springfield and Sauk Valley Media of Sterling/Dixon.

The series will also be featured on the website 200Illinois.com.

Dennis Anderson is the executive editor of the Journal Star in Peoria and president of the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors. He can be reached at danderson@pjstar.com and on Twitter at @dennisedit.

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