Current Weather

WRUL On Air Now

Cathy Taylor
Cathy Taylor
9:00am - 2:00pm

WROY On Air Now

Scott Mareing
Scott Mareing
10:00am - 2:00pm

Governor launches Illinois Bicentennial K-12 educational program, ‘Illinois Chronicles’

Gov. Bruce Rauner released the first copies of “Illinois Chronicles,” the K-12 Bicentennial educational resource that will be offered to schools all across the state.

“Illinois Chronicles” is a timeline book which contains more than 50 news articles and 100 historical moments, presented on a 6-foot-long foldout timeline that charts the history of the state from its birth in 1818 to 2018.

“We are very excited to share with you the ‘Illinois Chronicles’ in celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial. Illinois is the Land of Lincoln. We are a melting pot of culture and diversity, as seen through our communities, music, restaurants, sports teams and heroes,” Rauner said. “I hope this book and our Bicentennial celebration inspire students to think about the next 200 years of our great state and the legacy they will create.”

The book and related resources are the result of a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of the Illinois Bicentennial, the State Board of Education, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and What on Earth Publishing.

“Illinois Chronicles is one of the signature projects of the Bicentennial Celebration,” said Gloria Castillo, Bicentennial Commission co-chairwoman and president and CEO of Chicago United. “The campaign is designed to reach every student in the state, expose them to the many people, places and events that were Born, Built and Grown in Illinois and inspire them to be #IllinoisProud.”         

“We are very pleased to have participated in the development of ‘Illinois Chronicles,’” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith. “It is designed to supplement the teaching of Illinois history and is a unique and engaging way for students across all grade levels to learn about the people and events that make up our state’s history.”

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Executive Director Alan Lowe, a Bicentennial commissioner, said the book will form a key part of the Bicentennial legacy. “The chronological historical resources presented in an innovative timeline create a remarkable opportunity to teach us about our shared heritage, as well as help us think about the future,” said Lowe.

The Educators Guide is available as a free, downloadable PDF to every school in the state on the ISBE website. Developed by a team of Illinois State Board of Education content specialists, it contains a range of cross-curricular activities for K-12 students to help educators incorporate the teaching of state history.

“This is really a complete innovation in the way we can think about teaching the history of our state,” said Katie Elvidge, social science content specialist for the State of Illinois. “The ‘Illinois Chronicles’ and accompanying educator pack will be something any teacher can refer to for imaginative and creative ideas about how to embed the teaching of our history across all subject areas.”

The printed “Illinois Chronicles” book is now available for purchase at and select book retailers across the state. All K-12 schools will be offered a free copy of the book in March as part of the Bicentennial campaign.


Beautifully illustrated and hugely engaging, the timeline features more than 100 stunning images and illuminating captions that take readers on the Prairie State’s remarkable journey. The “Illinois Chronicles” captures key moments in Illinois history in a newsy and entertaining way. It all adds up to an exciting story of the people and events whose unique legacy can still be felt today in the 21st state of the union.

What on Earth Publishing specializes in creating highly engaging, non-fiction storytelling books and is a pioneer of the foldout timeline format. Partners include the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian and the Magna Carta Trust. Learn more


On Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are #IllinoisProud.

Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting and using the hashtag #IllinoisProud. Partners and event and project managers planning activities between Dec. 3, 2017, and Dec. 3, 2018, can apply for endorsement to become an official part of Illinois Bicentennial by visiting the PARTICIPATE page at