CHICAGO — The start of the Illinois Bicentennial is only four days away and each day leading up to the kick off, the office of the Governor will share a winning entry in the Something to Learn About Illinois History video contest.

Today’s video is by Lizzie Roehrs, a junior at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Roehrs’ video centers on Helen Kirkpatrick, the first female journalist and war correspondent at the Chicago Daily News. Kirkpatrick received the Congressional Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honour for her work during World War II.

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Lizzie Roehrs’ video submission can be found here.

“The Bicentennial is all about showcasing the best of what has been born, built and grown in Illinois,” said Gov. Rauner. “The work of the young people who produced these videos is a tremendous display of talent and resourcefulness – Illinois style.”

A panel of five selected the winners after participants submitted self-made videos highlighting a fact, event, place, person or something to learn about Illinois history. High school and college students across the state were invited to participate. One hundred winners were selected, with each receiving two tickets to the matinee performance of “Hamilton” on Sunday, Dec. 3 — one of the day’s official kickoff events for the yearlong Illinois Bicentennial celebration.

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Events leading up to the Illinois Bicentennial Birthday Party on Dec. 3, 2018, will continue throughout the year. Additional information is available at

The Illinois Bicentennial Commission and the Governor’s Office of the Illinois Bicentennial were created through an Executive Order signed Sept. 20, 2016, to lead the planning for the celebration of the state’s 200th anniversary.


200 years ago, on December 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the Union. Since then, the people of Illinois have banded together to transform this once-barren and uninviting land into a remarkable place of awe-inspiring beauty, accomplishment, and culture. The Illinois Bicentennial is a year-long celebration of what has been BORN. BUILT. GROWN. in the state and an invitation to fall in love with Illinois all over again. Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting and using the hashtag #IllinoisProud.

Partners and event and project managers planning activities between December 3, 2017 and December 3, 2018 can apply for endorsement to become an official part of Illinois Bicentennial by visiting the PARTICIPATE page at for more information.

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