abraham lincoln presidentialThe 2012 movie “Lincoln” was a box office smash hit, making over $275 million dollars. However, despite the movie not being filmed there, Springfield still had a guiding hand.

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CandyChicago has been named the candy capital of the world since the late 1800s. The Loop has a rich candy making history, including Fannie May’s first store in the Loop’s Business District. Tootsie Roll Industries, Brach’s, Frango, Wrigley Gum and Mars Candy also have roots in Chicago.

In 1893 the World’s Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago, where many of today’s biggest brands of candy were introduced. William Wrigley Jr. originally sold baking powder in Chicago but handed out gum as an incentive for customers to buy his product. Wrigley’s gum became more popular, so he switched businesses and it is still one of the most popular brands of gum in the U.S. today.

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13th amOn Feb. 1, 1865, Illinois became the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment of the Constitution, which officially ended slavery and involuntary servitude. Ratifying the 13th Amendment was one of President Lincoln’s top priorities.

Lyman Trumbull, a U.S. senator from Alton, co-authored the amendment that passed Congress and was sent to the states for ratification on Jan. 31, 1865.

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robert zemeckisIllinois would begin going back to the future in 1952, when Robert Zemeckis was born in Chicago. He has since become known as a very prolific film writer and director. Collectively, his movies have made over $4 billion at the global box office.

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Michelle Obama 30343162332Today is former First Lady Michelle Obama’s birthday. She was born Michelle Robinson on January 17, 1964 in Chicago and grew up in a bungalow in the city’s Southside. As a child, she enjoyed reading and playing games with family members, including her older brother, Craig. The two were so close they were frequently confused for twins.

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