Did You Know? NBA star Derrick Rose was born in IllinoisDerrick Rose was born Oct. 4, 1988, in Chicago. He grew up in the Englewood neighborhood in southwest Chicago. Rose attended Simeon Career Academy, where he led the team to back-to-back state championships. Following his graduation in 2007 he was named Illinois’ Mr. Basketball, selected to play for Team USA and played for the West team in the McDonald’s All-American Game.

Rose eventually chose to play college basketball at the University of Memphis, and during his first season (’07-’08) Rose and the Tigers earned the No. 1 seed heading into the NCAA tournament, but ultimately lost in the championship game to the University of Kentucky.

Declaring for the NBA draft after just one college season, Rose was drafted first overall in the 2008 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. His NBA career started on a high note when he received rookie of the year honors in 2009. The following year the Chicago Bulls finished the regular season with the best record in the NBA and Rose received the MVP award, the youngest player ever to win it. The Bulls have had tremendous success since drafting Rose, but his career has been plagued with injuries due to ACL tears in both of his knees over the past two seasons.

On Sept. 23, 2014, Rose announced he is making a $1 million donation to the Chicago-based non-profit After School Matters. The organization currently serves about 15,000 at-risk Chicago teenagers. They set up a number of programs throughout the city for teens to partake in after school. Programs include the arts, communications, science, sports and technology.

Learn more:
Derrick Rose Official Website
Derrick Rose NBA Bio

Did You Know? NBC Channel 5 was the first all-color TV station?On Sunday April 15, 1956, WMAQ-TV became the first television station to broadcast exclusively in color.

At 4:15 p.m., Channel 5 became the world's first all-color TV station after then-President Robert W. Smarnoff pressed a button switching from black & white.

The transformation to all-color cost NBC more than $1.25 million, with an advertising budget of $175,000.

Learn more:
Check out the official NBC website.
This site has even more details about the conversion project!

Did You Know? MLB star Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets was born and raised here in IllinoisBorn in Blue Island, IL and raised in Lynwood, IL, the major league power slugger is a three-time MLB All-Star and even won the Silver Slugger Award, which goes to the best offensive player at each position, in 2011.

Granderson got his start playing baseball and basketball for Thornton Fractional High School, where he posted stellar numbers, leading to a scholarship to play baseball for the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames. After his junior season, he was named Second-Team All-American after recording a standout .483 batting average, but not all of Granderson’s achievements came on the field. He graduated the next year with a double major in business administration and business marketing.

He made his major league debut for the Detroit Tigers in 2004, helping lead his team to the 2006 World Series, and in 2007, became only the second player in franchise history to have at least 30 doubles, 15 triples, 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases in a single season.

After being traded to the New York Yankees in 2009, he was voted an All-Star for the first time. During his tenure with the Yankees, he would become the first player to record 40 home runs, 10 triples and 25 stolen bases in a single season! He finished fourth in MVP voting that year.

As of December of last year, he agreed to a four-year contract with the Yankees’ cross-town rival, the New York Mets. Off the field, Granderson founded the Grand Kids Foundation, benefiting education in inner cities, and even authored a children’s book. His total commitment to the next generation has garnished the praise of figures such as Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Learn more:
Look up a complete archive of Curtis Granderson’s career stats.
Visit his official ESPN page for everything from news articles, TV and radio interviews, infographics, to even projected stats for next season.

Animal-WelfareDYKIllinois has some of the toughest laws protecting animals in the United States.  In 2013 and 2012, The Animal Legal Defense Fund listed Illinois as the top state for animal protection laws.

Illinois has felony penalties for cruelty, neglect, fighting, abandonment and sexual assault, as well as increased penalties for repeat animal abusers and animal hoarders.

Learn more:
See where Illinois stacks up against other states.
The Humane Society of the United States has an interactive map comparing Illinois to other states.

BrowniesDYKIllinoisans clearly love dessert. Some of America’s most iconic sweet treats hail from the Land of Lincoln: Ice cream sundaes, Twinkies, Cracker Jacks and more. Right now, let us consider the humble brownie.

Those delicious, chocolate slabs that decorate bakery shelves from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon (and beyond) were created at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago during the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Several other sources claim to invent brownies, but they are usually from later dates and/or omit chocolate, which most of us would consider the key ingredient.

The story goes that Bertha Palmer wanted a portable treat for ladies to take to the fair as part of boxed lunches. The kitchen responded with a not-quite cake, not-quite cookie dessert oozing with chocolate and coated with an apricot glaze.

The apricot glaze may no longer be standard, but brownies are certainly here to stay.

Learn more:
The recipe for the original brownie.
Book a room at the historic Palmer House and try the original brownie where it was created.