Illinois’ 199th birthday kicks off bicentennial celebration

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Happy birthday, Illinois – warts and all.

It’s the home of the U.S. president credited with ending black slavery and the nation’s first black president, as well as a litany of imprisoned governors and other politicians. And until just months ago, it had the nation’s longest state budget impasse since at least the Great Depression.

On Sunday, its 199th birthday, a yearlong celebration culminating with its bicentennial begins.