Illinois Agencies, Boards and Commissions
The name "Illinois" comes from a Native American word meaning "tribe of superior men." Louis Joliet and Father Marquette were the first Europeans to arrive in Illinois in 1673. Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818 and was the 21st state to enter the Union. The state motto is "State Sovereignty, National Union." Illinois is the fifth most populous state in the country with almost 12.9 million people. Abraham Lincoln and three other U.S. Presidents have called Illinois home, including Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. The General Assembly adopted the state slogan, "Land of Lincoln" in 1955. Springfield is the state capital and home to more Abraham Lincoln sites than any other place in the United States, including the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Old State Capitol, Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, and Lincoln-Herndon Law Office.