A hundred years hence Illinoisans may look back to figure what was the theme of the bicentennial observance, what was the spirit. What was accomplished? The state came late to the planning, unenthused, but managed to name an official beer. Springfield was more successful, led by the indefatigable bicentennial chair Pam VanAlstine through so many programs, speakers and panel discussions that nobody could get to them all. A restored Governor’s Mansion and its accompanying Bicentennial Plaza, by the Illinois Realtors, serve as lasting physical reminders of the occasion. What did it mean? “We should all celebrate the 200 years of progress that we’ve made,” said governor-elect J. B. Pritzker. “But I want to say how important it is for us to look forward. Our best days are yet to come in Illinois.” –Fletcher Farrar, editor and CEO

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