Illinois State Capitol Q & A

How many of these questions about the Illinois state capitol can you answer?

Q. How many state capitols has Illinois had?

A. Three

Q. What were those three capitols?

A.  Kaskaskia, Vandalia, and Springfield

Q. How did the residents of Kaskaskia celebrate the town’s liberation from the British during the Revolutionary War?

A. They rang “The Liberty Bell of the West”.


Q. Why was the capitol moved to Vandalia?

Land speculators felt they could spark a land-buying boom by moving the capitol to a relatively undeveloped part of the state. The move took place in 1820.

Q. Who pushed the proposal to move the capitol to Springfield, nearer to the state’s geographical center?

A. A young Abraham Lincoln, who represented Sangamom County at the time.

Q. What did Vandalia do to try to keep the capitol in their town?

A. They built a new statehouse. It was never used.

Q. What year did the capitol move to Springfield?

A. 1839

Q. What famous speech did Lincoln make at the capitol building in Springfield?

A. His “House Divided” speech

Q. How long did it take for the current capitol building to be built?

A. Twenty-one years. The legislature gave approval in 1867.

Q. How much did capitol building cost to build?

A. The budget was $3 million, but costs ballooned to $4.5 million by the time construction was finished. They had so much trouble with the cornerstone and the beginning of the project, they almost abandon it and moved the capitol again. And if you think about it, $4.5 million was a lot of money in the 1870s and 1880s!

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