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Decatur History, Illinois

Stephen Decatur Jr. was the hero of the famous war that went on from 1812 to 1815. It was fought between the British Empire and the United States of America. The city was named after him. Since then this city has turned out to be the hub of National Trust for Historic Preservation and is part of the United States Main Street Program.

In 1866, Decatur had its own army formed under the supervision of veterans from the Civil War. This army was named Grand Army of the Republic and its Post One was started in Decatur.

Decatur is also famous for being Abraham Lincoln’s first home in the state of Illinois. He had settled in the western region of Decatur with his family in 1830. Decatur was the city where Abraham Lincoln gave his very first speech which actually attracted the attention of various political leaders and this gave birth to Lincoln’s political career.

It was the year of 1992 when Decatur was hit by a very serious fraud related to lysine, a food additive. It was Mark Whitacre, the high ranking executive of Archer Daniels Midland Company, who confessed to the FBI that he had purposely fixed prices for lysine with various competitors. Many companies who were involved in this conspiracy had to pay huge sums of money to the local government as penalties.

In 1999, Decatur came again into the national limelight when an American Civil Rights activist Jesse Louis Jackson Senior protested very seriously for expelling various African American students of Decatur due to their act during a football game. During a football game for Eisenhower High School a serious fight had broken out and most of the people responsible for this serious fight were African American students. It was Jackson who was arrested for his protest although the charges levied against him were dropped very soon.

In 1996, Decatur was hit by several tornadoes which did halt the progress of this city. It was April 18 when a F2 tornado hit the city and later on in 19 April, a F3 tornado hit Decatur. No one died but the damages were huge.


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