Vote For The Best In IL


Illinoisans can celebrate the state’s 200th birthday by choosing the 200 greatest people, places and things in state history in online voting coordinated by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, The State Journal-Register and the Illinois Bicentennial Commission.

Every two weeks through the rest of 2018, the public will get to select the best movies, most inspiring leaders, greatest books, top businesses and much more. By the state’s 200th birthday on Dec. 3, voters will have chosen 10 favorites in 20 different categories – the Illinois Top 200.

Voting in the first category, Top Movies, opens today, Feb. 19. Results will be announced March 5, when voting starts for the next category, Top Businesses. To vote, visit

“From art to science to civil rights, Illinois has made huge contributions to the world. We think it’s time to celebrate those contributions,” said Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “The presidential library is also the official state historical library, so we’re excited about helping people explore the past, share their opinions and hear the views of other Illinoisans.”

“Illinois has been home to some of the most important contributions in the last 200 years,” added Todd Sears, president and publisher of The State Journal-Register, the daily newspaper in Springfield and the oldest newspaper in Illinois. “We can proudly point to historic presidents, industrious entrepreneurs, world class sports teams and culture-enhancing organizations that have all made huge impacts on the United States and the world. Join us in celebrating this by sharing your opinion for the Top 200 of Illinois.”

The tentative list of categories is:

1. Movies
2. Businesses
3. Inventions and innovations
4. Buildings
5. Historic Sites
6. Scenic spots
7. Museums
8. Books
9. Writers
10. Worst tragedies
11. Musicians
12. Artists and architects
13. Actors
14. Entertainers
15. Scientists
16. Athletes
17. Groundbreaking women
18. Minority trailblazers
19. Leaders
20. Greatest moments

Nominees for Top Movies include “The Sting,” “Ordinary People,” “The Blues Brothers” and “Hoop Dreams.”

Future categories will include a unique artist who wasn’t discovered until his dying days, a comedian who took stand-up to places it had never gone before, an awe-inspiring religious shrine, a gadget that transformed home entertainment and a grieving mother who opened America’s eyes to racism.

Everyone is invited to suggest possible nominees in each category by using the hashtag #ILtop200 on social media.

“The Bicentennial Celebration is for and about all Illinoisans so it is appropriate that everyone gets to vote on the Top 200,” said Stuart Layne, Executive Director – Governor’s Office of the Bicentennial. “These will be the Top 200 people, places and things that make us #IllinoisProud.”

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