Bookends: Carl Sandburg referred to it as the "City of Big Shoulders." More recently it has been referred to as the "Windy City" or the "Second City." It is also where the political machines of Al Capone and Richard J. Daley helped perpetuate the city's reputation as a place to," Vote early and often."

Middle: Vandalia became the State Capital of Illinois beginning in 1820. (Prior to that the State Capital was in Kaskaskia, which was eventually swallowed up by the Mississippi River.) The building in this picture served as the State Capitol from 1836 until 1839, when the Captial was moved to Springfield. The residents of Vandalia in 1839 probably wouldn't approve of a statue of Abraham Lincoln. It was Lincoln, serving in the State House of Representatives, who introduced the bill that transferred the State Capitol to Springfield. It was also here that Lincoln first met Stephen Douglas. Lincoln described Douglas--at that time a lobbyist--as "The least man I ever saw."
I wonder what he would have thought of Rod Blagojevich?