The Origin and Meaning of the Illinois Nicknames
The history, origin and meaning of each of the nicknames are as follows:
The official nickname alludes to Prairie grasses that one covered the land. Prairies consist of a vast area of flat or rolling grassland that is predominantly without trees, typically found in the plains of central America.
Land of Lincoln
The Land of Lincoln nickname was designated in 1955 and is an apt name because this is where Abraham Lincoln began his political career.
This name refers to Illinois as the state where Abraham Lincoln began his political career. This name is the Official State Slogan of Illinois, designated in 1955. Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky and lived in Indiana before moving to Illinois where he was elected to 4 terms in the Illinois General Assembly from 1834-1841. He became President of America in 1861 when he was a resident of the state.
The Inland Empire is a highly ambitious nickname that was intended to denote intentions of the people to become both culturally distinct and to build a large-scale business enterprise.
The reference to rain is self explanatory. The Southern areas typically receive 40inches of rain each year and the Northern areas typically receive 34 inches of rain each year.
The reference to Corn reflects the main crop raised. The climate is good for crop growth in which the hot summers help plants grow and the cold winters help soil replenish itself. Most of the corn is used for livestock feed, but corn is also used for ethanol (a fuel additive), plastics and foods.