The state of Illinois is preparing to celebrate its 200th birthday in 2018.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office said Monday that it has officially started planning for the state's bicentennial. The governor signed an executive order to create the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial Commission. The volunteer commission will plan and coordinate events.
The commission will have dozens of members. The governor and other state leaders will name them. Members will come from business, labor, military, arts and other organizations.
When Illinois turned 100 in 1918 the U.S. Mint issued a commemorative 50-cent piece and two buildings were erected -- the Illinois Centennial Monument in Chicago and the Centennial Building in Springfield.
Illinois became a state on Dec. 3, 1818.