* I usually do the question later in the day, but I’m running a bit behind this morning, so let’s do it now…
To celebrate Illinois Statehood Day on Wednesday, December 3, the Illinois State Society is hosting a reception and short program in the U.S. Capitol’s Visitor Center (1 First St., SE, Washington, D.C.). December 3 is the 196th anniversary of Illinois becoming the 21st state in the union in 1818.
The event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be in room 201 A/B on the House side of the Visitor Center. It is open to the public and the media.
U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), a former naval officer and honorary chairman of the event, will introduce a special guest, Commander Jess Porter of the U.S.S. Illinois (SSN 786), a new nuclear submarine now under construction. This is the first Navy vessel to be named after Illinois in 70 years.
Commander Porter will give details on the new Virginia-class submarine, expected to be delivered from the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics in Newport News, Virginia, in August 2016.
The U.S.S. Illinois is the third in the Block III of nuclear subs. It will feature a revised bow, and other advance technology from Ohio-class SSFNs. The first group of sailors reported for duty in June 2013. The contract to build her was awarded in December 2008.
* The Question: What other ways should Illinois celebrate its birthday? Snark heavily encouraged, of course.