- Associated Press - Thursday, June 23, 2016

KASKASKIA, Ill. (AP) - The village that became Illinois’ first capitol will use July 4th to celebrate the Declaration of Independence and the community’s capture from British forces during the American Revolution.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency said Thursday that Kaskaskia will mark the day with a rifle volley by historic interpreters, lunch and other events.

Kaskaskia was a Mississippi River town and a British administrative center when it was seized by revolutionaries on July 4, 1778. The action brought the war to the far west and was celebrated by ringing the “Liberty Bell of the West.” The bell is still at the Kaskaskia Bell State Memorial.

The town was later Illinois’ first territorial capital.

Kaskaskia now has 14 residents and the southwest Illinois island is only reachable from Missouri.

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Online: www.illinoishistory.gov

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