1653—French nuns led by Sister Marguerite Bourgeoys (founder of the Congregation de Notre Dame—the order of nuns who later came to Bourbonnais Grove in 1860) arrived in Canada
1663—Louis the XIV revoked the Compagnie des Cent's royal charter, converting New France (Canada) into a royal colony.
1673—Fur trader Louis Jolliet and missionary Jacques Marquette entered the Illinois villages and established French claims of the Illinois country (Pays des Illinois).
1678—Canadian Governor Frontenac granted La Salle the right to settle the Illinois country.
1679—Cavalier de la Sallepaddled his birch canoe down the Kankakee River in an attempt to explore and discover the outlet of the Mississippi River.
1689—King William's War (War of the Rhenish Palatinate, or League of Augsburg) officially commenced in Europe, but in America the war began with the Iroquois attacks into the Illinois country as early as 1680. Control of the beaver trade motivated the Iroquois to foray against the French and the Illinois tribes.
1696—Louis XIV's edict abolished the Indian trade (fur trade), western travel, and settlement, consequently stranding many Canadian Coureur de Bois in the Illinois country.
1699—First Illinois mission established at Cahokia.
1700—Unauthorized French settlers established six villages down river from present day St. Louis.
1702—Queen Anne's War (War of the Spanish Succession) produced a new strategy for New France: detach the Iroquois from English influence. Consequently, New England felt the burden of Indian attacks and the Illinois country received a period of peace and growth.
1714—France forms colony of Louisiana—includes present-day Illinois
1715—Louis the XIV dies and the 1696 edict allowed to lapse. The French of Illinois established the first European republic west of the Allegheny Mountains.
1717—The French crown detached the Illinois country from Canada and placed Illinois under the Louisiana colony's jurisdiction.
1720—1740 For twenty years, intermittent raids and warfare raged upon the Louisiana and Illinois colonies from the Chickasaw Nation.
1739—The War of Jenkin's Ear furnished the spark, which created King George's War (War of Austrian Succession). During the war George Groghan captured the Ohio Valley fur trade from the French. After the war, Illinois fur traders exchanged peltry for English trade goods.
1754—Fort de Chartres recruits 300 Illinois warriors to fight George Washington at Fort Necessity.
1757—Fort Massac constructed near present day Metropolis, Illinois.
c. 1760—Potawatomi Indians begin hunting along Kankakee River
1763—The French and Indian War (The Seven Years War) officially ends in French defeat. The Treaty of Paris cedes all land east of the Mississippi to the English.
1763—Great Britain receives New France territory
1764—French garrisons evacuate the Illinois country. Pontiac foments Indian unrest in the Illinois country against the English. The Chickasaws burn the evacuated Fort Massac Laclede opens a trading post opposite Cahokia.
July 4, 1776—The United States declares independence from Britain
1774-1783—British establish Quebec province—includes Illinois Country
1784—Virginia cedes Illinois Country to national government
June 1788—US constitution goes into effect
1800—Congress passes an act stating that the Northern Territory will be divided into two parts called the Ohio and Indiana Territory.
Illinois part of Northwest Territory
1809—The territory of Illinois was organized. It included Wisconsin and Peninsular Michigan.
December 1818—Illinois becomes the 21st state admitted into the union.
1826—Gordon Hubbard marries Watch-e-kee (Watseka), chief Tamin's niece, to seal ties between the trader and a band of Pottawatomi with whom he had been trading with. They mutually dissolved the union nearly two years later.
1830—Francois Bourbonnais Sr. arrives on the Kankakee River. He was a fur trapper and hunter hired by the American Fur Co. to deal with the Indian trappers in the area.
c. 1830—Francois Bourbonnias builds a cabin thought to be near the present corner of Main Street and Olde Oak
1832—Noel LeVasseur is the first white settler in Bourbonnais Grove.
1833—The Treaty of Tippecanoe was formed between the United States government and the Indians. It stated that if the Indians refrained from interfering with the settlers, the land would be bought from them with the stipulation that certain tracts of land would be set-aside for them as reservations.
1833—Settlers started to settle in Aroma Park, Momence, Exline, Limestone, and Rockville areas.
1836—The majority of the Indians had left the area by this year.
1836—First school opened in Kankakee County near Aroma Park. The first teacher was Miss Stella Ann Johnson.
1837—A public school system is established.
June 1837—Father Lalumiere performs the first baptism for Andre Bray.
October 20, 1840—Father St. Palais, later bishop of Vincinnes, performs the first marriage for Mary Marcotte and John Flageole.
1841—The first chapel was built and named St. Leo's log cabin church. Services--had previously been held in the LeVasseur home.
1847—Maternity BVM church forms
February 15, 1849—A new frame is built over the log cabin church and is dedicated Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
August 15, 1842—Father Dunn performs the first funeral for Pierre Lami.
1849—The California gold rush begins.
February 1853—Kankakee County was formed.
July 4, 1853—The Illinois Central Railroad brings "the iron horse" to Kankakee. At the time, Bourbonnais Grove didn't want anything to do with it. Kankakee only had one cabin that had been built 20 years earlier for Francois Bourbonnais Jr., but contractors felt that the Kankakee area would boom due to its location.
August 1853—The first newspaper was printed in Kankakee County. Augustin Chester was the first editor.
September 1853—Maternity Church is consumed in flames. The fire could be seen for miles. The priest in residence, Rev. Charles Chiniquy, moved to St. Anne shortly after, which led the people of Bourbonnais to believe him guilty of arson. He retained Abe Lincoln as his defense attorney, but both trials resulted in hung juries.
1855—First county courthouse was erected.
1858—Population of Kankakee is almost 5,000 people.
1858—Maternity BVM was rebuilt.
1861—The Civil War began.
September 1, 1862—The boarding school Notre Dame Academy in Bourbonnais is founded.
September 22, 1862—The Emancipation Proclamation is issued.
July 1, 1863—The Battle of Gettysburg took place
1865—St. Viator's College founded in Bourbonnais.
1865—William G. Swannell was elected as the first mayor of Kankakee.
1865—St Joseph Seminary, in Kankakee, was established.
1865—The Civil War ended.
1867—A large bell is installed and dedicated in the belfry of Maternity church.
1868—St. Viator Academy for boys opens in Bourbonnais
1872—The county courthouse started on fire. The records were safely removed.
1873—New courthouse built in the same location as the first one.
1874—St. Viator Academy becomes St. Viator College
1875—George Letourneau becomes Bourbonnais' first mayor
1875—Village of Bourbonnais incorporates
1894—North Kankakee Electric Light and Railway Co. sets up business in the community. Electricity and electric streetcars appear. A nominal fee of five cents was charged to the passengers. It was common for the students of St. Viator College to try the patience and play pranks on the motorman. After the four-wheel cars were introduced, the students found that they could make the cars jump off their tracks.
1900—William McKinley defeats William Jennings Bryan for the presidency.
1900—William Frank Baud's Wonderful Wizard of Oz is published
1901—St. Viator College built a long needed gymnasium.
1901—An anarchist shot President W. McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt was sworn into office.
1901—Fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago and 588 people were killed.
1903—Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company
June 1903—Oliver Marcotte's home was consumed in flames. It was one of the first homes built in the area.
1904—First Olympics held in the US was to be held in St.Louis.
1904—Theodore Roosevelt was elected President.
February 21, 1906—St. Viators College Church is engulfed in flames. The fire was rumored to have begun in a student's dorm room and caused by a spilt oil lamp.
1908—Model T was introduced.
1908—William Taft was elected president.
1909—269 coal miners died in an explosion in Cherry, IL
1909—National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded.
1909—First animated cartoon was created.
1910—Boy Scouts of America was founded.
1911—Present Kankakee County courthouse was finished.
1912—Girl Scouts of the United States of America was founded
1912—Woodrow Wilson was elected president.
1912—The Titanic sank.
1915—The first public sewer is built.
1915—The German Navy sank the Lusitania, a Cunard liner. 1198 lives were lost, including 128 American passengers.
Aug 1916—The United States National Park Service is established
1916—Woodrow Wilson is reelected
1916—The Graveline Meat Market is consumed in a fire, but is quickly replaced with a new building (this time made of brick) and expanded into a grocery store with a specialty in home cured meats. Also, the Simon Tetrault blacksmith shop burned down. The family replaced it with a large garage since the horse and buggy days were becoming a thing of the past.
1916–1920—The first "big city" crime hit the area. A man only known as "Clark" was found stabbed to death at the wheel of his Model-T Ford taxicab near Maternity BVM Cemetery.
April 1917—US enters WWI.
1917—Puerto Rico became US territory.
1918—An influenza epidemic sweeps across the nation and claims 548,000 victims.
June—1919 Treaty of Versailles is sign ending World War I.
1919—Congress overrides presidential veto and passes the National Prohibition Law.
1920—Warren G. Harding becomes president.
1922—Lincoln Memorial was dedicated.
1922—Babe Ruth is sold from the Red Sox to the Yankees for $125,000.
June 17, 1922—Mrs. Helen Rivard's house explodes due to an oil spill. She later died due to injuries sustained in the blast.
August 10, 1923—President Harding dies of food poisoning and Vice President Calvin Coolidge takes the presidency.
1924—Calvin Coolidge was elected president.
1924—J. Edgar Hoover was appointed the head of the FBI.
1925—689 people died because of a mile wide tornado that ripped through Illinois.
1925—Reader's Digest was first published.
1925—State Route 44 was built on Main Street at North Avenue.
1926—150 anniversary of the US (Sesquicentennial).
1926—National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was launched.
1927—Mount Rushmore was dedicated.
1928—Amelia Eahrhart becomes the first woman to cross Atlantic Ocean in a plane.
1928—Walt Disney introduces his first animated cartoon with sound. Steamboat Willie was the title and its lead character was none other than Mickey Mouse.
September 10, 1928—Billy Ranieri, a ten-year-old boy from Chicago was abducted on his way home from school. A ransom of $60,000 was demanded. The boy was found days later in a Joliet gas station. Several men were later charged after the boy was released, one even being the boy's godfather. All of them appeared to be associated with the Sicilian mafia. The house the boy was held in was later identified as a two-story farmhouse on River Road (now River Street). As the story became more widespread, the area gained much popularity. The town was swarmed with gawkers and souvenir hunters.
October 29, 1929—Black Tuesday, 16 million shares were lost.
December 1, 1929—The New York Stock Exchange value had dropped by over 26 billion dollars, the Great Depression has begun.
1931—Chicago gangster Al Capone convicted of Tax Evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
1931—Star Spangled Banner becomes the National Anthem over America the Beautiful.
1932—Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected in a landslide over Herbert Hoover.
1933—The National Prohibition Laws were repealed from the constitution.
1933—The electric streetcars ran for the last time in the spring. This was also the first year for the Chicago World's Fair.
1934—Bad crop year in Midwest, record colds in February and record heat in the summer.
1935—First chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous was created in NY city, less than 2 years after the Prohibition Laws were repealed.
1935—FDR signs the Social Security Act.
1936—FDR was reelected.
1936—Life magazine was founded in NY City.
1937—The Hindenburg explodes.
1937—Golden Gate Bridge was completed.
1938—Self-propelled combine was introduced.
1939—An outdoor theater was opened during the summer at town hall. St. Viator College was closed at the end of the year.
1939—St. Viator closes and Olivet Nazarene College purchases the campus
September 1939—Germany invades Poland, three days later France and Great Britain declares war on Germany, starting WWII.
1940—FDR was elected to his 3rd term in office.
1940—Olivet Nazarene College is built and consists of six buildings.
1941—Joe Dimaggio sets a record for the longest hitting streak in baseball with a 56 game hitting streak. The record still stands today.
December 7, 1941—The Japanese bombs Pearl Harbor and World War II ensues.
December 8, 1941—US declares war on Japan.
1942—Rationing was put into effect to conserve war materials.
1944—DDT was developed as a lice remover.
1944—FDR was re-re-reelected (4th term).
June 6,1944—D-Day, invasion of Normandy.
1945—World War II ends.
September 1, 1945—Japanese surrendered on the U.S.S. Missouri.
1947—UFO trends starts up and Roswell Crash happened.
1948—Harry Truman elected president.
1949—North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded.
June 1949—Notre Dame Academy closed because of a lack of enrollment. The convent continues to occupy the premises until 1956.
January 1950—Illinois Bell Telephone Co. began a village wide project to install dial phones throughout the community.
June 1950—The Korean War begins.
1950—H. Truman authorizes continuation of the development of the hydrogen bomb.
1951—Flood damages exceed 1 billion dollars when the Missouri River flooded Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
1951—The State of Illinois Department of Health begins to chlorinate the drinking water.
1952—Eisenhower gets elected as president.
1956—Eisenhower is reelected over Illinoisan Adlai Stevenson.
1956—First Bourbonnais public school Robert Frost opens and new parochial school begins in Notre Dame Convent (Academy)
1957—Russia launched first satellite, Sputnik.
1957—A new numbering system is introduced due to door-to-door mail. There were 703 homes within the confines of the city limits.
July 12, 1957—Eleven inches of rain fell throughout the night and flooded the area.
1959—Alaska and Hawaii becomes US states, numbers 49 and 50.
1960—John F. Kennedy becomes president over Richard Nixon.
1961—JFK established the Peace Corps.
1961—Alan Shepard School was built.
1961—American troops are sent to Vietnam.
1961—Maternity BVM School opens with 350 students
1962—Garbage pickup is offered to residents by ABC Company for a nominal fee of ninety-five cents a month. The Dutch elm disease destroyed nearly all of the elm trees in the village. They were replaced with soft maple trees.
1962—John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the earth.
1962—Cuban Missile Crisis.
1963—A disastrous tornado sweeps through the Bourbonnais area. It destroys the village hall, the remains of Notre Dame Academy that remained on ONC's campus, Burke Administration Hall (part of the old St. Viator College), shattered Maternity Church's imported stained glass windows, rips through many homes, and takes several lives. The twister continued to rip through the state and didn't stop until it was past the Indiana state line. The college's repairs were estimated at one million dollars.
November 22, 1963—JFK was assassinated and Lyndon B. Johnson was swore in just hours later.
1964—President Johnson signs the civil rights act.
1965—America commits to the first space walk.
1965—St. Louis gateway Arch was completed.
1966—The Reed Planetarium at Olivet Nazarene College was built. It was, and still is, the only facility of its kind in the area.
1966—Supreme Court set the Miranda rights into order.
1967—A campus radio station (WKOC) is begun and directed by Professor Ray Moore.
1968—A string of tornadoes ripped through IL killing 36 and injuring over 1,000 people.
1968—Nixon defeats Hubert Humphrey for president.
April 4, 1968—Martin Luther King was assassinated.
December 1968—Apollo 8 was a success in test landing.
August 1969—Apollo 11 made a flight to and around the moon.
1969—Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldridge becomes the first men ever to walk on the moon.
1969—The third earthquake was recorded in Bourbonnais (others were in 1896 and 1909). Although it was centered in Southern Illinois, it caused quite a stir. Shabbona Elementary School was also built in this year. Fires destroyed the Olivet powerhouse.
1970—The population of Bourbonnais is at 5888 people.
1970—Apollo 13's crew returns home after their tragic mission.
1970—New York World Trade Center was completed.
1971—Voting age reduced to 18.
1973—US, North and South Vietnam, and Vietcong sign a peace agreement in Paris ending the war.
1973—The Bank of Bourbonnais and Kankakee Federal Savings and Loan Association were both founded.
1974—Hank Aaron hits home runs number 715 surpassing Babe Ruth for the all time lead in home runs.
1974—Nixon resigns due to the Watergate scandal.
1974—The first drive-thru restaurant, Hardees on South Main Street, makes its appearance.
1975—Bourbonnais celebrates its centennial
1976—America celebrates its Bicentennial.
1976—USSR and US enter a Nuclear Weapons Agreement.
1976—The EPA bans pesticides containing mercury.
December 31, 1978—Senate voted to turn the Panama Canal over to Panama.
1978—Three Mile Island incident happened.
November 1979—American Embassy seized by Iranians, 52 people were held hostage.
1980—Population of Kankakee County is over 102,296.
1981—Ronald Reagan elected president.
January 1981—Hostages released.
1989—George Bush elected president.
1989—Berlin wall comes down; Germany is united as one country.
January 1991—UN lunches an air attach on Iraq.
February 1991—Cease-fire signed between United Nations and Iraq.
1992—Cold war ends between Russia and US.
1992—World Wide Web starts to be used in homes.
1993—Bill Clinton elected president.
1993—The World Trade Center is bombed in New York City.
1995—Oklahoma City bombing.
1998—Bill Clinton becomes the 2nd president to be impeached.
2000—Dr. Jim Paul's students begin French Canadian Interview Project.
November 2000—After a contested election, George W. Bush is elected president.
September 11, 2001—Terrorists hijack and fly airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.