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The Northern Illinois District Court is one of the busiest federal trial courts in the nation. Headquartered in Chicago, the court has played a pivotal role in U.S. history. This is where Abraham Lincoln, as a young lawyer, changed the direction of westward expansion when he argued that trains - not steamships - were America's future. This is where Al Capone met his fall, at a trial that ended his career as Public Enemy Number 1. And this is where Abbie Hoffman, the nation's first Yippie, butted heads with Judge Julius J. Hoffman and the Establishment at the trial known as the Conspiracy Eight. The Court That Shaped America traces the flesh-and-blood courtroom scenes from the district's first cases in the early nineteenth century through the turn of the millennium. The Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, inventor Thomas Edison, author Mark Twain, ""Big Bill"" Haywood and the Wobblies, Michael Jackson, and Oprah Winfrey have all had their day in the Northern Illinois Court. Some were victorious; some came out scathed. The Court That Shaped America brings to life the great trials and the people behind them, offering a unique look at Chicago and its influence on U.S. history.