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Sunday, 23 March 2014


In late 1674 French Jesuit missionary Father Jacques Marquette and his party became the first Europeans to winter in what would become the city of Chicago. As welcomed guests of the Illinois Confederation, the explorers were fed ceremonial foods such as sagamite.

On December 4, 1674 Father Jacques Marquette founded a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan to minister to the Illiniwek. The mission would later grow into the city of Chicago.

Monument marking where Marquette spent 1674–75  winter in what is now Chicago. By Roger Deschner

Chicago was incorporated on March 4, 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed.

The name Chicago is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum (wild garlic), from the Miami-Illinois language.

On its 1856 opening, the Illinois Central Railroad's Great Central Station was the largest building in Chicago.

The Great Chicago Fire begun on October 8, 1871. It caused an estimated $200 million of damage, that's more than $3 billion now, killed up to 300 people and left more than 100,000 residents homeless.

While the 1871 fire of Chicago did start in the O’Leary's cow barn, there is no evidence that a cow actually started it. Michael Ahern, a reporter, admitted to creating the cow story to make his article more interesting.

The address of the cow barn where the Chicago fire allegedly started in 1871, is now the address of the Chicago Fire Academy.

Artist's rendering of the fire. The view faces NE across the Randolph Street Bridge.

The tallest building in the world in 1885 was The Home Insurance Company in Chicago. It was nine stories tall.

Hyde Park and several other Illinois townships voted on June 29, 1889 to be annexed by Chicago, forming the largest United States city in area and second largest in population at the time.

In 1889, the State of Illinois enacted a law enabling creation of the Sanitary District of Chicago for safeguarding Chicago's water supply. It would do so by constructing canals to make the Chicago River flow backwards, away from Lake Michigan, whose water had been contaminated by sewage. Today, Chicago River is the Only River in the World that Flows Backwards.

The Monadnock Building is a skyscraper in the south Loop community area of Chicago. The north half of the building was built in 1891, and its decorative staircases were the first use of aluminium in building construction. When completed, it was the largest office building in the world.

George Washington Gale Ferris Jr (1859-96) designed the first Ferris wheel. He created it for the 1893 World’s Fair, which was held in Chicago. Over 1.4 million people paid 50 cents for a 20-minute ride on the first ever Ferris wheel over the first 19 weeks it was open to the public.

"Windy City" is the most widely recognized nickname of the city of Chicago. First recorded in 1876, the earliest known references to the nickname are ambiguous as to whether they allude to its meteorological characteristics or to its blustering self-confidence.

The term "Windy City" came into common usage when it was popularized by New York City editor, Charles Dana, in The Sun during the bidding for the 1893 Chicago World Fair. Dana was displeased that the "Windy City" won the Exposition.

The Fountain of Time, a sculpture by Lorado Taft, opened in in southeast Washington Park, Chicago on September 1, 1920. It was created as a monument to the 100 years of peace between the United States and Great Britain following the Treaty of Ghent.

The Chicago Theater (see below) opened on October 21, 1921. Its distinctive marquee, "an unofficial emblem of the city", appears frequently in film, television, artwork, and photography.

Marina City is a mixed-use residential/commercial building complex in Chicago. The property was designed in 1959 by architect Bertrand Goldberg and completed between 1964 and 1968 at a cost of $36 million, Marina City was the first building in the United States to be constructed with tower cranes.

The Sears Tower, an 108-story, 1,451-foot skyscraper was completed on May 3, 1973. It surpassed the World Trade Center towers in New York to become the tallest building in the world, a title it held for nearly 25 years.

The Sears Tower contains enough steel to build 50,000 automobiles.

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Chicago.

Four states are visible from the top of the Sears Tower: Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The concrete core of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago was topped off at 1,389 feet on August 16, 2008. It surpassed the city's John Hancock Center as the building with the highest residence (apartment or condo) in the world, and held this title until the completion of the Burj Khalifa.

Trump Tower  Wikipedia Commons

Millennium Park, considered Chicago's first and most ambitious early 21st century architectural project, was opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2004.

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on November 2, 2016 to win the World Series for the first time since 1908.

Union Station during the Cubs 2016 World Series run

The Chicago Cubs World Series celebration of 2016 was the largest human gathering in U.S. history and the seventh largest in human history.

The city of Chicago has warming centers that open from December 1 to March 1 each year. They are available for all those in need of seeking shelter from the bitter cold.

Launching a nuclear weapon within the City of Chicago is punishable by up to 30 days' imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.

Here's a list of songs about Chicago.

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