Incorporated as a city in 1837, Chicago is currently known as the third most populous city in the United States reaching a population of about 3 million. With its rich history, it remains to be one of the most sought after places to visit. Currently, it never fails to impress people all over the world with its admirable, distinct music, shopping, dining, architecture, cultural attractions, and iconic sights.
Chicago in the 19th Century
Chicago was initially founded with a population of 200. Within a couple of years, the increase was recognizable, which then resulted to it being known, for several decades, as the world’s fastest growing city. It all started with proving the City’s capability in providing efficient transportation means through its first railway opened in 1848 – Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, and the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Other sectors namely the manufacturing, retail, and finance followed, resulting to an undeniably booming economy, even influencing the American economy.
The growth of the City was rapid and demanded for better areas resulting to the need of improving its infrastructure. Unfortunately, most buildings, areas, sidewalks were still made of wood when Chicago experienced the great fire in 1871, now referred to as the “Great Chicago Fire of 1871”. Chicago rose up and rebuilt quickly after this incident.
20th to 21st Century
It was between 1910 and 1930 that Chicago experienced the great increase in African-American population. It dramatically increased from 44,103 to 233,903. This led to an evident cultural impact in the aspect of art, literature, and music, but nonetheless, resulted to disturbing racial violence.
The Firsts of Chicago
Just like any other City, Chicago has a lot to be proud of. In 1834, it was proud to introduce the nation’s first skyscraper which is a 10-story, steel-framed Home Insurance Building. 1924 was when Chicago introduced the first ever homosexual-rights organization, the Society of Human Rights. In 1942, the University of Chicago is known for being the place of the first occurrence of the self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. In 1974, the 1,450 – foot Sears Tower was built and now considered as the tallest building in North America and the third in the world.
Big Historic Events
Much contributed to the City’s rich history. The following events simply left a memorable mark:
– The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre involved a mob of seven men lined up against the wall in a North Side garage and taken, gunned down. This was truly a shock to the City, depicting an opposing view from a supposed to be “civilized city”.
– The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy was simply drastic. Chicago was mourning – schools were suspended, public offices were closed, trains and buses had minutes of silence, deserted areas, empty streets. It was an event of true innocence, a kind that never happened before.
– The initially mentioned Great Chicago Fire killed up to 300 people. Leaving about 100,000 residents homeless, it truly brought damage to the City. The fire lasted from October 8 to early October 10, 1871 which destroyed 3.3 square miles of Chicago. There were several speculations on why the fire occurred; some blamed Mrs. O’Leary’s cow who was believed to knock over a lantern, while some speculated that it was caused by a group of men gambling, which resulted to as well knocking over a lantern.
These events remain to be significant for Chicago and its people. It depicted the worst times but resulted to the best learnings.
As much as we enjoy remembering the history of the City, which contributed to the beautiful City that it is now, the same feelings are being felt every time we appreciate its current situation. From the best food, historic museums to outstanding architecture, truly, there are a lot to expect. Now, if you are planning to visit the City, never miss visiting the Fulton Market, Soldier Field, Adler Planetarium, Field Museum of Natual History, Museum of Science and History, Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain, Willis Tower, and a lot more. If you are a food blogger or simply loves to eat, Chicago Restaurant Week is the best for you. Live Cultural Events and Museum Galleries Exhibition are also being held to promote appreciation to Art and Culture.
Knowing all these, one cannot neglect the fact that Chicago City remains to be one of the most important cities in the world; it deserves our appreciation, time, and respect.