CIVIL RIGHTS AUTOGRAPHS CHICAGO HEAD SOUTH SIDE NAACP IMPORTANT AFRICAN AMERICAN


CIVIL RIGHTS AUTOGRAPHS CHICAGO HEAD SOUTH SIDE NAACP IMPORTANT AFRICAN AMERICAN

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E. WINSTON WILLIAMS DOCUMENT FRAMED 17 1/4 X 27 3/4 INCHES , FAMED CIVIL RIGHTS AND LABOR LEADER FROM CHICAGO. SIGNED BY THE OFFICERS AND MEMBERS OF THE NAACP SOUTHSIDE BRANCH DEC 23, 1974. THIS IS A PRESENTATION FOR HIS DEDICATED SERVICE.
E. Winston Williams II, 82, former executive vice president of Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union Local No. 1, was president from 1971 to 1974 of the NAACP`s South Side Branch and was active in civil rights for more than three decades.Chicago NAACP and labor union leader E. Winston Williams, who served as president of the Chicago Southside NAACP chapter from 1971-1974... activities of the NAACP chapter and Williams’s involvement with Chicago labor unions.



E. Winston Williams II, 82, former executive vice president of Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union Local No. 1, was president from 1971 to 1974 of the NAACP`s South Side Branch and was active in civil rights for more than three decades.
Mass for Mr. Williams, a resident of the South Side, was said Tuesday in St. Sabina Catholic Church, 1210 W. 78th Pl. He died at home Friday.
''He was very sophisticated, a total gentleman,'' said his niece, Janet Blair. ''He was very strong, a man committed to the cause of labor and of civil rights. His friends and his family could depend on him at any time and for anything.''
A native of Moss Point, Miss., he came to Chicago in 1925. He was a waiter for 21 years at the Palmer House.
In 1938, he helped organize the Federated Hotel Waiters Union Local 356. He served as shop steward at the hotel and was made a member of the executive board. In 1954, he joined the staff of the local, which merged into the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees local in 1962. He became executive vice president later in the 1960s.
He also helped found the local`s credit union and served on its executive board.
Mr. Williams joined the board of the South Side branch of the NAACP in 1956. In addition to serving as president, he was treasurer from 1984 to 1988. In 1986, he won the NAACP`s James H. Kemp Award, its highest honor.
He was also active in the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Jewish Labor Committee, the Chicago Urban League and the Joint Negro Appeal.
Survivors include his wife, Ina; two grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and a sister.
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.Vision StatementThe vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.
ObjectivesThe following statement of objectives is found on the first page of the NAACP Constitution – the principal objectives of the Association shall be:
To ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of all citizensTo achieve equality of rights and eliminate race prejudice among the citizens of the United StatesTo remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processesTo seek enactment and enforcement of federal, state, and local laws securing civil rightsTo inform the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and to seek its eliminationTo educate persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.T
The civil rights movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for blacks to gain equal rights under the law in the United States. The Civil War had officially abolished slavery, but it didn’t end discrimination against blacks—they continued to endure the devastating effects of racism, especially in the South. By the mid-20th century, African Americans had had more than enough of prejudice and violence against them. They, along with many whites, mobilized and began an unprecedented fight for equality that spanned two decades.
Jim Crow Laws
During Reconstruction, blacks took on leadership roles like never before. They held public office and sought legislative changes for equality and the right to vote.
In 1868, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution gave blacks equal protection under the law. In 1870, the 15th Amendment granted blacks the right to vote. Still, many whites, especially those in the South, were unhappy that people they’d once enslaved were now on a more-or-less equal playing field.
To marginalize blacks, keep them separate from whites and erase the progress they’d made during Reconstruction, “Jim Crow” laws were established in the South beginning in the late 19th century. Blacks couldn’t use the same public facilities as whites, live in many of the same towns or go to the same schools. Interracial marriage was illegal, and most blacks couldn’t vote because they were unable to pass voter literacy tests.
Jim Crow laws weren’t adopted in northern states; however, blacks still experienced discrimination at their jobs or when they tried to buy a house or get an education. To make matters worse, laws were passed in some states to limit voting rights for blacks.
Moreover, southern segregation gained ground in 1896 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared in Plessy v. Ferguson that facilities for blacks and whites could be “separate but equal.”
World War II and Civil Rights
Prior to World War II, most blacks were low-wage farmers, factory workers, domestics or servants. By the early 1940s, war-related work was booming, but most blacks weren’t given the better paying jobs. They were also discouraged from joining the military.
After thousands of blacks threatened to march on Washington to demand equal employment rights, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 on June 25, 1941. It opened national defense jobs and other government jobs to all Americans regardless of race, creed, color or national origin.
Black men and women served heroically in World War II, despite suffering segregation and discrimination during their deployment. The Tuskegee Airmen broke the racial barrier to become the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps and earned more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses. Yet many black veterans met with prejudice and scorn upon returning home. This was a stark contrast to why America had entered the war to begin with—to defend freedom and democracy in the world.
As the Cold War began, President Harry Truman initiated a civil rights agenda, and in 1948 issued Executive Order 9981 to end discrimination in the military. These events helped set the stage for grass-roots initiatives to enact racial equality legislation and incite the civil rights movement.
Rosa Parks
On December 1, 1955, a 42-year-old woman named Rosa Parks found a seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus after work. Segregation laws at the time stated blacks must sit in designated seats at the back of the bus, and Parks had complied.
When a white man got on the bus and couldn’t find a seat in the white section at the front of the bus, the bus driver instructed Parks and three other blacks to give up their seats. Parks refused and was arrested.
As word of her arrest ignited outrage and support, Parks unwittingly became the “mother of the modern day civil rights movement.” Black community leaders formed the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) led by Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr., a role which would place him front and center in the fight for civil rights.
Parks’ courage incited the MIA to stage a boycott of the Montgomery bus system. The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 381 days. On November 14, 1956 the Supreme Court ruled segregated seating was unconstitutional.
Little Rock Nine
In 1954, the civil rights movement gained momentum when the United States Supreme Court made segregation illegal in public schools in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. In 1957, Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas asked for volunteers from all-black high schools to attend the formerly segregated school.
On September 3, 1957, nine black students, known as the Little Rock Nine, arrived at Central High School to begin classes but were instead met by the Arkansas National Guard (on order of Governor Orval Faubus) and a screaming, threatening mob. The Little Rock Nine tried again a couple of weeks later and made it inside, but had to be removed for their safety when violence ensued.
Finally, President Dwight D. Eisenhower intervened and ordered federal troops to escort the Little Rock Nine to and from classes at Central High. Still, the students faced continual harassment and prejudice.
Their efforts, however, brought much-needed attention to the issue of desegregation and fueled protests on both sides of the issue.
Civil Rights Act of 1957Even though all Americans had gained the right to vote, many southern states made it difficult for blacks. They often required them to take voter literacy tests that were confusing, misleading and nearly impossible to pass.
Wanting to show a commitment to the civil rights movement and minimize racial tensions in the South, the Eisenhower administration pressured Congress to consider new civil rights legislation.
On September 9, 1957, President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law, the first major civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. It allowed federal prosecution of anyone who tried to prevent someone from voting. It also created a commission to investigate voter fraud.
Woolworth’s Lunch Counter
Despite making some gains, blacks still experienced blatant prejudice in their daily lives. On February 1, 1960, four college students took a stand against segregation in Greensboro, North Carolina when they refused to leave a Woolworth’s lunch counter without being served.
Over the next several days, hundreds of people joined their cause in what became known as the Greensboro sit-ins. After some were arrested and charged with trespassing, protestors launched a boycott of all segregated lunch counters until the owners caved and the original four students were finally served at the Woolworth’s lunch counter where they’d first stood their ground.
Their efforts spearheaded peaceful sit-ins and demonstrations in dozens of cities and helped launch the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to encourage all students to get involved in the civil rights movement. It also caught the eye of young college graduate Stokely Carmichael, who joined the SNCC during the Freedom Summer of 1964 to register black voters in Mississippi. In 1966, Carmichael became the chair of the SNCC, giving his famous speech in which he originated the phrase “black power.”
Freedom RidersOn May 4, 1961, 13 “Freedom Riders”—seven African Americans and six whites–mounted a Greyhound bus in Washington, D.C., embarking on a bus tour of the American south to protest segregated bus terminals. They were testing the 1960 decision by the Supreme Court in Boynton v. Virginia that declared the segregation of interstate transportation facilities unconstitutional.
Facing violence from both police officers and white protesters, the Freedom Rides drew international attention. On Mother’s Day 1961, the bus reached Anniston, Alabama, where a mob mounted the bus and threw a bomb into it. The Freedom Riders escaped the burning bus, but were badly beaten. Photos of the bus engulfed in flames were widely circulated, and the group could not find a bus driver to take them further. U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (brother to President John F. Kennedy) negotiated with Alabama Governor John Patterson to find a suitable driver, and the Freedom Riders resumed their journey under police escort on May 20. But the officers left the group once they reached Montgomery, where a white mob brutally attacked the bus. Attorney General Kennedy responded to the riders—and a call from Martin Luther King, Jr.—by sending federal marshals to Montgomery.On May 24, 1961, a group of Freedom Riders reached Jackson, Mississippi. Though met with hundreds of supporters, the group was arrested for trespassing in a “whites-only” facility and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Attorneys for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) brought the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court, who reversed the convictions. Hundreds of new Freedom Riders were drawn to the cause, and the rides continued.
In the fall of 1961, under pressure from the Kennedy administration, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued regulations prohibiting segregation in interstate transit terminals.
March on Washington
Arguably one of the most famous events of the civil rights movement took place on August 28, 1963: the March on Washington. It was organized and attended by civil rights leaders such as A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 200,000 people, black and white, congregated in Washington, D. C. for the peaceful march with the main purpose of forcing civil rights legislation and establishing job equality for everyone. The highlight of the march was King’s speech in which he continually stated, “I have a dream…”
King’s “I Have a Dream” speech quickly became a slogan for equality and freedom.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964—legislation initiated by President John F. Kennedy before his assassination—into law on July 2 of that year.
King and other civil rights activists witnessed the signing. The law guaranteed equal employment for all, limited the use of voter literacy tests and allowed federal authorities to ensure public facilities were integrated.
bloody Sunday
On March 7, 1965, the civil rights movement in Alabama took an especially violent turn as 600 peaceful demonstrators participated in the Selma to Montgomery march to protest the killing of black civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson by a white police officer and to encourage legislation to enforce the 15th amendment.
As the protestors neared the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were blocked by Alabama state and local police sent by Alabama governor George C. Wallace, a vocal opponent of desegregation. Refusing to stand down, protestors moved forward and were viciously beaten and teargassed by police and dozens of protestors were hospitalized.
The entire incident was televised and became known as “bloody Sunday.” Some activists wanted to retaliate with violence, but King pushed for nonviolent protests and eventually gained federal protection for another march.Voting Rights Act of 1965
When President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, 1965, he took the Civil Rights Act of 1964 several steps further. The new law banned all voter literacy tests and provided federal examiners in certain voting jurisdictions.
It also allowed the attorney general to contest state and local poll taxes. As a result, poll taxes were later declared unconstitutional in Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections in 1966.
Civil Rights Leaders Assassinated
The civil rights movement had tragic consequences for two of its leaders in the late 1960s. On February 21, 1965, former Nation of Islam leader and Organization of Afro-American Unity founder Malcolm X was assassinated at a rally.
On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on his hotel room’s balcony. Emotionally-charged looting and riots followed, putting even more pressure on the Johnson administration to push through additional civil rights laws.
Fair Housing Act of 1968
The Fair Housing Act became law on April 11, 1968, just days after King’s assassination. It prevented housing discrimination based on race, sex, national origin and religion. It was also the last legislation enacted during the civil rights era.
The civil rights movement was an empowering yet precarious time for blacks in America. The efforts of civil rights activists and countless protestors of all races brought about legislation to end segregation, black voter suppression and discriminatory employment and housing practices.to secure the exercise thereof, and to take any other lawful action in furtherance of these objectives, consistent with the NAACP’s Articles of Incorporation and this Constitution.Chicago (/ʃɪˈkɑːɡoʊ/ (listen) shih-KAH-goh, locally also /ʃɪˈkɔːɡoʊ/ shih-KAW-goh;[6] Miami-Illinois: Shikaakwa; Ojibwe: Zhigaagong) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois and the third-most populous in the United States after New York City and Los Angeles. With a population of 2,746,388 in the 2020 census,[7] it is also the most populous city in the Midwest. As the seat of Cook County, the second-most populous county in the U.S., Chicago is the center of the Chicago metropolitan area, the 39th-largest city in the world as of 2018.
On the shore of Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. It grew rapidly in the mid-19th century.[8][9] The Great Chicago Fire in 1871 destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless,[10] but Chicago's population continued to grow.[9] Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and architecture, such as the Chicago School, the development of the City Beautiful Movement, and the steel-framed skyscraper.[11][12]
Chicago is an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, education, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. It is the financial center of the U.S. Midwest. It has the largest and most diverse derivatives market in the world, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures alone.[13] O'Hare International Airport is routinely ranked among the world's top six busiest airports.[14] The region is the nation's railroad hub.[15] The Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products (GDP) in the world, generating $689 billion in 2018.[16] Chicago's economy is diverse, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.[13]
Chicago is a major tourist destination. Chicago's culture has contributed much to the visual arts, literature, film, theater, comedy (especially improvisational comedy), food, dance, and music (particularly jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop, gospel,[17] and electronic dance music, including house music). Chicago is home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The Chicago area also hosts the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois Chicago, among other institutions of learning. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams.
Etymology and nicknamesMain article: Nicknames of ChicagoSee also: Windy City (nickname)The name Chicago is derived from a French rendering of the indigenous Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa for a wild relative of the onion; it is known to botanists as Allium tricoccum and known more commonly as "ramps". The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir.[18] Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the eponymous wild "garlic" grew profusely in the area.[19] According to his diary of late September 1687:
... when we arrived at the said place called "Chicagou" which, according to what we were able to learn of it, has taken this name because of the quantity of garlic which grows in the forests in this region.[19]
The city has had several nicknames throughout its history, such as the Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, and City of the Big Shoulders.[20]
HistoryMain article: History of ChicagoFor a chronological guide, see Timeline of Chicago history.Beginnings
Traditional Potawatomi regalia on display at the Field Museum of Natural HistoryIn the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by the Potawatomi, a Native American tribe who had succeeded the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples in this region.[21]An artist's rendering of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
Home Insurance Building (1885)
Court of Honor at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893The first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago was trader Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable was of African descent, perhaps born in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti), and established the settlement in the 1780s. He is commonly known as the "Founder of Chicago".[22][23][24]
In 1795, following the victory of the new United States in the Northwest Indian War, an area that was to be part of Chicago was turned over to the US for a military post by native tribes in accordance with the Treaty of Greenville. In 1803, the U.S. Army constructed Fort Dearborn, which was destroyed during the War of 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn by the Potawatomi before being later rebuilt.[25]
After the War of 1812, the Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi tribes ceded additional land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis. The Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land after the 1833 Treaty of Chicago and sent west of the Mississippi River as part of the federal policy of Indian removal.[26][27][28]
19th century
The location and course of the Illinois and Michigan Canal (completed 1848)0:50State and Madison Streets, once known as the busiest intersection in the world (1897)On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200.[28] Within seven years it grew to more than 6,000 people. On June 15, 1835, the first public land sales began with Edmund Dick Taylor as Receiver of Public Monies. The City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837,[29] and for several decades was the world's fastest-growing city.[30]
As the site of the Chicago Portage,[31] the city became an important transportation hub between the Eastern and western United States. Chicago's first railway, Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, and the Illinois and Michigan Canal opened in 1848. The canal allowed steamboats and sailing ships on the Great Lakes to connect to the Mississippi River.[32][33][34][35]
A flourishing economy brought residents from rural communities and immigrants from abroad. Manufacturing and retail and finance sectors became dominant, influencing the American economy.[36] The Chicago Board of Trade (established 1848) listed the first-ever standardized "exchange-traded" forward contracts, which were called futures contracts.[37]
In the 1850s, Chicago gained national political prominence as the home of Senator Stephen Douglas, the champion of the Kansas–Nebraska Act and the "popular sovereignty" approach to the issue of the spread of slavery.[38] These issues also helped propel another Illinoisan, Abraham Lincoln, to the national stage. Lincoln was nominated in Chicago for US president at the 1860 Republican National Convention, which was held in a purpose-built auditorium called the Wigwam. He defeated Douglas in the general election, and this set the stage for the American Civil War.
To accommodate rapid population growth and demand for better sanitation, the city improved its infrastructure. In February 1856, Chicago's Common Council approved Chesbrough's plan to build the United States' first comprehensive sewerage system.[39] The project raised much of central Chicago to a new grade with the use of jackscrews for raising buildings.[40] While elevating Chicago, and at first improving the city's health, the untreated sewage and industrial waste now flowed into the Chicago River, and subsequently into Lake Michigan, polluting the city's primary freshwater source.
The city responded by tunneling two miles (3.2 km) out into Lake Michigan to newly built water cribs. In 1900, the problem of sewage contamination was largely resolved when the city completed a major engineering feat. It reversed the flow of the Chicago River so that the water flowed away from Lake Michigan rather than into it. This project began with the construction and improvement of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and was completed with the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that connects to the Illinois River, which flows into the Mississippi River.[41][42][43]
In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed an area about 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 1-mile (1.6 km) wide, a large section of the city at the time.[44][45][46] Much of the city, including railroads and stockyards, survived intact,[47] and from the ruins of the previous wooden structures arose more modern constructions of steel and stone. These set a precedent for worldwide construction.[48][49] During its rebuilding period, Chicago constructed the world's first skyscraper in 1885, using steel-skeleton construction.[50][51]
The city grew significantly in size and population by incorporating many neighboring townships between 1851 and 1920, with the largest annexation happening in 1889, with five townships joining the city, including the Hyde Park Township, which now comprises most of the South Side of Chicago and the far southeast of Chicago, and the Jefferson Township, which now makes up most of Chicago's Northwest Side.[52] The desire to join the city was driven by municipal services that the city could provide its residents.
Chicago's flourishing economy attracted huge numbers of new immigrants from Europe and migrants from the Eastern United States. Of the total population in 1900, more than 77% were either foreign-born or born in the United States of foreign parentage. Germans, Irish, Poles, Swedes, and Czechs made up nearly two-thirds of the foreign-born population (by 1900, whites were 98.1% of the city's population).[53][54]
Labor conflicts followed the industrial boom and the rapid expansion of the labor pool, including the Haymarket affair on May 4, 1886, and in 1894 the Pullman Strike. Anarchist and socialist groups played prominent roles in creating very large and highly organized labor actions. Concern for social problems among Chicago's immigrant poor led Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr to found Hull House in 1889.[55] Programs that were developed there became a model for the new field of social work.[56]
During the 1870s and 1880s, Chicago attained national stature as the leader in the movement to improve public health. City laws and later, state laws that upgraded standards for the medical profession and fought urban epidemics of cholera, smallpox, and yellow fever were both passed and enforced. These laws became templates for public health reform in other cities and states.[57]
The city established many large, well-landscaped municipal parks, which also included public sanitation facilities. The chief advocate for improving public health in Chicago was John H. Rauch, M.D. Rauch established a plan for Chicago's park system in 1866. He created Lincoln Park by closing a cemetery filled with shallow graves, and in 1867, in response to an outbreak of cholera he helped establish a new Chicago Board of Health. Ten years later, he became the secretary and then the president of the first Illinois State Board of Health, which carried out most of its activities in Chicago.[58]
In the 1800s, Chicago became the nation's railroad hub, and by 1910 over 20 railroads operated passenger service out of six different downtown terminals.[59][60] In 1883, Chicago's railway managers needed a general time convention, so they developed the standardized system of North American time zones.[61] This system for telling time spread throughout the continent.
In 1893, Chicago hosted the World's Columbian Exposition on former marshland at the present location of Jackson Park. The Exposition drew 27.5 million visitors, and is considered the most influential world's fair in history.[62][63] The University of Chicago, formerly at another location, moved to the same South Side location in 1892. The term "midway" for a fair or carnival referred originally to the Midway Plaisance, a strip of park land that still runs through the University of Chicago campus and connects the Washington and Jackson Parks.[64][65]
20th and 21st centuries
Men outside a soup kitchen during the Great Depression (1931)1900 to 1939Aerial motion film photography of Chicago in 1914 as filmed by A. Roy KnabenshueDuring World War I and the 1920s there was a major expansion in industry. The availability of jobs attracted African Americans from the Southern United States. Between 1910 and 1930, the African American population of Chicago increased dramatically, from 44,103 to 233,903.[66] This Great Migration had an immense cultural impact, called the Chicago Black Renaissance, part of the New Negro Movement, in art, literature, and music.[67] Continuing racial tensions and violence, such as the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, also occurred.[68]
The ratification of the 18th amendment to the Constitution in 1919 made the production and sale (including exportation) of alcoholic beverages illegal in the United States. This ushered in the beginning of what is known as the Gangster Era, a time that roughly spans from 1919 until 1933 when Prohibition was repealed. The 1920s saw gangsters, including Al Capone, Dion O'Banion, Bugs Moran and Tony Accardo battle law enforcement and each other on the streets of Chicago during the Prohibition era.[69] Chicago was the location of the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929, when Al Capone sent men to gun down members of a rival gang, North Side, led by Bugs Moran.[70]
Chicago was the first American city to have a homosexual-rights organization. The organization, formed in 1924, was called the Society for Human Rights. It produced the first American publication for homosexuals, Friendship and Freedom. Police and political pressure caused the organization to disband.[71]
The Great Depression brought unprecedented suffering to Chicago, in no small part due to the city's heavy reliance on heavy industry. Notably, industrial areas on the south side and neighborhoods lining both branches of the Chicago River were devastated; by 1933 over 50% of industrial jobs in the city had been lost, and unemployment rates amongst blacks and Mexicans in the city were over 40%. The Republican political machine in Chicago was utterly destroyed by the economic crisis, and every mayor since 1931 has been a Democrat.[72]
From 1928 to 1933, the city witnessed a tax revolt, and the city was unable to meet payroll or provide relief efforts. The fiscal crisis was resolved by 1933, and at the same time, federal relief funding began to flow into Chicago.[72] Chicago was also a hotbed of labor activism, with Unemployed Councils contributing heavily in the early depression to create solidarity for the poor and demand relief, these organizations were created by socialist and communist groups. By 1935 the Workers Alliance of America begun organizing the poor, workers, the unemployed. In the spring of 1937 Republic Steel Works witnessed the Memorial Day massacre of 1937 in the neighborhood of East Side.
In 1933, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was fatally wounded in Miami, Florida, during a failed assassination attempt on President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1933 and 1934, the city celebrated its centennial by hosting the Century of Progress International Exposition World's Fair.[73] The theme of the fair was technological innovation over the century since Chicago's founding.[74]
1940 to 1979
Boy from Chicago, 1941
The Chicago Picasso (1967) inspired a new era in urban public art.During World War II, the city of Chicago alone produced more steel than the United Kingdom every year from 1939 – 1945, and more than Nazi Germany from 1943 – 1945.[citation needed]Protesters in Grant Park outside the 1968 Democratic National ConventionThe Great Migration, which had been on pause due to the Depression, resumed at an even faster pace in the second wave, as hundreds of thousands of blacks from the South arrived in the city to work in the steel mills, railroads, and shipping yards.[75]
On December 2, 1942, physicist Enrico Fermi conducted the world's first controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project. This led to the creation of the atomic bomb by the United States, which it used in World War II in 1945.[76]
Mayor Richard J. Daley, a Democrat, was elected in 1955, in the era of machine politics. In 1956, the city conducted its last major expansion when it annexed the land under O'Hare airport, including a small portion of DuPage County.[77]
By the 1960s, white residents in several neighborhoods left the city for the suburban areas – in many American cities, a process known as white flight – as Blacks continued to move beyond the Black Belt.[78] While home loan discriminatory redlining against blacks continued, the real estate industry practiced what became known as blockbusting, completely changing the racial composition of whole neighborhoods.[79] Structural changes in industry, such as globalization and job outsourcing, caused heavy job losses for lower-skilled workers. At its peak during the 1960s, some 250,000 workers were employed in the steel industry in Chicago, but the steel crisis of the 1970s and 1980s reduced this number to just 28,000 in 2015. In 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. and Albert Raby led the Chicago Freedom Movement, which culminated in agreements between Mayor Richard J. Daley and the movement leaders.[80]
Two years later, the city hosted the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention, which featured physical confrontations both inside and outside the convention hall, with anti-war protesters, journalists and bystanders being beaten by police.[81] Major construction projects, including the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower, which in 1974 became the world's tallest building), University of Illinois at Chicago, McCormick Place, and O'Hare International Airport, were undertaken during Richard J. Daley's tenure.[82] In 1979, Jane Byrne, the city's first female mayor, was elected. She was notable for temporarily moving into the crime-ridden Cabrini-Green housing project and for leading Chicago's school system out of a financial crisis.[83]
1980 to presentIn 1983, Harold Washington became the first black mayor of Chicago. Washington's first term in office directed attention to poor and previously neglected minority neighborhoods. He was re‑elected in 1987 but died of a heart attack soon after.[84] Washington was succeeded by 6th ward Alderman Eugene Sawyer, who was elected by the Chicago City Council and served until a special election.
Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, was elected in 1989. His accomplishments included improvements to parks and creating incentives for sustainable development, as well as closing Meigs Field in the middle of the night and destroying the runways. After successfully running for re-election five times, and becoming Chicago's longest-serving mayor, Richard M. Daley declined to run for a seventh term.[85][86]
In 1992, a construction accident near the Kinzie Street Bridge produced a breach connecting the Chicago River to a tunnel below, which was part of an abandoned freight tunnel system extending throughout the downtown Loop district. The tunnels filled with 250 million US gallons (1,000,000 m3) of water, affecting buildings throughout the district and forcing a shutdown of electrical power.[87] The area was shut down for three days and some buildings did not reopen for weeks; losses were estimated at $1.95 billion.[87]
On February 23, 2011, former Illinois Congressman and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel won the mayoral election.[88] Emanuel was sworn in as mayor on May 16, 2011, and won re-election in 2015.[89] Lori Lightfoot, the city's first African American woman mayor and its first openly LGBTQ Mayor, was elected to succeed Emanuel as mayor in 2019.[90] All three city-wide elective offices were held by women (and women of color) for the first time in Chicago history: in addition to Lightfoot, the City Clerk was Anna Valencia and City Treasurer, Melissa Conyears-Ervin.[91]
On May 15th, 2023, Brandon Johnson assumed office as the 57th Mayor of Chicago.
GeographyMain article: Geography of Chicago
Chicago skyline at sunset in October 2020, from near Fullerton Avenue looking southTopography
Downtown and the North Side with beaches lining the waterfront
A satellite image of ChicagoChicago is located in northEastern Illinois on the southwestern shores of freshwater Lake Michigan. It is the principal city in the Chicago metropolitan area, situated in both the Midwestern United States and the Great Lakes region. The city rests on a continental divide at the site of the Chicago Portage, connecting the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds. In addition to it lying beside Lake Michigan, two rivers—the Chicago River in downtown and the Calumet River in the industrial far South Side—flow either entirely or partially through the city.[92][93]
Chicago's history and economy are closely tied to its proximity to Lake Michigan. While the Chicago River historically handled much of the region's waterborne cargo, today's huge lake freighters use the city's Lake Calumet Harbor on the South Side. The lake also provides another positive effect: moderating Chicago's climate, making waterfront neighborhoods slightly warmer in winter and cooler in summer.[94]
When Chicago was founded in 1837, most of the early building was around the mouth of the Chicago River, as can be seen on a map of the city's original 58 blocks.[95] The overall grade of the city's central, built-up areas is relatively consistent with the natural flatness of its overall natural geography, generally exhibiting only slight differentiation otherwise. The average land elevation is 579 ft (176.5 m) above sea level. While measurements vary somewhat,[96] the lowest points are along the lake shore at 578 ft (176.2 m), while the highest point, at 672 ft (205 m), is the morainal ridge of Blue Island in the city's far south side.[97]
While the Chicago Loop is the central business district, Chicago is also a city of neighborhoods. Lake Shore Drive runs adjacent to a large portion of Chicago's waterfront. Some of the parks along the waterfront include Lincoln Park, Grant Park, Burnham Park, and Jackson Park. There are 24 public beaches across 26 miles (42 km) of the waterfront.[98] Landfill extends into portions of the lake providing space for Navy Pier, Northerly Island, the Museum Campus, and large portions of the McCormick Place Convention Center. Most of the city's high-rise commercial and residential buildings are close to the waterfront.
An informal name for the entire Chicago metropolitan area is "Chicagoland", which generally means the city and all its suburbs, though different organizations have slightly different also: Community areas in Chicago and Neighborhoods in Chicago
Community areas of ChicagoMajor sections of the city include the central business district, called The Loop, and the North, South, and West Sides.[102] The three sides of the city are represented on the Flag of Chicago by three horizontal white stripes.[103] The North Side is the most-densely-populated residential section of the city, and many high-rises are located on this side of the city along the lakefront.[104] The South Side is the largest section of the city, encompassing roughly 60% of the city's land area. The South Side contains most of the facilities of the Port of Chicago.[105]
In the late-1920s, sociologists at the University of Chicago subdivided the city into 77 distinct community areas, which can further be subdivided into over 200 informally defined article: Roads and expressways in ChicagoChicago's streets were laid out in a street grid that grew from the city's original townsite plot, which was bounded by Lake Michigan on the east, North Avenue on the north, Wood Street on the west, and 22nd Street on the south.[108] Streets following the Public Land Survey System section lines later became arterial streets in outlying sections. As new additions to the city were platted, city ordinance required them to be laid out with eight streets to the mile in one direction and sixteen in the other direction, about one street per 200 meters in one direction and one street per 100 meters in the other direction. The grid's regularity provided an efficient means of developing new real estate property. A scattering of diagonal streets, many of them originally Native American trails, also cross the city (Elston, Milwaukee, Ogden, Lincoln, etc.). Many additional diagonal streets were recommended in the Plan of Chicago, but only the extension of Ogden Avenue was ever constructed.[109]
In 2016, Chicago was ranked the sixth-most walkable large city in the United States.[110] Many of the city's residential streets have a wide patch of grass or trees between the street and the sidewalk itself. This helps to keep pedestrians on the sidewalk further away from the street traffic. Chicago's Western Avenue is the longest continuous urban street in the world.[111] Other notable streets include Michigan Avenue, State Street, Oak, Rush, Clark Street, and Belmont Avenue. The City Beautiful movement inspired Chicago's boulevards and parkways.[112]
ArchitectureFurther information: Architecture of Chicago, List of tallest buildings in Chicago, and List of Chicago Landmarks
The Chicago Building (1904–05) is a prime example of the Chicago School, displaying both variations of the Chicago window.The destruction caused by the Great Chicago Fire led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation. In 1885, the first steel-framed high-rise building, the Home Insurance Building, rose in the city as Chicago ushered in the skyscraper era,[51] which would then be followed by many other cities around the world.[113] Today, Chicago's skyline is among the world's tallest and densest.[114]
Some of the United States' tallest towers are located in Chicago; Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is the second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere after One World Trade Center, and Trump International Hotel and Tower is the third tallest in the country.[115] The Loop's historic buildings include the Chicago Board of Trade Building, the Fine Arts Building, 35 East Wacker, and the Chicago Building, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments by Mies van der Rohe. Many other architects have left their impression on the Chicago skyline such as Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Charles B. Atwood, John Root, and Helmut Jahn.[116][117]
The Merchandise Mart, once first on the list of largest buildings in the world, currently listed as 44th-largest (as of 9 September 2013), had its own zip code until 2008, and stands near the junction of the North and South branches of the Chicago River.[118] Presently, the four tallest buildings in the city are Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower, also a building with its own zip code), Trump International Hotel and Tower, the Aon Center (previously the Standard Oil Building), and the John Hancock Center. Industrial districts, such as some areas on the South Side, the areas along the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and the Northwest Indiana area are clustered.[119]
Chicago gave its name to the Chicago School and was home to the Prairie School, two movements in architecture.[120] Multiple kinds and scales of houses, townhouses, condominiums, and apartment buildings can be found throughout Chicago. Large swaths of the city's residential areas away from the lake are characterized by brick bungalows built from the early 20th century through the end of World War II. Chicago is also a prominent center of the Polish Cathedral style of church architecture. The Chicago suburb of Oak Park was home to famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who had designed The Robie House located near the University of Chicago.[121][122]
A popular tourist activity is to take an architecture boat tour along the Chicago River.[123]
Monuments and public art
Replica of Daniel Chester French's Statue of The Republic at the site of the World's Columbian ExpositionMain article: List of public art in ChicagoChicago is famous for its outdoor public art with donors establishing funding for such art as far back as Benjamin Ferguson's 1905 trust.[124] A number of Chicago's public art works are by modern figurative artists. Among these are Chagall's Four Seasons; the Chicago Picasso; Miro's Chicago; Calder's Flamingo; Oldenburg's Batcolumn; Moore's Large Interior Form, 1953-54, Man Enters the Cosmos and Nuclear Energy; Dubuffet's Monument with Standing Beast, Abakanowicz's Agora; and, Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate which has become an icon of the city. Some events which shaped the city's history have also been memorialized by art works, including the Great Northern Migration (Saar) and the centennial of statehood for Illinois. Finally, two fountains near the Loop also function as monumental works of art: Plensa's Crown Fountain as well as Burnham and Bennett's Buckingham Fountain.[citation needed]
ClimateMain article: Climate of ChicagoChicago, IllinoisClimate chart (explanation)JFMAMJJASOND 2.1 3218 1.9 3622 2.7 4731 3.6 5942 4.1 7052 4.1 8062 4 8568 4 8366 3.3 7558 3.2 6346 3.4 4935 2.6 3523█ Average max. and min. temperatures in °F█ Precipitation totals in inchesMetric conversion
The Chicago River during the January 2014 cold waveThe city lies within the typical hot-summer humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfa), and experiences four distinct seasons.[125][126][127] Summers are hot and humid, with frequent heat waves. The July daily average temperature is 75.9 °F (24.4 °C), with afternoon temperatures peaking at 85.0 °F (29.4 °C). In a normal summer, temperatures reach at least 90 °F (32 °C) on as many as 23 days, with lakefront locations staying cooler when winds blow off the lake. Winters are relatively cold and snowy. Blizzards do occur, such as in winter 2011.[128] There are many sunny but cold days. The normal winter high from December through March is about 36 °F (2 °C). January and February are the coldest months. A polar vortex in January 2019 nearly broke the city's cold record of −27 °F (−33 °C), which was set on January 20, 1985.[129][130][131] Measurable snowfall can continue through the first or second week of April.[132]
Spring and autumn are mild, short seasons, typically with low humidity. Dew point temperatures in the summer range from an average of 55.7 °F (13.2 °C) in June to 61.7 °F (16.5 °C) in July.[133] They can reach nearly 80 °F (27 °C), such as during the July 2019 heat wave. The city lies within USDA plant hardiness zone 6a, transitioning to 5b in the suburbs.[134]
According to the National Weather Service, Chicago's highest official temperature reading of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded on July 24, 1934.[135] Midway Airport reached 109 °F (43 °C) one day prior and recorded a heat index of 125 °F (52 °C) during the 1995 heatwave.[136] The lowest official temperature of −27 °F (−33 °C) was recorded on January 20, 1985, at O'Hare Airport.[133][136] Most of the city's rainfall is brought by thunderstorms, averaging 38 a year. The region is prone to severe thunderstorms during the spring and summer which can produce large hail, damaging winds, and occasionally tornadoes.[137]
Like other major cities, Chicago experiences an urban heat island, making the city and its suburbs milder than surrounding rural areas, especially at night and in winter. The proximity to Lake Michigan tends to keep the Chicago lakefront somewhat cooler in summer and less brutally cold in winter than inland parts of the city and suburbs away from the lake.[138] Northeast winds from wintertime cyclones departing south of the region sometimes bring the city lake-effect snow.[139]
Climate data for Chicago (Midway Airport), 1991–2020 normals,[a] extremes 1928–presentMonth Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YearRecord high °F (°C) 67(19) 75(24) 86(30) 92(33) 102(39) 107(42) 109(43) 104(40) 102(39) 94(34) 81(27) 72(22) 109(43)Mean maximum °F (°C) 53.4(11.9) 57.9(14.4) 72.0(22.2) 81.5(27.5) 89.2(31.8) 93.9(34.4) 96.0(35.6) 94.2(34.6) 90.8(32.7) 82.8(28.2) 68.0(20.0) 57.5(14.2) 97.1(36.2)Average high °F (°C) 32.8(0.4) 36.8(2.7) 47.9(8.8) 60.0(15.6) 71.5(21.9) 81.2(27.3) 85.2(29.6) 83.1(28.4) 76.5(24.7) 63.7(17.6) 49.6(9.8) 37.7(3.2) 60.5(15.8)Daily mean °F (°C) 26.2(−3.2) 29.9(−1.2) 39.9(4.4) 50.9(10.5) 61.9(16.6) 71.9(22.2) 76.7(24.8) 75.0(23.9) 67.8(19.9) 55.3(12.9) 42.4(5.8) 31.5(−0.3) 52.4(11.3)Average low °F (°C) 19.5(−6.9) 22.9(−5.1) 32.0(0.0) 41.7(5.4) 52.4(11.3) 62.7(17.1) 68.1(20.1) 66.9(19.4) 59.2(15.1) 46.8(8.2) 35.2(1.8) 25.3(−3.7) 44.4(6.9)Mean minimum °F (°C) −3(−19) 3.4(−15.9) 14.1(−9.9) 28.2(−2.1) 39.1(3.9) 49.3(9.6) 58.6(14.8) 57.6(14.2) 45.0(7.2) 31.8(−0.1) 19.7(−6.8) 5.3(−14.8) −6.5(−21.4)Record low °F (°C) −25(−32) −20(−29) −7(−22) 10(−12) 28(−2) 35(2) 46(8) 43(6) 29(−2) 20(−7) −3(−19) −20(−29) −25(−32)Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.30(58) 2.12(54) 2.66(68) 4.15(105) 4.75(121) 4.53(115) 4.02(102) 4.10(104) 3.33(85) 3.86(98) 2.73(69) 2.33(59) 40.88(1,038)Average snowfall inches (cm) 12.5(32) 10.1(26) 5.7(14) 1.0(2.5) 0.0(0.0) 0.0(0.0) 0.0(0.0) 0.0(0.0) 0.0(0.0) 0.1(0.25) 1.5(3.8) 7.9(20) 38.8(99)Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 11.5 9.4 11.1 12.0 12.4 11.1 10.0 9.3 8.4 10.8 10.2 10.8 127.0Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 8.9 6.4 3.9 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 1.6 6.3 28.2Average ultraviolet index 1 2 4 6 7 9 9 8 6 4 2 1 5Source 1: NOAA[140][133][136], WRCC[141]Source 2: Weather Atlas (UV)[142]Climate data for Chicago (O'Hare Int'l Airport), 1991–2020 normals,[a] extremes 1871–present[b]Sunshine data for ChicagoTime zoneAs in the rest of the state of Illinois, Chicago forms part of the Central Time Zone. The border with the Eastern Time Zone is located a short distance to the east, used in Michigan and certain parts of Indiana.
DemographicsMain article: Demographics of ChicagoHistorical populationCensus Pop. Note %±1840 4,470 —1850 29,963 570.3%1860 112,172 274.4%1870 298,977 166.5%1880 503,185 68.3%1890 1,099,850 118.6%1900 1,698,575 54.4%1910 2,185,283 28.7%1920 2,701,705 23.6%1930 3,376,438 25.0%1940 3,396,808 0.6%1950 3,620,962 6.6%1960 3,550,404 −1.9%1970 3,366,957 −5.2%1980 3,005,072 −10.7%1990 2,783,726 −7.4%2000 2,896,016 4.0%2010 2,695,598 −6.9%2020 2,746,388 1.9%2021 (est.) 2,696,555 −1.8%United States Census Bureau[148]2010–2020[7]During its first hundred years, Chicago was one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. When founded in 1833, fewer than 200 people had settled on what was then the American frontier. By the time of its first census, seven years later, the population had reached over 4,000. In the forty years from 1850 to 1890, the city's population grew from slightly under 30,000 to over 1 million. At the end of the 19th century, Chicago was the fifth-largest city in the world,[149] and the largest of the cities that did not exist at the dawn of the century. Within sixty years of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the population went from about 300,000 to over 3 million,[150] and reached its highest ever recorded population of 3.6 million for the 1950 census.
From the last two decades of the 19th century, Chicago was the destination of waves of immigrants from Ireland, Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, including Italians, Jews, Russians, Poles, Greeks, Lithuanians, Bulgarians, Albanians, Romanians, Turkish, Croatians, Serbs, Bosnians, Montenegrins and Czechs.[151][152] To these ethnic groups, the basis of the city's industrial working class, were added an additional influx of African Americans from the American South—with Chicago's black population doubling between 1910 and 1920 and doubling again between 1920 and 1930.[151] Chicago has a significant Bosnian population, many of whom arrived in the 1990s and 2000s.[153]
In the 1920s and 1930s, the great majority of African Americans moving to Chicago settled in a so‑called "Black Belt" on the city's South Side.[151] A large number of blacks also settled on the West Side. By 1930, two-thirds of Chicago's black population lived in sections of the city which were 90% black in racial composition.[151] Chicago's South Side emerged as United States second-largest urban black concentration, following New York's Harlem. In 1990, Chicago's South Side and the adjoining south suburbs constituted the largest black majority region in the entire United States.[151]
Most of Chicago's foreign-born population were born in Mexico, Poland and India.[154]
Chicago's population declined in the latter half of the 20th century, from over 3.6 million in 1950 down to under 2.7 million by 2010. By the time of the official census count in 1990, it was overtaken by Los Angeles as the United States' second largest city.[155]
The city has seen a rise in population for the 2000 census and after a decrease in 2010, it rose again for the 2020 census.[156]
According to U.S. census estimates as of July 2019, Chicago's largest racial or ethnic group is non-Hispanic White at 32.8% of the population, Blacks at 30.1% and the Hispanic population at 29.0% of the composition 2020[161] 2010[162] 1990[160] 1970[160] 1940[160]White (non-Hispanic) 31.4% 31.7% 37.9% 59.0%[c] 91.2%Hispanic or Latino 29.8% 28.9% 19.6% 7.4%[c] 0.5%Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 28.7% 32.3% 39.1% 32.7% 8.2%Asian (non-Hispanic) 6.9% 5.4% 3.7% 0.9% 0.1%Two or more races (non-Hispanic) 2.6% 1.3% n/a n/a n/a
Ethnic origins in Chicago
Map of racial distribution in Chicago, 2010 U.S. census. Each dot is 25 people: ⬤ White ⬤ Black ⬤ Asian ⬤ Hispanic ⬤ OtherChicago has the third-largest LGBT population in the United States. In 2018, the Chicago Department of Health, estimated 7.5% of the adult population, approximately 146,000 Chicagoans, were LGBTQ.[163] In 2015, roughly 4% of the population identified as LGBT.[164][165] Since the 2013 legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois, over 10,000 same-sex couples have wed in Cook County, a majority of them in Chicago.[166][167]
Chicago became a "de jure" sanctuary city in 2012 when Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council passed the Welcoming City Ordinance.[168]
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey data estimates for 2008–2012, the median income for a household in the city was $47,408, and the median income for a family was $54,188. Male full-time workers had a median income of $47,074 versus $42,063 for females. About 18.3% of families and 22.1% of the population lived below the poverty line.[169] In 2018, Chicago ranked seventh globally for the highest number of ultra-high-net-worth residents with roughly 3,300 residents worth more than $30 million.[170]
According to the 2008–2012 American Community Survey, the ancestral groups having 10,000 or more persons in Chicago were:[171]
Ireland (137,799)Poland (134,032)Germany (120,328)Italy (77,967)China (66,978)American (37,118)UK (36,145)recent African (32,727)India (25,000)Russia (19,771)Arab (17,598)European (15,753)Sweden (15,151)Japan (15,142)Greece (15,129)France (except Basque) (11,410)Ukraine (11,104)West Indian (except Hispanic groups) (10,349)Persons identifying themselves in "Other groups" were classified at 1.72 million, and unclassified or not reported were approximately 153,000.[171]
ReligionReligion in Chicago (2014)[172][173]
Protestantism (35%) Roman Catholicism (34%) Eastern Orthodoxy (1%) Jehovah's Witness (1%) No religion (22%) Judaism (3%) Islam (2%) Buddhism (1%) Hinduism (1%)According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, Christianity is the most prevalently practiced religion in Chicago (71%),[173] with the city being the fourth-most religious metropolis in the United States after Dallas, Atlanta and Houston.[173] Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are the largest branches (34% and 35% respectively), followed by Eastern Orthodoxy and Jehovah's Witnesses with 1% each.[172] Chicago also has a sizable non-Christian population. Non-Christian groups include Irreligious (22%), Judaism (3%), Islam (2%), Buddhism (1%) and Hinduism (1%).[172]
Chicago is the headquarters of several religious denominations, including the Evangelical Covenant Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It is the seat of several dioceses. The Fourth Presbyterian Church is one of the largest Presbyterian congregations in the United States based on memberships.[174] Since the 20th century Chicago has also been the headquarters of the Assyrian Church of the East.[175] In 2014 the Catholic Church was the largest individual Christian denomination (34%), with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago being the largest Catholic jurisdiction. Evangelical Protestantism form the largest theological Protestant branch (16%), followed by Mainline Protestants (11%), and historically Black churches (8%). Among denominational Protestant branches, Baptists formed the largest group in Chicago (10%); followed by Nondenominational (5%); Lutherans (4%); and Pentecostals (3%).[172]
Non-Christian faiths accounted for 7% of the religious population in 2014. Judaism has at least 261,000 adherents which is 3% of the population, making it the second largest religion.[176][172] A 2020 study estimated the total Jewish population of the Chicago metropolitan area, both religious and irreligious, at 319,600.[177]
The first two Parliament of the World's Religions in 1893 and 1993 were held in Chicago.[178] Many international religious leaders have visited Chicago, including Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama[179] and Pope John Paul II in 1979.[180]
EconomyMain article: Economy of ChicagoSee also: List of companies in the Chicago metropolitan area
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
The Chicago Board of Trade BuildingChicago has the third-largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—about $670.5 billion according to September 2017 estimates.[181] The city has also been rated as having the most balanced economy in the United States, due to its high level of diversification.[182] The Chicago metropolitan area has the third-largest science and engineering work force of any metropolitan area in the nation.[183] Chicago was the base of commercial operations for industrialists John Crerar, John Whitfield Bunn, Richard Teller Crane, Marshall Field, John Farwell, Julius Rosenwald and many other commercial visionaries who laid the foundation for Midwestern and global industry.
Chicago is a major world financial center, with the second-largest central business district in the United States.[184] The city is the seat of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Bank's Seventh District. The city has major financial and futures exchanges, including the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the "Merc"), which is owned, along with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), by Chicago's CME Group. In 2017, Chicago exchanges traded 4.7 billion derivatives with a face value of over one quadrillion dollars. Chase Bank has its commercial and retail banking headquarters in Chicago's Chase Tower.[185] Academically, Chicago has been influential through the Chicago school of economics, which fielded some 12 Nobel Prize winners.
The city and its surrounding metropolitan area contain the third-largest labor pool in the United States with about 4.63 million workers.[186] Illinois is home to 66 Fortune 1000 companies, including those in Chicago.[187] The city of Chicago also hosts 12 Fortune Global 500 companies and 17 Financial Times 500 companies. The city claims three Dow 30 companies: aerospace giant Boeing, which moved its headquarters from Seattle to the Chicago Loop in 2001,[188] McDonald's and Walgreens Boots Alliance.[189] For six consecutive years from 2013 through 2018, Chicago was ranked the nation's top metropolitan area for corporate relocations.[190] However, three Fortune 500 companies left Chicago in 2022, leaving the city with 35, still second to New York City.[191]
Manufacturing, printing, publishing, and food processing also play major roles in the city's economy. Several medical products and services companies are headquartered in the Chicago area, including Baxter International, Boeing, Abbott Laboratories, and the Healthcare division of General Electric. Prominent food companies based in Chicago include the world headquarters of Conagra, Ferrara Candy Company, Kraft Heinz, McDonald's, Mondelez International, and Quaker Oats.[citation needed] Chicago has been a hub of the retail sector since its early development, with Montgomery Ward, Sears, and Marshall Field's. Today the Chicago metropolitan area is the headquarters of several retailers, including Walgreens, Sears, Ace Hardware, Claire's, ULTA Beauty and Crate & Barrel.[citation needed]
Late in the 19th century, Chicago was part of the bicycle craze, with the Western Wheel Company, which introduced stamping to the production process and significantly reduced costs,[192] while early in the 20th century, the city was part of the automobile revolution, hosting the Brass Era car builder Bugmobile, which was founded there in 1907.[193] Chicago was also the site of the Schwinn Bicycle Company.
Chicago is a major world convention destination. The city's main convention center is McCormick Place. With its four interconnected buildings, it is the largest convention center in the nation and third-largest in the world.[194] Chicago also ranks third in the U.S. (behind Las Vegas and Orlando) in number of conventions hosted annually.[195]
Chicago's minimum wage for non-tipped employees is one of the highest in the nation and reached $15 in 2021.[196][197]
Culture and contemporary lifeFurther information: Culture of Chicago, List of people from Chicago, and List of museums and cultural institutions in Chicago
The National Hellenic Museum in Greektown is one of several ethnic museums comprising the Chicago Cultural Alliance.
Andy's Jazz Club in River North, a staple of the Chicago jazz scene since the 1950sThe city's waterfront location and nightlife has attracted residents and tourists alike. Over a third of the city population is concentrated in the lakefront neighborhoods from Rogers Park in the north to South Shore in the south.[198] The city has many upscale dining establishments as well as many ethnic restaurant districts. These districts include the Mexican American neighborhoods, such as Pilsen along 18th street, and La Villita along 26th Street; the Puerto Rican enclave of Paseo Boricua in the Humboldt Park neighborhood; Greektown, along South Halsted Street, immediately west of downtown;[199] Little Italy, along Taylor Street; Chinatown in Armour Square; Polish Patches in West Town; Little Seoul in Albany Park around Lawrence Avenue; Little Vietnam near Broadway in Uptown; and the Desi area, along Devon Avenue in West Ridge.[200]
Downtown is the center of Chicago's financial, cultural, governmental and commercial institutions and the site of Grant Park and many of the city's skyscrapers. Many of the city's financial institutions, such as the CBOT and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, are located within a section of downtown called "The Loop", which is an eight-block by five-block area of city streets that is encircled by elevated rail tracks. The term "The Loop" is largely used by locals to refer to the entire downtown area as well. The central area includes the Near North Side, the Near South Side, and the Near West Side, as well as the Loop. These areas contribute famous skyscrapers, abundant restaurants, shopping, museums, a stadium for the Chicago Bears, convention facilities, parkland, and beaches.[citation needed]
Lincoln Park contains the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. The River North Gallery District features the nation's largest concentration of contemporary art galleries outside of New York City.[citation needed]
Lakeview is home to Boystown, the city's large LGBT nightlife and culture center. The Chicago Pride Parade, held the last Sunday in June, is one of the world's largest with over a million people in attendance.[201] North Halsted Street is the main thoroughfare of Boystown.[202]
The South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park is the home of former US President Barack Obama. It also contains the University of Chicago, ranked one of the world's top ten universities,[203] and the Museum of Science and Industry. The 6-mile (9.7 km) long Burnham Park stretches along the waterfront of the South Side. Two of the city's largest parks are also located on this side of the city: Jackson Park, bordering the waterfront, hosted the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, and is the site of the aforementioned museum; and slightly west sits Washington Park. The two parks themselves are connected by a wide strip of parkland called the Midway Plaisance, running adjacent to the University of Chicago. The South Side hosts one of the city's largest parades, the annual African American Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic, which travels through Bronzeville to Washington Park. Ford Motor Company has an automobile assembly plant on the South Side in Hegewisch, and most of the facilities of the Port of Chicago are also on the South Side.[citation needed]
The West Side holds the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the largest collections of tropical plants in any U.S. city. Prominent Latino cultural attractions found here include Humboldt Park's Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture and the annual Puerto Rican People's Parade, as well as the National Museum of Mexican Art and St. Adalbert's Church in Pilsen. The Near West Side holds the University of Illinois at Chicago and was once home to Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios, the site of which has been rebuilt as the global headquarters of McDonald's.[citation needed]
The city's distinctive accent, made famous by its use in classic films like The Blues Brothers and television programs like the Saturday Night Live skit "Bill Swerski's Superfans", is an advanced form of Inland Northern American English. This dialect can also be found in other cities bordering the Great Lakes such as Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Rochester, New York, and most prominently features a rearrangement of certain vowel sounds, such as the short 'a' sound as in "cat", which can sound more like "kyet" to outsiders. The accent remains well associated with the city.[204]
Entertainment and the artsSee also: Theater in Chicago, Visual arts of Chicago, and Music of Chicago
The Chicago Theatre
The spire of the Copernicus Center is modeled on the Royal Castle in Warsaw.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion at nightRenowned Chicago theater companies include the Goodman Theatre in the Loop; the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Victory Gardens Theater in Lincoln Park; and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier. Broadway In Chicago offers Broadway-style entertainment at five theaters: the Nederlander Theatre, CIBC Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre, Auditorium Building of Roosevelt University, and Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. Polish language productions for Chicago's large Polish speaking population can be seen at the historic Gateway Theatre in Jefferson Park. Since 1968, the Joseph Jefferson Awards are given annually to acknowledge excellence in theater in the Chicago area. Chicago's theater community spawned modern improvisational theater, and includes the prominent groups The Second City and I.O. (formerly ImprovOlympic).[citation needed]
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) performs at Symphony Center, and is recognized as one of the best orchestras in the world.[205] Also performing regularly at Symphony Center is the Chicago Sinfonietta, a more diverse and multicultural counterpart to the CSO. In the summer, many outdoor concerts are given in Grant Park and Millennium Park. Ravinia Festival, located 25 miles (40 km) north of Chicago, is the summer home of the CSO, and is a favorite destination for many Chicagoans. The Civic Opera House is home to the Lyric Opera of Chicago.[citation needed] The Lithuanian Opera Company of Chicago was founded by Lithuanian Chicagoans in 1956,[206] and presents operas in Lithuanian.
The Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Festival Ballet perform in various venues, including the Harris Theater in Millennium Park. Chicago has several other contemporary and jazz dance troupes, such as the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Chicago Dance Crash.[citation needed]
Other live-music genre which are part of the city's cultural heritage include Chicago blues, Chicago soul, jazz, and gospel. The city is the birthplace of house music (a popular form of electronic dance music) and industrial music, and is the site of an influential hip hop scene. In the 1980s and 90s, the city was the global center for house and industrial music, two forms of music created in Chicago, as well as being popular for alternative rock, punk, and new wave. The city has been a center for rave culture, since the 1980s. A flourishing independent rock music culture brought forth Chicago indie. Annual festivals feature various acts, such as Lollapalooza and the Pitchfork Music Festival.[citation needed] Lollapalooza originated in Chicago in 1991 and at first travelled to many cities, but as of 2005 its home has been Chicago.[207] A 2007 report on the Chicago music industry by the University of Chicago Cultural Policy Center ranked Chicago third among metropolitan U.S. areas in "size of music industry" and fourth among all U.S. cities in "number of concerts and performances".[208]
Chicago has a distinctive fine art tradition. For much of the twentieth century, it nurtured a strong style of figurative surrealism, as in the works of Ivan Albright and Ed Paschke. In 1968 and 1969, members of the Chicago Imagists, such as Roger Brown, Leon Golub, Robert Lostutter, Jim Nutt, and Barbara Rossi produced bizarre representational paintings. Henry Darger is one of the most celebrated figures of outsider art.[209]
TourismMain article: Tourism in Chicago
Ferries offer sightseeing tours and water-taxi transportation along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.
Aerial view of Navy Pier at night
Magnificent Mile hosts numerous upscale stores and landmarks, including the Chicago Water Tower.In 2014, Chicago attracted 50.17 million domestic leisure travelers, 11.09 million domestic business travelers and 1.308 million overseas visitors.[210] These visitors contributed more than US$13.7 billion to Chicago's economy.[210] Upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile and State Street, thousands of restaurants, as well as Chicago's eminent architecture, continue to draw tourists. The city is the United States' third-largest convention destination. A 2017 study by Walk Score ranked Chicago the sixth-most walkable of fifty largest cities in the United States.[211] Most conventions are held at McCormick Place, just south of Soldier Field. Navy Pier, located just east of Streeterville, is 3,000 ft (910 m) long and houses retail stores, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls and auditoriums. Chicago was the first city in the world to ever erect a ferris wheel. The Willis Tower (formerly named Sears Tower) is a popular destination for tourists.[212]
MuseumsAmong the city's museums are the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium. The Museum Campus joins the southern section of Grant Park, which includes the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Buckingham Fountain anchors the downtown park along the lakefront. The University of Chicago's Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, West Asia & North Africa has an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeological artifacts. Other museums and galleries in Chicago include the Chicago History Museum, the Driehaus Museum, the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Polish Museum of America, the Museum of Broadcast Communications, the Pritzker Military Library, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the Museum of Science and Industry.[citation needed]
CuisineSee also: Culture of Chicago § Food and drink, Chicago farmers' markets, and List of Michelin starred restaurants in Chicago
Chicago-style deep-dish pizza
A Polish market in ChicagoChicago lays claim to a large number of regional specialties that reflect the city's ethnic and working-class roots. Included among these are its nationally renowned deep-dish pizza; this style is said to have originated at Pizzeria Uno.[213] The Chicago-style thin crust is also popular in the city.[214] Certain Chicago pizza favorites include Lou Malnati's and Giordano's.[215]
The Chicago-style hot dog, typically an all-beef hot dog, is loaded with an array of toppings that often includes pickle relish, yellow mustard, pickled sport peppers, tomato wedges, dill pickle spear and topped off with celery salt on a poppy seed bun.[216] Enthusiasts of the Chicago-style hot dog frown upon the use of ketchup as a garnish, but may prefer to add giardiniera.[217][218][219]
A distinctly Chicago sandwich, the Italian beef sandwich is thinly sliced beef simmered in au jus and served on an Italian roll with sweet peppers or spicy giardiniera. A popular modification is the Combo—an Italian beef sandwich with the addition of an Italian sausage. The Maxwell Street Polish is a grilled or deep-fried kielbasa—on a hot dog roll, topped with grilled onions, yellow mustard, and hot sport peppers.[220]
Chicken Vesuvio is roasted bone-in chicken cooked in oil and garlic next to garlicky oven-roasted potato wedges and a sprinkling of green peas. The Puerto Rican-influenced jibarito is a sandwich made with flattened, fried green plantains instead of bread. The mother-in-law is a tamale topped with chili and served on a hot dog bun.[221] The tradition of serving the Greek dish saganaki while aflame has its origins in Chicago's Greek community.[222] The appetizer, which consists of a square of fried cheese, is doused with Metaxa and flambéed table-side.[223] Chicago-style barbecue features hardwood smoked rib tips and hot links which were traditionally cooked in an aquarium smoker, a Chicago invention.[224] Annual festivals feature various Chicago signature dishes, such as Taste of Chicago and the Chicago Food Truck Festival.[225]
One of the world's most decorated restaurants and a recipient of three Michelin stars, Alinea is located in Chicago. Well-known chefs who have had restaurants in Chicago include: Charlie Trotter, Rick Tramonto, Grant Achatz, and Rick Bayless. In 2003, Robb Report named Chicago the country's "most exceptional dining destination".[226]
LiteratureFurther information: Chicago literature
Carl Sandburg's most famous description of the city is as "Hog Butcher for the World / Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat / Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler, / Stormy, Husky, Brawling, City of the Big Shoulders."Chicago literature finds its roots in the city's tradition of lucid, direct journalism, lending to a strong tradition of social realism. In the Encyclopedia of Chicago, Northwestern University Professor Bill Savage describes Chicago fiction as prose which tries to "capture the essence of the city, its spaces and its people". The challenge for early writers was that Chicago was a frontier outpost that transformed into a global metropolis in the span of two generations. Narrative fiction of that time, much of it in the style of "high-flown romance" and "genteel realism", needed a new approach to describe the urban social, political, and economic conditions of Chicago.[227] Nonetheless, Chicagoans worked hard to create a literary tradition that would stand the test of time,[228] and create a "city of feeling" out of concrete, steel, vast lake, and open prairie.[229] Much notable Chicago fiction focuses on the city itself, with social criticism keeping exultation in check.
At least three short periods in the history of Chicago have had a lasting influence on American literature.[230] These include from the time of the Great Chicago Fire to about 1900, what became known as the Chicago Literary Renaissance in the 1910s and early 1920s, and the period of the Great Depression through the 1940s.
What would become the influential Poetry magazine was founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe, who was working as an art critic for the Chicago Tribune. The magazine discovered such poets as Gwendolyn Brooks, James Merrill, and John Ashbery.[231] T. S. Eliot's first professionally published poem, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", was first published by Poetry. Contributors have included Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats, William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, and Carl Sandburg, among others. The magazine was instrumental in launching the Imagist and Objectivist poetic movements. From the 1950s through 1970s, American poetry continued to evolve in Chicago.[232] In the 1980s, a modern form of poetry performance began in Chicago, the poetry slam.[233]
SportsMain article: Sports in ChicagoTop: Soldier Field; Bottom: Wrigley FieldTop: United Center; Bottom: Guaranteed Rate FieldThe city has two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams: the Chicago Cubs of the National League play in Wrigley Field on the North Side; and the Chicago White Sox of the American League play in Guaranteed Rate Field on the South Side. The two teams have faced each other in a World Series only once, in 1906.[citation needed]
The Cubs are the oldest Major League Baseball team to have never changed their city;[234] they have played in Chicago since 1871.[235] They had the dubious honor of having the longest championship drought in American professional sports, failing to win a World Series between 1908 and 2016. The White Sox have played on the South Side continuously since 1901. They have won three World Series titles (1906, 1917, 2005) and six American League pennants, including the first in 1901.
The Chicago Bears, one of the last two remaining charter members of the National Football League (NFL), have won nine NFL Championships, including the 1985 Super Bowl XX. The Bears play their home games at Soldier Field.
The Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the most recognized basketball teams in the world.[236] During the 1990s, with Michael Jordan leading them, the Bulls won six NBA championships in eight seasons.[237][238]
The Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL) began play in 1926, and are one of the "Original Six" teams of the NHL. The Blackhawks have won six Stanley Cups, including in 2010, 2013, and 2015. Both the Bulls and the Blackhawks play at the United Center.[citation needed]
Major league professional teams in Chicago (ranked by attendance)Club League Sport Venue Attendance Founded ChampionshipsChicago Bears NFL Football Soldier Field 61,142 1919 9 Championships (1 Super Bowl)Chicago Cubs MLB Baseball Wrigley Field 41,649 1870 3 World SeriesChicago White Sox MLB Baseball Guaranteed Rate Field 40,615 1900 3 World SeriesChicago Blackhawks NHL Ice hockey United Center 21,653 1926 6 Stanley CupsChicago Bulls NBA Basketball 20,776 1966 6 NBA ChampionshipsChicago Fire MLS Soccer Soldier Field 17,383 1997 1 MLS Cup, 1 Supporters ShieldChicago Sky WNBA Basketball Wintrust Arena 10,387 2006 1 WNBA Championships
Chicago Half Marathon on Lake Shore Drive on the South SideChicago Fire FC is a member of Major League Soccer (MLS) and plays at Soldier Field. The Fire have won one league title and four U.S. Open Cups, since their founding in 1997. In 1994, the United States hosted a successful FIFA World Cup with games played at Soldier Field.[citation needed]
The Chicago Sky is a professional basketball team playing in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). They play home games at the Wintrust Arena. The team was founded before the 2006 WNBA season began.[239]
The Chicago Marathon has been held each year since 1977 except for 1987, when a half marathon was run in its place. The Chicago Marathon is one of six World Marathon Majors.[240]
Five area colleges play in Division I conferences: two from major conferences—the DePaul Blue Demons (Big East Conference) and the Northwestern Wildcats (Big Ten Conference)—and three from other D1 conferences—the Chicago State Cougars (Western Athletic Conference); the Loyola Ramblers (Missouri Valley Conference); and the UIC Flames (Horizon League).[241]
Chicago has also entered into esports with the creation of the Chicago Huntsmen, a professional Call of Duty team that participates within the CDL.[citation needed]Parks and greenspaceMain articles: Parks in Chicago, Chicago Boulevard System, and Cook County Forest Preserves
Portage Park on the Northwest Side
Washington Square Park on the Near North SideWhen Chicago was incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto Urbs in Horto, a Latin phrase which means "City in a Garden". Today, the Chicago Park District consists of more than 570 parks with over 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) of municipal parkland. There are 31 sand beaches, a plethora of museums, two world-class conservatories, and 50 nature areas.[242] Lincoln Park, the largest of the city's parks, covers 1,200 acres (490 ha) and has over 20 million visitors each year, making it third in the number of visitors after Central Park in New York City, and the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C.[243]
There is a historic boulevard system,[244] a network of wide, tree-lined boulevards which connect a number of Chicago parks.[245] The boulevards and the parks were authorized by the Illinois legislature in 1869.[246] A number of Chicago neighborhoods emerged along these roadways in the 19th century.[245] The building of the boulevard system continued intermittently until 1942. It includes nineteen boulevards, eight parks, and six squares, along twenty-six miles of interconnected streets.[247] The Chicago Park Boulevard System Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.[248][249]
With berths for more than 6,000 boats, the Chicago Park District operates the nation's largest municipal harbor system.[250] In addition to ongoing beautification and renewal projects for the existing parks, a number of new parks have been added in recent years, such as the Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown, DuSable Park on the Near North Side, and most notably, Millennium Park, which is in the northwestern corner of one of Chicago's oldest parks, Grant Park in the Chicago Loop.[citation needed]
The wealth of greenspace afforded by Chicago's parks is further augmented by the Cook County Forest Preserves, a network of open spaces containing forest, prairie, wetland, streams, and lakes that are set aside as natural areas which lie along the city's outskirts,[251] including both the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe and the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield.[252] Washington Park is also one of the city's biggest parks; covering nearly 400 acres (160 ha). The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places listings in South Side Chicago.[253]
Law and governmentGovernmentMain article: Government of Chicago
Daley Plaza with Picasso statue, City Hall in background. At right, the Daley Plaza Building contains the state law courts.The government of the City of Chicago is divided into executive and legislative branches. The mayor of Chicago is the chief executive, elected by general election for a term of four years, with no term limits. The current mayor is Brandon Johnson. The mayor appoints commissioners and other officials who oversee the various departments. As well as the mayor, Chicago's clerk and treasurer are also elected citywide. The City Council is the legislative branch and is made up of 50 aldermen, one elected from each ward in the city.[254] The council takes official action through the passage of ordinances and resolutions and approves the city budget.[255]
The Chicago Police Department provides law enforcement and the Chicago Fire Department provides fire suppression and emergency medical services for the city and its residents. Civil and criminal law cases are heard in the Cook County Circuit Court of the State of Illinois court system, or in the Northern District of Illinois, in the federal system. In the state court, the public prosecutor is the Illinois state's attorney; in the Federal court it is the United States attorney.
PoliticsMain article: Political history of ChicagoPresidential election results in Chicago[256]Year Democratic Republican Others2020 82.5% 944,735 15.8% 181,234 1.6% 18,7722016 82.9% 912,945 12.3% 135,320 4.8% 53,262During much of the last half of the 19th century, Chicago's politics were dominated by a growing Democratic Party organization. During the 1880s and 1890s, Chicago had a powerful radical tradition with large and highly organized socialist, anarchist and labor organizations.[257] For much of the 20th century, Chicago has been among the largest and most reliable Democratic strongholds in the United States; with Chicago's Democratic vote the state of Illinois has been "solid blue" in presidential elections since 1992. Even before then, it was not unheard of for Republican presidential candidates to win handily in downstate Illinois, only to lose statewide due to large Democratic margins in Chicago. The citizens of Chicago have not elected a Republican mayor since 1927, when William Thompson was voted into office. The strength of the party in the city is partly a consequence of Illinois state politics, where the Republicans have come to represent rural and farm concerns while the Democrats support urban issues such as Chicago's public school funding.[citation needed]
Chicago contains less than 25% of the state's population, but it is split between eight of Illinois' 17 districts in the United States House of Representatives. All eight of the city's representatives are Democrats; only two Republicans have represented a significant portion of the city since 1973, for one term each: Robert P. Hanrahan from 1973 to 1975, and Michael Patrick Flanagan from 1995 to 1997.[citation needed]
Machine politics persisted in Chicago after the decline of similar machines in other large U.S. cities.[258] During much of that time, the city administration found opposition mainly from a liberal "independent" faction of the Democratic Party. The independents finally gained control of city government in 1983 with the election of Harold Washington (in office 1983–1987). From 1989 until May 16, 2011, Chicago was under the leadership of its longest-serving mayor, Richard M. Daley, the son of Richard J. Daley. Because of the dominance of the Democratic Party in Chicago, the Democratic primary vote held in the spring is generally more significant than the general elections in November for U.S. House and Illinois State seats. The aldermanic, mayoral, and other city offices are filled through nonpartisan elections with runoffs as needed.[259]
The city is home of former United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; Barack Obama was formerly a state legislator representing Chicago and later a US senator. The Obamas' residence is located near the University of Chicago in Kenwood on the city's south side.[260]
CrimeMain articles: Crime in Chicago and Timeline of organized crime in Chicago
Chicago Police Department SUV, 2011Chicago's crime rate in 2020 was 3,926 per 100,000 people.[261] Chicago experienced major rises in violent crime in the 1920s, in the late 1960s, and in the 2020s.[262][263] Chicago's biggest criminal justice challenges have changed little over the last 50 years, and statistically reside with homicide, armed robbery, gang violence, and aggravated battery. Chicago has attracted attention for a high murder rate and perceived crime rate compared to other major cities like New York and Los Angeles. However, while it has a large absolute number of crimes due to its size, Chicago is not among the top-25 most violent cities in the United States.[264][265]
Murder rates in Chicago vary greatly depending on the neighborhood in question.[266] The neighborhoods of Englewood on the South Side, and Austin on the West side, for example, have homicide rates that are ten times higher than other parts of the city.[267] Chicago has an estimated population of over 100,000 active gang members from nearly 60 factions.[268][269] According to reports in 2013, "most of Chicago's violent crime comes from gangs trying to maintain control of drug-selling territories",[270] and is specifically related to the activities of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is active in several American cities.[271] Violent crime rates vary significantly by area of the city, with more economically developed areas having low rates, but other sections have much higher rates of crime.[270] In 2013, the violent crime rate was 910 per 100,000 people;[272] the murder rate was 10.4 – while high crime districts saw 38.9, low crime districts saw 2.5 murders per 100,000.[273]
Chicago has a long history of public corruption that regularly draws the attention of federal law enforcement and federal prosecutors.[274] From 2012 to 2019, 33 Chicago aldermen were convicted on corruption charges, roughly one third of those elected in the time period. A report from the Office of the Legislative Inspector General noted that over half of Chicago's elected alderman took illegal campaign contributions in 2013.[275] Most corruption cases in Chicago are prosecuted by the US Attorney's office, as legal jurisdiction makes most offenses punishable as a federal crime.[276]
EducationMain article: Chicago Public Schools
When it was opened in 1991, the central Harold Washington Library appeared in Guinness World Records as the largest municipal public library building in the world.Schools and librariesChicago Public Schools (CPS) is the governing body of the school district that contains over 600 public elementary and high schools citywide, including several selective-admission magnet schools. There are eleven selective enrollment high schools in the Chicago Public Schools,[277] designed to meet the needs of Chicago's most academically advanced students. These schools offer a rigorous curriculum with mainly honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses.[278] Walter Payton College Prep High School is ranked number one in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois.[279]
Chicago high school rankings are determined by the average test scores on state achievement tests.[280] The district, with an enrollment exceeding 400,545 students (2013–2014 20th Day Enrollment), is the third-largest in the U.S.[281] On September 10, 2012, teachers for the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike for the first time since 1987 over pay, resources and other issues.[282] According to data compiled in 2014, Chicago's "choice system", where students who test or apply and may attend one of a number of public high schools (there are about 130), sorts students of different achievement levels into different schools (high performing, middle performing, and low performing schools).[283]
Chicago has a network of Lutheran schools,[284] and several private schools are run by other denominations and faiths, such as the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in West Ridge. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago operates Catholic schools, that include Jesuit preparatory schools and others. A number of private schools are completely secular. There are also the private Chicago Academy for the Arts, a high school focused on six different categories of the arts and the public Chicago High School for the Arts, a high school focused on five categories (visual arts, theatre, musical theatre, dance, and music) of the arts.[285]
The Chicago Public Library system operates 3 regional libraries and 77 neighbourhood branches, including the central library.[286]
Colleges and universitiesFor a more comprehensive list, see List of colleges and universities in Chicago.
The University of Chicago, as seen from the Midway PlaisanceSince the 1850s, Chicago has been a world center of higher education and research with several universities. These institutions consistently rank among the top "National Universities" in the United States, as determined by U.S. News & World Report.[citation needed] Highly regarded universities in Chicago and the surrounding area are: the University of Chicago; Northwestern University; Illinois Institute of Technology; Loyola University Chicago; DePaul University; Columbia College Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago. Other notable schools include: Chicago State University; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; East–West University; National Louis University; North Park University; NorthEastern Illinois University; Robert Morris University Illinois; Roosevelt University; Saint Xavier University; Rush University; and Shimer College.[287]
William Rainey Harper, the first president of the University of Chicago, was instrumental in the creation of the junior college concept, establishing nearby Joliet Junior College as the first in the nation in 1901.[288] His legacy continues with the multiple community colleges in the Chicago proper, including the seven City Colleges of Chicago: Richard J. Daley College, Kennedy–King College, Malcolm X College, Olive–Harvey College, Truman College, Harold Washington College and Wilbur Wright College, in addition to the privately held MacCormac College.[citation needed]
Chicago also has a high concentration of post-baccalaureate institutions, graduate schools, seminaries, and theological schools, such as the Adler School of Professional Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the Erikson Institute, The Institute for Clinical Social Work, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, the Catholic Theological Union, the Moody Bible Institute, the John Marshall Law School and the University of Chicago Divinity School.[citation needed]
MediaFurther information: Media in Chicago and Chicago International Film Festival
WGN began in the early days of radio and developed into a multi-platform broadcaster, including a cable television super-station.
Chicago was home of The Oprah Winfrey Show from 1986 until 2011 and other Harpo Production operations until 2015.TelevisionThe Chicago metropolitan area is the third-largest media market in North America, after New York City and Los Angeles and a major media hub.[289] Each of the big four U.S. television networks, CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox, directly owns and operates a high-definition television station in Chicago (WBBM 2, WLS 7, WMAQ 5 and WFLD 32, respectively). Former CW affiliate WGN-TV 9, which was owned from its inception by Tribune Broadcasting (now owned by the Nexstar Media Group since 2019), is carried with some programming differences, as "WGN America" on cable and satellite TV nationwide and in parts of the Caribbean. WGN America eventually became NewsNation in 2021.
Chicago has also been the home of several prominent talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Steve Harvey Show, The Rosie Show, The Jerry Springer Show, The Phil Donahue Show, The Jenny Jones Show, and more. The city also has one PBS member station (its second: WYCC 20, removed its affiliation with PBS in 2017[290]): WTTW 11, producer of shows such as Sneak Previews, The Frugal Gourmet, Lamb Chop's Play-Along and The McLaughlin Group.
As of 2018, Windy City Live is Chicago's only daytime talk show, which is hosted by Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini at ABC7 Studios with a live weekday audience. Since 1999, Judge Mathis also films his syndicated arbitration-based reality court show at the NBC Tower. Beginning in January 2019, Newsy began producing 12 of its 14 hours of live news programming per day from its new facility in Chicago.[citation needed]
NewspapersTwo major daily newspapers are published in Chicago: the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, with the Tribune having the larger circulation. There are also several regional and special-interest newspapers and magazines, such as Chicago, the Dziennik Związkowy (Polish Daily News), Draugas (the Lithuanian daily newspaper), the Chicago Reader, the SouthtownStar, the Chicago Defender, the Daily Herald, Newcity,[291][292] StreetWise and the Windy City Times. The entertainment and cultural magazine Time Out Chicago and GRAB magazine are also published in the city, as well as local music magazine Chicago Innerview. In addition, Chicago is the home of satirical national news outlet, The Onion, as well as its sister pop-culture publication, The A.V. Club.[293]
Movies and filmingMain articles: List of movies set in Chicago and List of television shows set in ChicagoRadio
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)Chicago has five 50,000 watt AM radio stations: the CBS Radio-owned WBBM and WSCR; the Tribune Broadcasting-owned WGN; the Cumulus Media-owned WLS; and the ESPN Radio-owned WMVP. Chicago is also home to a number of national radio shows, including Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont on Sunday evenings.[citation needed]
Chicago Public Radio produces nationally aired programs such as PRI's This American Life and NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!.[citation information: Transportation in Chicago
Aerial photo of the Jane Byrne Interchange (2022) after reconstruction, initially opened in the 1960sChicago is a major transportation hub in the United States. It is an important component in global distribution, as it is the third-largest inter-modal port in the world after Hong Kong and Singapore.[294]
The city of Chicago has a higher than average percentage of households without a car. In 2015, 26.5 percent of Chicago households were without a car, and increased slightly to 27.5 percent in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Chicago averaged 1.12 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.[295]
ExpresswaysFurther information: Roads and expressways in ChicagoSeven mainline and four auxiliary interstate highways (55, 57, 65 (only in Indiana), 80 (also in Indiana), 88, 90 (also in Indiana), 94 (also in Indiana), 190, 290, 294, and 355) run through Chicago and its suburbs. Segments that link to the city center are named after influential politicians, with three of them named after former U.S. Presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Reagan) and one named after two-time Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson.
The Kennedy and Dan Ryan Expressways are the busiest state maintained routes in the entire state of Illinois.[296]
Transit systems
Chicago Union Station, opened in 1925, is the third-busiest passenger rail terminal in the United States.The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) coordinates the operation of the three service boards: CTA, Metra, and Pace.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) handles public transportation in the City of Chicago and a few adjacent suburbs outside of the Chicago city limits. The CTA operates an extensive network of buses and a rapid transit elevated and subway system known as the Chicago "L" or just "L" (short for "elevated"), with lines designated by colors. These rapid transit lines also serve both Midway and O'Hare Airports. The CTA's rail lines consist of the Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Brown, Purple, Pink, and Yellow lines. Both the Red and Blue lines offer 24‑hour service which makes Chicago one of a handful of cities around the world (and one of two in the United States, the other being New York City) to offer rail service 24 hours a day, every day of the year, within the city's limits.Metra, the nation's second-most used passenger regional rail network, operates an 11-line commuter rail service in Chicago and throughout the Chicago suburbs. The Metra Electric Line shares its trackage with Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District's South Shore Line, which provides commuter service between South Bend and Chicago.Pace provides bus and paratransit service in over 200 surrounding suburbs with some extensions into the city as well. A 2005 study found that one quarter of commuters used public transit.[297]Greyhound Lines provides inter-city bus service to and from the city, and Chicago is also the hub for the Midwest network of Megabus (North America).
Passenger rail
Amtrak train on the Empire Builder route departs Chicago from Union Station.Amtrak long distance and commuter rail services originate from Union Station.[298] Chicago is one of the largest hubs of passenger rail service in the nation.[299] The services terminate in the San Francisco area, Washington, D.C., New York City, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Quincy, St. Louis, Carbondale, Boston, Grand Rapids, Port Huron, Pontiac, Los Angeles, and San Antonio. Future services will terminate at Rockford and Moline. An attempt was made in the early 20th century to link Chicago with New York City via the Chicago – New York Electric Air Line Railroad. Parts of this were built, but it was never completed.
Bicycle and scooter sharing systemsIn July 2013, the bicycle-sharing system Divvy was launched with 750 bikes and 75 docking stations[300] It is operated by Lyft for the Chicago Department of Transportation.[301] As of July 2019, Divvy operated 5800 bicycles at 608 stations, covering almost all of the city, excluding Pullman, Rosedale, Beverly, Belmont Cragin and Edison Park.[302]
In May 2019, The City of Chicago announced its Chicago's Electric Shared Scooter Pilot Program, scheduled to run from June 15 to October 15.[303] The program started on June 15 with 10 different scooter companies, including scooter sharing market leaders Bird, Jump, Lime and Lyft.[304] Each company was allowed to bring 250 electric scooters, although both Bird and Lime claimed that they experienced a higher demand for their scooters.[305] The program ended on October 15, with nearly 800,000 rides taken.[306]
Freight railChicago is the largest hub in the railroad industry.[307] All five Class I railroads meet in Chicago. As of 2002, severe freight train congestion caused trains to take as long to get through the Chicago region as it took to get there from the West Coast of the country (about 2 days).[308] According to U.S. Department of Transportation, the volume of imported and exported goods transported via rail to, from, or through Chicago is forecast to increase nearly 150 percent between 2010 and 2040.[309] CREATE, the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program, comprises about 70 programs, including crossovers, overpasses and underpasses, that intend to significantly improve the speed of freight movements in the Chicago area.[310]
AirportsFurther information: Transportation in Chicago § Airports
O'Hare International AirportChicago is served by O'Hare International Airport, the world's busiest airport measured by airline operations,[311] on the far Northwest Side, and Midway International Airport on the Southwest Side. In 2005, O'Hare was the world's busiest airport by aircraft movements and the second-busiest by total passenger traffic.[312] Both O'Hare and Midway are owned and operated by the City of Chicago. Gary/Chicago International Airport and Chicago Rockford International Airport, located in Gary, Indiana and Rockford, Illinois, respectively, can serve as alternative Chicago area airports, however they do not offer as many commercial flights as O'Hare and Midway. In recent years the state of Illinois has been leaning towards building an entirely new airport in the Illinois suburbs of Chicago.[313] The City of Chicago is the world headquarters for United Airlines, the world's third-largest airline.
Port authorityMain article: Port of ChicagoThe Port of Chicago consists of several major port facilities within the city of Chicago operated by the Illinois International Port District (formerly known as the Chicago Regional Port District). The central element of the Port District, Calumet Harbor, is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[314]
Iroquois Landing Lakefront Terminal: at the mouth of the Calumet River, it includes 100 acres (0.40 km2) of warehouses and facilities on Lake Michigan with over 780,000 square meters (8,400,000 square feet) of storage.Lake Calumet terminal: located at the union of the Grand Calumet River and Little Calumet River 6 miles (9.7 km) inland from Lake Michigan. Includes three transit sheds totaling over 29,000 square meters (310,000 square feet) adjacent to over 900 linear meters (3,000 linear feet) of ship and barge berthing.Grain (14 million bushels) and bulk liquid (800,000 barrels) storage facilities along Lake Calumet.The Illinois International Port district also operates Foreign trade zone No. 22, which extends 60 miles (97 km) from Chicago's city limits.UtilitiesElectricity for most of northern Illinois is provided by Commonwealth Edison, also known as ComEd. Their service territory borders Iroquois County to the south, the Wisconsin border to the north, the Iowa border to the west and the Indiana border to the east. In northern Illinois, ComEd (a division of Exelon) operates the greatest number of nuclear generating plants in any US state. Because of this, ComEd reports indicate that Chicago receives about 75% of its electricity from nuclear power. Recently, the city began installing wind turbines on government buildings to promote renewable energy.[315][316][317]
Natural gas is provided by Peoples Gas, a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, which is headquartered in Chicago.
Domestic and industrial waste was once incinerated but it is now landfilled, mainly in the Calumet area. From 1995 to 2008, the city had a blue bag program to divert recyclable refuse from landfills.[318] Because of low participation in the blue bag programs, the city began a pilot program for blue bin recycling like other cities. This proved successful and blue bins were rolled out across the city.[319]
Health systems
Prentice Women's Hospital on the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Downtown CampusThe Illinois Medical District is on the Near West Side. It includes Rush University Medical Center, ranked as the second best hospital in the Chicago metropolitan area by U.S. News & World Report for 2014–16, the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, Jesse Brown VA Hospital, and John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, one of the busiest trauma centers in the nation.[320]
Two of the country's premier academic medical centers reside in Chicago, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the University of Chicago Medical Center. The Chicago campus of Northwestern University includes the Feinberg School of Medicine; Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which is ranked as the best hospital in the Chicago metropolitan area by U.S. News & World Report for 2017–18;[321] the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly named the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), which is ranked the best U.S. rehabilitation hospital by U.S. News & World Report;[322] the new Prentice Women's Hospital; and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
The University of Illinois College of Medicine at UIC is the second largest medical school in the United States (2,600 students including those at campuses in Peoria, Rockford and Urbana–Champaign).[323]
In addition, the Chicago Medical School and Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine are located in the suburbs of North Chicago and Maywood, respectively. The Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine is in Downers Grove.
The American Medical Association, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, American Osteopathic Association, American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Clinical Pathology, American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Hospital Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association are all based in Chicago.
Sister citiesMain article: List of sister cities of ChicagoSee alsoChicago area water qualityChicago WildernessGentrification of ChicagoList of cities with the most skyscrapersList of people from ChicagoList of fiction set in ChicagoNational Register of Historic Places listings in Central ChicagoNational Register of Historic Places listings in North Side ChicagoNational Register of Historic Places listings in West Side ChicagoUSS Chicago, 4 shipsChicago History
"It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them." - Mark Twain, 1883
Chicago was only 46 years old when Mark Twain wrote those words, but it had already grown more than 100-fold, from a small trading post at the mouth of the Chicago River into one of the nation?s largest cities, and it wasn?t about to stop. Over the next 20 years, it would quadruple in population, amazing the rest of the world with its ability to repeatedly reinvent itself.
And it still hasn?t stopped.
Chicago continues to be a place that many people from diverse backgrounds call home. Before it was a city, it was the home to numerous indigenous peoples, a legacy which continues to frame our relationship with the city, the land, and the Environment.
Today, Chicago has become a global city, a thriving center of international trade and commerce, and a place where people of every nationality and background come to pursue the American dream.
Indigenous ChicagoChicago is the traditional homelands of Hooc?k (Winnebago/Ho?Chunk), Jiwere (Otoe), Nutachi (Missouria), and Baxoje (Iowas); Kiash Matchitiwuk (Menominee); Meshkwahkîha (Meskwaki); Asâkîwaki (Sauk); Myaamiaki (Miami), Waayaahtanwaki (Wea), and Peeyankih?iaki (Piankashaw); Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo); Inoka (Illini Confederacy); Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Odawak (Odawa), and Bodéwadmik (Potawatomi). Seated atop a continental divide, the Chicago region is located at the intersection of several great waterways, leading the area to become the site of travel and healing for many Tribes.
The City understands that Tribes are sovereign Nations and should have the first voice in acknowledging their historical and contemporary presence on this land. If your Tribe would like to see changes, please reach out to us for comments.
Early ChicagoChicago?s first permanent non-indigenous resident was a trader named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a free black man from Haiti whose father was a French sailor and whose mother was an African slave, he came here in the 1770s via the Mississippi River from New Orleans with his Native American wife, and their home stood at the mouth of the Chicago River. In 1803, the U.S. government built Fort Dearborn at what is now the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive (look for the bronze markers in the pavement). It was destroyed in 1812 following the Battle of Fort Dearborn, rebuilt in 1816, and permanently demolished in 1857.
A Trading CenterIncorporated as a city in 1837, Chicago was ideally situated to take advantage of the trading possibilities created by the nation?s westward expansion. The completion of the Illinois & Michigan Canal in 1848 created a water link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, but the canal was soon rendered obsolete by railroads. Today, 50 percent of U.S. rail freight continues to pass through Chicago, even as the city has become the nation?s busiest aviation center, thanks to O?Hare and Midway International airports.
The Great Fire of 1871As Chicago grew, its residents took heroic measures to keep pace. In the 1850s, they raised many of the streets five to eight feet to install a sewer system ? and then raised the buildings, as well. Unfortunately, the buildings, streets and sidewalks were made of wood, and most of them burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The Chicago Fire Department training academy at 558 W. DeKoven St. is on the site of the O?Leary property where the fire began. The Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station at Michigan and Chicago avenues are among the few buildings to have survived the fire.
"The White City"Chicago rebuilt quickly. Much of the debris was dumped into Lake Michigan as landfill, forming the underpinnings for what is now Grant Park, Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. Only 22 years later, Chicago celebrated its comeback by holding the World?s Columbian Exposition of 1893, with its memorable ?White City.? One of the Exposition buildings was rebuilt to become the Museum of Science and Industry. Chicago refused to be discouraged even by the Great Depression. In 1933 and 1934, the city held an equally successful Century of Progress Exposition on Northerly Island.
Hull HouseIn the half-century following the Great Fire, waves of immigrants came to Chicago to take jobs in the factories and meatpacking plants. Many poor workers and their families found help in settlement houses operated by Jane Addams and her followers. Her Hull House Museum is located at 800 S. Halsted St.
Chicago FirstsThroughout their city?s history, Chicagoans have demonstrated their ingenuity in matters large and small:
The nation?s first skyscraper, the 10-story, steel-framed Home Insurance Building, was built in 1884 at LaSalle and Adams streets and demolished in 1931.
When residents were threatened by waterborne illnesses from sewage flowing into Lake Michigan, they reversed the Chicago River in 1900 to make it flow toward the Mississippi.
Start of the "Historic Route 66" which begins at Grant Park on Adams Street in the front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Chicago was the birthplace of:
the refrigerated rail car (Swift)mail-order retailing (Sears and Montgomery Ward)the car radio (Motorola)the TV remote control (Zenith)The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, ushering in the Atomic Age, took place at the University of Chicago in 1942. The spot is marked by a Henry Moore sculpture on Ellis Avenue between 56th and 57th streets.The 1,451-foot Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), completed in 1974, was the the tallest building in the world from 1974 to 1998.
Chicago has played a central role in American economic, cultural and political history. Since the 1850s Chicago has been one of the dominant metropolises in the Midwestern United States, and has been the largest city in the Midwest since the 1880 census. The area's recorded history begins with the arrival of French explorers, missionaries and fur traders in the late 17th century and their interaction with the local Pottawatomie Native Americans. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable was the first permanent non-indigenous settler in the area, having a house at the mouth of the Chicago River in the late 18th century. There were small settlements and a U.S. Army fort, but the soldiers and settlers were all driven off in 1812. The modern city was incorporated in 1837 by Northern businessmen and grew rapidly from real estate speculation and the realization that it had a commanding position in the emerging inland transportation network, based on lake traffic and railroads, controlling access from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi River basin.
Despite a fire in 1871 that destroyed the Central Business District, the city grew exponentially, becoming the nation's rail center and the dominant Midwestern center for manufacturing, commerce, finance, higher education, religion, broadcasting, sports, jazz, and high culture. The city was a magnet for European immigrants?at first Germans, Irish and Scandinavians, then from the 1890s to 1914, Jews, Czechs, Poles and Italians. They were all absorbed in the city's powerful ward-based political machines. Many joined militant labor unions, and Chicago became notorious for its violent strikes, but respected for its high wages.
Large numbers of African Americans migrated from the South starting in the World War I era as part of the Great Migration. Mexicans started arriving after 1910, and Puerto Ricans after 1945. The Cook County suburbs grew rapidly after 1945, but the Democratic party machine kept both the city and suburbs under control, especially under mayor Richard J. Daley, who was chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. Deindustrialization after 1970 closed the stockyards and most of the steel mills and factories, but the city retained its role as a financial and transportation hub. Increasingly it emphasized its service roles in medicine, higher education, and tourism. The city formed the political base for leaders such as Stephen A. Douglas in the 1850s, Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s, and Barack Obama in recent years.
Pre-1830Early native settlementsAt its first appearance in records by explorers, the Chicago area was inhabited by a number of Algonquian peoples, including the Mascouten and Miami. The name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word shikaakwa, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum, from the Miami-Illinois language. The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir.[1] Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the wild garlic, called "chicagoua", grew abundantly in the area.[2] According to his diary of late September 1687:
when we arrived at the said place called Chicagou which, according to what we were able to learn of it, has taken this name because of the quantity of garlic which grows in the forests in this region.[2]
The tribe was part of the Miami Confederacy, which included the Illini and Kickapoo. In 1671, Potawatomi guides first took the French trader Nicolas Perrot to the Miami villages near the site of present-day Chicago.[3] Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix would write in 1721 that the Miami had a settlement in what is now Chicago around 1670. Chicago's location at a short canoe portage (the Chicago Portage) connecting the Great Lakes with the Mississippi River system attracted the attention of many French explorers, notably Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette in 1673. The Jesuit Relations indicate that by this time, the Iroquois tribes of New York had driven the Algonquian tribes entirely out of Lower Michigan and as far as this portage, during the later Beaver Wars.[4]
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, who traversed the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers south of Chicago in the winter of 1681?82, identified the Des Plaines River as the western boundary of the Miami. In 1683, La Salle built Fort St. Louis on the Illinois River. Almost two thousand Miami, including Weas and Piankeshaws, left the Chicago area to gather on the opposite shore at the Grand Village of the Illinois, seeking French protection from the Iroquois. In 1696, French Jesuits led by Jean-François Buisson de Saint-Cosme built the Mission of the Guardian Angel to Christianize the local Wea and Miami people.[5] Shortly thereafter, Augustin le Gardeur de Courtemanche visited the settlement on behalf of the French government, seeking peace between the Miami and Iroquois. Miami chief Chichikatalo accompanied de Courtemanche to Montreal.[4]
The Algonquian tribes began to retake the lost territory in the ensuing decades, and in 1701, the Iroquois formally abandoned their claim to their "hunting grounds" as far as the portage to England in the Nanfan Treaty, which was finally ratified in 1726. This was largely a political maneuver of little practicality, as the English then had no presence in the region whatsoever, the French and their Algonquian allies being the dominant force in the area. A writer in 1718 noted at the Was had a village in Chicago, but had recently fled due to concerns about approaching Ojibwes and Pottawatomis. The Iroquois and Meskwaki probably drove out all Miami from the Chicago area by the end of the 1720s. The Pottawatomi assumed control of the area, but probably did not have any major settlements in Chicago. French and allied use of the Chicago portage was mostly abandoned during the 1720s because of continual Native American raids during the Fox Wars.[6]
There was also a Michigamea chief named Chicago who may have lived in the region. In the 1680s, the Illinois River was called the Chicago River.[7]
Retrospective map showing how Chicago may have appeared in 1812 (right is north, published in 1884)Retrospective map showing how Chicago may have appeared in 1812 (right is north, published in 1884)
Chicago in 1820Chicago in 1820
First non-native settlements
Fort Dearborn depicted as in 1831, sketched 1850s although the accuracy of the sketch was debated soon after it appeared.The first settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a free black man,[8] who built a farm at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1790.[8][9] He left Chicago in 1800. In 1968, Point du Sable was honored at Pioneer Court as the city's founder and featured as a symbol.
In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, some Native Americans ceded the area of Chicago to the United States for a military post in the Treaty of Greenville. The US built Fort Dearborn in 1803 on the Chicago River. It was destroyed by Indian forces during the War of 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn, and many of the inhabitants were killed or taken prisoner.[10] The fort had been ordered to evacuate. During the evacuation soldiers and civilians were overtaken near what is today Prairie Avenue. After the end of the war, the Potawatomi ceded the land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis. (Today, this treaty is commemorated in Indian Boundary Park.) Fort Dearborn was rebuilt in 1818 and used until 1837.[11]:?25?
Growth of the city
1821 Survey of Chicago
Thompson's plat, the first official map of what would become the City of Chicago
Chicago in 1830, as depicted in 1884
Chicago in 1831, as depicted in 1893 by Rudolf Cronau
Chicago in 1832, as depicted in 1892
Chicago in 1836
Extensions to city limits through 1884In 1829, the Illinois legislature appointed commissioners to locate a canal and lay out the surrounding town. The commissioners employed James Thompson to survey and plat the town of Chicago, which at the time had a population of less than 100. Historians regard the August 4, 1830, filing of the plat as the official recognition of a location known as Chicago.[4]
Yankee entrepreneurs saw the potential of Chicago as a transportation hub in the 1830s and engaged in land speculation to obtain the choicest lots. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was incorporated with a population of 350.[12] On July 12, 1834, the Illinois from Sackets Harbor, New York, was the first commercial schooner to enter the harbor, a sign of the Great Lakes trade that would benefit both Chicago and New York state.[11]:?29? Chicago was granted a city charter by the State of Illinois on March 4, 1837;[13] it was part of the larger Cook County. By 1840 the boom town had a population of over 4,000.
After 1830, the rich farmlands of northern Illinois attracted Yankee settlers. Yankee real estate operators created a city overnight in the 1830s.[14] To open the surrounding farmlands to trade, the Cook County commissioners built roads south and west. The latter crossed the "dismal Nine-mile Swamp," the Des Plaines River, and went southwest to Walker's Grove, now the Village of Plainfield. The roads enabled hundreds of wagons per day of farm produce to arrive and so the entrepreneurs built grain elevators and docks to load ships bound for points east through the Great Lakes. Produce was shipped through the Erie Canal and down the Hudson River to New York City; the growth of the Midwest farms expanded New York City as a port.
In 1837, Chicago held its first mayoral election and elected William B. Ogden as its inaugural mayor.
Emergence as a transportation hubFurther information: Transportation in Chicago
1853 Bird's eye view of Chicago
1857 Bird's eye view of ChicagoIn 1848, the opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal allowed shipping from the Great Lakes through Chicago to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The first rail line to Chicago, the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad, was completed the same year. Chicago would go on to become the transportation hub of the United States, with its road, rail, water, and later air connections. Chicago also became home to national retailers offering catalog shopping such as Montgomery Ward and Sears, Roebuck and Company, which used the transportation lines to ship all over the nation.
By the 1850s, the construction of railroads made Chicago a major hub and over 30 lines entered the city. The main lines from the East ended in Chicago, and those oriented to the West began in Chicago and so by 1860, the city had become the nation's trans-shipment and warehousing center. Factories were created, most famously the harvester factory that was opened in 1847 by Cyrus Hall McCormick. It was a processing center for natural resource commodities extracted in the West. The Wisconsin forests supported the millwork and lumber business; the Illinois hinterland provided the wheat. Hundreds of thousands of hogs and cattle were shipped to Chicago for slaughter, preserved in salt, and transported to Eastern markets. By 1870, refrigerated cars allowed the shipping of fresh meat to cities in the East.[15]
The prairie bog nature of the area provided a fertile ground for disease-carrying insects. In springtime, Chicago was so muddy from the high water that horses could scarcely move. Comical signs proclaiming "Fastest route to China" or "No Bottom Here" were placed to warn people of the mud.
Travelers reported Chicago was the filthiest city in America. The city created a massive sewer system. In the first phase, sewage pipes were laid across the city above ground and used gravity to move the waste. The city was built in a low-lying area subject to flooding. In 1856, the city council decided that the entire city should be elevated four to five feet by using a newly available jacking-up process. In one instance, the five-story Brigg's Hotel, weighing 22,000 tons, was lifted while it continued to operate. Observing that such a thing could never have happened in Europe, the British historian Paul Johnson cites the astounding feat as a dramatic example of American determination and ingenuity based on the conviction that anything material is possible.[16]
Immigration and population in 19th centuryPortrait of John Jones, a prominent early African-American businessman in ChicagoPortrait of Mary Jane Richardson Jones, 1865Husband and wife John and Mary Jones were among the most prominent early African-American citizens of Chicago.
A bird's-eye view of Chicago in 1898. It became the second American city to reach a population of 1.6 million.0:29Chicago - State St at Madison Street, 1897Although originally settled by Yankees in the 1830s, the city in the 1840s had many Irish Catholics come as a result of the Great Famine. Later in the century, the railroads, stockyards, and other heavy industry of the late 19th century attracted a variety of skilled workers from Europe, especially Germans, English, Swedes, Norwegians, and Dutch.[17] A small African-American community formed, led by activist leaders like John Jones and Mary Richardson Jones, who established Chicago as a stop on the Underground Railroad.[18]
In 1840, Chicago was the 92nd city in the United States by population. Its population grew so rapidly that 20 years later, it was the ninth city. In the pivotal year of 1848, Chicago saw the completion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, its first steam locomotives, the introduction of steam-powered grain elevators, the arrival of the telegraph, and the founding of the Chicago Board of Trade.[19] By 1857, Chicago was the largest city in what was then called the Northwest. In 20 years, Chicago grew from 4,000 people to over 90,000. Chicago surpassed St. Louis and Cincinnati as the major city in the West and gained political notice as the home of Stephen Douglas, the 1860 presidential nominee of the Northern Democrats. The 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago nominated the home-state candidate Abraham Lincoln. The city's government and voluntary societies gave generous support to soldiers during the American Civil War.[20]
Many of the newcomers were Irish Catholic and German immigrants. Their neighborhood saloons, a center of male social life, were attacked in the mid-1850s by the local Know-Nothing Party, which drew its strength from evangelical Protestants. The new party was anti-immigration and anti-liquor and called for the purification of politics by reducing the power of the saloonkeepers. In 1855, the Know-Nothings elected Levi Boone mayor, who banned Sunday sales of liquor and beer. His aggressive law enforcement sparked the Lager Beer Riot of April 1855, which erupted outside a courthouse in which eight Germans were being tried for liquor ordinance violations. After 1865, saloons became community centers only for local ethnic men, as reformers saw them as places that incited riotous behavior and moral decay.[21] Salons were also sources of musical entertainment. Francis O'Neill, an Irish immigrant who later became police chief, published compendiums of Irish music that were largely collected from other newcomers playing in saloons.[22]
By 1870, Chicago had grown to become the nation's second-largest city and one of the largest cities in the world. Between 1870 and 1900, Chicago grew from a city of 299,000 to nearly 1.7 million and was the fastest-growing city in world history. Chicago's flourishing economy attracted huge numbers of new immigrants from Eastern and Central Europe, especially Jews, Poles, and Italians, along with many smaller groups. Many businesspeople and professionals arrived from the Eastern states. Relatively few new arrivals came from Chicago's rural hinterland. The exponential growth put increasing pollution on the Environment, as hazards to public health impacted everyone.[23]
Gilded AgeFurther information: Architecture of Chicago and Chicago railroad strike of 1877
The Chicago Water Tower, one of the few surviving buildings after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
A residential building in Chicago's Lincoln Park in 1885, when the city had dirt roadsMost of the city burned in the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. The damage from the fire was immense since 300 people died, 18,000 buildings were destroyed, and nearly 100,000 of the city's 300,000 residents were left homeless. Several key factors exacerbated the spread of the fire. Most of Chicago's buildings and sidewalks were then constructed of wood. Also, the lack of attention to proper waste disposal practices, which was sometimes deliberate to favor certain industries, left an abundance of flammable pollutants in the Chicago River along which the fire spread from the south to the north.[24][25][circular reference][26] The fire led to the incorporation of stringent fire-safety codes, which included a strong preference for masonry construction.[27]
The Danish immigrant Jens Jensen arrived in 1886 and soon became a successful and celebrated landscape designer. Jensen's work was characterized by a democratic approach to landscaping, which was informed by his interest in social justice and conservation, and a rejection of antidemocratic formalism. Among Jensen's creations were four Chicago city parks, most famously Columbus Park. His work also included garden design for some of the region's most influential millionaires.
The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 was constructed on former wetlands at the present location of Jackson Park along Lake Michigan in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. The land was reclaimed according to a design by the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The temporary pavilions, which followed a classical theme, were designed by a committee of the city's architects under the direction of Daniel Burnham. It was called the "White City" for the appearance of its buildings.[28]
The Exposition drew 27.5 million visitors; is considered among the most influential world's fairs in history; and affected art, architecture, and design throughout the nation.[29] The classical architectural style contributed to a revival of Beaux Arts architecture that borrowed from historical styles, but Chicago was also developing the original skyscraper and organic forms based in new technologies. The fair featured the first and until recently the largest Ferris wheel ever built.
The soft, swampy ground near the lake proved unstable ground for tall masonry buildings. That was an early constraint, but builders developed the innovative use of steel framing for support and invented the skyscraper in Chicago, which became a leader in modern architecture and set the model nationwide for achieving vertical city densities.[30]
Developers and citizens began immediate reconstruction on the existing Jeffersonian grid. The building boom that followed saved the city's status as the transportation and trade hub of the Midwest. Massive reconstruction using the newest materials and methods catapulted Chicago into its status as a city on par with New York and became the birthplace of modern architecture in the United States.[31]
Rise of industry and commerceFurther information: Economy of Chicago
1893 Bird's eye view of Chicago
The Home Insurance Building in Chicago, the world's first skyscraper.Chicago became the center of the nation's advertising industry after New York City. Albert Lasker, known as the "father of modern advertising," made Chicago his base from 1898 to 1942. As head of the Lord and Thomas agency, Lasker devised a copywriting technique that appealed directly to the psychology of the consumer. Women, who seldom smoked cigarettes, were told that if they smoked Lucky Strikes, they could stay slender. Lasker's use of radio, particularly with his campaigns for Palmolive soap, Pepsodent toothpaste, Kotex products, and Lucky Strike cigarettes, not only revolutionized the advertising industry but also significantly changed popular culture.[32]
GamblingIn Chicago, like other rapidly growing industrial centers with large immigrant working-class neighborhoods, gambling was a major issue. The city's elite upper-class had private clubs and closely-supervised horse racing tracks. The middle-class reformers like Jane Addams focused on the workers, who discovered freedom and independence in gambling that were a world apart from their closely-supervised factory jobs and gambled to validate risk-taking aspect of masculinity, betting heavily on dice, card games, policy, and cock fights. By the 1850s, hundreds of saloons had offered gambling opportunities, including off-track betting on the horses.[33][34] The historian Mark Holler argues that organized crime provided upward mobility to ambitious ethnics. The high-income, high-visibility vice lords, and racketeers built their careers and profits in ghetto neighborhoods and often branched into local politics to protect their domains.[35] For example, in 1868 to 1888, Michael C. McDonald, "The Gambler King of Clark Street," kept numerous Democratic machine politicians in his city on expense account to protect his gambling empire and to keep the goo-goo reformers at bay.[36]
In large cities, illegal businesses like gambling and prostitution were typically contained in the geographically-segregated red light districts. The businessowners made regularly-scheduled payments to police and politicians, which they treated as licensing expenses. The informal rates became standardized. For example, in Chicago, they ranged from $20 a month for a cheap brothel to $1000 a month for luxurious operations in Chicago. Reform elements never accepted the segregated vice districts and wanted them all destroyed, but in large cities, the political machine was powerful enough to keep the reformers at bay. Finally, around 1900 to 1910, the reformers grew politically strong enough to shut down the system of vice segregation, and the survivors went underground.[37]
20th century
All Star Tournament, 18 Inch Balke Line, Chicago, May 7?14, 1906
Detail of lobby columns at the Ford Center for Performing Arts
Merchants' Hotel on left, looking North from State and Washington Streets, before 1868
Birds-eye view of Chicago in 1916
Loop street scene in 1900; colorized photographChicago's manufacturing and retail sectors, fostered by the expansion of railroads throughout the upper Midwest and East, grew rapidly and came to dominate the Midwest and greatly influence the nation's economy.[38] The Chicago Union Stock Yards dominated the packing trade. Chicago became the world's largest rail hub, and one of its busiest ports by shipping traffic on the Great Lakes. Commodity resources, such as lumber, iron and coal, were brought to Chicago and Ohio for processing, with products shipped both East and West to support new growth.[39]
Lake Michigan?the primary source of fresh water for the city?became polluted from the rapidly growing industries in and around Chicago; a new way of procuring clean water was needed. In 1885 the civil engineer Lyman Edgar Cooley proposed the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. He envisioned a deep waterway that would dilute and divert the city's sewage by funneling water from Lake Michigan into a canal, which would drain into the Mississippi River via the Illinois River. Beyond presenting a solution for Chicago's sewage problem, Cooley's proposal appealed to the economic need to link the Midwest with America's central waterways to compete with East Coast shipping and railroad industries.
Strong regional support for the project led the Illinois legislature to circumvent the federal government and complete the canal with state funding. The opening in January 1900 met with controversy and a lawsuit against Chicago's appropriation of water from Lake Michigan. By the 1920s the lawsuit was divided between the states of the Mississippi River Valley, who supported the development of deep waterways linking the Great Lakes with the Mississippi, and the Great Lakes states, which feared sinking water levels might harm shipping in the lakes. In 1929 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in support of Chicago's use of the canal to promote commerce, but ordered the city to discontinue its use for sewage disposal.[40]
New construction boomed in the 1920s, with notable landmarks such as the Merchandise Mart and art deco Chicago Board of Trade Building completed in 1930. The Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Great Depression and diversion of resources into World War II led to the suspension for years of new construction.
The Century of Progress International Exposition was the name of the World's Fair held on the Near South Side lakefront from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial.[41][42] The theme of the fair was technological innovation over the century since Chicago's founding. More than 40 million people visited the fair, which symbolized for many hope for Chicago and the nation, then in the midst of the Great Depression.[43]
The demographics of the city were changing in the early 20th century as black southern families migrated out of the south, but while cities like Chicago empathized with the condition of impoverished white children, black children were mostly excluded from the private and religious institutions that provided homes for such children. Those that did take in black dependent children were overcrowded and underfunded because of institutional racism. Between 1899 and 1945 many of the city's black children found themselves in the juvenile court system. The 1899 Juvenile Court Act, supported by Progressive reformers, created a class of dependants for orphans and other children lacking "proper parental care or guardianship" but the court's designations of "delinquency" and "dependency" were racialized[when defined as?] so black children were far more likely to be labeled as delinquents.[44][fact or opinion?]
Politics in the late 19th and early 20th centuriesFurther information: Political history of Chicago
Nicely dressed Jewish men and boys standing on a sidewalk in Chicago, 1903
Theodore Roosevelt in Chicago, 1915
Map of downtown Chicago in 1917.During the election of April 23, 1875, the voters of Chicago chose to operate under the Illinois Cities and Villages Act of 1872. Chicago still operates under this act, in lieu of a charter. The Cities and Villages Act has been revised several times since, and may be found in Chapter 65 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes.
Late-19th-century big city newspapers such as the Chicago Daily News - founded in 1875 by Melville Stone - ushered in an era of news reporting that was, unlike earlier periods, in tune with the particulars of community life in specific cities. Vigorous competition between older and newer-style city papers soon broke out, centered on civic activism and sensationalist reporting of urban political issues and the numerous problems associated with rapid urban growth. Competition was especially fierce between the Chicago Times (Democratic), the Chicago Tribune (Republican), and the Daily News (independent), with the latter becoming the city's most popular paper by the 1880s.[45] The city's boasting lobbyists and politicians earned Chicago the nickname "Windy City" in the New York press. The city adopted the nickname as its own.
Violence and crimePolarized attitudes of labor and business in Chicago prompted a strike by workers' lobbying for an eight-hour work day, later named the Haymarket affair. A peaceful demonstration on May 4, 1886, at Haymarket near the west side was interrupted by a bomb thrown at police; seven police officers were killed. Widespread violence broke out. A group of anarchists were tried for inciting the riot and convicted. Several were hanged and others were pardoned. The episode was a watershed moment in the labor movement, and its history was commemorated in the annual May Day celebrations.[46]
By 1900, Progressive Era political and legal reformers initiated far-ranging changes in the American criminal justice system, with Chicago taking the lead.[47]
The city became notorious worldwide for its rate of murders in the early 20th century, yet the courts failed to convict the killers. More than three-fourths of cases were not closed. Even when the police made arrests in cases where killers' identities were known, jurors typically exonerated or acquitted them. A blend of gender-, race-, and class-based notions of justice trumped the rule of law, producing low homicide conviction rates during a period of soaring violence.[48]
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rates of domestic murder tripled in Chicago. Domestic homicide was often a manifestation of strains in gender relations induced by urban and industrial change. At the core of such family murders were male attempts to preserve masculine authority. Yet, there were nuances in the motives for the murder of family members, and study of the patterns of domestic homicide among different ethnic groups reveals basic cultural differences. German male immigrants tended to murder over declining status and the failure to achieve economic prosperity. Italian men killed family members to save a gender-based ideal of respectability that entailed patriarchal control over women and family reputation. African American men, like the Germans, often murdered in response to economic conditions but not over desperation about the future. Like the Italians, the killers tended to be young, but family honor was not usually at stake. Instead, black men murdered to regain control of wives and lovers who resisted their patriarchal "rights".[49]
Progressive reformers in the business community created the Chicago Crime Commission (CCC) in 1919 after an investigation into a robbery at a factory showed the city's criminal justice system was deficient. The CCC initially served as a watchdog of the justice system. After its suggestion that the city's justice system begin collecting criminal records was rejected, the CCC assumed a more active role in fighting crime. The commission's role expanded further after Frank J. Loesch became president in 1928. Loesch recognized the need to eliminate the glamor that Chicago's media typically attributed to criminals. Determined to expose the violence of the crime world, Loesch drafted a list of "public enemies"; among them was Al Capone, whom he made a scapegoat for widespread social problems.[50]
After the passage of Prohibition, the 1920s brought international notoriety to Chicago. Bootleggers and smugglers bringing in liquor from Canada formed powerful gangs. They competed with each other for lucrative profits, and to evade the police, to bring liquor to speakeasies and private clients. The most notorious was Al Capone.[51][52]
Immigration and migration in the 20th centuryFurther information: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of ChicagoFrom 1890 to 1914, migrations swelled, attracting to the city of mostly unskilled Catholic and Jewish immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, including Italians, Greeks, Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, and Slovaks. World War I cut off immigration from Europe, which brought hundreds of thousands of southern blacks and whites into Northern cities to fill in the labor shortages. The Immigration Act of 1924 restricted populations from southern and Eastern Europe, apart from refugees after World War II. The heavy annual turnover of ethnic populations ended, and the groups stabilized, each favoring specific neighborhoods.[53][54]
While whites from rural areas arrived and generally settled in the suburban parts of the city, large numbers of blacks from the South arrived as well.[55] The near South Side of the city became the first Black residential area, as it had the oldest, less expensive housing. Although restricted by segregation and competing ethnic groups such as the Irish, gradually continued black migration caused this community to expand, as well as the black neighborhoods on the near West Side. These were de facto segregated areas (few blacks were tolerated in ethnic white neighborhoods); the Irish and ethnic groups who had been longer in the city began to move to outer areas and the suburbs. After World War II, the city built public housing for working-class families to upgrade residential quality. The high-rise design of such public housing proved a problem when industrial jobs left the city and poor families became concentrated in the facilities. After 1950, public housing high rises anchored poor black neighborhoods south and west of the Loop.
"Old stock" Americans who relocated to Chicago after 1900 preferred the outlying areas and suburbs, with their commutes eased by train lines, making Oak Park and Evanston enclaves of the upper middle class. In the 1910s, high-rise luxury apartments were constructed along the lakefront north of the Loop, continuing into the 21st century. They attracted wealthy residents but few families with children, as wealthier families moved to suburbs for the schools. There were problems in the public school system; mostly Catholic students attended schools in the large parochial system, which was of middling quality.[56] There were a few private schools. The Latin School, Francis Parker and later The Bateman School, all centrally located served those who could afford to pay.
The northern and western suburbs developed some of the best public schools in the nation, which were strongly supported by their wealthier residents. The suburban trend accelerated after 1945, with the construction of highways and train lines that made commuting easier. Middle-class Chicagoans headed to the outlying areas of the city, and then into the Cook County and Dupage County suburbs. As ethnic Jews and Irish rose in economic class, they left the city and headed north. Well-educated migrants from around the country moved to the far suburbs.
Chicago's Polonia sustained diverse political cultures in the early twentieth century, each with its own newspaper. In 1920 the community had a choice of five daily papers ? from the Socialist Dziennik Ludowy (People's Daily; 1907?1925) to the Polish Roman Catholic Union's Dziennik Zjednoczenia (Union Daily; 1921?1939). The decision to subscribe to a particular paper reaffirmed a particular ideology or institutional network based on ethnicity and class, which lent itself to different alliances and different strategies.[57]
In 1926, the city hosted the 28th International Eucharistic Congress, a major event for the Catholic community of Chicago.
As the First World War cut off immigration, tens of thousands of African Americans came north in the Great Migration out of the rural South. With new populations competing for limited housing and jobs, especially on the South Side, social tensions rose in the city. Postwar years were more difficult. Black veterans looked for more respect for having served their nation, and some whites resented it.
In 1919, the Chicago race riot erupted, in what became known as "Red Summer", when other major cities also suffered mass racial violence based in competition for jobs and housing as the country tried to absorb veterans in the postwar years. During the riot, thirty-eight people died (23 black and 15 white) and over five hundred were injured. Much of the violence against blacks in Chicago was led by members of ethnic Irish athletic clubs, who had much political power in the city and defended their "territory" against African Americans. As was typical in these occurrences, more blacks than whites died in the violence.
Concentrating the family resources to achieve home ownership was a common strategy in the ethnic European neighborhoods. It meant sacrificing current consumption, and pulling children out of school as soon as they could earn a wage. By 1900, working-class ethnic immigrants owned homes at higher rates than native-born people. After borrowing from friends and building associations, immigrants kept boarders, grew market gardens, and opened home-based commercial laundries, eroding home-work distinctions, while sending out women and children to work to repay loans. They sought not middle-class upward mobility but the security of home ownership. Many social workers wanted them to pursue upward job mobility (which required more education), but realtors asserted that houses were better than a bank for a poor man. With hindsight, and considering uninsured banks' precariousness, this appears to have been true. Chicago's workers made immense sacrifices for home ownership, contributing to Chicago's sprawling suburban geography and to modern myths about the American dream. The Jewish community, by contrast, rented apartments and maximized education and upward mobility for the next generation.[58]
Beginning in the 1940s, waves of Hispanic immigrants began to arrive. The largest numbers were from Mexico and Puerto Rico, as well as Cuba during Fidel Castro's rise. During the 1980s, Hispanic immigrants were more likely to be from Central and South America.
After 1965 and the change in US immigration laws, numerous Asian immigrants came; the largest proportion were well-educated Indians and Chinese, who generally settled directly in the suburbs. By the 1970s gentrification began in the city, in some cases with people renovating housing in old inner city neighborhoods, and attracting singles and gay people.
State Street c. 1907State Street c. 1907
International Ballooning Contest, Aero Park, Chicago, July 4, 1908International Ballooning Contest, Aero Park, Chicago, July 4, 1908
Bird's eye view of Chicago in 1938Bird's eye view of Chicago in 1938
Oak Street Beach, 1925Oak Street Beach, 1925
1930sMain article: Chicago in the 1930sLabor unions
Chicago skyline from Northerly Island Taken sometime in 1941After 1900 Chicago was a heavily unionized city, apart from the factories (which were non-union until the 1930s). The Industrial Workers of the World was founded in Chicago in June 1905 at a convention of 200 socialists, anarchists, and radical trade unionists from all over the United States. The Railroad brotherhoods were strong, as were the crafts unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor. The AFL unions operated through the Chicago Federation of Labor to minimize jurisdictional conflicts, which caused many strikes as two unions battled to control a work site.
The unionized teamsters in Chicago enjoyed an unusually strong bargaining position when they contended with employers around the city, or supported another union in a specific strike. Their wagons could easily be positioned to disrupt streetcars and block traffic. In addition, their families and neighborhood supporters often surrounded and attacked the wagons of nonunion teamsters who were strikebreaking. When the teamsters used their clout to engage in sympathy strikes, employers decided to coordinate their antiunion efforts, claiming that the teamsters held too much power over commerce in their control of the streets. The teamsters' strike in 1905 represented a clash both over labor issues and the public nature of the streets. To the employers, the streets were arteries for commerce, while to the teamsters, they remained public spaces integral to their neighborhoods.[59]
World War IIOn December 2, 1942, the world's first controlled nuclear reaction was conducted at the University of Chicago as part of the top secret Manhattan Project.
During World War II, the steel mills in the city of Chicago alone accounted for 20% of all steel production in the United States and 10% of global production. The city produced more steel than the United Kingdom during the war, and surpassed Nazi Germany's output in 1943 (after barely missing in 1942).
The city's diversified industrial base made it second only to Detroit in the value?$24 billion?of war goods produced. Over 1,400 companies produced everything from field rations to parachutes to torpedoes, while new aircraft plants employed 100,000 in the construction of engines, aluminum sheeting, bombsights, and other components. The Great Migration, which had been on pause due to the Depression, resumed at an even faster pace as the 1910 - 1930 period, as hundreds of thousands of black Americans arrived in the city to work in the steel mills, railroads, and shipping yards.[60]
PostwarReturning World War II veterans and immigrants from Europe (in particular displaced persons from Eastern Europe) created a postwar economic boom and led to the development of huge housing tracts on Chicago's Northwest and Southwest sides. The city was extensively photographed during the postwar years by street photographers such as Richard Nickel and Vivian Maier.
In the 1950s, the postwar desire for new and improved housing, aided by new highways and commuter train lines, caused many middle and higher income Americans to begin to move from the inner-city of Chicago to the suburbs. Changes in industry after 1950, with restructuring of the stockyards and steel industries, led to massive job losses in the city for working-class people. The city population shrank by nearly 700,000. The City Council devised "Plan 21" to improve neighborhoods and focused on creating "Suburbs within the city" near downtown and the lakefront. It built public housing to try to improve housing standards in the city. As a result, many poor were uprooted from newly created enclaves of Black, Latino, and poor people in neighborhoods such as Near North, Wicker Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Cabrini?Green, West Town and Lincoln Park. The passage of civil rights laws in the 1960s also affected Chicago and other northern cities. In the 1960s and the 1970s, many middle- and upper-class Americans continued to move from the city for better housing and schools in the suburbs.
Office building resumed in the 1960s. When completed in 1974, the Sears Tower, now known as the Willis Tower, was at 1451 feet the world's tallest building. It was designed by the famous Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which designed many of the city's other famous buildings.
House in Chicago's inner city, 1974. Photo by Danny Lyon.House in Chicago's inner city, 1974. Photo by Danny Lyon.
Chicago Picasso, a 1967 sculpture in Daley Plaza. Pablo Picasso refused the $100,000 fee and donated it to the people of Chicago.Chicago Picasso, a 1967 sculpture in Daley Plaza. Pablo Picasso refused the $100,000 fee and donated it to the people of Chicago.
Mayor Richard J. Daley served 1955?1976, dominating the city's machine politics by his control of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee, which selected party nominees, who were usually elected in the Democratic stronghold. Daley took credit for building four major expressways focused on the Loop, and city-owned O'Hare Airport (which became the world's busiest airport, displacing Midway Airport's prior claims). Several neighborhoods near downtown and the lakefront were gentrified and transformed into "suburbs within the city".[61] He held office during the unrest of the 1960s, some of which was provoked by the police department's discriminatory practices. In the Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park and Humboldt Park communities, the Young Lords under the leadership of Jose Cha Cha Jimenez marched and held sit ins to protest the displacement of Latinos and the poor. After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, major riots of despair resulted in the burning down of sections of the black neighborhoods of the South and West sides. Protests against the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, held in Chicago, resulted in street violence, with televised broadcasts of the Chicago police's beating of unarmed protesters.[62]
In 1979, Jane Byrne, the city's first woman mayor, was elected, winning the Democratic primary due to a citywide outrage about the ineffective snow removal across the city.[63] In 1983, Harold Washington became the first black mayor of Chicago. Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, became mayor in 1989, and was repeatedly reelected until he declined to seek re-election in 2011. He sparked debate by demolishing many of the city's vast public housing projects, which had deteriorated and were holding too many poor and dysfunctional families. Concepts for new affordable and public housing have changed to include many new features to make them more viable: smaller scale, Environmental designs for public safety, mixed-rate housing, etc. New projects during Daley's administration have been designed to be Environmentally sound, more accessible and better for their occupants.
21st centuryIn September 2008, Chicago accepted a $2.52 billion offer on a 99-year lease of Midway International Airport to a group of private investors, but the deal fell through due to the collapse of credit markets during the 2008?2012 global recession[64][65] In 2008, as Chicago struggled to close a growing budget deficit, the city agreed to a 75-year, $1.16 billion deal to lease its parking meter system to an operating company created by Morgan Stanley. Daley said the "agreement is very good news for the taxpayers of Chicago because it will provide more than $1 billion in net proceeds that can be used during this very difficult economy." The agreement quadrupled rates, in the first year alone, while the hours which people have to pay for parking were broadened from 9 a.m. ? 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. ? 9 p.m., and from Monday through Saturday to every day of the week. Additionally, the city agreed to compensate the new owners for loss of revenue any time any road with parking meters is closed by the city for anything from maintenance work to street festivals.[66][67] In three years, the proceeds from the lease were all but spent. In his annual budget address on October 21, 2009, Daley projected a deficit for 2009 of more than $520 million. Daley proposed a 2010 budget totaling $6.14 billion, including spending $370 million from the $1.15 billion proceeds from the parking meter lease.[68] In his annual budget address on October 13, 2010, Daley projected a deficit for 2010 of $655 million, the largest in city history.[69] Daley proposed a 2011 budget totaling $6.15 billion, including spending all but $76 million of what remained of the parking meter lease proceeds, and received a standing ovation from aldermen.[70][71]
In 2011, Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago.[72] Chicago earned the title of "City of the Year" in 2008 from GQ for contributions in architecture and literature, its world of politics, and the downtown's starring role in the Batman movie The Dark Knight.[73] The city was rated by Moody's as having the most balanced economy in the United States due to its high level of diversification.[74]
FlagFour historical events are commemorated by the four red stars on Chicago's Flag: The United States' Fort Dearborn, established at the mouth of the Chicago River in 1803; the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed much of the city; the World Columbian Exposition of 1893, by which Chicago celebrated its recovery from the fire; and the Century of Progress World's Fair of 1933?1934, which celebrated the city's centennial. The Flag's two blue stripes symbolize the north and south branches of the Chicago River, which flows through the city's downtown. The three white stripes represent the North, West and South sides of the city, Lake Michigan being the east side.
Major disastersMain article: Timeline of Chicago historyThe most famous and serious disaster was the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
On December 30, 1903, the "absolutely fireproof", five-week-old Iroquois Theater was engulfed by fire. The fire lasted less than thirty minutes; 602 people died as a result of being burned, asphyxiated, or trampled.[75]
The S.S. Eastland was a cruise ship based in Chicago and used for tours. On July 24, 1915?a calm, sunny day?the ship was taking on passengers when it rolled over while tied to a dock in the Chicago River. A total of 844 passengers and crew were killed. An investigation found that the Eastland had become too heavy with rescue gear that had been ordered by Congress in the wake of the Titanic disaster.[76]
On December 1, 1958, the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire occurred in the Humboldt Park area. The fire killed 92 students and three nuns; in response, fire safety improvements were made to public and private schools across the United States.[77]
April 13, 1992, billions of dollars in damage was caused by the Chicago Flood, when a hole was accidentally drilled into the long-abandoned (and mostly forgotten) Chicago Tunnel system, which was still connected to the basements of numerous buildings in the Loop. It flooded the central business district with 250 million US gallons (950,000 m3) of water from the Chicago River.[78][79]
A major Environmental disaster occurred in July 1995, when a week of record high heat and humidity caused 739 heat-related deaths, mostly among isolated elderly poor and others without air conditioning.[80]
See alsoAmerican urban historyBibliography of Chicago historyChicago in the 1930sEthnic groups in Chicago; the larger groups have articles such as Poles in Chicago and History of African Americans in ChicagoHistory of education in ChicagoPolitical history of ChicagoRoman Catholic Archdiocese of ChicagoTimeline of Chicago historyBefore the 19th century
As interpreted from the 1670 translation of the de Soto narrative into French by Pierre Richelet, the Chucagua River, was believed to be the Mississippi. La Salle named Checagou, the transliterated from Spanish, as the gateway to the River of de Soto.
Site of Chicagou on the lake, in Guillaume de L'Isle's map (Paris, 1718)1673: French-Canadian explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet, on their way to Québec, pass through the area that will become Chicago.1677: Father Claude Allouez arrived to try to convert the natives to Christianity1682: French explorer René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, passes through Chicago en route to the mouth of the Mississippi River.1696: Jesuit missionary Francois Pinet founds the Mission of the Guardian Angel. It is abandoned four years later.1705: Conflicts develop between French traders and the Fox tribe of Native Americans.1719: The Comanche Indian Tribe settle in the Great Plains and in the Midwest of the United States.1754: The Illinois Country becomes part of New France, days later The French and Indian War begins with the war against the British.1763: The Illinois Country falls to British Troops after the defeat of New France.1775: The Revolutionary War begins with America declaring independence from Britain.1778: The Illinois Campaign is born under the command of George Rogers Clark to lead the fight against major British outposts scattered across the country.1780s: Jean Baptiste Point du Sable establishes Chicago's first permanent settlement near the mouth of the Chicago River.1795: Six square miles (16 km2) of land at the mouth of the Chicago River are reserved by the Treaty of Greenville for use by the United States.1796: Kittahawa, du Sable's Potawatomi Indian wife, delivers Eulalia Point du Sable, Chicago's first recorded birth.
19th century1800s?1840s1803: The United States Army orders the construction of Fort Dearborn by Major John Whistler. It is built near the mouth of the Chicago River.1812June 17, Jean La Lime is killed by John Kinzie, making him the first recorded murder victim in Chicago.August 15, the Battle of Fort Dearborn.1816: The Treaty of St. Louis is signed in St. Louis, Missouri. Ft. Dearborn is rebuilt.1818: December 3, Illinois joins the Union and becomes a state.
1820 Chicago
1821 Survey of Chicago1830August 4, Chicago is surveyed and platted for the first time by James Thompson.Population: "Less than 100".[1]1833: Chicago incorporated as a town.[1]1837Chicago incorporated as a city.[1]C.D. Peacock jewelers was founded. It is the oldest Chicago business still operating today.Chicago receives its first charter.[2]Rush Medical College is founded two days before the city was chartered. It is the first medical school in the state of Illinois which is still operating.The remaining 450 Potawatomi left Chicago.1840July 10, Chicago's first legally executed criminal, John Stone was hanged for rape and murder.Population: 4,470.[3]1844: Lake Park designated.[4]1847: June 10, The first issue of the Chicago Tribune is published.1848Chicago Board of Trade opens on April 3 by 82 local businessmen.Illinois and Michigan Canal opens and traffic begins moving faster.Galena and Chicago Union Railroad enters operation becoming the first railroad in Chicago1849Wauconda is founded.
Merchants' Hotel on left, looking North from State and Washington Streets, before 1868
Chicago in 1830, as depicted in 1884
Chicago in 1832, as depicted in 1892
Chicago in 1836
1893 Bird's eye view of Chicago
Fort Dearborn depicted as in 1831, sketched 1850s although the accuracy of the sketch was debated soon after it appeared.1850s?1890s1850: Population: 29,963.[3]1851: Chicago's first institution of higher education, Northwestern University, is founded.1852: Mercy Hospital becomes the first hospital in Illinois.1853October: State Convention of the Colored Citizens held in city.[5]Union Park named.[4]1854: A cholera epidemic took the lives of 5.5% of the population of Chicago.[6]1855Chicago Theological Seminary founded.[1]April 21, Lager Beer riot.Population: 80,000.[4]1856: Chicago Historical Society founded.1857Iwan Ries & Co. Chicago's oldest family-owned business opens, still in operation today, the oldest family-owned Tobacco shop.Mathias A. Klein & Sons (Klein Tools Inc.), still family owned and run today by fifth and sixth generation Klein's.Cook County Hospital opens.[1]Hyde Park House built.[4]1859: McCormick Theological Seminary relocated.[1]1860September 8, the Lady Elgin Disaster.Population: 112,172.[3]Daprato Statuary Company (Currently Daprato Rigali Studios) founded by the Daprato brothers, Italian immigrants from Barga.1865Corporal punishment was abandoned in schools.[4]Population: 178,492.[4]1866: School of the Art Institute of Chicago founded.1867Construction began on the Water Tower designed by architect W. W. Boyington.Chicago Academy of Music founded.[4]1868Rand McNally is formed as a railway guide company.Lincoln Park Zoo founded.[4]1869Chicago Water Tower built.The first Illinois woman suffrage convention was held in ChicagoThe Chicago Club is established.Washington Square Park being developed.[4]1870St. Ignatius College founded, later Loyola UniversityPopulation: 298,977.[3]1871: October 8 ? 10, the Great Chicago Fire.[4][7]1872Montgomery Ward in business.Establishment of the first Black fire company in the city.
The original library, inside the old water tower on the site that is now the Rookery Building.
This former water tower was the site of the original public library, exterior view1873: Chicago Public Library established.[4]1875: Holy Name Cathedral dedicated.[4]1877: Railroad strike.[8]
Art Institute of Chicago As seen from Michigan Ave1878Art Institute of Chicago established.Conservator newspaper begins publication.[9][10]1879: Art Institute of Chicago founded.[1]1880: Polish National Alliance headquartered in city.1881: Unsightly beggar ordinance effected.[11]
Home Insurance Building
Field Museum in Chicago1885: Home Insurance Building building was the first skyscraper that stood in Chicago from 1885 to 1931. Originally ten stories and 138 ft (42.1 m) tall, it was designed by William Le Baron Jenney in 1884[12][13] Two floors were added in 1891, bringing its now finished height to 180 feet (54.9 meters). It was the first tall building to be supported both inside and outside by a fireproof structural steel frame, though it also included reinforced concrete. A landmark lost to history and is considered the world's first skyscraper.
Chicago Water Tower and Chicago Avenue Pumping Station, circa 18861886May 4, the Haymarket riot.[14]Chicago Evening Post published (until 1932).[1]1887: Newberry Library established.1888: Dearborn Observatory rebuilt.1889Hull House founded.[1][15]Auditorium Building completed.[1]Auditorium Theatre opened.1890: The University of Chicago is founded by John D. Rockefeller.1891Chicago Symphony Orchestra founded by Theodore Thomas.[1]Provident Hospital founded.[1]1892June 6, The Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad, Chicago's first 'L' line, went into operation.Masonic Temple for two years, the tallest building in Chicago.Streetcar tunnels in Chicago (under the Chicago River) in use until 1906.[1]1893May 1 ? October 30, The World's Columbian Exposition (World's Fair); World's Parliament of Religions held.[16][1]October 28, Mayor Carter Harrison, Sr. was assassinated by Patrick Eugene Prendergast.[17]Sears, Roebuck and Company in business.First Ferris wheel built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.Art Institute of Chicago building opens.[1]Monadnock Building completed.[1]Universal Peace Congress held.[18]Chicago Civic Federation founded.[17]1894May 11 ? August 2, the Pullman Strike.[14][1]?enské Listy women's magazine begins publication.[19][20]Field Museum of Natural History established.[1]1895: Marquette Building completed.[1]18961896 Democratic National Convention held; Bryan delivers Cross of Gold speech.[21]Campaign "to improve municipal service and politics" begun in 1896.[1]Abeny beauty shop[22] and Tonnesen Sisters photo studio[23] in business.1897March 12, The Chicago Elevator Protective Association of Chicago was formed. Later, on July 15, 1901, to become the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 2.The Union Loop Elevated is completed.National union of meat packers formed.[1]1898: National peace jubilee was held.[1]1899Cook County juvenile court established.[24]Municipal Art League established.[1]Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building during construction
Chicago USA. Map of the business portion of Chicago. 1905 Source The New International Encyclopædia, v. 4, 1905, between pp. 610?11.1900Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal opens;[25] the Chicago River is completely reversed.Municipal Reference Library active (approximate date).[26]Labor strike of machinists.[8]Population: 1,698,575.[1]20th century
Construction of the Chicago Drainage Canal, 1900s1900s?1940sSee also: Chicago in the 1930s1902: Meatpacking strike.[8]1903December 30, Iroquois Theater FireCity Club of Chicago formed.1905The Industrial Workers of the World was founded in June[27]Teamsters' strike.[1]Chicago Defender newspaper begins publication.[28]City Hall rebuilding completed.[1]Chicago Federal Building completed.[1]1906Municipal court established.[24]The Chicago White Sox defeated the Chicago Cubs in the only all-Chicago World Series.Sinclair's fictional The Jungle published.[14]Chicago Tunnel Company operated a 2 ft. narrow-gauge railway freight tunnel network (until 1959).[1]1907: Adolph Kroch opens a bookstore which will evolve into Kroch's and Brentano's1908The Chicago Cubs win the World Series for the second year in a rowBinga Bank in business.[29]1909: Burnham's Plan of Chicago presented.[14]1910: Population: 2,185,283.[1][30]July 1: Comiskey Park opened (originally called White Sox Park).December 22: Chicago Union Stock Yards fire (1910)1911: Chicago and North Western Railway Terminal completed.[1]1912:Harriet Monroe starts Poetry, which will soon make Chicago a magnet for modern poets.1913Great Lakes Storm of 1913Wabash Avenue YMCA opens.[31]1914: Alpha Suffrage Club active.[32]April 23: Wrigley Field opened (originally called Weeghman Park).
All Star Tournament, 18 Inch Balke Line, Chicago, May 7?14, 1906
Jewish men and boys standing on a sidewalk in Chicago, 1903
Theodore Roosevelt in Chicago, 1915
During construction, 1915 (Chicago Daily News)1915July 24, the SS Eastland Disaster.[1]Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium founded.[30]1916Rebuilding of the American FortNavy Pier built. [30]1918Micheaux Film and Book Company in business.[33]The Spanish flu killed over 8,500 people in Chicago between September and November 1918.1919July 27, the Chicago race riot of 1919.Real estate broker Archibald Teller opened the first Fannie May candy store.1920: Population: 2,701,705.[30]1921Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre built, (later the Chicago Theatre).Field Museum of Natural History relocates to Chicago Park District.[30]Street-widening and street-opening projects underway.[30]Medill School of Journalism opens.[30]1922: Chicago Council on Global Affairs established.[34]1924Murder trial and conviction of Leopold and Loeb.October 9: Soldier Field opened.1925Goodman Theatre established.Chicago railway station opened.[30]The Tribune Tower was completed on Michigan Avenue. The building's large Gothic entrance contains pieces of stone from other famous buildings: Westminster Abbey, Cologne Cathedral, the Alamo, the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramid, and the Arc de Triomphe.1926Nederlander Theatre opened.Granada Theatre opened.1927: Originally called the Chicago Municipal Airport, Chicago Midway International Airport opened. It was renamed in 1949 to honor the Battle of Midway in World War II.July 28: 27 people, mostly women and children, were killed in the Favorite Boat Disaster.1929February 14, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.[21][35]Oscar De Priest becomes U.S. representative for Illinois's 1st congressional district.[36][37]Civic Opera Building & Civic Opera House opened.1930March 6: 50,000 gather for International Unemployment Day, capping 10 days of protest against Great Depression conditions.May 12, Adler Planetarium opened, through a gift from local merchant Max Adler. It was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.[38]April 6, Twinkies are in Invented in Schiller Park.May 30, Shedd Aquarium opens.The Merchandise Mart was built for Marshall Field & Co. The $32 million, 4.2 million square foot (390,000 m2) building was the world's largest commercial building. It was sold it to Joseph P. Kennedy in 1945.1933Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago) opened.March 6: Mayor Anton Cermak was killed while riding in a car with President-elect Roosevelt. The assassin was thought to have been aiming for Roosevelt.1933?34: Century of Progress World's Fair.1934May 19: Chicago Union Stock Yards fire (1934)July 1: Brookfield Zoo opened.July 22: John Dillinger was shot by the FBI in the alley next to the Biograph Theater.[21]1935January 19: Coopers Inc. sells the world's first briefs.Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago is awarded the very first Heisman Trophy1937: Labor strike of steelworkers.[8]1938: Community Factbook begins publication.[39]1944: Premiere of Williams' play The Glass Menagerie.1945: Ebony magazine begins publication.[40]1946: Construction of Thatcher Homes begins.1948: Chicago Daily Sun and Times newspaper begins publication.[9]1950s?1990s1950: Chess Records in business.[41]1954: Johnson Products Company in business.1955: The first McDonald's franchise restaurant, owned by Ray Kroc, opened in the suburb of Des Plaines.1958December 1, Our Lady of the Angels School Fire.The last streetcar ran in the city. At one time, Chicago had the largest streetcar system in the world.1959: Second City comedy troupe active.1960September 26: Nixon-Kennedy televised presidential debate held.[21]The first of the Playboy Clubs, featuring bunnies, opened in Chicago.1963 ? Donald Rumsfeld became U.S. representative for Illinois's 13th congressional district.[42]1965?66 ? The Chicago Freedom Movement, centering on the topic of open housing, paves the way for the 1968 Fair Housing Act.1966July 13?14: Chicago student nurse massacre1967January 26 ? 27, Major snowstorm deposits 23 inches of snow, closing the city for several days.[2]August 1: maiden voyage of UAC TurboTrain.1968:February 7: Mickelberry Sausage Company plant explosion kills nine and injured 70.August 26 ? 29, 1968 Democratic National Convention and its accompanying anti-Vietnam War protests.1969October: Weathermen's antiwar demonstration.[43]December 4: Black Panther Fred Hampton assassinated.The Chicago 8 trial opens.The 100-floor John Hancock Center was built.1970Soul Train television program begins broadcasting.Casa Aztlán (organization) founded.[44]1971: Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center founded.[45]1972: Vietnam Veterans Against the War headquartered in Chicago.1973: Sears Tower, the tallest building in the world for the next 25 years, was completed.1974: Steppenwolf Theatre Company founded.1977: Chicago Marathon begins.[41]1978: First BBS goes online on February 16.1979Heavy snowstorm and city's slow response lead to upset of incumbent mayor.May 25, the American Airlines Flight 191 crashes.Chicago's first female mayor, Jane M. Byrne, takes office.Woodstock Institute headquartered in city.[46]1981: Hill Street Blues television show premieres on January 15.1982September ? October: Chicago Tylenol murders1983Harold Washington became the first African American mayor.[47]Ordinance banning handguns takes effect.[35][48]1984The Chicago Cubs reach the postseason for the first time since 1945The Nike shoe Air Jordan is made for superstar basketball player of the Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan.Heartland Institute headquartered in city.[49]1986Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, Inc. in business.The Chicago Bears win Super Bowl XXPresidential Towers complex completed1988Lights are installed in Wrigley FieldChristian Peacemaker Teams headquartered in city.[49]1990: Population: 2,783,726.[3]1991: May 28, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, Sony proudly revealed that it was working with Nintendo to create a version of the Super NES with an in-built CD drive. The two Japanese companies had been working together in secret on the project, tentatively titled the Nintendo PlayStation, since 1989 and with the hype about CD-ROM reaching fever pitch, Sony?s announcement should have been a highlight of the trade show. Eventually leads to betrayal of the company Nintendo to Sony into Leading to the beginning of PlayStation Counsel.[50]1992: April 13, the Chicago Flood.1995The Chicago Heat Wave of 1995.Your Radio Playhouse begins broadcasting.Kroch's and Brentano's, once the largest privately owned bookstore chain in the US, closes.1996Chicago hosts the 1996 Democratic National Convention, sparking protests such as the one whereby Civil Rights Movement historian Randy Kryn and 10 others were arrested by the Federal Protective Service.[51]City website online (approximate date).[52][53]1998: The Chicago Bulls won their sixth NBA championship in eight years.21st century2001:9/11Chicago International Speedway is opened.Boeing moves its headquarters from Seattle to ChicagoA video game company called Bungie Launches Halo that would give Rise to Microsoft's Xbox counsels.2002: Lakeview Polar Bear Club founded (now known as the Chicago Polar Bear Club).2003Meigs Field closed after having large X-shaped gouges dug into the runway surface by bulldozers in the middle of the night.Chicago Film Archives founded.February 17: 2003 E2 nightclub stampedeJune 29: 2003 Chicago balcony collapse2004: Millennium Park opens.[54]2005The Chicago White Sox win their first World Series in 88 years.Regional Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning established.[55]2006May 1, the 2006 U.S. immigration reform protests draw over 400,000.Cloud Gate artwork installed in Millennium Park.2008: November 4, US President-elect Barack Obama makes his victory speech in Grant Park.
In 2009, an Amtrak Lake Shore Limited train backing into Chicago Union Station
Chicago Theater in 20112010June 28: US supreme court case McDonald v. City of Chicago decided; overturns city handgun ban.[48]Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.City of Chicago Data Portal launched.[3]2011February 2: 900 cars abandoned on Lake Shore Drive due to Blizzard.March 30: Last of Cabrini Green towers torn down.Rahm Emanuel becomes mayor.Population: 8,707,120; metro 17,504,753.[56]201238th G8 summit and 2012 Chicago Summit are to take place in Chicago.The first of an ongoing franchise of NBC Chicago-set dramas, Chicago Fire, makes its world premiere on WMAQ2013Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup scoring 2 goals in 17 seconds to defeat the Boston BruinsRobin Kelly becomes U.S. representative for Illinois's 2nd congressional district.2014:January: ChiberiaAugust: Archer Daniels Midland completes its headquarters move from Decatur to the Loop.November 2: Wallenda performs high-wire stunt.[57]2015606 linear park opens.Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup yet again for the third time in six years, establishing a "puck dynasty" nationwide and arguably becoming the best team in the NHL.Video of the murder of Laquan McDonald is released by court order, and protests ensue.2016:June 16: McDonald's announces it will move its headquarters from Oak Brook to the West Loop by 2018.ConAgra completes its headquarters move from Omaha to the Merchandise Mart.November 2: Cubs win the world series.
Navy Pier in 20172017January 21: Women's protest against U.S. president Trump.[58]City approves public high school "post-graduation plan" graduation requirement (to be effected 2020).[59]2018: Walgreens announces the move of its headquarters from Deerfield, including 2,000 jobs, to the Old Chicago Main Post Office.
14th Street Coach Yard and Willis Tower, October 20182019May 20: Lori Lightfoot becomes the first female African-American mayor of Chicago.2020March 16: First Chicago death due to the COVID-19 pandemic; Governor J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot issue a stay at home order. Over 7,700 people in Chicago died in the pandemic.May 28 ? June 1: George Floyd protests in Chicago2022May ? July: 2022-2023 abortion protests2023May 15: Brandon Johnson becomes mayor.See alsoHistory of ChicagoList of mayors of ChicagoNational Register of Historic Places listings in Chicago

CIVIL RIGHTS AUTOGRAPHS CHICAGO HEAD SOUTH SIDE NAACP IMPORTANT AFRICAN AMERICAN:
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