39 Interesting Facts about Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is a major city located in the state of Illinois in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is the third-largest city in the United States, with a population of over 2.7 million residents. Chicago has a rich history and is known for its architecture, museums, and cultural institutions, as well as its lakefront parks, including Grant Park and Millennium Park. The city is also famous for its food, including its deep-dish pizza and hot dogs.

Chicago is a major hub for commerce and industry, with a thriving business district and numerous Fortune 500 companies headquartered there. The city is also home to several universities and colleges, including the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, and is a major center for research and innovation. In addition to its cultural and economic significance, Chicago is also known for its challenging weather, with hot summers and cold, windy winters.

Chicago skyline

Chicago skyline

Here’s 39 interesting facts about Chicago:

  1. Chicago was founded in 1833 and named after the indigenous Shawnee word “Chicagoua,” which means “wild onion.”
  2. The Chicago River is one of the only rivers in the world that flows backwards, as a result of an engineering feat in 1900.
  3. The world’s first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building, was built in Chicago in 1885.
  4. Chicago is known for its architecture, with numerous structures designed by famous architects such as Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Mies van der Rohe.
  5. Chicago is home to the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), which was the tallest building in the world from 1974 to 1998.
  6. Chicago is famous for its deep-dish pizza, which was created at Pizzeria Uno in 1943.
  7. The Chicago Cubs baseball team won the World Series in 2016 for the first time in 108 years.
  8. The city is also home to the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls (basketball), Chicago Blackhawks (hockey), and Chicago Fire (soccer) teams.
  9. The first successful heart transplant was performed at the University of Chicago in 1982.
  10. The Chicago World’s Fair, also known as the Columbian Exposition, was held in 1893 and introduced the world to the Ferris wheel.
  11. Chicago was a major hub of the Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses used by escaped slaves to reach freedom in the North.
  12. The Chicago Public Library is the largest public library system in the United States, with over 80 locations.
  13. The Chicago Cubs play at Wrigley Field, one of the oldest Major League Baseball stadiums, which was built in 1914.
  14. Chicago is a major transportation hub, with two airports (O’Hare International and Midway), multiple train stations, and the busiest commuter rail system in the United States.
  15. Chicago is a major center for business, finance, and commerce, with one of the largest exchanges for futures and options trading.
  16. The Chicago Stock Exchange was the first stock exchange in the United States, established in 1882.
  17. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is the largest futures exchange in the world, trading futures contracts for commodities such as currencies, interest rates, and stock indices.
  18. Chicago is the birthplace of the Harold Washington Library Center, which is the largest public library building in the United States.
  19. The city has a rich musical history, including the development of blues and jazz music in the early 20th century.
  20. Chicago was a center of the civil rights movement, with prominent activists such as Ida B. Wells and Jesse Jackson.
  21. The city is home to several museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, which is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States.
  22. Chicago is the birthplace of the modern refrigerator, with the first commercial refrigerator being produced in the city in 1887.
  23. The first successful controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft was made by Orville Wright in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, using an airplane designed by his
  24. brother Wilbur Wright, who was born in Millville, Indiana.
  25. The Chicago Riverwalk is a public park along the river that offers scenic views, restaurants, and entertainment.
  26. The city has a large park system, including Grant Park, Lincoln Park, and Millennium Park.
  27. The Chicago Cultural Center, located in the Loop, is one of the largest free cultural centers.
  28. The Chicago Cubs have the longest championship drought in Major League Baseball, having not won the World Series since 1908.
  29. The Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed much of the city and resulted in the rebuilding of much of the downtown area.
  30. The city is home to the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country, which is free to the public.
  31. Chicago is known for its festivals, including the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Taste of Chicago, and the Lollapalooza music festival.
  32. The city has a rich theater scene, with numerous Broadway-style theaters, as well as smaller theaters for off-Broadway and experimental productions.
  33. The Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field is one of the few remaining baseball stadiums that still has a hand-turned scoreboard.
  34. Chicago has a large public transportation system, including buses, trains, and the “L” train system, which is one of the largest in the country.
  35. The Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field is one of the few remaining baseball stadiums that allows fans to keep balls hit into the stands.
  36. Chicago is the birthplace of the modern skyscraper and the home of the first high-rise building in the world.
  37. The Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field is one of the few remaining baseball stadiums that still allows fans to bring their own food and drinks into the park.
  38. The Chicago River is dyed green every year on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the holiday.
  39. The city has numerous public beaches along Lake Michigan, including North Avenue Beach, Oak Street Beach, and Montrose Beach.

Besides those facts, there are surely more interesting facts about Chicago. Despite its challenging weather, Chicago is a vibrant and exciting city, offering residents and visitors a wealth of opportunities for entertainment, education, and career advancement.

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