FACTS ABOUT CHICAGO
The name “Chicago” is derived from a French rendering of the indigenous Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa for a wild relative of the onion, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum. 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. Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the eponymous wild “garlic” grew abundantly in the area.
Chicago’s first permanent resident was a trader named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a free black man apparently from Haiti, who came here in the late 1770s. In 1795, 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 burned to the ground by Native Americans in 1812, rebuilt and demolished in 1857.
Throughout 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 1,450-foot Sears Tower, completed in 1974, is the tallest building in North America and the third tallest in the world.
Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, on Lake Michigan in Illinois, is one of the largest cities in the United States. At a 2017 estimate population of 2,716,450, it is the third most populous city in the United States, and the most populous city in both the state of Illinois and the United States Midwest. It is the county seat of Cook County. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, has nearly 10 million people and is the third-largest in the United States and fourth largest in North America. It is the birthplace of the skyscraper and considered the most influential architectural city of the 20th century. Chicago saw the creation of the first standardized futures contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade; today its successor has evolved into the largest and most diverse derivatives market in the world, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures
- Incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew rapidly in the mid-nineteenth century.
- After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild.
- The construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, and by 1900 Chicago was one of the five largest cities in the world.
- During this period, Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, which included creating new construction styles (including the Chicago School of architecture), the development of the City Beautiful Movement, and the steel-framed skyscraper.
MY TIME IN CHICAGO
My flight into Chicago ended on a very high note, with my being permitted to sit in the cockpit, in the Captain’s seat (after landing)! It was a pretty cool opportunity and came around by chance. Very funny, because I have previously tried very hard, using many different tactics!
I enjoyed an architectural cruise on a ‘Seadog’ speedboat and also a tour on a hop on hop off bus. The Seadog tour was incredible and focussed largely on the city’s architecture, which is rich. The weather was incredible for the speedboat tour, however, I lucked out on the hop on hop off tour – it was a bit overcast when I hopped on, then within 5 minutes there was a torrential downpour. Luckily for me, I was able to quickly scoot downstairs. The driver of the bus wasn’t happy when everyone else tried to do this – she was absolutely screeching at the top of her lungs for everyone to sit down. It was funny, but only because I was under-cover. If I was still on the top deck I may well have hurled myself off the bus.
Chicago is famous for:
- “Windy City” – not just from the wind, but from the hot air blown by politicians;
- Italian Beef sandwich;
- Deep dish pizza;
- Chicago-style hot dog
Flight from Chicago to Toronto
The shopping in Chicago airport was SO disappointing. Prior to getting to the airport I had stopped at an outlet mall and got some AMAZING bargains, however there were still a few items I had hoped to pick up in duty free, which Chicago’s O’Hare airport had a very low-scale version of!
Soldier Field is an American football stadium located in the Near South Side of Chicago, Illinois. It opened in 1924 and is the home field of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), who moved there in 1971.
Soldier Field was designed in 1919 and opened on October 9, 1924, as Municipal Grant Park Stadium. The name was changed to Soldier Field on November 11, 1925, as a memorial to U.S. soldiers who had died in combat. Its formal dedication as Soldier Field was on Saturday, November 27, 1926, during the 29th annual playing of the Army–Navy Game. Its design is in the Neoclassical style, with Doric columns rising above the East and West entrances. The stadium cost $13 million to construct ($182 million in 2015 dollars), a very large sum for a sporting venue at that time (in comparison, L.A. Memorial Coliseum had cost less than $1 million in 1923 dollars).
The stadium’s interior was mostly demolished and rebuilt as part of a major renovation project in 2002, which modernized the facility but lowered seating capacity, while also causing it to be delisted as a National Historic Landmark. Soldier Field has served as the home venue for a number of other sports teams in its history, including the Chicago Cardinals of the NFL, University of Notre Dame football, and the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer, as well as games from the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and multiple CONCACAF Gold Cup championships. With a football capacity of 61,500, it is the third-smallest stadium in the NFL.
Events held at the stadium:
- June 24, 1932 a war show celebrating the bicentennial of George Washington‘s birth featured Amelia Earhart.
- October 28, 1944, President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt made an appearance at Soldier Field, which was the only Midwestern speaking appearance he made in his last reelection campaign. This appearance was attended by over 150,000 (with at least as many people attempting to attend who were unable to gain admission).
- US General during World War II Douglas MacArthur addressed a crowd of 50,000 at Soldier Field, which was his first visit to the United States in 14 years in April 1951.
- Glenn “Fireball” Roberts won the only NASCAR Grand National race held at the stadium’s short track which ran across the old configuration, in 1956. Three Convertible Division races were held at the stadium.
- The Chicago Freedom Movement, led by Martin Luther King, held a rally here on June 21. As many as 75,000 came to hear Reverends Martin Luther King Jr. and Theodore Hesburgh (president of the University of Notre Dame, Archbishop Arthur M. Brazier, and Minister Edgar Chandleramong others.
- The Chicago Freedom Movement held a second rally here on July 10, 1966. As many as 60,000 people came to hear Dr. King as well as Mahalia Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Peter, Paul and Mary.
- October 13 David D. Meilahn made the first-ever commercial cell phone call from his 1983 Mercedes-Benz 380SL at Soldier Field on a Motorola DynaTAC. This is considered a major turning point in communications. The call was to Bob Barnett, the former president of Ameritech Mobile Communications, who then placed a call on a DynaTAC from inside of a Chrysler convertible to the grandson of Alexander Graham Bell who was in Germany.
- In the summer of 2006, the stadium hosted the Opening Ceremony of the Gay Games
- In 2012, United States President Barack Obama held the 2012 Chicago summit, a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), at McCormick Place and Soldier Field.
- a mixed-use residential-commercial building complex in Chicago
- Completed in 1968 and occupies almost an entire city block on State Street
- Complex consists of two 179m, 65-story towers, which include physical plant penthouses. It also includes a saddle-shaped auditorium building and a mid-rise hotel building, contained on a raised platform next to the Chicago River. Beneath the platform, at river level, is a small marina for pleasure craft, giving the structures their name.
- Designed by Bertrand Goldberg, Marina City was the first building in the United States to be constructed with tower cranes.
During the last ice age, the area that became Chicago was covered by Lake Chicago, which drained south into the Mississippi Valley. As the ice and water retreated, a short 12-to-14-foot (3.7 to 4.3 m) ridge was exposed about a mile inland, which generally separated the Great Lakes’ watershed from the Mississippi Valley, except in times of heavy precipitation or when winter ice flows prevented drainage. By the time Europeans arrived, the Chicago River flowed sluggishly into Lake Michigan from Chicago’s flat plain. As Chicago grew, this allowed sewage and other pollution into the clean-water source for the city, contributing to several public health problems, like typhoid fever. Starting in 1848, much of the Chicago River’s flow was also diverted across the Chicago Portage into the Illinois and Michigan Canal. In 1871, the old canal was deepened in an attempt to completely reverse the river’s flow but the reversal of the river only lasted one season.
Finally, in 1900, the Sanitary District of Chicago, then headed by William Boldenweck, completely reversed the flow of the Main Stem and South Branch of the river using a series of canal locks, increasing the river’s flow from Lake Michigan and causing it to empty into the newly completed Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. In 1999, this system was named a “Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium” by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Before this time, the Chicago River was known by many local residents of Chicago as “the stinking river” because of the massive amounts of sewage and pollution that poured into the river from Chicago’s booming industrial economy.
Through the 1980s, the river was quite dirty and often filled with garbage; however, during the 1990s, it underwent extensive cleaning as part of an effort at beautification by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
In 2005, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created a three-dimensional, hydrodynamic simulation of the Chicago River, which suggested that density currents are the cause of an observed bi-directional wintertime flow in the river. At the surface, the river flows east to west, away from Lake Michigan, as expected. But deep below, near the riverbed, water seasonally travels west to east, toward the lake.
All outflows from the Great Lakes Basin are regulated by the joint U.S.-Canadian Great Lakes Commission, and the outflow through the Chicago River is set under a U.S. Supreme Court decision (1967, modified 1980 and 1997). The city of Chicago is allowed to remove 3200 cubic feet per second (91 m³/s) of water from the Great Lakes system; about half of this, 1 billion US gallons a day (44 m³/s), is sent down the Chicago River, while the rest is used for drinking water. In late 2005, the Chicago-based Alliance for the Great Lakes proposed re-separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins to address such ecological concerns as the spread of invasive species.
Operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lock was designed and built between 1936 and 1938 by the Sanitary District of Chicago as a component of the project to reverse the flow of the Chicago River and is one of two entrances from the Great Lakes to the Chicago Area Waterway System – the other entrance being the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam on the Calumet River.
The lock chamber is 600 feet long, 80 feet wide, and 22 feet deep and can accommodate up to 100 vessels at once. The lock requires 12–15 minutes to cycle through a typical water-level difference of two to five feet. Water level is controlled via gravity through partially opened lock gates.
The Chicago Harbor Lock is the fourth-busiest lock in the nation for commercial use and the second-busiest in the nation for recreational use
The bar at the Navy Pier party
McCormick Place is the largest convention center in North America. It consists of four interconnected buildings and one indoor arena sited on and near the shore of Lake Michigan, about 2 mi south of downtown Chicago, Illinois, United States.
Party at Navy Pier, Chicago