This article is about the history of Chicago, Illinois. Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States.
At the beginning of recorded history, the Chicago area was inhabited by a number of Algonquian peoples, including the Mascoutens and Miamis. This article is about the large number of peoples speaking Algonquian languages. The Mascouten (also Mascoutin, Mathkoutench, or Musketoon) were a tribe of Algonquian-speaking native Americans who are believed to The Miami are a Native American tribe originally found in Indiana, southwest Michigan and Ohio, and now living also in Oklahoma Trade links and seasonal hunting migrations linked these peoples with their neighbours, the Potawatomis to the east, Fox to the north, and the Illinois to the southwest. The Potawatomi (also spelled Pottawatomie and Pottawatomi, among many variations) are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi "Outagamie" redirects here For the Wisconsin county see Outagamie County Wisconsin. The Illiniwek (also known as the Illini, Illinois Confederacy) were a group of six Native American Tribes in the upper Mississippi River The name "Chicago" is the French version of the Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa ("wild leek"/"skunk"), named for the plants common along the Chicago River, and thus has nothing to do with Chief Chicagou of the Michigamea people. The Miami-Illinois language is a Native American language formerly spoken in the United States primarily in Illinois, Missouri, Indiana The name Wild leek can also refer to Allium ampeloprasum, a native of Europe The Chicago River is 156 miles (251 km long and flows through downtown Chicago. Chief Chicagou, also known as Agapit Chicagou, was an 18th century Native American leader of the Mitchigamea. Mitchigamea or Michigamea or Mitchigamie were a tribe in the Illinois Confederation 
Chicago's location at a short, swampy portage between the Chicago River (flowing originally into the Great Lakes) and the Des Plaines River (flowing into the Mississippi), attracted the attention of many French explorers travelling in the area, such as Louis Jolliet and Henri Joutel, who felt that the area had a great potential as a transportation hub. The Chicago River is 156 miles (251 km long and flows through downtown Chicago. The Des Plaines River flows southward for 150 miles (241 km through southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois in the U The Mississippi River is the second longest River in the United States, with a length of from its source in Lake Itasca in Minnesota to Louis Jolliet, also known as Louis Joliet with only one L ( September 21, 1645 &ndash 1700 was a French Canadian explorer In 1683, French Jesuits built the Mission of the Guardian Angel to Christianize the local Wea and Miami people, and for a time there was a French fort (Fort Chécagou), commanded by Pierre de Liette. The Society of Jesus ( Latin: Societas Iesu, SJ and SI or SJ, SI) is a Catholic religious order The name 'Wea' is used today as the a shortened version of the many recorded names it is suggested and written that waayaahtanwa, is derived from waayaahtanonki, 'place The Miami are a Native American tribe originally found in Indiana, southwest Michigan and Ohio, and now living also in Oklahoma French and allied use of the Chicago portage was mostly abandoned during the 1720s thanks to continual raiding during the Fox Wars. "Outagamie" redirects here For the Wisconsin county see Outagamie County Wisconsin. 
During the mid 1700s, the Chicago area was inhabited primarily by Potawatomis, who took the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox who had previously controlled the area. The Potawatomi (also spelled Pottawatomie and Pottawatomi, among many variations) are a Native American people of the upper Mississippi The Miami are a Native American tribe originally found in Indiana, southwest Michigan and Ohio, and now living also in Oklahoma Sac and Fox Nation is the modern political entity encompassing the historical Sac and Fox nations of Native Americans.
The first non-native settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, a Haitian of African and French descent, who settled on the Chicago River in the 1770s and married a local Potawatomi woman. Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable (1745(? - August 28, 1818) popularly known as "The Father of Chicago" was the first known settler in the area which is now Haiti ( English: ˈheɪ·tiː or haɪ·ˈjiː·tiː French Haïti a·i·ti Haitian Creole: Legal residents and citizens To be French according to the first article of the Constitution is to be a citizen of France regardless of one's origin race or religion ( The Chicago River is 156 miles (251 km long and flows through downtown Chicago. In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, the area of Chicago was ceded by the Native Americans in the Treaty of Greenville to the United States for a military post. The Northwest Indian War (1785&ndash1795 also known as Little Turtle's War and by various other names was a war fought between the United States and Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States The Treaty of Greenville was signed at Fort Greenville (now Greenville Ohio) on August 3, 1795, between a coalition of Native Americans In 1803, Fort Dearborn was built and remained in use until 1837, after being rebuilt in 1816. Fort Dearborn, named in honor of Henry Dearborn, was a United States Fort built on the Chicago River in 1803 by troops under Captain In 1812 it had been destroyed in the Fort Dearborn massacre during the War of 1812. The Fort Dearborn massacre occurred on August 15, 1812, near Fort Dearborn, Illinois Territory (in what is now Chicago, The War of 1812 was fought between the United States of America and the British Empire, particularly Great Britain and her North American colonies The Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi ceded the land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis. The Ojibwa or Chippewa (also Ojibwe, Ojibway, Chippeway) is the largest group of Native Americans - First Nations The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The Treaty of St Louis is one of many treaties signed between the United States and various Native American tribes
On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was incorporated with a population of 350. Events 1099 - First Crusade: Battle of Ascalon - Crusaders under the command of Godfrey of Bouillon defeat Fatimid Year 1833 ( MDCCCXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common The first boundaries of the new town were Kinzie, Desplaines, Madison, and State Streets, which included an area of about three-eighths of a square mile (1 km²). Madison Street is a major east-west thoroughfare in Chicago, Illinois. State Street is a major north-south thoroughfare in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Within seven years the town had a population of over 4,000. Chicago was granted a city charter by the State of Illinois on March 4, 1837. A city charter or town charter (generically municipal charter) is a legal Document establishing a Municipality such as a City or Events 51 - Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title Princeps iuventutis (head of the youth Year 1837 ( MDCCCXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Common The opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848 allowed shipping from the Great Lakes through Chicago to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The Illinois and Michigan Canal ran 96 miles (155 km from the Bridgeport neighborhood in Chicago on the Chicago River to LaSalle Illinois, The Laurentian Great Lakes are a chain of freshwater lakes located in eastern North America, on the Canada–United States border. The Mississippi River is the second longest River in the United States, with a length of from its source in Lake Itasca in Minnesota to The Gulf of Mexico ( Spanish: Golfo de México) is the ninth largest Body of water in the world The first rail line to Chicago, the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad was completed the same year. The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad ( G&CU) was a Railroad running west from Chicago to Clinton Iowa and Freeport Illinois, never 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 using these connections like Montgomery Ward and Sears, Roebuck and Company. Montgomery Ward (later known as Wards) is an Online retailer that is somewhat connected to the former American Department store chain founded Sears Roebuck and Company, commonly known as Sears, is an American mid-range chain of International Department stores founded by Richard
Due to the geography of Chicago, early citizens faced many problems. The prairie bog nature of the area provided a fertile ground for disease-carrying insects. Early on, Chicago's population and commerce growth was stymied by lack of good transportation infrastructure, though this problem was soon remedied. During spring Chicago was so muddy from the high water that horses would be stuck past their legs in the street. Spring is one of the four Temperate Seasons Spring marks the transition from Winter into Summer. The horse ( Equus caballus) is a hoofed ( Ungulate) Mammal, one of eight living species of the family Equidae. One dirt road was so hazardous that it became known as the "Slough of Despond". Comical signs proclaiming "Fastest route to China" or "No Bottom Here" were placed to warn people of the mud. Comedy (from the Greek κωμωδίαkomodia has a popular meaning (any discourse generally intended to amuse especially in Television, Film, and China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National
To address these transportation problems, the board of Cook County commissioners, decided to improve two country roads toward the West and Southwest. Cook County is a county in the US state of Illinois. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles The first road went west, crossing the "dismal Nine-mile Swamp," crossed the Des Plaines River, and went southwest to Walker's Grove, now known as Plainfield. The Des Plaines River flows southward for 150 miles (241 km through southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois in the U The Village of Plainfield is a Municipality in Will County, Illinois, United States. There is a dispute about the route of the second road to the South.
Early Chicago was also plagued by sewer and water problems. Many people described it as the filthiest city in America. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the To solve this problem, Chicago embarked on the creation of a massive sewer system. In the first phase sewage pipes were laid across the city above ground with gravity moving 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 using a newly available jacking-up process. During the 1850s and 1860s engineers carried out a piecemeal raising of the level of central Chicago. In one instance, the 5-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, British Historian Paul Johnson cites this astounding feat as a dramatic example of American determination and ingenuity based on the conviction that anything material is possible. 
In 1840, Chicago was the ninety-second most populous city in the United States. Its population grew so rapidly that twenty years later, it was the ninth most populous city in the country. Thirty years after that it had grown to become the nation's second largest city, and one of the largest cities in the world. By 1857 Chicago was the largest city in what was then known as the Northwest. In a period of twenty years Chicago grew from 4,000 people to over 90,000.
The 1860 Republican National Convention in Chicago nominated home-state candidate Abraham Lincoln. The 1860 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States, held in Chicago Illinois at the Wigwam, nominated former U Abraham Lincoln (February 12 1809 &ndash April 15 1865 the sixteenth President of the United States, successfully led his country through its greatest internal
During the election of April 23, 1875, the voters of Chicago choose to operate under the Illinois Cities and Villages Act of 1872. Events 215 BC - A temple is built on the Capitoline Hill dedicated to Venus Erycina to commemorate the Roman defeat at Year 1875 ( MDCCCLXXV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common 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.
In 1871, most of the city burned in the Great Chicago Fire. The Great Chicago Fire was a Conflagration that burned from Sunday October 8 to early Tuesday October 10 1871 killing hundreds and destroying about four square miles in The damage from the fire was immense; 300 people died, 18,000 buildings were destroyed and nearly 100,000 of the city's 300,000 residents were left homeless. One of the factors contributing to the fire's spread was the abundance of wood; the streets, sidewalks and many buildings were built of wood. The fire led to the incorporation of stringent fire-safety codes that included a strong preference for masonry construction.
The soft, swampy ground near the lake proved unstable ground for tall masonry buildings. While this was an early constraint, it led directly to the development of using steel frames and the invention in Chicago of the skyscraper, a building improvement that made Chicago a leader in architecture and set the model for achieving vertical city densities nationwide. A skyscraper is a tall continuously habitable Building. There is no official definition or a precise cutoff height above which a building may clearly be classified as a skyscraper
While the fire damage was devastating, it proved to be a benefit to the city and surrounding communities. City planners had wanted to implement a radical redesign of the city in a Beaux Arts tradition. Beaux Arts architecture denotes the academic classical Architectural style that was taught at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Politics and infighting stalled these plans, and 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 established the city as the birthplace of modern architecture in the United States.
Other notable fires occurred in Chicago. 602 persons died in the Iroquois Theater fire in 1903. Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago Illinois, within twenty minutes claimed 602 lives on December 30, 1903. The LaSalle Hotel fire in 1946 claimed the lives of 61 guests. In 1958 a Roman Catholic elementary school, Our Lady of the Angels, burned 18 minutes before the end of the school day, killing 92 children and three teaching nuns. The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire broke out shortly before classes were to be dismissed on December 1, 1958, at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of
The deeply polarized attitudes of labor and business classes in Chicago prompted a strike by workers lobbying for an eight-hour work day. The 8-hour day movement or 40-hour week movement (aka the Short-time movement) had its origins in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where A peaceful demonstration on May 4, 1886, at Haymarket near the west side was interrupted by a bomb thrown at police; seven police officers died. Events 1256 - The Augustinian monastic order is constituted at the Lecceto Monastery when Pope Alexander IV Year 1886 ( MDCCCLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common 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 and its yearly celebration would later morph into May Day. The labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to any of several Public holidays In many countries May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour
Between 1870 and 1900 Chicago grew from a city of 299,000 to nearly 1. Year 1870 ( MDCCCLXX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Year 1900 ( MCM) was an exceptional Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar 7 million, the fastest-growing city in human history at the time. Chicago's flourishing economy brought huge numbers of new residents from rural communities and immigrants from Europe. Immigration refers to the movement of people among countries While the movement of people has existed throughout human history at various levels modern immigration implies long-term The growth in Chicago's manufacturing and retail sectors came to dominate the Midwest and greatly influence the nation's economy. The Chicago Union Stock Yards dominated the packing trade. Chicago became the world's largest rail hub, and one of its busiest ports.
The constant lobbying by the city's boasting lobbyists and politicians earned Chicago the nickname "Windy City" in the New York press, although this etymology may be erroneous. The city adopted the nickname as its own.
The World's Columbian Exposition was constructed on former marshland at the present location of Jackson Park along Lake Michigan in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. The World's Columbian Exposition (also called The Chicago World's Fair) a World's Fair, was held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary Jackson Park is a 500 acre (2 km² park on Chicago 's South Side officially located at 6401 S Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the only one located entirely within the United States. History (Hyde Park Paul Cornell a successful businessman real-estate speculator and Abolitionist, purchased of land between 51st and 55th Streets along the Lake The land was reclaimed according to a design by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and the pavilions, which followed a classical theme, were designed by committee of the city's architects under the direction of Daniel Burnham. Frederick Law Olmsted ( April 25, 1822 &ndash August 28, 1903) was an American landscape designer and father of American Daniel Hudson Burnham, FAIA ( September 4, 1846 &ndash June 1, 1912) was an American Architect and Urban planner.
The Exposition drew 27. 5 million visitors, and is considered among the most influential world's fairs in history, with a wide ranging impact in art, architecture and design.  The fair also featured the first, and until recently, largest Ferris Wheel ever built. A Ferris wheel (also known as an observation wheel or big wheel) is a Nonbuilding structure consisting of an upright wheel with passenger gondolas attached
Lake Michigan — the primary source of fresh water for the city — was already highly polluted from the rapidly growing industries in and around Chicago; a new way of procuring clean water was needed. Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the only one located entirely within the United States. The city embarked on a large tunnel excavation project and began building tunnels below Lake Michigan to newly built water cribs. Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the only one located entirely within the United States. Water cribs are offshore structures that collect water from close to the bottom of a lake to supply a pumping station onshore The water cribs were two miles (three kilometers) off the shore of Lake Michigan. The cribs failed to bring enough clean water because spring rains would wash the polluted water from the Chicago River into them. The Chicago River is 156 miles (251 km long and flows through downtown Chicago. Beginning in 1855, Chicago constructed the nations' first comprehensive sewer system in the U. S. Chicago's water and sewage systems were publicly managed, a model soon followed by other cities. In 1900 the problem of sewage was solved by reversing the direction of the River's flow with the construction of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal leading to the Illinois River. The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, historically known as the Chicago Drainage Canal, is the only shipping link between the Great Lakes (specifically Lake The Illinois River is a principal tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 273 miles (439 km long in the U
Chicago accepted waves of immigration from eastern Europe in the early 20th century, as well as thousands of African Americans coming north in the Great Migration, starting in 1910. African Americans or Black Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa 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 was the Chicago Race Riot, in a summer when other major cities also suffered mass racial violence. Much of the violence was led by members of 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.
The 1920s brought international notoriety to Chicago as gangsters, such as Al Capone, battled each other and the law during the Prohibition era. Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone (January 17 1899 &ndash January 25 1947 commonly nicknamed Scarface, was an Italian American Gangster who Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, also known as Noble Experiment, refers to a Sumptuary law which prohibits Alcohol Nevertheless, this decade also saw a large increase in industry in the city as well as the first arrivals of the Great Migration that would lead thousands of mostly Southern blacks to Chicago and other Northern cities. See also Second Great Migration (African American The Great Migration was the movement of approximately seven million African-Americans out of the New construction occurred rapidly, with notable Chicago landmarks such as the Merchandise Mart and art deco Chicago Board of Trade Building completed in 1930. When opened in 1930 the Merchandise Mart or the Mart, located in Chicago Illinois, was the largest building in the world with of floor space Art Deco was a popular international design movement from 1925 until 1939 affecting the decorative arts such as Architecture, Interior design, and Industrial
On 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. Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire Year 1942 ( MCMXLII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. In Nuclear physics, a nuclear reaction is the process in which two nuclei or nuclear particles collide to produce products different from the initial particles The University of Chicago is a Private university located principally in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. The World War II Manhattan Project developed the first Nuclear weapon (atomic bomb
On December 1, 1958, the Our Lady of the Angels School Fire occurred at the Our Lady of the Angels School in the Humboldt Park area of Chicago. Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso (October 25 1881 &ndash April 8 1973 Events 800 - Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican Year 1958 ( MCMLVIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire broke out shortly before classes were to be dismissed on December 1, 1958, at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of Our Lady of the Angels School was a Roman Catholic elementary and middle school located in the Humboldt Park section of Chicago, Illinois, The fire killed 92 students and 3 nuns and led to fire safety improvements to public and private schools in the United States. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
Starting in the 1950s, many upper- and middle-class citizens left the inner-city of Chicago for the suburbs, and the city itself shrank by nearly 700,000, leaving many impoverished neighborhoods in their wake. South San Jose (cropjpg||thumb|A suburban development in San Jose California. Since the early 1990s, Chicago has seen a turnaround from the decline common to American cities following World War II. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including Many formerly abandoned neighborhoods are starting to show new life and the city's diversity has grown with larger percentages of ethnic groups such as Asians, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. In the 1990s alone, Chicago gained 113,000 new inhabitants. Since the 1920s the lakefront has been crowded with high rise apartment buildings for middle classes who work in the city (few of them have children, however). (The lakefront is warmer in winter and cooler in summer. ) Many decaying inner-city neighborhoods on the North and West sides have been gentrified by young couples.
Mayor Richard J. Daley was elected in 1955, in the era of so-called machine politics. Richard Joseph Daley ( May 15, 1902 – December 20, 1976) served for 21 years as the undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago A political machine is an unofficial system of a political organization based on Patronage, the Spoils system, "behind-the-scenes" control and longstanding During Daley's tenure (he died in office in 1976), the violence-filled 1968 Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago, four major expressways were built, the Sears Tower became the world's tallest building and O'Hare Airport (which became the world's busiest airport) was constructed. Chicago Convention redirects here for the Convention on International Civil Aviation for the event also referred to by this name The Sears Tower, a Skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, has been the tallest building in North America since 1973 While determining the world's tallest structure has generally been straightforward the definition of the world's tallest building or the Major riots burned out sections of the black neighborhoods of the South and West side, especially in 1968.
In 1979 Jane Byrne, the city's first woman mayor, was elected, winning the Democratic primary by mobilizing a black protest vote. Jane Margaret Byrne (born May 24, 1934) was the first and to date only female Mayor of Chicago. In 1983, Harold Washington became the first black mayor of Chicago. Harold Washington ( April 15 1922 – November 25 1987) was an American Lawyer and Politician who became the Black is the Color of objects that do not emit or Reflect Light in any part of the Visible spectrum; they absorb all such frequencies of Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Richard Michael Daley (born April 24 1942 is a United States Politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party and current mayor Daley, became mayor in 1989, and has been repeatedly reelected.
One new development under the younger Daley has sparked debate, the destruction of the city's vast public housing projects. Public housing is a form of Housing tenure in which the property is owned by a Government authority which may be central or local New projects during Daley's administration have been making world headlines and have made Chicago larger, environmentally friendlier, and more accessible. With a new skyline to form in 2009, the city is growing faster with a denser atmosphere and a more breathable one as well. The park district, which is committed to the biodiversity recovery plan, is set to restore damaged natural areas of the city as well as creating new ones, including the creation of rooftop gardens on most flattop skyscrapers.