ChicagoChicago is the largest city in Illinois and thethird most populous city in the United States.The city has approximately 2.7 millionresidents.Its metropolitan area, sometimescalled Chicagoland, is the third-largest in theUnited States, after New York City and LosAngeles,with an estimated 9.8 million people.Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837,near a portage between the Great Lakes andthe Mississippi River watershed.Today,Chicago is listed as an alpha+ global city bythe Globalization and World Cities ResearchNetwork, and ranks seventh in the world inthe 2012 Global Cities Index. The city is aninternational hub for finance, commerce,industry, telecommunications, andtransportation, with OHare InternationalAirport being the second-busiest airport in Clockwise from top: Downtown Chicago, thethe world in terms of traffic movements. is Chicago Theatre, the Chicago L, Navy Pier,one of the most important Worldwide Millennium Park, the Field Museum, and theCenters of Commerce and trade. Willis (formerly Sears) Tower
HistoryDuring the mid-18th century, the area wasinhabited by a Native American tribe known asthe Potawatomi, who had taken the place ofthe Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples. The1780s saw the arrival of the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago, JeanBaptiste Point du Sable, who is believed to beof Haitian and French descent.In 1795,following the Northwest Indian War, an areathat was to be part of Chicago was turned overto the United States for a military post bynative tribes in concordance with the Treaty of State and Madison Streets, the busiest cornerGreenville. in Chicago (1897)The name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the NativeAmerican word shikaakwa, translated as "wild onion" or "wild garlic,"from the Miami-Illinois language.The first known reference to the site ofthe current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSallearound 1679 in a memoir written about the time.The wild garlic plants,Allium tricoccum, were described by LaSalles comrade, naturalist-diaristHenri Joutel, in his journal of LaSalles last expedition.
20th and 21st centuriesThe capsizing of the Eastland steamer on theChicago River in 1915 was Chicagos worstdisaster, claiming 844 lives. The 1920s sawgangsters, including Al Capone, battle lawenforcement and each other on the streets ofChicago during the Prohibition era. In 1924,Chicago was the first American city to have ahomosexual-rights organization, the Society for The Chicago River is the south border (right) ofHuman Rights. This organization produced the the Near North Side and Streeterville and thefirst American publication for gays, Friendship north border (left) of Chicago Loop, Lakeshoreand Freedom. East and Illinois Center (from Lake ShoreThe 1920s also saw a major expansion in Drives Link Bridge with Trump Internationalindustry. The availability of jobs attracted Hotel and Tower at jog in the river in theblacks from the South. Between 1910 and center)1930, the black population of Chicagodramatically increased from 44,103 to233,903.Arriving in the hundreds of thousandsduring the Great Migration, the newcomershad an immense cultural impact. It was duringthis wave that Chicago became a center forjazz, with King Oliver leading the way.
GeographyTopographyChicago is located in northeastern Illinois on thesouthwestern shores of Lake Michigan. It is theprincipal city in Chicago Metropolitan Area situatedin the Midwestern United States and the GreatLakes region. Chicago rests on a continental divide atthe site of the Chicago Portage, connecting theMississippi River and the Great Lakes watersheds.The city lies beside huge freshwater Lake Michigan,and two rivers— the Chicago River in downtown andthe Calumet River in the industrial far South Side –flow entirely or partially through Chicago. Chicago isa world port city as the St Lawrence Seawayconnects Lake Michigan with the Atlantic Ocean. Downtown and the North Side with beachesThe Chicago Loop is the central business lining the waterfrontdistrict, but Chicago is also a city of Chicago Halfneighborhoods. Lake Shore Drive runs Marathon on Lakeadjacent to a large portion of Chicagos Shore Drive next tolakefront. Some of the parks along the Harold Washingtonwaterfront include Lincoln Park, Grant Park on the SouthPark, Burnham Park and Jackson Park. Side
CityscapeChicago skyline April 18, 2009, from Northerly Island looking west.Chicago August 9, 2010, from John Hancock Center looking south.
ParksPortage Park on the Northwest Side and Washington Square Park on the Near North Side.When Chicago was incorporated in 1837, it chose the motto Urbs in Horto, a Latin phrase whichtranslates into English as "City in a Garden". Today, the Chicago Park District consists of 552parks with over 7,300 acres (3,000 ha) of municipal parkland. There are 33 sand Chicagobeaches, a plethora of museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, and 10bird and wildlife gardens.Lincoln Park, the largest of the citys parks, covers 1,200 acres (490 ha)and has over 20 million visitors each year, making it second only to Central Park in New York Cityin number of visitors.With berths for more than 5,000 boats, the Chicago Park District operatesthe nations largest municipal harbor system; even larger than systems in cities such as NewYork City, Los Angeles, or Miami.
Sports Top: Soldier Field; Bottom: Wrigley FieldThe Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA) are one of the most recognized basketball teams inthe world. During the 1990s with Michael Jordan leading them, the Bulls took six NBA championships in eightseasons. The Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL), who began play in 1926, and are one of the"Original Six", teams of the National Hockey League (NHL), have won four Stanley Cups. The Blackhawks are the2010 Stanley Cup champions, and hosted the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. Both the Bulls andBlackhawks play at the United Center on the Near West Side. The Chicago Rush has been a member of the ArenaFootball League since 2001 and won ArenaBowl XX, playing in suburban Rosemont. The Arena Football League frontoffice is also in Chicago. The Chicago Fire are members of Major League Soccer and reside at Toyota Park insuburban Bridgeview, after playing its first eight seasons at Soldier Field. The Fire have won one league title andfour U.S. Open Cups since their founding in 1997.