Chicago is the location of many wonders, from incredible innovations to national firsts. You are aware of all the top spots for eating, shopping, exercising and having fun, but you might not know all the things that make our city special.
Chicago is a major American city with a large population and a fascinating history, culture, and built environment. Chicago, sometimes known as the “Windy City,” is known as a dynamic city.
Here are 10 facts about Chicago you might not be aware of:
The Chicago River Flows Backwards
The Chicago River, a famous landmark in Chicago, is distinguished by its peculiar characteristic—it flows backwards. This is the outcome of a human engineering achievement that occurred more than a century ago.
The river was severely polluted in the late 1800s and posed a health danger to the citizens of the city. In order to address the issue, the city launched a significant engineering project that involved building a network of canals and locks that connected the river to Lake Michigan and turned the river’s flow around.
This enhanced the sanitation and hygiene of the city by allowing the filthy water to flow out of the city and into the lake.
Route 66 Begins In Chicago
Route 66, commonly referred to as the Mother Road or the Main Street of America, is a storied road in the United States that connects Santa Monica, California, to Chicago, Illinois.
The road, which was built in 1926 and is now among the most well-known in the country, stands for the freedom and potential of the open road.
Due to its significant role as a key migration and transportation route, it was particularly significant for travellers during the Great Depression and World War II. The formal start of Route 66 is at the intersection of Adams Street and Michigan Avenue in the centre of Chicago.
From there, it travels 2,448 miles until it reaches the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica.
The First Woman To Win The Nobel Peace Prize Was From Chicago
Jane Addams, a Chicago native who received the award for peace, was the first female recipient. Hull House, a settlement house in Chicago that offered social and educational services to immigrants and the underprivileged, was co-founded by Addams, a social reformer and activist.
Addams was honoured for her work advancing social justice and peace, notably her support for international collaboration and disarmament. She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, solidifying her legacy as a trailblazer in the fields of social work and the peace movement.
The Willis (Sears) Tower’s Elevators Are The Fastest In The World
The Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is a famous skyscraper located in Chicago, USA. One of its most impressive features is its elevators, which are renowned for being the fastest in the world.
With a speed of 1,600 feet per minute, the elevators can travel from the ground floor to the Skydeck on the 103rd floor in just 60 seconds. The Willis Tower elevators are a true engineering feat and a must-see for visitors to the building.
The First Gay Rights Group In The United States Began Here
In Chicago, Illinois, the first LGBT rights organization was founded in the United States in 1924.
Henry Gerber, a German immigrant and advocate for gay rights, formed the organization, which went by the name Society for Human Rights (SHR). The SHR was the first group to fight for gay rights and spread the notion that homosexuality was not a mental disease or a criminal offence.
Although it only existed for a brief period of time, the SHR was a significant turning point in the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States and opened the door for subsequent advocacy initiatives.
The Ferris Wheel At Navy Pier Is Modeled Off The First One Ever
One of the city’s most well-known landmarks and top tourist destinations is the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier in Chicago.
The first Ferris wheel ever constructed, which was created by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, is an intriguing fact that merits mentioning.
Ferris aimed to build something that would compete with the Paris Eiffel Tower, which was constructed for the previous World’s Fair. His invention quickly rose to fame and paved the route for the contemporary Ferris wheel we know today.
The Navy Pier Ferris wheel pays homage to this iconic location and continues to pique the interest of tourists from all over the world.
Chicago Was Once Hydraulically Raised
Due to its location on a flat, marshy ground, Chicago had a significant issue in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The city was prone to floods, and because of the insufficient sewage system, waterborne disease outbreaks occurred frequently.
Engineers came up with a ground-breaking solution to this issue by using a hydraulic lifting system to raise the entire city by many feet.
Buildings and streets were raised and elevated to a new level between 1856 and 1890, and the sewage system was updated to accommodate the increased elevation.
Chicago was able to continue expanding and changing to become the thriving city it is today, thanks to this engineering marvel.
Chicago Means “Garlic Or Onion Field.”
The American state of Illinois is home to the city of Chicago. The Native American word “shikaakwa,” which translates to “garlic field” or “onion field,” was given the French translation that led to the creation of the name Chicago.
This alludes to the wild onions and garlic that were prevalent in the region when early European explorers arrived. Since then, the word “Chicago” has come to be used to refer to the city, which has developed into a thriving metropolis renowned for its architecture, culture, and multiethnic population.
Gotham City Is Modeled After Chicago
The fictitious city of Gotham City, where Batman resides, is frequently compared to Chicago. This is a result of the two cities’ shared urban environments, prominent buildings, and histories of organized crime.
Both cities are known for being rough and tumble and are situated in the Midwest region of the United States. A lot of the renowned buildings and sites from Chicago were used by the production team to recreate the look and feel of Gotham City in the 1989 Batman movie, which was also produced there.
Overall, the parallels between Chicago and Gotham City have created a realistic and alluring fictitious environment that has sparked the interest of millions of fans worldwide.
Nuclear Power Began In Chicago
Under the direction of physicist Enrico Fermi, the world’s first nuclear reactor, known as the Chicago Pile-1, was built in Chicago in 1942, marking the beginning of nuclear power.
The endeavour was a component of the Manhattan Project, a World War II-era endeavour to produce nuclear weapons through research and development.
The development of nuclear power as an electricity source was made possible by the Chicago Pile-1’s successful operation. Today, nuclear power plants contribute significantly to meeting the world’s energy needs by producing about 10% of the electricity used worldwide.
In conclusion, Chicago is a city with a deep cultural heritage that has had a significant impact on the world.
The Windy City has lots to offer everyone, from its renowned deep-dish pizza to its iconic architecture and top-notch museums.
Chicago has something to offer everyone, whether they are sports fans, art enthusiasts, or foodies. So why not book a vacation to this thriving metropolis and discover it for yourself?