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10 Interesting Facts About Chicago

1. View four States from the Willis Tower

From the sky deck of the Willis Tower you can see four states: Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. Provided the sky is clear, of course.

2. The Chicago River flows backwards

 The Chicago River used to flow into Lake Michigan, which supplies fresh water to the city.
A lot of sewage got into the Chicago River, which damaged the health of the population. Therefore, in the 19th century, the direction of flow was reversed by a canal and locks.

3. The entire City was raised in the 1850s

Another time in which Chicago proved to be very nifty.
The entire city was raised several meters with hydraulic jacks to set up a new sewage system. The old one had drainage problems that led to several epidemics in the 19th century.

4. The name Chicago means 'onion field'

It is said that the name Chicago comes from the Algonquin word “Chicagou” or “Shikaakwa,” which means “onion field” or “wild garlic.”

5. The River turns green once a year

Every year, the city dyes the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day.

6. The Chicago Water Tower is the only iconic structure to survive the Great Fire

After the Great Fire of 1817, the Chicago  Water Tower and Pumping Station were the only iconic structures left standing. Today, the water tower serves as a gallery and houses a city art museum.

7. The Route 66 begins in Chicago

This historic road begins in downtown Chicago at E. Adams Street and ends in Santa Monica, California. And is 2,448 miles long in total.

8. T-Rex Sue

Chicago’s Field Museum has the world’s most complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. And its lovely name is Sue.

9. Walt Disney was born here

One of the most influential figures in the film industry of the 20th century Walter Elias “Walt” Disney was born in the Hermosa neighborhood in December 1901.

10. Chicago is a City of inventions and firsts

Many things were done and invented in Chicago for the first time. Some of these things are:

  • The first open-heart surgery
  • The world’s first all-color television station
  • The first televised presitantial debate
  • The invention of nuclear power
  • The world’s first skyscraper
  • The invention of spray paint
  • The first gay rights group in the U.S.
  • The origin of the term ‘jazz’
  • Home of the first U.S. blood bank
  • The origin of the Ferris wheel
  • The origin of Twinkies

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