Chicago is known for its many innovations. From natural history and architecture, to creative endeavors, this city’s residents are proud to call the Windy City their home.
Chicago River is the only river in the world that flows backward.
Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837. Chicago River is the only river in the world that flows backward. In 1900, Chicago successfully completed a massive and highly innovative engineering project — reversing the flow of the Chicago River so that it emptied into the Mississippi River instead of Lake Michigan. Each year, the Chicago River is dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Along with being a building to marvel at, Sears Tower is one of Chicago’s most popular attractions. This unique destination gets about one million visitors each year. It is the eighth-tallest building in the world and the second tallest building in North America / Western Hemisphere. Not only this, but on a clear day visitors can see four states from the Skydeck: Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Most street artists design their impressive works using spray paint. Where did the idea of putting paint in a can with a spray tip come from? Chicago paint salesman, Ed Seymour, actually invented this artistic tool, which is now used to create colorful works in public spaces all overt the city.
Next time you go to a blood bank to donate, remember to thank Dr. Bernard Fantus for introducing this important and helpful concept at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago. In 1937, Chicago became the first city to established a blood bank in the United States. Blood banks allowed doctors to store and examine donated blood – an important and lifesaving development for medicine. Hospitals around the States opened their own blood banks soon after.
Daniel Hale Williams was one of the first black physicians in the city. By 1883 he graduated with a degree in medicine from Northwestern University. Alongside this noteworthy accomplishment, in 1893 he performed the nation’s first open heart surgery in Chicago at Provident Hospital. The surgery was done on a man who was stabbed close to the heart, and thanks to Dr. Williams’ operation he was able to fully recover in two months.
Chicago loves to provide a taste of its excellent food and summer atmosphere. Visitors gather from all around the world to indulge in Chicago style flavors. The city is known for being a home to one of the biggest outdoor food festivals – The Taste of Chicago. This impressive event attracts more than one million visitors annually.
The name Chicago comes from a Miami Indian word for the wild leeks that grew on the bank of the short Chicago River. Over the centuries the Miami, Sauk, Fox and Potawatomi tribes all lived in the area. The 1673 Marquette and Jolliet expedition crossed the Great Portage between the Chicago River and the Illinois, 10 miles of flat, often waterlogged ground separating the two great water transit systems of North America, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley.
The first non-Indian to settle within Chicago’s future boundaries was a Santo Domingan of mixed African and European ancestry, Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, who arrived around 1780. In 1803 the U.S. Army built Fort Dearborn on the south bank of the Chicago River. It was destroyed in an Indian raid in 1812 but rebuilt four years later. In 1830 platted lots for the future city were sold to help finance the Illinois and Michigan Canal.
The 1832 Black Hawk War ended the last Native American resistance in the area. Chicago was incorporated as a town in 1833 and as a city in 1837, when its population reached 4,000. In 1848 Chicago got its first telegraph and railroad. Two innovations—grain elevators and the Board of Trade’s wheat grading standards—quickly transformed the way crops were sold. By 1854 the city was the world’s largest grain port and had more than 30,000 residents, many of them European immigrants.
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