Chicago: Windy City’s Untold Stories

  • The Great Chicago Fire of 1871: The fire, which started on October 8, 1871, destroyed roughly 3.3 square miles of the city and left over 100,000 residents homeless. Despite the devastation, the rebuilding effort led to significant architectural innovations and the birth of the modern skyscraper.

  • World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893: Also known as the Chicago World’s Fair, this event celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World. The fair introduced many new concepts and inventions, including the Ferris wheel and the midway concept.
  • Pullman Strike of 1894: This nationwide railroad strike began in Chicago’s Pullman Company town and profoundly impacted labor laws in the United States. It led to federal intervention and ultimately established Labor Day as a national holiday.

  • Chicago’s Gangster Era: During the Prohibition era in the 1920s and 1930s, Chicago became infamous for its gangsters, particularly Al Capone. The city’s underground crime scene and notorious events like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre are a significant part of its history.
  • The Birth of the Blues: Chicago played a crucial role in developing blues music. During the Great Migration, many African American musicians from the South settled in Chicago, creating a distinctive urban blues sound that influenced modern music genres.