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Chicago's population of approximately 3 million people and its metropolitan area of over 9 million people make it the third-most populous city and metropolitan area in the United States. Adjacent to Lake Michigan, it is the largest Great Lakes city and among the world's 25 largest urban areas by population. Incorporated as a city in 1837 after being founded in 1833 at the site of a portage, it became a transportation hub in North America and the financial capital of the Midwest. Since the World's Fair of 1893, it has been regarded as one of the ten most influential cities in the world. For example, diverse events such as Chicago Pile-1, the first man made nuclear reactor, and Chicago school architecture have changed human history, and the way urban spaces are organized. Chicago boasts some of the world's tallest buildings (Willis Tower, and Trump International Hotel and Tower). The University of Chicago is a leader in many fields and has contributed to academic thought, such as the Chicago school of economics or Chicago school of sociology.

Today, Chicago has diverse cultural offerings: teams from each of the major league sports (Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, and White Sox), a financial district anchored by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on LaSalle Street in the Chicago Board of Trade Building, and an arts culture anchored by the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park as well as Chicago Landmarks such as Wrigley Field. The Magnificent Mile is a fitting tribute for a city that has revolutionized retail merchandising with mail order catalogs, the money-back guarantee, bridal registry and using posted prices on goods.

Chicago hosts O'Hare (the world's second busiest) and Midway International Airports as well as the renowned 'L' rapid transit system. Chicago was once the capital of the railroad industry and the nation's meatpacking had its hub at the Union Stock Yards. Chicago has seen the influence of Al Capone. Recent members of the Cook County Democratic Party from Chicago include Chicago Mayors Richard J. Daley and his son Richard M. Daley, Chicago's first African-American Mayor, Harold Washington, the first African-American female United States Senator, Carol Moseley Braun, and the first African-American United States President, former Senator Barack Obama.

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Illinois Route 22
Illinois Route 22, also known as Half Day Road for part of its length, is an east–west state highway in northeastern Illinois. It runs from U.S. Route 14 (Northwest Highway) in Fox River Grove to U.S. Route 41 (Skokie Highway) in Highland Park. It travels a distance of 19.7 miles (31.7 km) and is one of the few roads that runs almost entirely across southern Lake County while also providing access to southeastern McHenry County. Throughout its length, it shifts between two and four lanes as it passes through a frequently changing setting of scenic forestry and smaller populations, as well as busy intersections and larger developments. It originally started as a massive loop around the Chicago area, however it has retained its current, much shorter route ever since 1937. During the 1990s, it became the subject of much concern for local residents regarding expansion which slowed down any progress for capacity improvement. By the late 2000s, the delays have come and gone and it has emerged as a state route that has been largely modernized to deal with heavy traffic.

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Chicago and North Western Railway
Credit: Jack Delano, Farm Security Administration

The Chicago and North Western Railway (AAR reporting marks: CNW, CNWS, CNWZ; unofficial abbreviation: C&NW) was a Class I railroad in the Midwest United States. It was also known as the North Western. At its peak, the railroad operated more than 5,000 miles of track in seven states.

Selected list

List of Chicago Bears head coaches

This is a complete list of Chicago Bears head coaches. There have been 16 head coaches for the Chicago Bears, including coaches for the Decatur Staleys (1919–1920) and Chicago Staleys (1921), of the National Football League (NFL). The Bears franchise was founded as the Decatur Staleys, a charter member of the American Professional Football Association. The team moved to Chicago in 1921, and changed their name to the Bears in 1922, the same year the American Professional Football Association (APFA) changed its name to the National Football League.

The Chicago Bears have played over one thousand games. In those games, five different coaches have won NFL championships with the team: George Halas in 1921, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1946, and 1963, Ralph Jones in 1932, Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos in 1943, and Mike Ditka in 1985. George Halas is the only coach to have more than one tenure and is the all-time leader in games coached and wins, while Ralph Jones leads all coaches in winning percentage with .706. Of the 16 Bears coaches, three have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame: George Halas, Paddy Driscoll, and Mike Ditka. The current coach is Lovie Smith, who was hired on January 14, 2004. Statistics correct as of December 30, 2007, after the end of the 2007 NFL season. (Read more...)



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George Edward Nicol was an American baseball pitcher and outfielder who played three seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the St. Louis Browns, Chicago Colts, Pittsburgh Pirates and Louisville Colonels from 1890 to 1894. Possessing the rare combination of batting right-handed and throwing left-handed, he served primarily as a right fielder when he did not pitch. Signed by the Browns without having previously played any minor league baseball, Nicol made his debut on September 23, 1890, and pitched—what was then considered to be—a no-hitter. In the following season, he joined the Chicago Colts in July after starting in the minor leagues. After a two-year sojourn away from the major leagues, he signed for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1894. In August of the same season, he was traded to the Louisville Colonels, with whom he played his final game on September 29, 1894.


Michael Douglas
"I'm impressed with the people from Chicago. Hollywood is hype, New York is talk, Chicago is work." — Michael Douglas

Selected landmark

Union Stock Yard
The Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., or The Yards, operated in the New City community area of Chicago, Illinois for 106 years, helping the city become known as "hog butcher for the world" and the center of the American meat packing industry for decades. From the Civil War until the 1920s and peaking in 1924, more meat was processed in Chicago than in any other place in the world. Construction began in June 1865 with an opening on Christmas Day in 1865. The Yards closed at midnight on Friday, July 30, 1971 after several decades of decline during the decentralization of the meat packing industry. The Union Stock Yard Gate was designated a Chicago Landmark on February 24, 1972 and a National Historic Landmark on May 29, 1981.


Did you know?

  • Crown Fountain

...that Chicago's Crown Fountain (pictured) displays LED images of faces, which typically create the illusion of puckered lips spouting water?

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