Stormy, Husky, Brawling, 

City of the Big Shoulders








 Compare to Sarasota and other Cities

Make no little plans

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die

Daniel Burnham


We want to make this interesting and fun 

Tell us your name

Where you are from originally

Why you are interested in Chicago

What you would like to know

Frank Sinatra - Chicago - YouTube

 Chicago, Chicago--that toddlin' town

Chicago is the 6th most influential

city in the world


The Windy City

Second City


City of Big Shoulders

The Big Onion (The big apple NY)

My Kind of Town

That Toddling Town

Location, Location, Location

Great Lakes and Mississippi connection

Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes form a very large barrier.

All Roads Lead to Chicago - Or at Least a Lot of Them do

    Geography and Glaciers

    The city of Chicago is a flat plain that was once the bottom of ancestral Lake Chicago.

    During the last ice age the Glacier was one mile high. 

    The highest point in the city is Beverly

    The ridge was called Blue Island named because it looked like an island in a prairie sea.

    NATIVE AMERICANS - First Chicagoans

    Paleo Indians - Just after Ice Age - Illinois River




    Native Americans

    Confederation of tribes  Kaskaskia, the Cahokia, the Peoria, the TamaroaMoingwenaMichigamea

    The Illini were an Algonquian-speaking nation.


    Marquette & Joliet 1673

    Ca. 1681 map of Marquette
    and Jolliet's 1673 expedition
    Louis Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, were the first Europeans to explore and map much of the Mississippi River in 1673. 

    When a Peoria warrior murdered the Ottawa war chief Pontiac in 1769

    There are many stories about the final defeat of the Illini. One story has it that they fought from near Chicago, fleeing the Iroqouis and their allies down Hickory Creek, the Desplaines River through Joliet and down to Starved Rock.


    1. Robert E. Warren Historical Research and Narrative

      Illinois Indians Visiting New Orleans, 1735 Detail of colored pen-and-ink drawing by Alexandre de Batz. 


      George Rogers Clark 1779

      Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark and his 
      frontiersmen captured Fort Sackville and British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton on February 25, 1779. The heroic march of Clark's men fromKaskaskia on the Mississippi River in mid-winter and the subsequent victory over the British remains one of the great feats of the American Revolution.

      Clark was hailed as the "Conqueror of the West", and much of the midwest was ceded by Great Britain to the new United States in the Treaty of Paris


      Jean Baptiste Point du Sable (1745?-1818) was the first non Native American Chicagoan settler and city's first black settler.

      In 1788 du Sable was a fur trader and owned a farm in Chicago

      "Wobble Wobble Wobble, Were from DuSable.


      Potawatomi 1766-1836

      those who keep/tend the hearth-fire

      Took over from Illini

      Fort Dearborn Massacre 1812
      Potawatomi inhabited the area 

      Led by the chiefs Blackbird and Nuscotomeg (Mad Sturgeon), a force of about 500 warriors attacked the evacuation column leaving Fort Dearborn; they killed a majority of the civilians and 54 of Captain Nathan Heald's force, and wounded many others. 

    History Snapshot


    10000-8000 BC Paleo Indians roam the Area

    8000-500 BC Archaic Indians inhabit forests, hunt deer and small game use stone tools

    500 BC-900 AD Woodlands Indians develop maize build villages and burial mounds

    900-1500 AD Misissippian culture improve agricultural methods

    1673 Marquette and Joliet 

    1680 LaSalle builds fort near St. Louis

    1769 Illinois Indian tribes are trapped at Starved Rock

    1778 George Rogers Clark conquers west

    1787 Illinois part of the Northwest Territory

    1779 Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable French/African trading post

    1803 For. Dearborn established

    1809 US Congress makes Illinois a territory

    1812 Fort Dearborne Massacre

    1818 Illinois Admitted as 21st State

    1823 I and M Canal begun

    1832 Black Hawk War

    1833 Chicago Harbor is dredged

    1833 Chicago becomes a town

    1837 Chicago becomes a city (population 4,000)

    1838 Springfield becomes state capital. 

    National Road is completed to Vandalia

    1839 Mormons driven from Nauvoo

    1847 McCormick manufacturing wheat reapers

     Illinois and Michigan Canal completed 

    1851 Illinois Central Railroad Begins

    10 Railroads hubbed in Chicago

    1871 Chicago Fire kills 300, leaves 100,000 homeless, burns an area 4 miles x 1 mile

    1865 Chicago Union Stockyards opened

    1867 Illinois Industrial University (U of I)
    1886 Haymarket Square bombing and riot

    1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago

    1897 elevated "El" under construction

    1900 Sanitary and Ship Canal reverses flow of Chicago River

    1904 The Jungle by Upton Sincair

    1909 Burnham and Bennett’s Plan of Chicago

    1933 Century of Progress World's Fair

    1939 Chicago adopts plans for system of “super highways”

    1943 Chicago's first Subway constructed

    1954 Ray Kroc opens first McDonald’s 

    1995 CHA begins redevelopment plans, including demolition of highrises

    1966 Illinois for the first time leads the nation in the export of 
    agricultural and manufactured products.  

    Chicago Population Changes

    1833 3,000

    1871 300,000

    1900 1,700,000

    1957 3,700,000

    2012 2,700,000

    Who's your clout?

    In the mid-twentieth century, Chicago writers coined the term “clout” to mean political power and influence. This political usage probably was taken from the baseball expression “What a clout!” which described a powerful hit.

    In Harold Gosnell's Machine Politics (1937), a Chicago precinct captain claimed that no one could “get anywhere” in politics “without clout from behind.” In 1958, Irv Kupcinet wrote that defendants in Chicago trials are “found innocent on the age-old legal premise of reasonable doubt—not ... reasonable clout.” Clout's association with Chicago politics was solidified by Len O'Connor'sClout: Mayor Daley and His City (1975).
    By the 1970s, the query “Who's your clout?”—questioning one's ability to reach and persuade those in power—had found wide national usage beyond its Chicago origins.

    Chicago: The Cost of Clout

    An interesting article by Aaron Renn  about Chicago. He contends that Chicago's lagging economy is due to clout. I think he is correct.  Quotes:
    "It described the sad reality of how Chicago’s economy is in the tank, and has been underperforming the nation for the last few years."
    "The region also has lagged in innovation, firm creation and growth in productivity and gross metropolitan product over the past decade, according to economic development consultant Robert Weissbourd, president of RW Ventures LLC. "
    "Believe it or not, a lot of it goes back to that bane of Chicago politics: Clout. People in Chicago tend to write off clout and political corruption in Chicago with a shrug, as a unique or even amusing local affectation, or just part of the character of purely political life of the city, but one that doesn’t fundamentally change its status as the “City That Works.” But nothing could be further from the truth. Chicago’s culture of clout is a key, perhaps the key, factor holding the city back economically."

    Read the article at: