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