Chicago October 13, 2017
15 Facts About Chicago You Never Knew Were True
So, you think you know everything about Chicago. You know all the best places to eat, shop, work out, and have fun, but you may not know about some things that make our city unique. These 15 fun facts may astound or remind you just how epic Chicago truly is.
From fabulous inventions to nationwide firsts, Chicago is home to many wonders. Keep scrolling to discover them all.
1. We fully utilize our lake shore.
Chicago is blessed with 26 miles of shoreline, including 18.5 miles of trails and LSD. For most, this is the best gym in the city.
2. Nuclear power began here.
The first splitting of an atom, which lead to nuclear power and the A bomb, was performed under Staff Field at the University of Chicago. Now, Illinois is the nuclear power plant capital of the world.
3. Gotham City is modeled after Chicago.
It's an actual fact that Batman's city is based architecturally on Chicago. They’ve even filmed many of the movies here.
4. Twinkies were invented here.
Invented in Schiller Park in 1930, these yellow sponge cakes used to be filled with banana cream, but it was changed to vanilla when bananas became scarce during World War II.
5. Route 66 begins in Chicago.
This historic road begins in downtown Chicago at E Adams Street just west of Michigan Avenue. It runs through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and California, ending in Santa Monica and spanning 2,448 miles in total.
6. The Willis (Sears) Tower's elevators are the fastest in the world.
More wondrous feats abound at this attraction than the Skydeck. The elevators move as fast as 1,600 feet per minute, getting people to the 103rd floor in no time.
7. Walt Disney was born here.
What more do we need to say? He's responsible for just about every cartoon you or your children probably grew up with. He was born in December of 1901 in the neighborhood of Hermosa.
8. The first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize was from Chicago.
Jane Addams was known her humanitarian work. She built a home for immigrants and was a huge proponent of women's rights and a leader in women's suffrage. She is known as the "mother" of social work.
9. The first gay rights group in the United States began here.
German immigrant, Henry Gerber came to America in 1913 and was appalled by the way homosexuals were being treated in the Chicago area. He was temporarily placed in a mental institute due to his sexuality, and in 1924 founded the Society for Human Rights in Chicago. It published the first documented gay rights publication in the U.S.
10. The Ferris wheel at Navy Pier is modeled off the first one ever.
The first Ferris wheel was introduced at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and was one of the most popular marvels by far. Today, they can be found at just about any carnival or fair, but the one at Navy Pier is a little extra special.
11. Chicago was once hydraulically raised.
Known as the Raising of Chicago, this engineering feat was completed in the 1950s and 1960s. The city used to be on the same level as Lake Michigan, causing standing water to ruin living conditions, but now it is easier to keep dry.
12. Our river runs backwards.
So as not to pollute Lake Michigan, the flow of the Chicago river was reversed in 1900. Now, it flows into the Mississippi River by the grace of canal locks and the brilliant masterminds behind the design.
13. Chicago means "garlic or onion field."
Known as Chicagoa or Shikaakwa in its Native American tongue, our city gets its name from a term used for a land best for growing swamp and prairie plants.
14. Al Capone made $60 million selling alcohol.
Prohibition was the worst thing to happen to some folks - but the best for others. Capone's near monopoly on the Chicagoland market made him big bucks he'd only get to enjoy for a few years.
15. The first animal purchased by the Lincoln Park Zoo was a bear cub.
One of America's last free zoos, Lincoln Park bought its first animal in 1874 for $10 from the Philadelphia Zoo. It became good at escaping its cage and was known to roam the neighborhood at night.
For more interesting Chicago facts, check out these
11 things you didn’t know about the Willis (Sears) Tower.
Learn anything new from these fun facts? Share your thoughts with us!
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