Chicago    

 

A Brief History and Some Interesting Facts

 

 


Contents:

·    Historical and Demographic Information

·    Maps of Chicago

·    Pictures of Chicago

·    Links on Chicago

 

 

 

Text Box:

Chicago’s Southside: Abandon Buildings

 

Chicago’s Gold Coast: Row Houses

 

 

A very brief history…

Chicago was incorporated in 1833. That was only 15 years after Illinois became a state, which was only twenty-three years after General "Mad" Anthony Wayne defeated the British in the Battle of Fallen Timbers, making disputed Illinois a territory. In 1833, Chicago had less than 400 residents.

The word "chicago," is said to derive from an Indian word describing the strong smell of decaying flora in the marshes along the river banks. It was French explorer Louis Jolliet and French missionary Jacques Marquette who, in 1673, discovered the one-and-a-half mile's of portage at Chicago. Marquette, in good standings with the Indians, learned of an already established route that connected the Illinois River with the Great Lakes region by way of the Chicago River, and the Des Plains River with the Mississippi River Valley. But, it was the completion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848 that made the trading of livestock, grain, and lumber between industrious East and the pioneering wild West possible.

The railroad arrived, and Chicago soon became the chief railroad center in the United States. Industry and business were booming, and when the Republican National Convention of 1860 nominated Abraham Lincoln for presidency, it seemed that the great machine that is Chicago could do no wrong. In thirty-seven years the Chicago's population had grown to 300,000, one-thousand times greater than when it began.

Then, on the night of October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire started on the southwest side of the city, it jumped the river, and in two day's time destroyed 18,000 buildings, killed 300 people, and left 90,000 homeless. It would take twenty years for Chicago to recover.

Before the ashes could cool, the people of Chicago began to rebuild. The introduction of steel made it possible to erect the world's first skyscraper, the 10-story Montauk building in 1882. And ten years later the first elevated train was up and running. In 1893 Chicago proved its vitality by hosting the World Columbian Exposition, commemorating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.

Chicago has also had its share of strife. Black and white railroad workers demanding higher wages and improved working conditions, united during the Pulman Strike of 1894. They joined the American Federation of Labor, and by 1905 the Industrial Workers of the World, called Wobblies, was founded. Between 1919 and 1933, Prohibition would see the streets of Chicago turned into a war zone, as rival mob gang's battled for control alcohol distribution and sales.

In 1932 the Democratic National Convention nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt for the presedency. In 1955 Richard J. Daley, the "last of the big city bosses," became mayor of Chicago. The tallest building in the world, the Sears Tower was completed in 1974. In 1995, Michael Jordan returned to basketball after a brief two-year retirement, and helped the Chicago Bulls bring home their fifth NBA Championship. A year later Chicago would host the Democratic National Convention, and William Jefferson Clinton would be nominated for a second term.

·      The Great Fire of 1871 destroyed a big part of Chicago.  It also allowed the city to start over with its planning.  Architect Daniel Burnham designed a new and modern city. The public accepted Burnham's proposals for the reclamation of the lake front and park lands, the creation of the green belt of forest preserves, and the straightening of the Chicago River.[1]

·      Haymarket Square – May 1886:  On May 3rd, police attacked a Chicago rally supporting the eight-hour day. Nearly 65,000 workers walked out within three or four days. There were processions and mass meetings, addressed in Bohemian, Polish, German and English.[2]  One police officer was killed by the bomb, six officers died later, and sixty others were injured. Medical evidence showed later that most of the injuries suffered by the police were caused by their own bullets.   On November 11, 1887 four of the accused were hanged.[3]

·      The Great Migration of blacks from the rural South to the urban North increased with the start of World War I, as the booming wartime economy in the North faced a severe labor shortage, when the war cut off the flow of European immigrants.[5]  As the city's black population soared, blacks were increasingly concentrated in a distinct ghetto — the South Side's Black Belt.  By 1920, the Black Belt was home to about 85 percent of the city's blacks. But the reality was that it remained badly overcrowded and desperately poor, with high illness and mortality rates; a high percentage of residents on relief; a high crime rate; inadequate recreational facilities; lack of building repairs; accumulated garbage and dirty streets; overcrowded schools; and high rates of police brutality. [6]

·      In April 1917, the Chicago Real Estate Board met and appointed a Special Committee on Negro Housing to make recommendations and the board adopted a policy of block-by-block racial segregation, carefully controlled so that "each block shall be filled solidly and . . . further expansion shall be confined to contiguous blocks."

 

Census Information:

Total population

2,896,016

100.0

Median age (years)

31.5

(X)

RACE

 

 

One race

2,811,579

97.1

White

1,215,315

42.0

Black or African American

1,065,009

36.8

American Indian and Alaska Native

10,290

0.4

Asian

125,974

4.3

Asian Indian

25,004

0.9

Chinese

31,813

1.1

Filipino

28,423

1.0

Japanese

5,467

0.2

Korean

11,895

0.4

Vietnamese

8,221

0.3

Other Asian 1

15,151

0.5

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

1,788

0.1

Native Hawaiian

336

0.0

Guamanian or Chamorro

480

0.0

Samoan

436

0.0

Other Pacific Islander 2

536

0.0

Some other race

393,203

13.6

Two or more races

84,437

2.9

 

 

 

Race alone or in combination with one or more other races 3

 

 

White

1,282,320

44.3

Black or African American

1,084,221

37.4

American Indian and Alaska Native

20,898

0.7

Asian

140,517

4.9

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

4,615

0.2

Some other race

452,255

15.6

 

 

 

HISPANIC OR LATINO AND RACE

 

 

Total population

2,896,016

100.0

Hispanic or Latino (of any race)

753,644

26.0

Mexican

530,462

18.3

Puerto Rican

113,055

3.9

Cuban

8,084

0.3

Other Hispanic or Latino

102,043

3.5

Not Hispanic or Latino

2,142,372

74.0

White alone

907,166

31.3

 

 

 

Chicago Maps-

 

 

 

 

empty lot

 

Links To More Maps-

http://www.census.gov/

 

http://www.chicago.il.org/      Chicago informational site.

 

http://www.transitchicago.com/maps/systemmaps.html       Chicago Transit Authority System Maps.

 

http://www.877chicago.com/maps.html         Another Chicago maps and informational site.

 

http://www.johnnyroadtrip.com/cities/chicago/maps/           A fun map site that includes links to Chicago’s sport stadiums and area maps, including Wisconsin, Indiana, and the Midwest.

 

http://tigger.uic.edu/depts/ahaa/imagebase/     The Chicago Imagebase, developed here at the University of Illinois-Chicago.  Includes Ongoing Projects by Location, Historical Maps of Chicago, Images by Era, Historical Images of Chicago, Recent Images of Chicago, Charts and Other Materials, Visual Materials Indexes, Hints for Doing Research on Chicago.

 

http://www.ci.chi.il.us/Landmarks/Maps/Maps.html                        Chicago Landmarks.  Includes very basic map of Chicago divided into 6 districts.

 

http://www.chicagotraveler.com/chicago_magnificent_mile_shopping_map.htm      Where to shop in Chicago.

 

http://www.chicagotraveler.com/maps/chicago-downtown-theaters-map.htm          Major theaters in Chicago.

 

http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py?Pyt=Tmap&&csz=Chicago+IL+&Get%A0Map=Get+Map           Very nice and detailed map of Chicago’s numerous neighborhoods.  By clicking on “3” under “Zoom In”, the University of Illinois at Chicago is seen.

 

Census Maps of Chicago

 

 

This is a map of Chicago and the surrounding region.  Generally, Chicago is composed of the North side, West side, South side, and downtown.  Since the downtown area is on the lakefront, we don’t refer to anything being the East side of town. 

 

 

 


 

40 miles across

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Persons Who are White Alone:  2000


Map Legend

Northwest

North

Northeast

West

East

Southwest

South

Southeast


 

 

 

This map above shows the concentration of white people throughout Chicago and some of the closest suburbs. According to the map below, the highest concentration of black or African-Americans are found on the West and South sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Persons Who are Black or African American Alone:  2000

 


Map Legend

Northwest

North

Northeast

West

East

Southwest

South

Southeast


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Persons Who are Hispanic or Latino (of any race):  2000

 

Map Legend

Northwest

North

Northeast

West

East

Southwest

South

Southeast


 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 1, Matrix P8.

 

 

Generally, the Hispanic or Latino population is concentrated on the West side. The foreign born population is concentrated on the West and Northwest sides.  In general, those on the West side come from Mexico, Central, and South America, and those on the North side come from Asian countries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percent of Persons Who Are Foreign Born:  2000

 

Map Legend

Northwest

North

Northeast

West

East

Southwest

South

Southeast


 

 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 3, Matrix P21.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percent of Civilian Labor Force That Is Unemployed:  2000

 


Map Legend

Northwest

North

Northeast

West

East

Southwest

South

Southeast


 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 3, Matrix P43.

 

 

 

Comparing these two maps with the previous ones, you can see that the highest percentages of unemployment and poverty are in the South and West sides, the predominantly black and Latino areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percent of Persons Below the Poverty Level in 1999:  2000

 

Map Legend

Northwest

North

Northeast

West

East

Southwest

South

Southeast


 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 3, Matrix P87.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percent of Households - Income of $100,000 or More in 1999:  2000

 


Map Legend

Northwest

North

Northeast

West

East

Southwest

South

Southeast


 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 3, Matrix P52.

 

($100,000 USD = 92,928.17 euros; 62,645.23 GBP; 488,001.46 ILS)

 

Those with higher incomes and Bachelor’s Degrees are concentrated on the North side and in the suburbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percent of Persons 25 Years and Over with Bachelor’s Degree or Higher:  2000

 

Map Legend

Northwest

North

Northeast

West

East

Southwest

South

Southeast

 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Summary File 3, Matrix P37.

 

Pictures of Chicago   

    

View of the skyline from the industrial Southside

 
 

 

 

 

Chicago Southside Housing Projects and concurrent demolition

 
 

 


Cabrini Green Public Housing next to new condominiums

 
 

 

 


Some Informational Links On Chicago-

http://www.chicagohistory.info/- History of Chicago

 

http://www.cityofchicago.org  - The City of Chicago’s official website

 

http://www.chipublib.org/004chicago/chihist.html- Timeline of Chicago with links to events from the Chicago Public Library

 

http://patsabin.com/illinois/ChicagoLinks.htm- Links to historical interests about Chicago

 

 



[1]           http://members.aol.com/dahlia773/colexpo.htm

[2]           http://my.execpc.com/~blake/haymar.htm

[3]           http://www.chipublib.org/004chicago/disasters/haymarket

[4]           http://www.chipublib.org/004chicago/disasters/pullman_strike.html

[5]           http://www.chicagohistory.info/stories/daley/index.html

[6]           http://www.chicagohistory.info/stories/daley/index.html