The Windy City is unique, to say the least. Chicago history showcases well-known facts about Lake Michigan, the Chicago skyline and the booming business industry, but there are many unknown interesting facts about Chicago that need to come to light. If you’re interested in just how unique Chicago is, then keep reading. We have all sorts of interesting tidbits about Chicago for you.
Did you know?
- Chicago’s namesake translates to the Native American word striped skunk. Interestingly enough, a fun fact about Chicago is that wild onions that commonly grow near the Chicago River are also deemed striped skunk.
- Chicago was ahead of the game with the evolution of a railway system. Now known as the “L,” the Chicago railway system dates back to 1892.
- One of the most popular Chicago desserts, the Twinkie, stemmed from Chicago. Inventor Jimmy Dewar, a Chicago native, created the popular Chicago snack in 1930.
- Chicago hot dog stands are plentiful and not surprisingly outnumber fast-food restaurants, with more than 2,000 Chicago hot dog stands available throughout the year.
- Although Chicago hot dog stands are popular, the Windy City was actually the first location of McDonald’s, the popular burger joint. The first Chicago McDonald’s restaurant opened in 1955.
- The city is home to many celebrities and the birth place of Chicago politicians, activists, artists and more. A few Chicago celebrities include Robin Williams, Hillary Clinton, Walt Disney, Hugh Hefner and Michelle Obama.
- When seeking a scenic ride through the county, know that the famous historic Route 66 begins in Chicago. The start of Route 66 is located right in front of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- In 1893, the first Ferris Wheel was invented in Chicago that was the size of a city bus and stretched more than 264 feet tall. The Chicago Ferris Wheel was erected for the World’s Columbian Exhibition. Now, Navy Pier is home to the famous Chicago Ferris Wheel.
- Western Avenue in Chicago breaks records as the world’s longest continuous street. Chicago’s Western Avenue runs 23.5 miles through the downtown Chicago area.
- While walking along the Chicago River, you may notice that it is much different from most rivers in the United States. Why? The Chicago River was reversed in the late 19th century and now flows backwards. The decision was made to empty the Chicago River into the Mississippi River versus Lake Michigan, ultimately explaining why the Chicago River runs backward.
While there are plenty of fun things to do in Chicago, there are also many interesting facts about Chicago that make the Windy City that much more special. As you navigate adventures at Chicago’s attractions, keep in mind that Chicago history and significance is viable and unique. Want to learn more interesting facts about Chicago? Stay tuned and check back often for more tidbits about the Windy City.