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Chicago

Chicago (IPA: /ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ/) is the largest city by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. Adjacent to Lake Michigan, the Chicago metropolitan area (commonly referred to as Chicagoland) has a population of over 9.7 million people in three U.S. states, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, and was the third largest metropolitan area in 2000.[2] One of the largest cities in North America, Chicago is among the world's twenty-five largest urban areas by population, and rated an alpha world city by the World Cities Study Group at Loughborough University.[3] It is the third-most populous city in the United States after New York City and Los Angeles, with a population of nearly 3 million people.

Chicago incorporated as a city in 1837 after being founded in 1833 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. The city soon became a major transportation hub in North America and the transportation, financial and industrial center of the Midwest. Today the city's attractions bring 44.2 million visitors annually.[4] Chicago became notorious worldwide for its violent gangsters in the 1920s, most notably Al Capone, and for the political corruption in one of the longest lasting political machines in the nation. Chicago was once the capital of the railroad industry and until the 1960s the world's largest meatpacking facilities were at the Union Stock Yards. O'Hare International is one of the world's busiest airports and the second busiest in the nation.[5] The city has long been a stronghold of the Democratic Party and has been home to numerous influential politicians including the current Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama.

Chicago is called the Windy City and the City of Broad Shoulders.

During the mid-18th century the area was inhabited by Potawatomis, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples. The first permanent settler in Chicago, Haitian Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, arrived in the 1770s, married a Potawatomi woman, and founded the area’s first trading post. In 1803 the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, which was destroyed in the 1812 Fort Dearborn massacre. The Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi later ceded the land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of 350. Within seven years it grew to a population of over 4,000. The City of Chicago was incorporated on March 4, 1837. The name "Chicago" is the French rendering of the Miami-Illinois name shikaakwa, meaning “wild leek.”[6][7][8] The sound shikaakwa in Miami-Illinois literally means 'striped skunk', and was a reference to wild leek, or the smell of onions.[7] The name initially applied to the river, but later came to denote the site of the city.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chicago".