March 4, 2009 (CHICAGO) --
A look at our city's rich history- on its 172nd birthday.Before becoming a city, the area known as Chicago was home to Native Americans- the Mascoutens and Miamis- who traded with neighboring tribes- the Potawatomis, Fox and Illinois. The word Chicago comes from the French version of the word shikaakwa, which means wild leek or skunk in the language of the Miama-Illinois. The wild leeks or onions grew along the Chicago River.
After the Black Hawk War in 1832, the tribes ceded Illinois lands in 1833.
City's Timeline: August 12, 1833: Chicago incorporates as a town with the population of 350. Boundaries for the 3/8th of a mile are Kinzie to Madison and Des Plaines to State Street. Chicago Firsts in 1833: First brewery, first printing press. March 4, 1837: Chicago is granted city charter by the state of Illinois. First city directory is published 2 years later. 1840: Population grows to 4,470 with Chicago as the 92nd most populous city in the U.S. 1850: Chicago gets its first opera and first orchestra. Population hits 29,963. 1860: Chicago gets its first post office. One year later, the first baseball game is played here. Population climbs to 112,172 1870: Chicago White Stockings baseball team founded. Population hits 298,977. 1880: Population hits half million mark. 1890: Chicago gets its first oil refinery and becomes second largest city in nation with 1,099,850 people. 1900: First pay telephones, Sanitary and Ship Canal built. Population hits 1,698,575. 1910: First lit night game in Chicago (at Comiskey). Population hits 2,185,283. 1920: Michigan Avenue bridge opens. Negro National League founded, along with Bears football team (as Decatur Staleys). Population 2,701,705 1930: Board of Trade Building, Adler Planetarium founded. Population 3,376,438 1940: More than 1 million telephones in Chicago. Population 3,396, 808 1950: Buses replace streetcars. One year later, Edens Expressway opens. Population 3,620,962 1960: McCormick Place Convention Center founded. First Playboy Club, Cardinals (football) moves to St. Louis. Population falls to 3,550,404 1970: Union Stock Yard closes. Population 3,369,357 1980: First female firefighters join Chicago Fire Department. Population 3,005,072 1990 : Original Comiskey Park demolished. Los Angeles passes Chicago on population. Population 2,783,726 2000: Population is 2,896,016