Chicago: A Rich Tapestry of History and Culture

The city of Chicago, nestled on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, is steeped in a rich and varied history. Founded by a black Haitian explorer named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable in the 1770s, it was a small settlement initially known as 'Eschikagou'. The area changed hands between the British, the Native Americans, and the United States, post the American Revolution. In 1833, Chicago was officially incorporated as a town with a mere 200 inhabitants.

The construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and later the arrival of railroads transformed Chicago into a bustling transportation hub. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed a third of the city, but this disaster also created an opportunity for growth. An ambitious rebuilding program began almost immediately, attracting architects and engineers from across the globe.

By the late 19th and early 20th century, Chicago had become a centre for modern architecture and a symbol of the American Dream. During the Prohibition Era, it gained notoriety due to the rise of gangsters like Al Capone.

The city's history is characterized by a continuous struggle for civil rights and labour reforms. It was a focal point for the Civil Rights Movement, and has a legacy of impactful labour strikes. Today, Chicago is renowned for its vibrant cultural scene, impressive skyline, and as a hub for finance and industry.


Basic Information about Chicago

Founded 1833
Population (2023) Approximately 2.7 million (Reference: U.S. Census Bureau)
Elevation 578 ft (176 m)

Average Temperatures for Each Season

Winter (Dec - Feb) Spring (Mar - May) Summer (Jun - Aug) Fall (Sep - Nov)
Average Temperature (°C) -3 to -1 4 to 15 20 to 29 8 to 18
Average Temperature (°F) 27 to 30 39 to 59 68 to 84 46 to 64
Please note, temperatures are approximations based on historical averages and may vary from year to year.

15 things to do in Chicago

Discover Chicago's rich history, vibrant culture, and amazing sights with our ultimate travel guide. Here are the top 15 must-visit...