On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of around 200 at that time. Within seven years it would grow to a population of over 4,000. Thereafter, Chicago experienced some of the fastest population growth in the world. Within the span of forty years, the city’s population grew from slightly under 30,000 in 1850 to over 1 million by 1890. By the close of the 19th century, Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world only 67 years after it’s founding.
By the 1840s, the city became a major grain port and with the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and of the railroads in the 19th century, Chicago attained national stature as a major transportation center.
Abraham Lincoln was nominated in Chicago for the nation’s presidency at the 1860 Republican National Convention.
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed a third of the city, including the entire central business district. The outcome of the Great Chicago Fire led to the largest building boom in the history of the nation. During its rebuilding period, Chicago constructed the world’s first skyscraper in 1885, using steel-skeleton construction.
Today, Chicago is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and is also one of the nation’s most densely populated major cities. It is the third most populus in the U.S., after New York City and Los Angeles. More than half the population of the state of Illinois lives in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Navy Pier, located just east of Streeterville, is 3,000 ft (910 m) long and houses retail stores, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls and auditoriums. Its 150-foot (46 m) tall Ferris wheel is one of the most visited landmarks in the Midwest, attracting about 8 million people annually.
The nation’s two tallest buildings are both located in Chicago; Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and Trump International Hotel and Tower.