Sweet Home Chicago, the chorus can be heard around the world. A city unlike any other on the planet, it is diverse, vibrant and home to over 9 million people in the Chicagoland area.
But, there is a beginning to the story. Chicago is a city that was transformed, destroyed and recreated because of one event that began at about 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 8. The Great Chicago Fire.
The fire got started in or around a small shed that bordered the alley behind 558 DeKoven Street, Mrs. O’Leary’s place. Now home to the Chicago Fire Academy.
The Great Chicago Fire burned from Sunday October 8 to early Tuesday October 10, 1871, completely destroying almost 5 square miles. Although a tragic event that killed hundreds and cause untold damage, the rebuilding that began almost immediately spurred Chicago's development into one of the most populous and economically important cities in the world.
Accounts of the origin of the fire vary, from poor Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicking over a lantern in the barn, to Peg Leg Sullivan, the town drunk flicking a lit cigarette. Although we will never know the truth, the fact remains that out of the ashes arose this beautiful city of Chicago.
In 2006, Chicago hosted over 33 million visitors from all over the globe and we greeted them all like they were old friends coming home.
Chicago is America’s city, a world business hub with world-class cultural attractions, diverse neighborhoods and architectural wonders.
Chicago is known for critically acclaimed restaurants, world-famous museums, first-class shopping, adventurous nightlife, world class sporting events and the most vibrant and thriving theater scene in the United States.
Sports is also one of Chicago's great passions and is home to the Chicago Cub's, White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and and of course, the Chicago Fire!
Home of the blues, the modern skyscraper, the Magnificent Mile and three of the world’s tallest buildings, it is easy to understand why more people host and attend conventions, conferences, incentive trips, tradeshows and business meetings in Chicago than any other destination in the United States.