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The Rockville Bridge, the longest stone arch bridge in the world, is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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A French-born missionary of the Jesuit order, Father Jacques Marquette and a Canadian explorer and cartographer, Louis Jolliet, were guided by friendly Native Americans in 1673 to view the land on which the City of Chicago was later to stand.

A committee formed in November of 1836 to apply to the state legislature for a city charter. After the charter was approved, Chicago became a city with a population of 4,170 on March 4, 1837 with William B. Ogden as the first Mayor.

In 1892 the first 3.6 mile elevated rail line was run by the South Side Rapid Transit, which ran from the Congress Street terminal to 39th Street. The line was extended to Jackson Park for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.

Mayor Kelly and Secretary of Interior Harold L. Ickes broke ground on North State Street near Chicago Avenue for the city's first subway system on December 17, 1938. It was a difficult engineering accomplishment to mine through the soft, watery clay below the city, but the feat was performed without a single cave-in. Chicago's new subway system opened on October 17, 1943.

Chicago gained the distinction of becoming home to the Sears Tower in 1973, the world's tallest building at the time, rising 110 stories and one quarter of a mile into the sky. It remained the tallest building in the world until February 13, 1996, but continues to be the tallest building in North America.

On October 26, 2005 the Chicago White Sox stunned the world by winning the Major League Baseball World Championship for the first time in 88 years. The citizens of Chicago broke out into a cheering frenzy as the White Sox defeated the Houston Astros 1-0 at Minute Maid Park in Houston Texas to capture the pennant.

Historic Figures

Jacques Marquette
William Butler Ogden



Jacques Marquette Jacques Marquette
1637 – 1675
Born in Laon, France on June 10, 1637 Father Jacques Marquette joined the Society of Jesus at the early age seventeen. He taught in France for several years then in 1666 was dispatched to Quebec to preach to the Native Americans of the area. He was proven to be adept at learning the local languages such as Huron, which made him well suited for his posting.

He was reassigned to the Mission of the Holy Spirit in La Pointe, on Lake Superior in 1668 where he was told about the existence of the Mississippi River by local tribes who invited him to come teach further south. However, the wars between the Hurons at La Pointe and the neighboring Dakota people mad it necessary for Father Marquette to relocate to the Straits of Mackinac. Here he requested permission from his superiors to explore the rumored river which his superiors granted.

Marquette was joined by a Canadian explorer and cartographer, Louis Joliet and they formed the Joliet-Marquette expedition. They departed from St. Ignace on May 17 1673, with only two canoes and five other explorers of French-Indian ancestry. Traversing Lake Michigan to Green Bay then up the Fox River, they then portaged to the Wisconsin River, which led to the river they sought. They entered the Mississippi near Prairie du Chien on June, 17 1673 becoming the first Europeans to see and map the Mississippi River.

They travelled to within 435 miles of the Gulf of Mexico before turning back at the mouth of the Arkansas River. Following the advice of local natives, they followed the Illinois River, which was a shorter route back to the Great Lakes. They arrived at Lake Michigan at the point where modern-day Chicago, Illinois now stands. At this point Marquette and Joliet parted ways to report to their superiors.

In late 1674 Marquette and his party returned to the Illinois Territory and became the first Europeans to winter in what would later become the city of Chicago. Father Jacques Marquette died on May 18, 1675.

William Butler Ogden William Butler Ogden
1805 - 1877
The first mayor of Chicago, Illinois between 1837-1838, William Butler Ogden was born in Walton, New York on June 15, 1805.

Even though his initial impression of Chicago was poor, he grew to appreciate the young city.

The great land rush that had brought him to the Midwest went bust during his term as mayor. He helped Chicago endure the fallout.

Some of his accomplishments include being the designer of the first swing bridge over the Chicago River and donating the land for Rush Medical Center.

On October 8, 1871 tragedy struck and he lost almost everything he possessed in the Great Chicago Fire. In a cruel twist of fate, a lumber company in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, which he owned burned the same day.

William B. Ogden died on August 3, 1877 and is a respected man to the city of Chicago.

October 17, 2017

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