Straddled on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, is the third largest city in the United States, trailing only New York and Los Angeles. Originally a fur-trading center, Chicago is now the center of commerce, finance, culture and manufacturing for a large swath of the Midwest, a fact that keeps Chicago moving companies busy moving people looking for a taste of life in the big city.
Chicago has a diverse array of businesses calling it home, including Baxter International, Abbott Laboratories, Boeing and Allstate. The city is headquarters to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and is home to three major financial and futures exchanges, including the Chicago Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (the "Merc"), which includes the former Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). The food industry still plays a major role in the economy.
Chicago has a major tourism industry. Professional sports teams include the baseball teams the Cubs and White Sox, the football Bears, the basketball Bulls, and the hockey Blackhawks, as well as several other professional and collegiate teams. Museums of the city include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Musical centers include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Civic Opera. Additional notable buildings include the Chicago Historical Society Building, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Shedd Aquarium, among many others. All of these attractions can easily be reached via the city's two airports: O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport. Chicago's downtown is called the loop because it is largely enclosed by elevated railways.
Chicago was transferred to Americans in 1795 from Native Americans in the Treaty of Greenville for military uses. The town was incorporated in 1833. Canals and railroads opened up in the mid-1800s which caused the city to become a major center of transportation and commerce. Montgomery Ward and Sears Roebuck were two of the early companies to reside in the city. The city was almost burned down entirely in 1871 during the Great Chicago Fire. In subsequent years, new architecture and a renewed spirit was brought to the city which culminated with the 1893 World's Fair. In the 1890s both the Haymarket Riot and Pullman's Riot caused problems as the divide between the rich and poor grew increasingly wide. The first nuclear reaction occurred in 1942 at the University of Chicago as part of the Manhattan project. Problems through the 1960s were reversed with additional investments in the city. This brought in theaters, museums, as well as a renovated center of the city.
In a word, the winters in Chicago are cold. Very cold. In January, typically the coldest month, high temperatures average 31.5 degrees with low temperatures averaging 17.1 degress. The lowest temperature ever recorded was 27 degrees below zero, recorded on January 20, 1985. Winter precipitation is more snow, less rain. Chicago's snowiest winter ever was 1929-30, with 114.2 inches total.