Why is Chicago called the windy city

The origin of the “Windy City” as the title of Chicago is thought to reside in many areas, some of which have become so popular amongst even official news reporters that popular myth has nearly become the most widely recognized origin. In reality references to the Chicago area date back to as early as 1885, with historical quotes referencing the area for its geographic qualities rather than other more social aspects.

Historical references on record in the latter half of the 19th century refer to the Chicago area as a “city of winds”, with reference to the breezes coming off of the nearby lake. This has been substantiated by a number of sources, including the Matthews Dictionary of Americanisms dating back over 50 years ago with quotations from earlier times when original settlers coined the phrase as the migrated to the city.

More popular myth, however, states that the term “Windy City” refers not to the actual physical winds present but to three primary sources: the number of politicians discussing issues within the city (thus generating wind), a marketing ploy used by the Chicago Tribune to attract tourists and a competition with New York City for the World’s Fair wherein New York reporters referred to Chicago as a “windy” place that would be unsuitable for the Fair’s debut.

In terms of the popular political origin wherein the boistrous nature of politicians within the area is thought to be the primary reason for the city’s nomenclature there are a number of believed origins for this specifically as well. One such origin states that during the hosting of the World’s Fair the then mayor of the city at that time boasted so much about the accomplishment that it became known as a “windy city” as a result. The other origin simply refers to all politicians within the area in general rather than one individual in particular.

Why is Chicago called the windy city

Aside from the New York reference the Chicago Tribune is also thought to have developed the reference much as Ney York developed itself as the “Big Apple” through marketing, with the Tribune describing Chicago as an ideal summer vacation spot due to its comfortable winds. All of these are thought to simply be common myths, however, with the true story dating back to well before any of these events took place.