By Brooke Strickland

 

If you’re a trivia aficionado, you might be known for your remembrance of obscure facts.  Well, we’ve got five more unique facts for you to archive away.  Chicago is rich with history, adding a distinctive flavor to the Midwest.  So next time you’re challenged with presenting a new random fact, remember these five interesting and unique facts about the wonderful city of Chicago.

1)      Beneath the famous Museum of Science and Industry, a gigantic German U-5-5 submarine (700-ton) is housed.  In 2004, the vessel, which is a national historic landmark, was slowly moved to the underground space, which is 75 feet by 300 feet and 42 feet deep.  It was lowered four inches at a time.  You can see the submarine by paying general admission at the museum, but if you want a guided tour of it, you’ll pay additional.  [1]

 

2)      The downtown area of Chicago is known by locals as “The Loop.”  It is distinguished by the area encircled by the elevated” L” train tracks.    One of Chicago’s best kept secrets lies beneath The Loop.  Forty feet below the streets and sidewalks are a maze of tunnels and passages no wider than six feet and no taller than seven feet that are not accessible to the public.  These underground tunnels were built around 1900 and were used as a way to deliver goods to businesses and coal to buildings.   Once the subway was built, the tunnels were rendered obsolete, and they have not been used for the last 50 years or so.  [2]

 

3)      Chicago was the first to produce a steel-frame skyscraper, an electric range, Schwinn bicycles, Cracker Jacks, and Baby Ruth candy bars.  [3]

 

4)      The world’s largest gum manufacturer, William Wrigley, Jr. Company makes more than 20 million packages of gum a day.  In 1891 William arrived in Chicago with only $32 and began selling baking powder.  After selling for a short time, he came up with the idea to offer 2 packages of chewing gum as premiums with each can.  In 1893 he introduced Juicy Fruit and Spearmint was launched the following year.  The company was also the first place to give employees the weekend off of work.  [4]

 

5)      A magnet for politicians, Chicago was the first to host the Democratic National Convention  in 1952.   Since then, the city was the first to televise a U.S. presidential debate in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.  [5]



[1] 7 secrets hidden beneath Chicago’s sidewalks. http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/redeye/2010/04/7-secrets-hidden-beneath-chicagos-sidewalks.html

[2]  7 secrets hidden beneath Chicago’s sidewalks.  http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/redeye/2010/04/7-secrets-hidden-beneath-chicagos-sidewalks.html

[3] Chicago Quick Trivia – Several Fast Fun Facts about the Windy City. http://www.chitownads.com/k/idx/8/123/Chicago_Trivia/article/Chicago_Quick_Trivia__Several_Fast_Fun_Facts_About_The_Windy_City.html

[4]  Chicago Quick Trivia – Several Fast Fun Facts about the Windy City. http://www.chitownads.com/k/idx/8/123/Chicago_Trivia/article/Chicago_Quick_Trivia__Several_Fast_Fun_Facts_About_The_Windy_City.html

[5] Chicago Fun Facts.  http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/about_the_city/fun_facts.html

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