Chicago is ranked 73rdout of the 275 windiest cities, it is still seen as a big windy city. The real reason lies behind American politics more than its weather pattern. The roots of the windy city could be traced back in the late 19th century when many politicians and bankers used this word for their selfish means. Many publications of that time, such as Chicago Daily Tribune(1858), Milwaukee Daily Sentinal (1860), Chronicling America (1866), and The New York Evening Post (1867) gave the evidence of this title “windy city” being used as a political agenda to make a fool out of its citizens.
However, the reason behind it cannot be understood with incomplete information. We need to have a look at the history of Chicago to seep in the actual information.
The history behind the title “windy city”
The first time this word was used was in the 1858 April edition of Chicago Daily Tribune, which was then followed by Milwaukee Daily Sentinal, on 4th July 1860. The edition quoted that we are proud of Milwaukee as she is not occupied with a lazy force of police, as is Chicago because her morals are better. In the 1866 publication of chronicling America, Chicago was acknowledged as a “windy town,” after which the individuals from Cincinnati started noting Chicago as the “city of wind.” A symbolic meaning to this word was given in The New York Evening Post, 1867, which noted, “The disputes between the Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis newspapers are amusing to the individuals of their respective cities. Chicago, the “city of wind,” was stated by the Cincinnati commercial after that.
By the late 1880s, the news reporters from other major cities near Chicago also started mentioning Chicago as the “windy city.” In the year 1890, Chicago was in a league to win the 1893 world fair against New York. At that time, the editor of New York sun, Charles A. Dana, criticized Chicago by saying “nonsensical claims of that windy city” to its citizens to make New York win over Chicago.
However, Dana’s article was never found to be the reason despite the claims made by the Chicago public library and Chicago historical society that it was the only significant reason behind the title “windy city.” Most etymologists put forward their opinion that the Dana popularization was not real at all.
Even after this long traceable history behind the “windy city” title of Chicago, the majority of the people were not satisfied. But the title “windy city” actually turned out as a boosting factor for Chicago’s tourism industry. It became a summer holiday destination for tourists, where the winds of Lake Michigan kept sunbathers calm and relaxed on the nearby beach.