Chicago,1 with a population of about three and a half million, is the
second largest city in the United States(New York is the first). It is a
centre of industry for the middle part of the country, the most
important Great Lakes port,2 the largest city of Illinois and the seat
Chicago is also the place where Mayor "King Daley"6 directed the police
to brutalize the young people protesting against the US aggression m
South-East Asia while the Democratic Party convention was going on there
in August 1968.
The city is first in the nation in manufacturing of machinery and
electronic parts. Famous are the stockyards and meat-packing plants, i
where cattle from the western prairies are shipped and from which meat
is distributed all over the couritry.7 Called the "Great Central Market
of the USA", Chicago is the railroad and grain centre of the nation.
Chicago has a vast commerce by many railroads and by the lake, and
exports wheat, meat and manufactured goods.
An unrivalled rail centre, Chicago is called the "Cross-Roads of the
Continent". It is served by 19 trunk lines and handles 50,000 freight
Cars daily. Also, 40 per cent of the country's motor freight moves in
and out of Chicago. More airlines converge on Chicago than any other
city of the USA.
Chicago is also an important centre of culture and science. It is the
seat of the University of Chicago and of several other institutions, and
has -important libraries and art collections. Chicago was the site of
first nuclear chain reaction (1942) and is still a leader in nuclear
Owing to its position, Chicago has been the meeting-place of many
political conventions. From six to seven million tourists come to
Chicago fevery year, and another million and a half who come to business
and political gatherings.
In its rapid growth, Chicago survived the great fire of 1871,9 the gang
wars of 1920's and early 1930's, political machinations of its "bosses"
and financial speculations of its tycoons. The city was from the start a
big melting-pot of different nationalities. For years Chicago had a
racial stratification unusual even for American cities. It was German,
Polish, Italian, Slavic, Greek, Jewish. Half a million Black Americans
live in its South Side, which is one of the most exclusively black areas
in the world. About one in four Chicago citizens is black. The Chicago
Negroes are almost as numerous as those in New York, a city twice as
large. Chicago's Negroes have a long history of participation in basic
industry. They are the most proletarian of all nationality-ethnic
groups, and today together with other militant workers they wage a
particularly bitter and difficult battle for their right to live and
work. Called the "City of the Big Shoub ders",10 Chicago has long become
the centre of American working-class movement In the 1880's Chicago was
already a scene of bitter labour wars, and the big strike of Chicago
workers of 1886 led to the establishment of May Day as the holiday of
0