|Chicago is one of the most famous American cities.
|Some cities in the United States such as New York,
|Los Angeles, and San Francisco, may be more glamorous,
|but many people agree that Chicago is the city that best represents the United States.
|Located in the middle of North America,
|Chicago has derived much benefit from its geography.
|The city’s central location has made its O’Hare International Airport
|the “hub” for most airlines in the United States.
|Its location on the shores of Lake Michigan has made it a major port and business center,
|where the agricultural and industrial products of the American Midwest are shipped overseas.
|Until about the 1830s, Chicago was a minor trading post.
|But then it grew rapidly as the most important town in the rapidly developing areas of the midwestern United States.
|In 1871, the city was destroyed by a fire.
|It is often said that the fire started when a cow knocked over an oil lamp.
|It took about 20 years for the city to be completely rebuilt,
|but it continued to expand.
|In 1882, the first skyscraper was built in Chicago.
|Around the turn of the century, the population of Chicago was growing quickly.
|Many African-American people moved to Chicago from the southern United States,
|and many immigrants from Eastern Europe also arrived in Chicago during this time.
|Because of the busy and active atmosphere of the city,
|an American poet described Chicago as “the city of broad shoulders”.
|Chicago became notorious for organized crime during the Prohibition Era of the 1920s,
|when the sale of alcohol was illegal.
|Mobsters such as Al Capone became rich by smuggling liquor,
|and many people were killed in conflicts between rival gangs of criminals.
|But the influence of organized crime later became weaker.
|In the decades following World War II,
|Chicago experienced some problems with crime, poverty, and racial conflict.
|However, the city has recently prospered, and social conditions have improved for many people in Chicago.
|Compared with other large cities, Chicago is viewed as an affordable place to live, with a high quality of life.
|The city has efficient transportation, and many beautiful parks along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
|Chicago is famous for its many attractions, including the Art Institute of Chicago,
|the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium,
|the Sears Tower, and the “Miracle Mile” shopping district.
|Indeed, Chicago is one of the most interesting cities in the United States.