Stephen Kerber


It is a common misconception that Chicago, Illinois, is known as “the Windy City” for its weather. Actually, the name originated during the nineteenth century as a derisive comment upon the often-exaggerated rhetoric employed by Chicagoans engaged in praising their community. This prideful attitude would find its finest and most enduring expression in the poetry of Carl Sandburg. It was this same spirit of aggressive boosterism which in the 1890s enabled Chicagoans to win congressional approval to host on behalf of the nation a great international exposition celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the New World, and to create the most famous world’s fair in history— the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.