The World's Columbian Exposition
716,881 people attended the World's Columbian
The World's Columbian Exposition, celebrating the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's landing in America, was actually held in 1893, a year later than had been planned. New York City, Washington, D.C., St.Louis, and Chicago had all vied for the honor of housing the exposition, and it was during this vigorous and often vocal competition that Charles A. Dana, editor of the New York Sun, dubbed Chicago "that windy city." Chicago's lobbyists finally won out and, on April 25, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the act that designated Chicago as the site of the exposition. It took three frantic years of preparation and work to produce the exposition. Although dedication ceremonies were held on October 21, 1892, the fairgrounds were not opened to the public until May 1, 1893. The exposition closed on October 30, 1893.
Lithograph advertising the Chicago Day
The exposition occupied 630 acres in Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance. The main site was bounded by Stony Island Avenue on the west, 67th Street on the south, Lake Michigan on the east, and 56th Street on the north (see map). The Midway Plaisance, a narrow strip of land between 59th and 60th Streets, extends west from Stony Island to Cottage Grove Avenue.
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