Why is Chicago Called the Second City?

Chicago is called the "Second City" because it was the second largest city in the United States, after New York City. The nickname was first used in the late 19th century, as Chicago was rapidly growing and becoming a major industrial and commercial center.

In the late 1800s, Chicago was experiencing a period of rapid growth and development, thanks in part to its location at the crossroads of several major railroads and its access to natural resources such as timber and coal. This growth led to a booming economy and population, with Chicago overtaking other major cities such as Philadelphia and Baltimore to become the second largest city in the country.

The nickname "Second City" was first used in the 1890s by a Chicago-based newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, in reference to the city's status as the second largest in the country. Over time, the nickname has come to be associated with Chicago's reputation as a gritty, hardworking city that is always striving to be the best, even if it falls just short of the top spot.

Today, the nickname still holds true in terms of population, but Chicago is known for being a world class city and a cultural, economic and transportation hub. Additionally, it's considered one of the most important and innovative cities in terms of architecture, gastronomy, and theater.