"Windy City" myth (1935)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sun May 30 18:17:41 UTC 2004


   This ProQuest through SABR works like a charm.  Who'd have thought SABR
would have something that the NYPL, NYU, and Columbia don't, and that it would
be so very cheap?
   No one must know about this, or my WALL STREET JOURNAL-Cecil Adams
"genius" status will be revoked.
   The "Windy City" myth (checking for "Dana" and "New York Sun") appears to
go back to 1935.

Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963). Chicago, Ill.: Apr 20, 1935. p. 23 (1
page) :
DEAR WAKE:  Chicago's nickname of "Windy City" is supposed by most people to
refer to the blasts which at times form in the north and sweep down over Lake
Michigan.  That is not the origin as I remember it.
   The term was first applied more than 40 years ago by Editor Charles Dana
of the New York Sun.  At that time New York, Washington, St. Louis, and Chicago
were bidders and competitors for holding the World's Columbian exposition,
later commonly called the WOrld's Fair.
   Rivalry was keen and prolonged.  Chicago's claims were presented in such
strong and glamorous terms as to cause Mr. Dana's "Windy City" appellation.  At
any rate, Chicago secured the honor.  Dorothy E. Ballantine.

    2.  Other 8 -- No Title
Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963). Chicago, Ill.: May 27, 1939. p. 10 (1
page) :
   _"Windy City" Traced Back to the '70s._
   I have been a reader of THE TRIBUNE since the sventies, and am familiar
with the origin of the term, "Windy City."  About the middle of the seventies,
Chicago began to be called the Windy City, without arousing the ire of the
citizenry.  This was long before the erection of the Masonic Temple.
   The appellation came from the boastful volubility of Chicagoans.  Chicago
was the biggest, largest, widest, deepest, richest city in the world, etc.
   When Chicago, by hook and by crook, got the world's Columbian Exposition
away from New York, trouble arose.  Dana of the New York Sun, who used vitriol
instead of ink, excoriated Chicago and all her works.  He referred to the
Windy City as "a dingy aggregation of disgraceful hovels situate in a dank and
foul morass, disgracing a noble sheet of water; the air polluted not only by
natural decay but also by the dense effuvia arising from Chicago's crude and
filthy habits."
   Tradition says that the most frothy of the Chicago boosters were finally
shipped to what B. L. T. called "Los Anglaize."  C. M.  Conradson.

(I'll look for BLT in a minute--I told you it would be here as the initials
of a Tribune columnist.  Someone please write to the Chicago Public Library,
the Chicago Historical Society, the Newberry Library, the Chicago Tribune, and
the mayor's office and get someone to give me ONE SINGLE KIND WORD after ten
years.  I'd traced "Windy City" to 1876, but no one there believes me!--ed.)


   A YAHOO! search for "Big Apple" + "nickname" gives you the Big Apple Whore
Hoax first, then the mayor's press release for "Big Apple Corner"
(pathetically, no longer available) second.  A search for "Why is New York called the Big
Apple" turns up "Doctor Universe" and the Big Apple Whore Hoax first, but my
work shows up second and an old Straight Dope column is fifth.
   Over at GOOGLE, a search for "Why is New York called the Big Apple" still
turns up the "Big Apple Whore Hoax" as the first answer.  The six answer is
"Google Answers" that censored my response.
   A Google search for "Big Apple" and "nickname" turns up "the Straight
Dope" first.  The "whore hoax" isn't even on the first page.  I don't think that
used to be the case.  Is this a change?
   Nowhere, of course, is a correct web page of the New York Public Library's
research library, which can never possibly acknowledge that "the Big Apple"
was solved within its walls twelve years ago.

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