Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 14:42:11 EST
From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Windy City; Magic City

There wasn't an earlier "Windy City" that I could find than the April 21,
1886 SPORTING LIFE. The March 17, 1886, pg. 4, col. 5 SPORTING LIFE has "FROM
CHICAGO./ Approaching Spring and Base Ball Games in the Lake City."
I extensively checked Pittsburgh a few weekends ago (I'd checked Chicago,
NY, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit), and "Windy City" wasn't there
in May 1886 for the Haymarket crisis reports.
So I rechecked the LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL. (Boy, did I screw this
one up. Perhaps a few "Lake City" citations there in late April and early May
threw me off.) I checked March-April 1886 and found this, 17 April 1886, pg.
2, col. 5:

A Louisville Man's Views As to the
Causes Producing the Windy
City's Prosperity.
(Correspondence of the Courier-Journal.)
CHICAGO, April 12.--(article is long, but of limited interest--ed.)
T. M. G.

There was a wind storm throughout the midwest at that time (1886). An
article on April 7, pg. 6, col. 1 is "WIND AND WATER." About "sowing the
wind, reaping the whirlwind" that I had found in connection to Chicago's
Haymarket crisis in May, an article from El Paso, Texas, April 10, pg. 5, col.
2, is "REAPING THE WHIRLWIND/ Disorderly Strikers to Jail for Their Bad
I'll probably have to go a little further back in the Louisville Courier-
Journal, and also recheck the humor publication TEXAS SIFTINGS. And THEN I'll
be done on "Windy City."
A different Chicago nickname was found in the Providence Evening Press, 5


A check of the web shows that Miami, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; and
Minot, North Dakota all currently bill themselves as a "Magic City." One web
site shows a Miami "Magic City" post card from the 1920s.
I was checking "Windy City" when I found this in the Louisville Courier-
Journal, 11 March 1886, pg. 5, col. 4:

A Very Eulogistic Sketch of Thrifty
Little Birmingham.
The Alabama City That Will Be a
Great Iron Center.
BIRMINGHAM, ALA., March 5.--To a stranger the "crackers," or people
living in the backwoods settlements of this section, may appear to be a little
uncouth, and lacking in some of the vim and push of the real life Yankee, but
none the less are they possessed of many traits that are recognized as
peculiarly American. A genuine outcropping of this becomes apparent when you
hear one of them calling this place "Burningham," and the citizens, in
consequence, sometimes gaining from the same lips the very suggestive title of
"Burninghammers." This may arise from a quaint sort of helplessness in
pronunciation, or from the indifference to such matters generally displayed by
backwoodsmen, but more likely it is a case where they dart at once to the
designation of all others the most genuinely descriptive and appropriate,
though riding rough-shod over all the rules of grammar and "culchah." The
truth of its application will be evident when you have a chance to observe the
persistent energy with which the "Burninghammers" have been striking the iron
while it was hot, and kept constantly so by the enthusiasm of success and
prosperity in the upbuilding of their little city...

The long article puts "Magic City" in the context of the city's growth
like magic, or "upbuilding." (Upbuilding?)...Anyone have an earlier