Legendary conflagration of Sunday and Monday October 9-10, 1871
in which most of the city
was destroyed by fire
. The fire began on the West Side
and spread quickly in high winds. A legend ascribes the ignition of the fire to a cow
kicking over a lantern in a barn, but this is now believed by historians
to be false.
On the same weekend many fires burned around the midwest; in particular the town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin was completely destroyed with the loss of perhaps 1200 lives. The large number of fires has led to speculation that a storm of meteorites could have been resposible for igniting the blazes.
Also, the Major League Soccer team of the same name, which plays its home games at Soldier Field. ( See http://www.chicago-fire.com/ )