2. Mobile phones
If you’ve ever wondered what life would be like without your cell phone, you’ll want to thank Chicagoan Martin Cooper. While working at Motorola in 1973, he created the first handheld mobile phone. After ten years of tinkering, the 4.4lb DynaTAC 8000X was officially launched from Motorola’s Schaumburg headquarters, straight into Zack Morris’ hands.
3. Car racing
The first American automobile race took place in Chicago in 1895. The 54-mile course ran from Jackson Park to Evanston and back, and was won in seven hours and 53 minutes, or about as long as it would take you to walk the exact same distance. Regardless, we’re eternally grateful to the Chicago Times-Herald race for paving the way for an obnoxious number of Fast & Furious movies.
4. The death of disco
Tony Manero barely had a chance to put away his white patent leather shoes before disco began to fall out of popularity. The backlash against disco gave the White Sox the brilliant idea to host an anti-disco night featuring DJs Steve Dahl and Garry Meier. Anyone who brought a disco record to Comiskey was admitted for 98 cents, and the records collected were to be blown up between games. Over 50,000 people showed up to the Disco Demolition, and when Steve Dahl blew up the records, chaos ensued. An estimated 7,000 people ran into the field and began setting fires, ripping up bases, and, well, celebrating the death of disco the way any respectable rock fan would.