35 Facts about Aurora, Illinois

I wanted to share this article with you from Movoto (Sam T. Bertken)

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: Giphy

2. The Fox TV show “Prison Break,” was set in Aurora, IL, too. In fact, the showrunner and head writer is a local.

3. Aurora’s Phillips Park Zoo has a life-size statue of a woolly mammoth, just to remind you that you didn’t stand a chance of surviving the Ice Age.

4. Aurora is an architect’s wonderland, with buildings designed by heavyweights like Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe and George Grant Elmslie.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: Frank Lloyd Wright Sites Facebook

5. The world’s largest ball of masking tape was made in Aurora at Cowherd Middle School in 2012. It weighed more than 100 pounds.

6. Pioneering gay journalist Randy Shilts, whose nationally recognized book “And The Band Played On” highlighted the AIDS epidemic beginning in the early ‘80s, was brought up in a conservative family in Aurora.

7. Johnny Depp’s period drama “Public Enemies” had a pivotal scene filmed at its historic Paramount Theater.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: Public Enemies Facebook

8. Soccer is huge in Aurora. The Waubonsie Valley High School girl's team has the top ranking of all teams in the US.

9. Local soccer coaches Didi Barreto and Angelo DiBernardo have played on World Cup teams before moving on to inspiring Aurora players.

10. Actress Stana Katic of “Castle” spent much of her childhood in Aurora.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: Stana Katic Facebook

11. George W. Bush was only the second sitting president to ever visit Aurora. Theodore Roosevelt took that place in history back in 1904. No mention of whether he said “First!” upon arriving.

12. Emmy award-winning journalist John Drury was an Aurora native.

13. The world’s second-largest particle accelerator, the Tevatron, was a landmark innovation in Aurora.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Flickr user Ken Lund

14. Carl Thomas, who has produced and performed R&B with such luminaries as Snoop Dogg, Chaka Khan and Yolada Adams, went to East Aurora High School. His most famous single, I Wish, has been sampled by Jay-z and hit the top of the R&B charts in 1999 for six weeks.

15. Aurora native George Hood set the record for longest time spent on a spin bike—a whopping 222 hours, 22 minutes and 22 seconds.

16. George Hood also holds the record for the longest time spent in the abdominal plank Position. Is this guy secretly a Greek god?

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: George E. Hood Facebook

17. The creator of maritime pulp legend Dirk Pitt, Clive Cussler, is an Aurora native.

18. Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling spent part of his childhood in Aurora—presumably cheating other kids out of their marbles.

19. Edna Murray, who made Depression-era headlines as the “Kissing Bandit” for her trademark kiss to a male robbery victim, She lived in Aurora with her family, who were also her cohorts.

20. Three veterans from Aurora have received the Presidential Medal of Honor for their service in World War II and Vietnam.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: Flickr user BrokenSphere

21. The very first successful mechanical point writer (basically the printing press for Braille readers) was invented by Aurora native Frank Haven Hall.

22. Aurora was the first city in the country to implement an all-electric street light system way, way back in 1881.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Flickr user Charlie Cowins

23. Bob Johnson, pitcher for the 1971 World Series Champion Pirates, was born in Aurora.

24. Aurora calls itself “The City of Lights.” Take that, Paris.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: Aurora Area CVB Facebook

25. The Sears Catalog Homes that stood on just about every suburban corner in the mid-20th century still stand in droves in Aurora. There are more than 50 throughout the city.

26. For a while there, the Leland Tower was the tallest building in Illinois outside of Chicago. Still, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places for being an architectural bridesmaid, never a bride.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Flickr EarlRShumaker

27. The very first public school district in the entire state of Illinois was established in Aurora in 1851.

28. The sides on either side of the Fox River were so heated in their debate about which side should hold the city’s public buildings that the compromise was to put it all on Stolp Island, which stands at the halfway point between the two sides of the city.

29. Aurora was hit with one of the strongest earthquakes in Illinois history in 1909, rumbling at a sound 5.1 magnitude.

30. Aurora’s progressive cred gets major points with the major Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple, a Hindu temple.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: Sri Venkateswara Swami (Balaji) Temple Facebook

31. Aurora was responsible for many of those corsets that made life so uncomfortable for women in Edwardian America. More than 500 women at the Chicago Corset Company worked to make the undergarments.

32. Aurora’s Blues Alley which honors the contributions to music history from folks such as “Sonny Boy” Williams, Yank RAchell and Robert Lee McCoy. It’s located along Stolp Avenue between Galena and Downer.

33. The infamous 1990 Plainfield Tornado that took out much of the suburbs southwest of Chicago began to pick up speed over the city of Aurora.

34. The city’s name didn’t come without controversy, but in the end, everyone agreed that honoring the city with the name of a Greek goddess would be best.

35 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Aurora
Source: Aurora Area CVB Facebook

35. A notable runner-up for the city name race was Waubansie - it would have honored the chief of the local Pottawattomies tribe.

What’s your favorite fun Aurora fact? Tell us in the comments below!

There are no comments

Thank you! Your comment has been submitted and is awaiting approval.

Monica Mancano

Monica Mancano

REALTOR®, SRES®, MRP, AHWD
Contact Me

Tags