Aurora is a city that is located in the extreme northeastern portion of the state of Illinois. It is a part of the greater Chicago metropolitan area. It's nickname is "The City of Lights" because it was one of the first cities in the country to install a complete electric street lighting system in 1881.
The region around the city was originally inhabited by Native Americans until 1834 when the McCarty brothers arrived and purchased land on both sides of the river. The city was named and incorporated in 1857 and soon many factories were built in the city and with them came jobs and people. The city grew even more when the Chicago, Burlington, and Quicy Railroad constructed a repair facility for its trains in Aurora. The city saw especially large numbers of immigrants from western European countries such as Ireland, France, Great Britain, and Germany.
In 1974 many of the railroad shops closed down and the town suffered. Crime went up and so did unemployment. Recently the city has begun welcoming more businesses to it in order to prevent crime and provide jobs for the citizens of Aurora. A casino was built downtown in 1993.
Aurora has a humid continental climate, which means warm summers and brutally cold winters. Summer temperatures generally stay in the 80's Fahrenheit and winter temperatures can drop into single digits for days on end. Most of the precipitation falls in the months of June and July.
Downtown Aurora is full of historic sites and buildings. The Phillips Park Zoo is very popular, as is the Sri Venkateswara Swami Temple of Greater Chicago, which is located in Aurora. The Paramount Theater is a live performance theatre and is nationally recognized as a historical site. The Hollywood Casino is downtown, as is the Leland Tower, which at one time was the largest building in Illinois. Aurora is serviced by the Aurora Municipal Airport which provides an alternative to Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports, which are close by.
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