Early years of Chicago Midway International Airport
Midway Airport evolved from a small plot of land on the city's southwest side in 1923 with just one runway that served airmail services. The airport was designated the city's official field in 1927 and called Chicago Municipal Airport. By 1928 it had twelve hangars, four runways and was lit for night operations. In 1931 a new passenger terminal opened and the following year the airport claimed to be the "World's Busiest" with over 100,846 passengers on 60,947 flights. The airport expanded to fill the square mile in 1941 after a long battle to reroute the Chicago and Western Indiana Railroad tracks that bisected the field. In 1949 the airport was renamed after the Battle of Midway. That year Midway saw 3.2 million passengers; passengers peaked at 10 million in 1959.
Image 1 of 24
Miss Chicago takes flight
The National Air Transport (later United Air Lines) Curtiss Carrier Pigeon corporation plane, christened Miss Chicago, is shown taking off with a load of mail that would eventually get to Dallas, Texas during the opening ceremonies of the city's new air field, Chicago Municipal Airport, at 63rd Street and Cicero Avenue in Chicago on May 8, 1926. City leaders hailed the event as opening a new chapter in Chicago's development.