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November 28, 1895 – Chicago hosts the first US automobile race
This Day

November 28, 1895 – Chicago hosts the first US automobile race

The first organized automobile race in the United States took place on this day in 1895. On July 10, earlier that year, the Chicago Times-Herald announced it would host the race and offered a winning prize of $5,000, about $143,000 in 2017. Astonishingly, the newspaper received 83 entries. When the big day came, only six vehicles managed to pull up to the starting line. The course was originally to take vehicles from Chicago to Milwaukee, but inclement weather altered the route. The final course looped 54 miles from near the current Museum of Science and Industry, up to Evanston, IL, and back. Many of the automobiles scheduled to race were either incomplete or damaged en route to the event.  A bitter storm passed through the area before the Thanksgiving day race, leaving the r...

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