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Aurora, Illinois is the second-largest city in the state, with a population of 175,952 (2007 est.). Aurora lies within four counties: Kane, Dupage, Kendall, and Will. The city refers to itself as "The City of Lights" because it was one of the first cities in Illinois to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881. Aurora officially adopted the nickname in 1908.
Aurora has a rich history of entertainment. There were several theaters in the downtown area and several large community parks with baseball stadiums, circus acts, and race tracks. Aurora has had at least 20 theaters and playhouses in its existence.
Aurora is on the edge of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. The city has a long tradition of manufacturing, with prominent manufacturers including: Lyon Workspace Products, The Aurora Silver Plate Manufacturing Company, Barber Greene Ltd., the Chicago Corset Company, the Aurora Brewing Company, Stephens-Adamson Company, Caterpillar Incorporated, Allsteel Metals, National Metalwares, and Western Wheeled Scraper Works (later Austin-Western Inc.). Olsson Roofing Company, Inc. was started in 1914 and is one of the oldest companies in the city. The most prominent employer and industry was the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad (later Burlington Northern) which was headquartered in Aurora. The CB&Q Roundhouse is still standing, and is now the popular restaurant Walter Payton s Roundhouse.
The city is the location of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) and Aurora University, and it also has its own zoo, Phillips Park Zoo.
Aurora was once home to the Aurora Islanders/Blues/Foxes, a minor league baseball franchise that played from 1910-1915 in the Illinois-Wisconsin League. Their most famous player was Casey Stengel, who played one season with the team before being bought by the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The annual precipitation for Aurora is about 40 inches. The record high for Aurora is 111 degrees F, on July 14, 1936. The record low is "26 degrees F, on January 20, 1985. The average high temperature for Aurora in July is 84 degrees F, the average January low is 10 degrees F.
Notable people from Aurora, Illinois include:
- Dennis Hastert, Former Speaker of the House
- Jeffrey Skilling, former CEO of Enron Corporation
- John Drury, longtime anchor of the Chicago 'Eyewitness News' on the Chicago ABC affiliate
- Chick Hearn, former sportscaster
- Don Beebe, former NFL wide receiver
The film, "Wayne's World" was about two men, Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers), and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) who lived in Aurora.
The TV show, "Prison Break" on the FOX Network is filmed in the area.
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