Two cities have been Sister Cities since 1993.
Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel had said that partnership between Vilnius and Chicago fuels bilateral economic development and adds to Chicago’s place as a center of the global economy.
“Chicago is proud to include Lithuanians as part of its diverse community and history and we look forward to many further interactions and opportunities.”
According to the Lithuanian ambassador, Chicago and Vilnius’ economic success is only strengthened by their deep historical and cultural links.
Nicknamed “Little Lithuania,” Chicago is home to the most people of Lithuanian descent anywhere in the world outside of Lithuania.
Lithuanians started coming to Chicago as early as late 19th century to work in Chicago’s massive slaughterhouses and factories together with Germans, Poles and the Irish.
From 1914 to 1939 there were more Lithuanians in Chicago than in Vilnius. At this time the Lithuanian center in the U.S. moved from Shanandoah, PA to Chicago, IL.