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Why is the baggage code for Chicago’s O’Hare airport ORD?

Dear Cecil:

I fly in and out of O'Hare Airport in Chicago frequently and I have always wondered why the O'Hare baggage code is ORD. Can you tell me?

Carl A., Minneapolis

Cecil replies:

During World War II the Army and the Douglas Aircraft company built and operated a military airport at “Orchard Place,” an unincorporated area in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Known as Douglas Field, the airport was deeded to the City of Chicago for commercial use after the war, when it was officially designated Chicago Orchard Airport. Hence ORD. Later the name was changed to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, after “Butch” O’Hare, a war hero and son of a Chicagoan who had apparently been murdered by the mob. That’s the Toddlin’ Town for you.

Cecil Adams

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