This is the version that would be on TV
Here are extra interviews and footage from “Happy Birthday Chicago” at the Chicago History Museum.
Katie Armstrong’s Interview–Public Relations Assistant
English Women singing a Chicago song
Interview with English women/guests of event (Christine Baron, Glynis Snowdon, Julie Hagger, Stephanie Dovereux-Left to Right)
Chicago’s History Creates Model
March 15, 2009
By: Shawna Kaiser
Throughout history, the city of Chicago has overcome difficult situations and pioneered in ways that have rippled effects on our nation and the rest of the world.
Chicagoans came together to remember the past events and celebrate their city’s 172nd birthday at the Chicago Historical Society’s Museum on March 4th, 2009.
The museum’s president, Gary Johnson, commended Chicago’s response to hardship by saying, “When we bring the events of Chicago’s history into sharper focus and consider them in light of the world as we know it in 2009 (we find) that many of those events are against the background of adversity.”
One of the largest American disasters was the Great Chicago Fire, which burned from Sunday, October 8th to Tuesday, October 10th, in 1871. Crowds and wagons full of people rushed out of the city and Chicago Evening Post reporter Joseph Edgar Chamberlin accounted his experience by explaining, “A torrent of humanity was pouring over the bridge. The Madison Street bridge had long before become impassable, and Randolph was the only outlet for the entire region south of it. Collisions happened almost every moment, and when one overloaded wagon broke down, there were enough men on hand to drag it and its contents over the bridge by main force.”
The fire claimed hundreds of lives and left thousands more homeless. Over 90,000 buildings and $200 million worth in property were destroyed–about a third of the city’s worth. The rebuilding of the city, which began immediately after the fire, ultimately led to Chicago as becoming one of the most populated and economically significant cities in the United States.
Also, Chicago became one of the leading fire fighting examples because of the reformed fire standards created afterwards.
In 1893, Chicago won the bid over New York City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis to host the World’s Columbian Exposition, which celebrated the 400th year since Christopher Columbus landed in America. It took three years to prepare the exposition, but when it was ready there were 65 different exhibits for guests to enjoy. Some of the more popular ones were the 11-ton cheese, a 1,500-pound chocolate, and 70-foot –high tower of light bulbs.
Chicago also created the world’s first fair with a separate amusement area. The exciting carnival rides were set on the Midway Plaisance and apart from the park-like atmosphere of the rest of the exposition. The world’s first Ferris wheel, invented by George W. Ferris, was also an attraction on the Midway. It stood 250-feet high and had 36 cars carrying 60 persons each.
The history of Chicago encourages people to push through disasters that may seem hopeless while also striving to be innovative in the present time. This is why President Gary Johnson said it is no surprise that Americans “tapped someone in from Chicago” to be our next President during this time of adversity in the United States.
1871 The Great Fire
1994 Chicago hosts World Cup
Happy Birthday Chicago!
By: Suzanne Traub
March 11, 2009
“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Chicago, Happy Birthday to you!”
Celebrating a 172nd birthday may seem like an odd year to throw a party, but when you remember all the strides Chicago has made, this party was a worthy celebration.
“We’re celebrating history because if we don’t know our history we can’t predict the future,” Professor Victorio Giustino, a historian and birthday party attendee said.
The city of Chicago held a birthday party at the Chicago History Museum on Wednesday, March 4th to commemorate the day Chicago became a city. It is hard to believe that less than 200 years ago, none of the skyscrapers, museums, and restaurants even existed. Chicago has grown into a city that people love, respect, and reflect upon.
“When we bring the events of Chicago’s history into sharper focus and consider them in light of the world as we know it in 2009 (we find) that many of those events are against the background of adversity, Gary Johnson, President of the Chicago History Museum said.
Based on its history, Chicago was developed through inventions and a diversity of people, which was evident at Chicago’s birthday party.
“We had such a diversity of people here—all ages, young people, old people, all different ethnic groups,” Giustino said.
There was even a group of English women who came to enjoy the event.
“We looked up Chicago and the top 10 places to go and it listed the History Museum as a nice place to visit,” Julie Hagger, one of the United States visitors said.
“It’s something to do, but also very interesting, isn’t it?” her friend Christine Baron continued.
The museum had several guest speakers at the event including, David Kennedy, First Deputy Director; Gary Johnson, President of the Chicago History Museum; Paul Volpe, City of Chicago Chief of Staff; and Peggy Montes, Founder/Director of the Bronzeville Children’s Museum. Mayor Daley was unable to attend, but Volpe was presented with a gift from the Museum on his behalf.
“We have an image from our collection of the late Mayor Daley and Mrs. Daley dining with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip 50 years ago. So we’re presenting this to you (Paul Volpe) to give to the mayor,” Johnson said.
In addition to the guest speakers, the birthday party had live entertainment from the Chicago Children’s Choir, which is a multicultural choral music education organization founded in 1956. The guests clapped their hands and waved their Chicago flags as the choir danced and sang for 20 minutes.
“The Children’s Choir has been here in years past and we wanted this to be about children too because they’re the future of this city,” Katie Armstrong, the public relations assistant said.
The last piece of the party was the cake provided by the Cakegirls. The decoration was exquisite and no detail was missing, from Chicago sports, to the food, museums, skyscrapers, theater, and the “L.”
“The Cakegirls did an amazing job. I think it (the cake) is adorable and it represents the city so well.” Armstrong said.
Chicago has now celebrated its birthday for eight years at the Chicago History Museum. Every year has a better turn out. So next year don’t forget to come out and celebrate Chicago’s birthday with cake, lemonade, and a whole lot of fun.
For more information about the event visit http://www.chicagohistory.org/.
QUICK CHICAGO HISTORY
Chicago’s first permanent settlement was in 1781 by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, an African American from Santo Domingo. After Jean Baptiste Point du Sable settled in 1781 it was not until 1837 that Chicago received its first charter to become a city.
Here is an overview of events that followed:
1870: Railroads are complete and population grows tremendously
1871: Great Chicago Fire
1885: World’s first skyscraper in Chicago
1892: Chicago’s first “L” line went into operation
1893: World’s first Ferris wheel is built for the Exposition
1893: World’s Columbian Exposition
The World’s Columbian Exposition was the breaking point that brings us into current day Chicago and gives us reason to celebrate.