Happy Birthday Chicago!!!

4 Mar

Chicago celebrates its 175th birthday


Sunday marks the day the city was incorporated — March 4, 1837 — and there will be events across the city to mark the occasion.

Some important moments in Chicago history:

1837: Chicago becomes a city and elects William Ogden its first mayor.

1837: The first local theater company is established.

1838: Hundreds of the mostly Irish workers digging the I&M Canal die of disease.

1839: A night watch is hired to look out for fires and criminals.

1839: First published theater reviews (of “The Warlock of the Glen” and “The Midnight Hour”)

1840: Chicago population is 4,470.

1841: Retail workers band together to force stores to close early: 8 p.m.

1841: First business opens near Six Corners intersection in Portage Park at Irving Park Boulevard and Milwaukee and Cicero Avenues.

1841: City’s first permanent Jewish settlers arrive.

1842: Washington Square Park, later known as Bughouse Square and home to orators of all stripes, is established.

1843: Roman Catholic Diocese of Chicago is established.

1844: First Catholic school opened (for boys).

1845: Chicago passes first blue law, closing “tippling houses” on Sundays.

1846: Chicago claims it has one of the “best and safest harbors on the lake.”

1847: Chicago Tribune begins publishing.

1848: Chicago welcomes business with opening of the I&M Canal and the Chicago Board of Trade.

1848: Telegraph comes to Chicago.

1849: Spring storm sweeps away all Chicago River bridges.

1850: City planks 6.7 miles of streets, including 12,000 feet of State Street.

1851: Public Water Board organized to handle recurring cholera epidemics.

1852: First public transportation (a large horse-drawn carriage).

1853: YMCA expands to Chicago.

1854: Lakeview is promoted as a pleasant summer retreat away from city’s disease and heat.

1855: Lager Beer Riots in April protest higher saloon taxes and anti-beer laws.

1855: Allan Pinkerton opens his detective agency

1856: City raises streets out of the swamp.

1856: Fort Dearborn is demolished.

1857: Allan Pinkerton’s men thwart a grave-robbing scheme by a city official.

1858: Police force gets uniforms and fire department switches from volunteer to paid.

1859: First horse-drawn street railway, or horsecars, begins operation.

1860: Republicans meeting in the Wigwam nominate Abraham Lincoln for president.

1861: The Chicago Zouaves, Irish Brigade and Lincoln Rifles are among companies to march off to fight in Civil War.

1862: Camp Douglas converted to prison for rebel soldiers.

1863: First National Bank of Chicago founded.

1863: Rush Street bridge collapses, killing a girl and scores of cattle.

1864: Free mail delivery begins.

1865: Union Stock Yards open.

1866: Cook County Hospital opens.

1866: City completes two-mile tunnel into lake to draw “pure water.”

1867: St. Stanislaus Kostka parish is first of many to serve the Polish community.

1868: Lincoln Park Zoo welcomes its first animals, a pair of swans.

1869: Chicago Water Tower erected.

1870: St. Ignatius University opens (later renamed Loyola).

1871: Great Chicago Fire kills at least 300 people and destroys a huge swath of the city.

1872: First African-American police officer hired.

1873: Tribune reports new city directory shows Chicago has 212 churches, 80 newspapers and 31 railroad companies.

1874: Little Chicago Fire destroys 60 acres on Near South Side.

1875: Tribune reports money available to complete long-awaited “drive along the Lake shore on the North Side.”

1875: Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of Tarzan and John Carter novels, is born in Chicago.

1876: The team that would eventually be called the Chicago Cubs wins the National League‘s first title.

1877: Pacific Garden Mission begins offering refuge to the downtrodden.

1878: Fire pole invented in a Chicago firehouse.

1879: Union League Club of Chicago organized.

1880: Rabbi Emil Hirsch takes over Chicago Sinai Congregation and builds it into city’s largest.

1880: Archdiocese of Chicago is established.

1881: Town of Pullman opens to house railroad car factory workers.

1882: Cable car system clangs into operation; it would grow into one of the world’s largest.

1882: Children’s Memorial Hospital opens.

1883: Washington Park Jockey Club established.

1884: Washington Park Race Track opens.

1884: Construction begins on the Home Insurance Building, the first skyscraper at 10 floors.

1885: Potter Palmer builds castle-like home on Near North Side, which would lead to development of Gold Coast neighborhood.

1885: First female police officer hired, watches female prisoners.

1886: Haymarket Square Riot.

1887: Softball is invented on the South Side.

1887: Newberry Library is established.

1888: Adler and Sullivan’s Auditorium Building is built.

1889: The city triples in size with annexation of the municipalities of Lake View, Hyde Park, Jefferson and Lake.

1889: Jane Addams opens Hull House.

1890: Aaron Montgomery Ward successfully sues the city to keep Grant Park open.

1891: Chicago Symphony Orchestra plays its first concert.

1891: In midst of bicycle craze, a schoolteacher becomes first local woman to ride 100 miles in less than 16 hours.

1892: University of Chicago opens for class.

1893: World’s Columbian Exposition.

1893: Mayor Carter Harrison I is assassinated.

1893: Art Institute of Chicago moves into current building.

1894: Pullman workers go on strike.

1894: British writer William T. Stead publishes “If Christ Came to Chicago,” an expose about corruption.

1895: The nation’s first automobile race is held in Chicago and Evanston.

1896: William Jennings Bryan gives his Cross of Gold speech at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

1896: Long Man and Short Man Gang terrorize city.

1896: City uses landfill to extend Grant Park into lake.

1896: Chicago Federation of Labor founded.

1897: Elevated train line built in Loop.

1897: Chicago Teachers Federation founded.

1898: First Chicago-to-Mackinac sailboat race.

1899: L. Frank Baum writes “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” at his Humboldt Park home.

1899: Construction of Louis Sullivan-designed Carson Pirie Scott store (was originally Schlesinger and Mayer building).

1900: Chicago River’s flow is reversed.

1900: Chicago White Sox play their first game.

1901: Walt Disney is born in Chicago.

1902: Marshall Field‘s opens State Street store.

1902: Richard J. Daley is born.

1903: Iroquois Theater fire kills more than 600 people, the deadliest theater fire in U.S. history

1904: Riverview amusement park opens.

1905: Advertisement in the Tribune extols the virtues of new home design called a bungalow.

1906: Bosnians establish Chicago’s first Muslim benevolence society.

1906: White Sox beat Cubs in World Series.

1907: Utility magnate Samuel Insull creates Commonwealth Edison Co.

1907: “Injun Summer” cartoon first appeared in Tribune

1907: Cubs win first World Series title.

1908: State and Madison becomes zero point in cleaned-up numbering grid.

1909: Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett publish “Plan of Chicago.”

1910: Stockyard fire kills 22 firefighters, including the chief.

1911: Infant Welfare Society of Chicago established.

1911: International Air Meet energizes the city with the thrill of flight.

1912: The Rouse Simmons, delivering the annual supply of Christmas trees, sinks.

1913: Art Institute hosts famous Armory Show of modern art.

1914: Weeghman Park opens (later renamed Wrigley Field).

1914: First presidential election in which Chicago women can vote.

1915: First Chicago mayoral election in which women can vote.

1915: John Hertz starts Yellow Cab Co.

1915: The excursion boat Eastland overturns in Chicago River, killing 844.

1916: Municipal Pier opens (later renamed Navy Pier).

1917: At least seven barbers’ homes or barbershops bombed in union dispute.

1918: Morals inspector M.L.C. Funkhouser, who battled prostitution and was official film censor, is ousted.

1919: Race riots kill 38 and injure hundreds.

1920: Decatur Staleys (precursor of Chicago Bears) play first game.

1920: Michigan Avenue bridge, the first double-decker bascule bridge, opens.

1921: Eight White Sox players acquitted in Black Sox scandal but banned for life from baseball.

1921: Chicago Theater opens.

1922: Louis Armstrong joins King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band in Chicago.

1922: George Halas renames team Chicago Bears.

1923: Chicago divided into 50 wards.

1924: Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. commit “thrill killing.”

1925: Tribune Tower completed.

1926: Maurine Dallas Watkins writes the play “Chicago.”

1927: Municipal Airport opens (later renamed Midway).

1928: “Amos ‘n’ Andy” debuts on Chicago’s WMAQ radio.

1929: St. Valentine’s Day massacre.

1930: Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium open.

1930: Tribune reporter Jake Lingle shot dead, later exposed as mobster ally.

1931: Jane Addams wins Nobel Peace Prize.

1931: Gangster Al Capone convicted of income tax evasion.

1932: Democratic Convention in Chicago nominates Franklin Delano Roosevelt for president.

1933: Mayor Anton Cermak fatally shot in Miami.

1933: Museum of Science and Industry opens.

1933-34: Century of Progress exposition.

1934: Elijah Muhammad moves Nation of Islam headquarters to South Side.

1934: Bank robber John Dillinger shot dead outside Biograph Theater.

1934: Debut of College All-star game, brainchild of Tribune sports editor Arch Ward.

1934: Park agencies consolidated to form Chicago Park District.

1934: International Amphitheater built.

1935: Leo Burnett starts Chicago ad agency that will create Jolly Green Giant and Pillsbury Doughboy.

1936: City bans cigarette vending machines.

1936: Richard Wright founds South Side Writers Group

1937: Republic Steel strike marchers clash with police on Southeast Side; 10 protesters killed.

1937: Up to 125,000 at Soldier Field for Austin-Leo high school football game.

1937: Ivy planted in Wrigley Field’s outfield.

1937: Robert Johnson records “Sweet Home Chicago.”

1937: Chicago Housing Authority created.

1937: Pioneering blood bank opens at Cook County Hospital.

1938: Disgraced Chicago utility baron Samuel Insull dies in Paris.

1939: Saul Alinsky creates community-organizing model in Back of the Yards.

1940: Richard Wright’s “Native Son” published.

1940: Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute merge as Illinois Institute of Technology.

1941: Illinois Legislature creates Chicago’s Medical Center District.

1942: Butch O’Hare flies mission that won him Medal of Honor. (Airport renamed O’Hare in 1949.)

1942: The Atomic Age begins at the University of Chicago with first controlled nuclear chain reaction.

1943: Deep-dish pizza mecca Pizzeria Uno opens.

1943: All-American Girls Baseball League founded by Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley.

1944: Germany’s U-505 submarine captured — later to become major exhibit at Museum of Science and Industry.

1945: Cubs’ last trip to World Series, where they lost to Detroit.

1945: Chicago Transit Authority is established.

1945: Ebony magazine launched.

1946: University of Illinois starts holding classes at Navy Pier.

1947: First parking meters installed in Chicago.

1948: Launch of Chicago Sun-Times and WGN-TV.

1949: Municipal Airport renamed Midway; Orchard Field renamed O’Hare.

1950: Chicago population peaks at 3,620,962.

1950: Chess Records founded.

1951: Edens Expressway (first in Chicago) opens.

1952: Chicago American Giants, Negro Leagues team, disbands.

1953: First issue of Playboy magazine is produced in Hugh Hefner‘s Hyde Park apartment.

1954: Lyric Opera founded.

1955: Richard J. Daley elected mayor for the first time.

1955: Congress Expressway opens (later renamed Eisenhower Expressway).

1956: WTTW is first U.S. station to televise college courses for credit.

1956: Abraham Lincoln statue erected in Lincoln Square.

1956: First baby chick is hatched at Museum of Science and Industry.

1957: Old Town School of Folk Music founded.

1958: Our Lady of the Angels school fire kills 95.

1959: The Second City improv group opens its Wells Street theater.

1960: Northwest Expressway opens (renamed Kennedy Expressway in 1963).

1960: Summerdale police scandal — cops linked to burglary ring.

1961: Dan Ryan Expressway opens.

1961: DuSable Museum of African American History founded.

1962: Robert Taylor Homes public housing development opens.

1963: Northwest Expressway renamed for slain President John Kennedy.

1964: Completion of Southwest Expressway (soon renamed Stevenson Expressway).

1965: University of Illinois’ Chicago Circle Campus opens.

1966: Martin Luther King Jr. and family move temporarily into West Side apartment.

1966: Richard Speck murders eight student nurses on Far South Side.

1967: Fire destroys McCormick Place convention center.

1967: Chicago’s biggest snowstorm in recorded history — 23 inches.

1967: Picasso sculpture installed in Daley Plaza.

1968: Riots rock the city after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in April and during the Democratic National Convention in August.

1969: John Hancock Center opens as city’s tallest building.

1970: First Chicago gay pride parade.

1971: Jesse Jackson forms Operation PUSH.

1971: Union stock yards close.

1972: United Flight 553 crashes near Midway, killing 43 of 61 aboard, and two on ground.

1973: Construction finished on Sears Tower (now Willis Tower), world’s tallest building until 1997.

1974: Columbia College fully accredited.

1974: Federal judge rules police department eligibility tests discriminate against blacks, Latinos and women.

1974: David Mamet‘s play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” premieres.

1975: Deep Tunnel project begun.

1976: Richard J. Daley dies.

1976: Saul Bellow wins Nobel Prize for literature and Steppenwolf Theater opens.

1977: Elevated train derails in Loop, killing 11 and injuring about 200.

1977: Art Institute installs Marc Chagall‘s famous windows.

1977: Chicago Marathon debuts.

1978: Demise of Chicago Daily News.

1979: American Airlines Flight 191 crashes, killing 273.

1979: Pope John Paul II holds mass in Grant Park.

1979: Jane Byrne elected city’s first female mayor.

1980: Taste of Chicago debuts on North Michigan Avenue.

1980: Census drops city population below 3 million; Hispanic share rises to 26 percent.

1980: City firefighters strike for first and only time.

1980: City allows women to serve as rank-and-file firefighters.

1981: Mayor Jane Byrne moves into Cabrini-Green public housing, temporarily.

1982: Chicago bans handguns (law overturned in 2010).

1983: Harold Washington elected city’s first black mayor.

1984: Oprah Winfrey hosts “A.M. Chicago.”

1984: CTA trains extended to O’Hare.

1985: Studs Terkel’s “The Good War” wins Pulitzer Prize.

1985: Barack Obama moves to Chicago to become community organizer.

1986: Bears win Super Bowl.

1987: Harold Washington dies.

1987: Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum opens its doors (renamed National Museum of Mexican Art in 2006).

1988: Lights installed in Wrigley Field.

1989: Richard M. Daley elected mayor.

1990: Sox play last game at old Comiskey Park.

1991: Bulls win first of six championships.

1991: New Comiskey Park (now U.S. Cellular One Field) opens.

1992: Old freight tunnel punctured, causing river water to flood downtown.

1993: Paxton Hotel fire kills 20.

1994: United Center opens.

1995: Heat wave kills hundreds.

1996: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin dies.

1996: Museum of Contemporary Art’s new building opens.

1997: Orchestra Hall renovated, renamed Symphony Center.

1997: Studs Terkel retires from WFMT radio after 45 years.

1997: Field Museum buys fossils for T-Rex named Sue for $8 million.

1998: First season for Chicago Fire soccer team.

1999: City implements 3-1-1 system.

1999: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum opens.

2000: T. rex named Sue on exhibit at Field Museum.

2000: Goodman Theatre opens new Loop building.

2001: Boeing moves headquarters to Chicago.

2002: Former Chicago gang member Jose Padilla arrested at O’Hare in terrorism case.

2003: Mayor Richard M. Daley shuts down Meigs Field.

2004: Millennium Park opens.

2005: White Sox win first World Series in 88 years.

2006: Immigration reform rally draws up to 100,000 to Loop.

2007: Bears reach Super Bowl but lose to Colts.

2008: First Chicagoan elected president: Barack Obama holds Grant Park victory rally.

2009: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is impeached and tossed out of office.

2010: Blackhawks win Stanley Cup.

2011: Rahm Emanuel elected mayor.

2012: Chicago prepares to host its most important global meetings ever — G-8 and NATO summits.


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