The Chicago History Museum Celebrates Chicago’s 183rd Birthday in 2020

Every year, The Chicago History Museum celebrates Chicago’s Birthday with an elaborate party. The 183rd birthday was a FREE celebration that highlights the city’s rich heritage. Festivities included family-friendly activities, performances, and birthday sweets! Museum admission is free for Illinois residents on this day.

Here’s an explanation of the Chicago Flag:

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The top white stripe represents the North side of the city. The center white stripe represents the West side of the city. The bottom white stripe represents the South side of the city.

The top blue stripe represents Lake Michigan and the North Branch of the Chicago River. The bottom blue stripe represents the South Branch of the Chicago River and the Great Canal.

Starting from the flagpole, the four red stars in the middle white stripe represent:

  1. Fort Dearborn, added in 1939. The points of the star signify the history of Illinois’ governing bodies: France, 1693; England, 1693-1763; Virginia, 1763-1778; Northwest Territory, 1778-1798; Indiana Territory, 1798-1802; Illinois statehood, 1818.
  2. Great Chicago Fire of October 8-10, 1871, on the original flag. The points of the star signify transportation, labor, commerce, finance, populousness and salubrity (health).
  3. World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, on the original flag. The points of the star signify religion, education, aesthetics, justice, beneficence and civic spirit.
  4. Century of Progress Exposition, added in 1933. The points of the star represent significant attributes of the city: world’s third largest city (in 1933), Chicago’s motto “Urbs in Horto,” the “I will” motto, Great Central Market, Wonder City, Convention City.

The meaning of the points is unofficial, and explanations vary from source to source. The official design is given in the Municipal Code.


City of Chicago municipal device

The Y symbol above is also called the Municipal Device; it represents the Chicago River and its two branches. The Y symbol is meant to be used unofficially by citizens, businesses and other organizations to promote pride in the city. Users are free to color and design it however they wish.

The most spectacular designs may be found in the Tiffany mosaics at the Chicago Cultural Center.

City of Chicago seal
When Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, a committee composed of Mayor William B. Ogden and Aldermen Josiah Goodhue and Daniel Pearsons were appointed to draft a new seal. The seal is described in the ordinance as “a shield (American) with a sheaf of wheat on its center; a ship in full sail on the right; a sleeping infant on the top; an Indian with bow and arrow on the left; and with the motto ‘Urbs in Horto’ at the bottom of the shield, with the inscription ‘City of Chicago-Incorporated, 4th of March, 1837’ around the outside edge of said seal.” Amendments to the ordinance were made in June 1854 and February 1893, the first amendment specifying that “over the shield an infant reposes on a sea-shell,” while the latter amplifies this by decreeing a “sleeping infant on top, lying on its back on a shell.” No drawings or reproductions of the original versions of the seal survived, so a new and corrected design and description was provided for by ordinance of March 20, 1905.

Facts from the Chicago Public Library:

“The shield represents the national spirit of Chicago. The Indian represents the discoverer of the site of Chicago. The ship in full sail is emblematic of the approach of civilization and commerce. The sheaf of wheat is typical of activity and plenty. The infant in the shell is the ancient and classical symbolism of the pearl, and Chicago, situated at the neck of the lake signifies that it shall be “the gem of the lakes.” The motto “Urbs in Horto” means “City in a Garden”. “March 4, 1837″ in the seal is the date of the incorporation of the city.”

Pioneer, Chicago's first railroad locomotive, ...

Pioneer, Chicago’s first railroad locomotive, on display at the Chicago History Museum.


Chicago’s 175th Birthday Party at the Chicago History Museum

The Ferris Wheel

English: 1932 Building of the Chicago History ...

English: 1932 Building of the Chicago History Museum in Chicago, Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

South Side Elevated Railroad car 1, built 1892...

South Side Elevated Railroad car 1, built 1892. On display at the Chicago History Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago History Museum Birthday Party for Chicago





















I love the Chicago History Museum at 1601 N. Clark Street, The Chicago History Museum stands at the crossroads of America’s past and its future. See Lincoln Treasures, manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address and explore Lincoln’s views on slavery, the Union and his posthumous role as an American icon. 

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I loved the Rahm Emanuel Birthday hat with the Chicago Flag

Live music to celebrate Chicago’s Birthday

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Make sure you visit some of the interesting exhibits at the museum.

The Chicago History Museum was founded in 1856 to study and interpret Chicago’s history. The museum celebrates Chicago’s history every day with special exhibits.

The Chicago History Museum toasted Chicago’s Birthday on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, with another opportunity to experience a virtual-reality visit to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

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The Chicago 00 Project will exhibit their spectacular 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition virtual reality experience. Guests will be taken on an immersive tour of the world’s fair, known for its dazzling White City and eclectic Midway Plaisance, experiencing Chicago’s past and present in 360 degrees and flying 264 feet in the air.

Image result for White City and eclectic Midway Plaisance


Check out the Model Water Tower at the Museum..

A model of Chicago’s Water Tower

There’s an interesting “Gangland Chicago” exhibit with pictures of Bugs Moran, Dion O’Banion, Hymie Weiss and Vincent “Schemer” Drucci:

Dion o”Banion on the left

Bugie Moran on the Left


I loved the Riverview Amusement Park. There’s a horse from Riverview’s Carousel at the Museum.

You will find Interesting Sports Memorabilia and information about Chicago as a leaders in the meat industry.

Chicago is hog butcher for the world

Chicago Bulls Pippen Jersey

Chicago Blackhawks

Plenty of information about Chicago’s famous architects, the Ferris Wheel and the Columbian Expositon

Image result for White City and eclectic Midway Plaisance

Burnham in Chicago

A Playboy Exhibit, celebrating the magazine’s humble beginnings in Hyde Park.

VIntage Playboy Magazine

In honor of Chicago’s Birthday Celebration, you should understand why the 1917 Chicago Flag has four stars:

Story of the Chicago Flag

The Chicago Flag

Every star on the flag represents an important event in Chicago History

The lights in Chicago’s landmark buildings are shining blue this weekend to represent the stripes on the Chicago Flag!


Birthday Chicago!!!!

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @

Candles spell out the traditional English birt...

Image via Wikipedia

Vintage Chicago Poster

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Filed under Happy 175th Birthday Chicago

2 responses to “The Chicago History Museum Celebrates Chicago’s 183rd Birthday in 2020

  1. Pingback: Chicago Cares 20th Anniversary Celebration 2012 | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

  2. Pingback: Chicago’s 175th Birthday Celebration Paints the Windy City Blue | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

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