March 4th, 2012

At a mass meeting at Chicago’s Saloon Building on January 23, 1837, a charter was stamped for approval and sent to the legislature. There, on March 4, 1837, after certain amendments, Chicago officially became a city. Population, 4,170.

The City of Big Shoulders (Chi-town, Hog Butcher for the World, White City, Windy City, Paris on the Prairie) has come a long way since 1837—establishing itself as one of the most dynamic metropolises in the world, with a rich and contentious past, an alluring present, and a bright future. This year marks Chicago’s 175th birthday and a bash on March 4 at the Chicago History Museum will kick-off a year long round of celebrations.


Muddy Waters said that going to Chicago “was like going out of the world.” Junior Wells called it “the crossroads of the world.” And while both Bluesmen may have had a point, the truth is that more than 30,000 million people from around the U.S. and the world visit Chicago each year, drawn to its splendid architecture, food, entertainment, and its distinct urban buzz and swag. If you’ve been there, you know the score. If not, there’s no better time to explore the city with more nicknames than any other.

Chicago History Museum’s March 4 birthday party will include music from The Tony De Rosario Trio and The Chicago Children’s Choir. Vinnie and Michelle Garcia, of the Bleeding Heart Bakery, will design and dole out a commemorative cake. Free admission from 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. The festivities will also feature readings from Chicago students about the city’s founder, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, and award-winning clown Smarty Pants recreating Chicago sites and historical figures in balloons. The North and Clark Café, in the museum lobby, will sell commemorative hot dogs for $1.75.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m. the Museum’s auditorium will host a 4-Star Panel talk exploring Chicago’s identity through its architecture, food, literature arts, and its neighborhoods. 

The Chicago History Museum 1601 N. Clark Street. 312.642.4600

WHERE TO STAY: The Drake Hotel. This 4.5 star hotel overlooking Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile is located within Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood; many of the city’s most notable attractions are conveniently located just minutes away. The Drake Hotel was named to Travel + Leisure’s 2011 T+L 500 list of top-rated hotels around the globe in January 2011.

Hotel Allegro, a Kimpton Hotel, features a convenient location in the Chicago Theater District near entertainment and shopping venues on State Street and the Magnificent Mile. A sparkling renovation unveils thoughtfully-designed guestrooms and suites and a colorful lobby highlighting burnt oranges, ruby reds, and vibrant greens offset with soothing tones of gray and blue. Enjoy a complimentary wine reception every evening!

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower provides 4 star luxury accommodations in the heart of downtown Chicago near the city’s water tower. Within walking distance to prestigious Magnificent Mile shopping, fashionable Oak Street Beach, and restaurants, rides and exhibitions at Navy Pier, the location is ideal for both business and leisure travelers.

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