Celebrate July 4 at the Chicago History Museum.
Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark St., 312-642-4600,
When: Thursday, July 4, 2019 10AM-4:30PM,
Uihlein Plaza in the back of the museum Register here.
Too bad the live event is canceled. It’s always fun. 2021: A virtual event with conversations, a show-and-tell of early items from CHM’s archives, Hands-On History activities, sounds and songs, connecting America’s past and present freedom movements, and more.
Enjoy outdoor family-friendly festivities including patriotic music, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, a keynote oration by the Honorable Anne M. Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice, and a children’s costume parade led by the World’s Tallest Uncle Sam. Following the event, the Museum is open from 12:00 NOON until 4:30 P.M. with free admission for Illinois residents. 2019 Schedule of Events Schedule 10:00 a.m.
• National anthem performed by the Americana Concert Band, directed by Randy Szostek, with vocalist Bradford Newquist. Medley of patriotic songs to follow.
• Juggling, face painting, and children’s craft activities 10:45 a.m.
• Children’s parade led by the World’s Tallest Uncle Sam! 11:00 a.m.–12:00 noon
• Welcome by Walter C. Carlson, chair of the Chicago History Museum board of trustees
• Posting of the Colors by Cornelius Robinson Coffey Cadet Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary
• National Anthem, performed by the Americana Concert Band with vocalist Bradford Newquist
• Pledge of Allegiance, led by Timuel Black, activist, community organizer, and historian
• Declaration of Independence, read by Tariq El-Amin, host and producer of Radio Islam
• Keynote oration by Gary T. Johnson, president of the Chicago History Museum * An ASL interpreter will stand on the plaza to the left of the stairs, where there is reserved seating for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing. This program is sponsored in part by the Musicians Performance Trust Fund.
About the Chicago History Museum
Founded in 1856 and incorporated in 1857 the Chicago Historical Society opened its first building at the corner of Dearborn and Ontario Streets.
That building and the most of the collection, however, burned during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. After three years and a second fire that destroyed most of the remaining collection, the Society renewed its operations.
Occupying temporary buildings on the same site until 1896, the organization built a massive stone edifice designed by Henry Ives Cobb, which housed the Gilpin Library and exhibition spaces.
In 1920, the Society purchased thousands of manuscripts and hundreds of paintings and historical artifacts from the estate of Charles F. Gunther, including the bed on which Abraham Lincoln died and George Washington’s compass. In the late 1920s, the trustees began planning a new $1 million museum to house its growing collection and to celebrate the city’s centennial. Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the Georgian colonial building opened in 1932 in Lincoln Park at Clark Street at North Avenue. That building, with various additions, renovations, and improvements, has served as the organization’s home ever since.
In 1972, the Society unveiled a modern limestone addition by Alfred Shaw and Associates. In 1988, Holabird and Root “wrapped” the limestone addition in a red brick modern adaptation of the 1932 building and added underground storage and new gallery spaces.
In February 2006, the Chicago Historical Society announced its new name: The Chicago History Museum. Later that year, the Museum celebrated a grand re-opening, unveiling a dramatic new lobby and redesigned exhibition spaces. Signature exhibitions such as Chicago: Crossroads of America and Sensing Chicago debuted, while an old favorite, Imagining Chicago: The Dioramas, was restored and updated.
The Museum continues to share the stories of the city and its people through exhibitions, programs, publications, and a website. Thousands of school groups from Chicago and the surrounding area visit annually. The Research Center serves thousands each year, from schoolchildren working on History Fair projects to PhD students writing dissertations to filmmakers researching documentaries.
The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago.