Birthday gifts for Chicago's 176th

Choo-choo trains, peace, pizza parties, and middle names

March 1, 2013

WBEZ

Flickr/Pudpuduk

On March 4, 2013 Chicago turns 176 years old. The History Museum will throw a party, and Eli's Cheesecake Factory is baking a big birthday cake. Our history blogger John R. Schmidt marked the occasion by profiling the city's first mayor, William B. Ogden.

It's not really a milestone or landmark. Turning 176 feels a little like turning 22 or 41. It's still a birthday, but doesn't warrant quite the same hoopla of the year before.

But we wanted to make sure that the birthday of our city doesn't pass without a little something special, so Shannon Heffernan asked people in Chicago what gifts they would give to the City of Big Shoulders:

We threw out the same question to folks on Twitter and Facebook. Here are a few more of your birthday wishes for Chicago:

  • Christine Price: “Even more bike lanes”
  • Mary Zerkel: “an elected school board”
  • Jessica Anderson: “blue bins for bronzeville”
  • Mason Donahue: “An air freshener”
  • Ramona Gupta: “A mayor who actually cares”
  • Meg Evans Smith: “A shiny new reputation having nothing to do with guns and gangsters”

The Morning Shift continued the birthday celebration with some Chicago history. Market Place Foodstore in Lincoln Park is the oldest independent grocery store in Chicago. Peter Stellas’ grandfather opened it up in 1927. Stellas talked about the history of the store and the future it faces in a rapidly changing business environment.

And today's date has a different significance for Afternoon Shift host Rick Kogan: this day also marks the death of his beloved Daily News. Former Sun-Times photo editor Richard Cahan helped unearth some of the paper’s early, never-before published images and put together a beautiful book, Chicago under Glass: Early Photographs from the Chicago Daily News. Kogan and Cahan look back at the legacy of The Daily News and survey how Chicago news has changed since its extinction.