History Museum Helps Celebrate Chicago’s 180th Birthday

CHICAGO (CBS) — The city of Chicago marked its 180th birthday on Saturday!

The Chicago History Museum offered up a birthday celebration that included free admission, a 60 lb blue and white Eli’s cheesecake, made to resemble the city’s flag, along with lemonade and a jazz trio that led the crowd in a chorus of “Happy Birthday.”

The American Indian Center’s Vincent Romero told the crowd Chicago was founded on a love story — Jean Pierre Point DuSable and a Native American wife.

Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Mark Kelly said centuries before DuSable settled and opened his trading post — Chicago’s first store — native people congregated in the area because of its access to waterways and Lake Michigan.

Hundreds of students submitted essays on what they thought DuSable would do to help stop the city’s epidemic of violence.

The winner, Johnson School of Excellence third grade student Jayla Johnson, wrote that DuSable would not like to see the violence against children. She added that DuSable would tell Chicagoans to drop the guns and resolve conflict peacefully.

“Mr. DuSable would want children to be safe,” she wrote. “He would like to see children play in the parks and in front of their house without getting shot or hurt.”

In her essay, she said she “really can’t ride my bike around the neighborhood. It could be dangerous.” Yet she also wrote, “Chicago is a great city and people should not think it is not a safe place to live.”

Johnson said she thought DuSable would get people to pray.

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