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Question of the day

Thursday, Mar 4, 2021

* Sun-Times

When does a town become a city? For Chicago, that was exactly 184 years ago, when the state of Illinois officially gave it the bump to city status using the exact language you’d expect from a law written in 1837: “That the district of country in the county of Cook in the state aforesaid … shall hereafter be known by the name of city.”

Similar to how this anniversary doesn’t matter much to anyone outside of Chicago today, it wasn’t a big deal across the country back then. Martin Van Buren was sworn in as the United States’ eighth president on the same day, which dominated national headlines. And unlike the Midwest metropolis it is now, the newly anointed city of Chicago had a population of just 4,500 at the time.

* The Question: Your birthday wishes for Chicago?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    Move to Wisconsin? /S


  2. - hbd - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:21 pm:

    A new mayor


  3. - Leslie K - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    A recovery from COVID that lifts all neighborhoods.


  4. - 62468 - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:39 pm:

    White Sox win the World Series


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:41 pm:

    Birthday wish?

    I wish the city a chance to keep its wonderful neighborhood feels, while being welcoming in the neighborhoods to new people, businesses, and experiences.

    I wish safety, peace, and little less fighting by the 5th floor versus everyone.

    These are wishes, hopes, and with both I’d like to see a better Chicago because it’s a great place that needs to continue to strive to be better.


  6. - Julian Perez - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    That the 10-year remain below 1.3% so that the Mayor won’t have to hike taxes on the working and middle-class


  7. - Dysfunction Junction - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    A hearty birthday toast. Barkeep, a round of Malört on the house (banned punctuation)


  8. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:43 pm:

    White Sox win the World Series and an end to the pandemic, with a rebound for the city’s diverse and wonderful restaurants and bars.


  9. - Dysfunction Junction - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:44 pm:

    Oh yeah - and a new water park at the corner of Clark & Randolph.


  10. - Cheswick - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:48 pm:

    One of the things that makes Chicago such a great city, is the fact that each neighborhood is like a little town of its own. Chicago is a great place to live and work and play and drink and eat. Some of the best times of my life were when I lived in Chicago. Happy Birthday, youse guys.


  11. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:50 pm:

    Is “get well soon” considered a birthday wish?


  12. - Not the Dude - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 2:57 pm:

    Happy Birthday Chicago. Love the food, hate the traffic.


  13. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 3:08 pm:

    A Polish sah-sage, large fries and a pahp.


  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 3:33 pm:

    To the definition;

    The way I understand it, at least in Illinois, is a city is defined when a local government switches to an aldermanic form of representation with defined wards, and a village is when the form of government uses trustees generally in an at-large form of representation.

    Just a little knowledge nugget.

    Some places like to keep the term village, because they think it imparts a sense of community. Plainfield for example does this, with a population over 40k. Meanwhile the nearby town of Crest Hill is defined as a city due to its ward/alderperson form of representation, despite having a population below 10k - ignoring the population of the prison.


  15. - Tear One - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 3:52 pm:

    Sorry Chicago, I forgot to get a card.

    I hope $1,981,851,042.77 in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will do.


  16. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 3:56 pm:

    There are mostly cities and villages in IL, but a few towns still incorporated. The Town of Cicero is the biggest, followed by the Town of Normal, then the Town of Cortland just east of DeKalb. Of the 1,299 municipalities in the state, only 19 are Towns.


  17. - Practical Politics - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 3:58 pm:

    Heck, when Chicago hosted “The Century of Progress” World’s Fair, the date of incorporation that City Hall chose to go with was the earlier date when Chicago was simply a town.

    I am hoping that the Thompson Center will be razed and something beautiful will be built on its site.


  18. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 5:10 pm:

    A great movie that includes the actual demolition of the Thompson Center.


  19. - PublicServant - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 6:22 pm:

    I hope Mike stick around long enough to coach DPI for a while.


  20. - low level - Thursday, Mar 4, 21 @ 10:29 pm:

    That we could stop subsidizing downstate… that downstate would pull themselves up by their bootstraps.


  21. - Fishingvest - Friday, Mar 5, 21 @ 9:18 am:

    This date always gives me pause because some of my mother’s ancestors were aleady farming in Lake County and traveling to Chicago for supplies. I guess some things don’t change.


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