Mayor Harold Washington: Irish for a Day

Chicago's first modern downtown St. Patrick's Day parade was in 1956, when Richard J. Daley was mayor. The Chicago River was first dyed green in 1962. Since then, each year, the downtown parade and river dyeing have become important milestones in Chicago's late winter, with many people celebrating a communal party in the Loop. 1987 was no different. Mayor Harold […]

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#TBT: Happy Birthday, Sidney Poitier!

Academy Award-winning actor Sidney Poitier celebrates his 90th birthday on February 20. For this Throwback Thursday, explore the star’s life and career—including a Chicago connection. In 1959, Lorraine Hansberry’s play set in Chicago, A Raisin in the Sun, opened at the Blackstone Theater on Michigan Avenue for a tryout before heading to Broadway. Poitier led […]

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Once Upon a Valentine

As February 14 approaches, men and women, young and old will wade through seas of red and pink in card aisles trying to find the perfect words to convey their feelings and sentiments to loved ones and sweethearts. Exchanging valentine cards has been popular since the late 1700s, and continues to be today. In 1908 […]

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Quiz: Do You Know Chicago’s Streets? Part 2

Street signs at the intersection of Chicago and Michigan avenues; skyscraper rises above the signs

By popular demand, we're back with more questions about Chicago's streets. Can you impress your friends with your knowledge of Chicago geography? Take our quiz to find out. (When you're done here, check out our earlier quiz, Do You Know Chicago's Streets?)

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Let CPL Help You Make History with History Fair

Chiago Metro History Fair

Are you participating in History Fair this year? Does your teacher expect you to conduct historical research? Are you wondering where and how to begin? Are you looking for primary resources or images for an exhibit board, website or documentary? At CPL, we can help you with all of these. Getting Started After you’ve selected your topic, start […]

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Chicago’s Farming History

This year's One Book, One Chicago, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, encourages readers to think about their relationships with the food they eat. Kingsolver and her family complete a yearlong challenge to grow, produce or buy locally all of their food. The book also criticizes the international food industry for compromising health in favor of efficient production, and for its environmental impact. While […]

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The Ghost of Christmas Past, Shopping Edition

Christmas will be here in just a few days. Have you finished your shopping? These days, last-minute Christmas shopping usually involves a click on a screen and waiting for the items to arrive at your house. Not so long ago, though, Chicagoans got all dressed up and traveled downtown to do their holiday shopping. Take a break from your […]

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Chicago Municipal Code: How to Find and Research Historical Codes

Spoiler alert: This post is boring (but may be useful to some people). The Chicago Municipal Code is a one- to three-volume book that provides a subject arrangement of Chicago ordinances of a general and permanent nature. It is essentially an encyclopedia of Chicago law. People are interested in the historical codes for reasons legal, practical […]

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Quiz: How Well Do You Know the CTA?

Man stands with Red Line train in the background at Grand and State

Are you a transit maven? Find out with our quiz from bloggers Chicago in 4D and Municipal Reference Guy, who are librarians in the Municipal Reference Collection at Harold Washington Library Center.

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