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Carl Sandburg’s Iconic Poem ‘Chicago’ on Display at the Chicago History Museum


Poem on Display in Recognition of the City’s 180th Birthday

Carl Sandburg’s iconic poem “Chicago,” will be on display at the Chicago History Museum to coincide with the city’s 180th birthday on Saturday, March 4.

“The Chicago History Museum is thrilled to add this extremely rare copy of the poem handwritten and signed by Sandburg to our collection and to place it on view for all Chicagoans to enjoy,” said Russell Lewis, executive vice president and chief historian at the Chicago History Museum.

Visitors to the Museum can see the poem, handwritten by Sandburg in 1959 nearly 50 years after its first publication, on display in the Museum’s exhibition, “The Secret Lives of Objects,” throughout its duration.

“Carl Sandburg’s image of a city infused with energy, grit, and pride, which he so elegantly scribed in his now-classic poem “Chicago,” has stood the test of time as one of the most captivating and enduring portraits of this city ever written,” said Lewis.

Visitors looking for more four-star fun are invited to celebrate Chicago’s 180th Birthday with the Museum and The City of Chicago on Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Museum admission is FREE for Illinois residents on this day. The celebration takes place at the Chicago History Museum. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

A special birthday ceremony begins at 11 a.m. and features music performances and guest speakers. Following the commemorative ceremony, Eli’s Cheesecake will be served with lemonade and special certificates will be available for individuals born on March 4 (while supplies last).


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

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