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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 is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

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