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Here’s How You Can Celebrate Harold Washington’s 100th Birthday This Month

The City Council's Black Caucus has also proclaimed April 15 Harold Washington Day in honor of the trailblazer.

Mayor Harold Washington.
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CHICAGO — Harold Washington College is holding a celebration in honor of the former mayor for which it is named.

It’s one of a variety of events being held to mark what would’ve been Harold Washington’s 100th birthday on April 15. The City Council’s Black Caucus has also proclaimed April 15 as Harold Washington Day.

Washington was Chicago’s first Black mayor. He was elected in 1983, enjoying high popularity among everyday people despite facing stiff and often racist opposition from aldermen who were part of the “Vrdolyak 29” in City Council. Washington died at his desk while working in ’87.

Here’s a look at the events:

Harold Washington College

Harold Washington College will host the Remembering Harold Washington Celebration 11 a.m. April 20 at the school, 30 E. Lake St., according to a news release.

There will be a presentation about Washington’s work as a politician and a preview of “Punch 9 for Harold Washington,” a documentary about his career, according to the news release. There will also be projects from students and faculty on display.

Shermann “Dilla” Thomas, a Chicago historian known for his TikTok lessons, will hold tours about Washington’s life and legacy as part of the event. Tours start 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. the day of the event, with availability limited on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration is required and can be done online. The event is free.

Birthday Celebration

The Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee is partnering with the Chicago Public Library and Mayor Lori Lightfoot for a celebration for Washington, according to a Mayor’s Office news release.

The event is 5:30 p.m. April 12 at Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. There will be a reception, music, speakers and awards.

Members of the public can watch via livestream on the Mayor’s Office social media pages.

Harold Washington Day

The Mayor Harold Washington’s Legacy Committee will celebrate Harold Washington Day on April 18, according to a news release.

The group is asking Chicagoans to wear Washington buttons and pins, put up Washington signs in their windows and affix his old bumpers stickers to their car for the occasion.

Read more here.

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