March 29, 2013 – United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announces that a $100 million federal loan to extend Chicago’s river walk from State Street to Lake Street is a “done deal”. As envisioned the Riverwalk will focus on the history and ecology of the river, include a zero-depth fountain for children, kayak rentals, and a section with floating gardens. LaHood says that about 70 percent of the revenue for the loan repayment will come from higher fees that two companies – Mercury Skyline Yacht Charters and Wendella Sightseeing -- will pay the city to dock boats along the river. It is anticipated that there will be a significant contribution from retail space and other amenities and vendors along the river. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says, “The truth is, we’re now at a juncture in the history of the city of reintroducing the city to the river and the river to the city.” [Chicago Tribune, March 29, 2013]
March 29, 1917 -- The Chicago City Council receives the design for a city flag, designed by Wallace Rice, and submitted by the Chicago Flag Commission. The commission describes the flag in this way: "Its uppermost stripe, of white, is eight inches broad; the second stripe of blue is nine inches; the central bar, of white is eighteen inches, and the two lower stripes correspond with the uppermost two. Near the staff on the broad white stripe are two six pointed red stars, fourteen inches tall. Viewed locally, the two blue stripes symbolize the Chicago river with its two branches and the three white bars represent the three sides of the city. The red stars stand for the Chicago fire and the World's fair [of 1893], two great influences on the city's history. The six points in the first star stand for transportation, trade, finance, industry, populousness, and healthfulness; those in the second for religion, education, aesthetics, beneficence, justice and civism. Considered nationally the blue stripes stand for the mountain ranges which flank the plain of which Chicago is the center. The central white bar stands for this plain and the two outer white bars for the Atlantic and Pacific coasts." [Chicago Tribune, March 30, 1917]. Two stars have been added to the flag since this first attempt. One corresponds to the establishment of Fort Dearborn in 1807; it was added in 1939. Added in 1933, the final star symbolizes the Century of Progress World's Fair, held on the lakefront in the summers of 1933 and 1934.