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The Chicago History Museum is a showcase of Chicago?s and United States history in different forms of media. It was founded in 1856 and known before as Chicago Historical Society. The museum is located at the Lincoln Park, 1601 N. Clark Street, Chicago.

During the 1871?s Great Chicago Fire, almost all of the exhibits and collections of the museum were destroyed including the hand-written copy of United States President Abraham Lincoln?s Emancipation Proclamation. To house the new collected items, the Chicago Historical Society used their member?s house temporarily. However, another fire brought down all the newly collected items in 1874. This prompted the organization to build a ?fireproof? building on its original site way back before the 1871 fire. The new building opened in 1896 to house the remaining collected items until 1985 when it was became the home of Excalibur nightclub and tagged as one of the national historic places in Chicago in 1978 by the National Register of Historic Places. In 1932, the current building of the museum was built. Two expansions of the building were constructed in 1972 and 1988.

The Chicago Historical Society started the idea of opening the museum to the public and started collecting original pieces and items of Charles F. Ganther. These collections include many of American Civil War artifacts and Lincoln?s items like his deathbed and the original pieces of clothing that he wore when he was assassinated.

Today, it homes to more than 22 million historical artifacts of Chicago and United States. It includes the popular CTA 1, the first passenger vehicle in Chicago. Other exhibits are authentic manuscripts and other important documents, costumes and textiles, art pieces such as painting, sculptures, and paper works, as well videos and photographs. It is divided into five major areas which are ?Living in the Metropolitan Area,? ?Walking in the Metropolitan Area,? Governing the Metropolitan Area,? ?The Built Environment,? and the ?Individuals and Ideas.?
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