Chicago (Zbigniew Bzdak / July 1, 2011)

1994: United Center opens.

1995: Heat wave kills hundreds.

1996: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin dies.

1996: Museum of Contemporary Art's new building opens.

1997: Orchestra Hall renovated, renamed Symphony Center.

1997: Studs Terkel retires from WFMT radio after 45 years.

1997: Field Museum buys fossils for T-Rex named Sue for $8 million.

1998: First season for Chicago Fire soccer team.

1999: City implements 3-1-1 system.

1999: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum opens.

2000: T. rex named Sue on exhibit at Field Museum.

2000: Goodman Theatre opens new Loop building.

2001: Boeing moves headquarters to Chicago.

2002: Former Chicago gang member Jose Padilla arrested at O'Hare in terrorism case.

2003: Mayor Richard M. Daley shuts down Meigs Field.

2004: Millennium Park opens.

2005: White Sox win first World Series in 88 years.

2006: Immigration reform rally draws up to 100,000 to Loop.

2007: Bears reach Super Bowl but lose to Colts.

2008: First Chicagoan elected president: Barack Obama holds Grant Park victory rally.

2009: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is impeached and tossed out of office.

2010: Blackhawks win Stanley Cup.

2011: Rahm Emanuel elected mayor.

2012: Chicago prepares to host its most important global meetings ever — G-8 and NATO summits.

Editor's note: What did we leave out? We're sure there are significant events we have omitted. Send ideas for our Chicago timeline to Stephan Benzkofer at Please keep in mind this is a Chicago-specific list, not a Chicagoland celebration. We'll blow those candles out another time.

Sources: Tribune archives, Encyclopedia of Chicago online; "History of Chicago," by Alfred Theodore Andreas; "The Chicago River: A Natural and Unnatural History," by Libby Hill; Chicago Public Library online and dozens of websites of Chicago institutions.