CHICAGO — The life and legacy of Chicago’s first African American mayor, Harold Washington, was celebrated Tuesday just days before what would have been his 100th birthday.

It was 39 years ago Tuesday that history was made on April 12, 1983 — when Harold Washington was elected.

Scores of people came out to celebrate downtown on State Street Tuesday night. Washington tragically died of a heart attack in 1987 about six months into his second term.

“The best birthday gift I’ve ever received was on April 12th, 1983 when Washington was elected mayor of Chicago,” said Congressman Chuy Garcia (D-Chicago).

The event, called “Here’s Harold,” brought out several speakers, including his own family.

“My uncle stood for believed in and fought for a unified city,” said niece Karen Stone. “Chicago is one we shall work toward common goals.”

Mayor Lightfoot said Washington was a leader who strived to make Chicago a more equitable place for all who call the city home.

“Mayor Washington made city government more transparent,” Lightfoot said. “More diverse than it had ever been in our city’s history.”