St. Patrick's Day Reading Comprehension

Printable Story with Interactive Review Questions. Read and test reading comprehension online or print and use offline. For 3rd or 4th Grade and up.


The Chicago River Goes Green

Once a year, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, the Chicago River in Chicago turns green.

The tradition began in 1962, when city plumbers, with the permission of the mayor, poured emerald green dye into the river.

The original idea came from plumbers who used special green dye to check for illegal sewage in the river.

In the 1960's, 100 pounds of dye were used to turn the river green for a whole week. Now it's only 40 pounds of vegetable dye, and the color lasts only for hours. Environmentalists feared that the use of the original dye would cause problems for wildlife in the river.

Today, the dye is a secret formula that is safe for all of the river's living organisms, including the kayakers and boaters who might fall in!

Other cities have followed Chicago's lead. The water in London's Trafalgar Square fountain has been dyed green. In 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama, a Chicago native, had the water in the White House fountains dyed green on St. Patrick's Day.

More people view the Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day than on any other day of the year.

When was the first year that the Chicago River went green?
1917
1962
2009
1962 How long did the river stay green with the original dye?
several hours
1 day
1 week
1 week How long did the river stay green with the safe vegetable dye?
several hours
1 day
1 week
several hours Where was First Lady Michelle Obama born?
Atlanta
Chicago
Washington
Chicago Whose idea was it to put dye into the Chicago river?
the mayor
an environment group
the city plumbers
the city plumbers On which holiday does the Chicago River attract the most viewers?
July 1st
Valentine's Day
St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day Why did they change to vegetable dye to put in the river?
It lasted longer.
to be safer for living organisms
It was a better color.
to be safer for living organisms In which two cities are the fountain waters green on March 17th?
London and Washington
Atlanta and Chicago
Chicago and New York
London and Washington How often does the Chicago River turn emerald green?
once a year for St. Patrick's Day
twice a year for St. Patrick's Day and Christmas
once every 10 years
once a year for St. Patrick's Day

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