Created by ihistory on Feb 24, 2009
Last updated: 04/14/09 at 02:16 PM
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Following his victory in the United States presidential election, 2008, then-President-elect Barack Obama gave his victory speech at Grant Park in his home city of Chicago, Illinois, before an estimated crowd of 240,000. Considered one of the most widely-watched and repeated political addresses in history, Obama's speech focused on the major issues facing the United States and the world, all echoed through his campaign slogan of change. Grant Park was the location of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, an event significant for its protests which ended in violence, riots and police brutality. CNN declared, "History gave Grant Park another chance Tuesday as the scene of a peaceful and jubilant celebration of Barack Obama's presidential victory." Obama's speech has been praised as having "...the rare ability to cultivate the things that are common to all human beings, regardless of artificial and arbitrary distinctions."
Chicago has had prior experience with Olympic bids. In 1901, the city was unanimously chosen by the IOC to stage the 1904 Summer Olympics, but the Games were moved to St. Louis to coincide with the 1904 World's Fair. Chicago also bid for the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics, without success.Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley visited Beijing – host city of the 2008 Summer Olympics – on May 15, 2006, where he collected information on hosting. The bidding process for the 2016 Olympic Games was officially launched on May 16, 2007. The bid plan emphasizes use of Chicago Park District parks (Washington Park, Burnham Park, Lincoln Park, Douglas Park and Grant Park). In addition, existing facilities such as Soldier Field and McCormick Place will host events. In addition to the event sites, the bid includes North side, downtown Loop and South Side celebration locations in Lincoln and Grant Parks as well as the Midway Plaissance respectively that will have JumboTrons for unticketed visitors. The bid notes that there is a very high concentration of event locations and training facilities in very close proximity to each other and that the majority of event sites are clustered together.
The 2005 World Series, the 101st Major League Baseball championship series, saw the American League champion Chicago White Sox sweep the National League champion Houston Astros 4 games to 0 in the best-of-seven-games series, winning their third championship and first since 1917. Home field advantage was awarded to Chicago by virtue of the American League's 7-5 victory over the National League in the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The Chicago White Sox finished the regular season with the best record in the American League at 99-63, the only team to go wire-to-wire in 2005. After starting the season on a tear, the White Sox began to fade in August, when a 15 ½ game lead fell all the way to 1 ½. However, the Sox were able to hold off the Cleveland Indians to win the American League Central Division by 6 games, sweeping Cleveland in three games on the season's final weekend. In the Division Series, the White Sox swept the defending champion Boston Red Sox. The League Championship Series began with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim winning Game 1, but a controversial finish to Game 2 helped the Sox start a run and win Games 2-5, all on complete games pitched by starters Mark Buehrle, Jon Garland, Freddy Garcia, and José Contreras, clinching their first American League pennant in 46 years.
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Chicago Loop community area of Chicago within Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is a prominent civic center of the City of Chicago's Lake Michigan lakefront. In 2004, a 24.5-acre section of northern Grant Park, previously occupied by Illinois Central railyards and parking lots, was built over and redeveloped as Millennium Park. The park hosts a variety of public art in an area is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive. Planning began in October 1997, construction began in October 1998 and was completed in July 2004. Millennium Park, which has become the world's largest rooftop garden, was opened in a ceremony on July 16, 2004 as part of a three-day celebration that included an inaugural concert by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. 300,000 people took part in the grand opening festivities. The park's design and construction won awards ranging from accessibility to green design. Since then, Millennium Park has become a major tourist destination for Chicago. Admission to the park is free.
The Epitome Chicago and its upstairs dance floor E2 were a popular nightclub in Chicago. Monday, February 17, 2003, a stampede occurred in which 21 people were killed and more than 50 injured. The proximate cause of the stampede was reported to be the use of pepper spray to break up a fight. Both because of the noxious spray and also because of panic among those who were unsure what the chemical was, many patrons made a rush towards the exits. The (at-the-time) recent September 11 and 2001 anthrax attacks left a sense of paranoia among Americans in general. The cause of death was not fire, as in the case of many other famous nightclub disasters, but trampling and suffocation. Although at least one emergency exit was opened by a security guard, there were disputed reports of one chained shut. The only exit known to most patrons was the narrow, steep front stairwell, with narrow doors that opened inward, against fire code. The doors at the top opened outward, and as the crowd pushed them open, people standing on the small upper landing were tossed down the stairs. The doors, normally open, were closed after security guards removed the participants in a fight. As more patrons tried to exit, they were forced on top of the bodies of those who had already fallen. Security guards attempted to remove bodies from below, but the pile of people grew faster than they could clear it. Captured in shocking photographs and news footage, dozens of people crammed in narrow exits: they were stacked one on top of the other, unable to move and, in many cases, even breathe. More than 1,500 stampeded in an attempt to escape the spray and chaos inside.
The 1995 Chicago heat wave was a heat wave which led to approximately 600 heat-related deaths in Chicago over a period of five days. Eric Klinenberg, author of the 2002 book Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, has noted that in the United States, the loss of human life in hot spells in summer exceeds that caused by all other weather events combined, including lightning, rain, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Most of the heat wave victims were the elderly poor living in the heart of the city, who either had no working air conditioning or could not afford to turn it on. Many older citizens were also hesitant to open windows and doors at night for fear of crime. Elderly women, who may have been more socially engaged, were less vulnerable than elderly men. By contrast, during the heat waves of the 1930s, many residents slept outside in the parks or along the shore of Lake Michigan. Because of the nature of the disaster, and the slow response of authorities to recognize it, no official "death toll" has been determined. However, figures show that 739 additional people died in that particular week above the usual weekly average. Further epidemiologic analysis showed that blacks were more likely to die than whites, and that Hispanics had an unusually low death rate due to heat. At the time, many blacks lived in areas of sub-standard housing and less cohesive neighborhoods, while Hispanics at the time lived in places with higher population density, and more social cohesion. image courtesy of Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Bulls of the East Conference took on the Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Conference for the title, with Chicago having home court advantage. This Finals was Michael Jordan's first NBA Finals appearance and Magic Johnson's last. The Bulls would win 4-1 with Michael Jordan being awarded the NBA Finals MVP. The team was founded in 1966 and is generally regarded as one of the NBA's most successful franchises. They are currently playing their home games at the United Center. The team is well known for having one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history during the 1990s, winning 6 championships in 8 years with two three-peats. Those championship teams had players such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and coach Phil Jackson. The Bulls won an NBA record 72 games during the 1995–96 NBA season and are the only team in NBA history to win 70 games in a single season. During the 1990s, the Bulls helped spread the popularity of the NBA around the world. The 1998 NBA Finals, the Bulls' most recent championship appearance, was the most watched championship series in NBA history. The Bulls have not only the highest winning percentage in NBA Finals history, but also the highest winning percentage in professional championships of any sport.
Super Bowl XX was an American football game played on January 26, 1986 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion following the 1985 regular season. The National Football Conference (NFC) champion Chicago Bears (18-1) won their first Super Bowl by defeating the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots (14-6), 46–10. The Bears set Super Bowl records for sacks and fewest rushing yards allowed. The Bears' 36-point margin over the Patriots was a Super Bowl record until Super Bowl XXIV. The Patriots were held to negative yardage (-19) throughout the entire first half, and just 123 total yards in the entire game, the second lowest total in Super Bowl history. Bears defensive end Richard Dent, who had 1.5 quarterback sacks, forced 2 fumbles, and blocked a pass, was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
Harold Lee Washington (April 15, 1922–November 25, 1987) was an American lawyer and politician who became the first African American Mayor of Chicago, serving from 1983 until his death in 1987.
American Airlines Flight 191, from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles International Airport, crashed during take-off on 25 May 1979 at approximately 15:04 CDT. The McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 had 271 passengers and 13 crew onboard. There were no survivors. Two persons on the ground were also killed. In terms of total fatalities it remains the deadliest single airliner accident on U.S. soil.
Jane Margaret Byrne (born May 24, 1934) was the first and to date only female Mayor of Chicago. She served from April 16, 1979, to April 29, 1983. Chicago is to date the largest city in the United States to have had a female mayor as of 2009. She won support from "lakefront liberals" and African-Americans in addition to many more conservative whites on the city's north side. Byrne made some progressive moves as mayor, such as hiring the first black school superintendent, and she was the first Mayor to recognize the gay community. She moved into Cabrini-Green, a particularly notorious public housing development for a time to bring attention and resources to the high crime rate there. She also effectively banned handgun possession for guns unregistered or purchased after the enactment of an ordinance. This two year re-registration program effectively banned handgun possession without upsetting Chicago's handgun owners at that time.
The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (abbreviated TARP and more commonly known as the Deep Tunnel Project or the Chicago Deep Tunnel) is a large civil engineering project that aims to reduce flooding in the metropolitan Chicago area, and to reduce the harmful effects of flushing raw sewage into Lake Michigan by diverting storm water and sewage into temporary holding reservoirs. The megaproject is one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in terms of scope, cost and timeframe. Commissioned in the mid-1970s, the project is managed by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Completion of the system is not anticipated until 2019, but substantial portions of the system have already opened and are currently operational. Across 30 years of construction, over $3 billion has been spent on the project.
In 1969, Sears, Roebuck & Co. was the largest retailer in the world, with about 350,000 employees. Sears executives decided to consolidate the thousands of employees in offices distributed throughout the Chicago area into one building on the western edge of Chicago's Loop. With immediate space demands of 3 million square feet and predictions and plans for future growth necessitating even more space, Sears commissioned architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill to produce a structure that was known from the onset would be one of the largest office buildings in the world. As Sears continued to offer optimistic projections for growth, the tower's proposed height soared into the low hundreds of floors and surpassed the height of New York's unfinished World Trade Center to become the world's tallest building. Restricted in height not by physical limitation or imagination but rather by a limit imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration to protect air traffic, the Sears Tower would be financed completely out of Sears' deep pockets and topped with two antennas to permit local television and radio broadcasts. Sears and the City of Chicago approved the design, and the first steel was put in place in April 1971. The structure was completed in May 1973. Construction costs totaled approximately $150 million USD at the time, which would be equivalent to roughly $950 million USD in 2005. In February 2009 the owners announced they are considering a plan to paint the structure silver. The paint would "rebrand" the building and call it the Willis Tower as well as highlight its advances in energy efficiency. The estimated cost is $50 million. The Sears Tower remains the tallest building in the Americas, and retains the world record when measuring from sidewalk level of the main entrance to the top of the antenna.
John Hancock Center at 875 North Michigan Avenue in the Streeterville area of the Near North Side in Chicago, Illinois, is a 100-story, 1,127-foot (344 m) tall skyscraper designed by structural engineer Fazlur Khan of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. When completed in 1969, it was the tallest building in the world outside New York City. It is the fourth-tallest skyscraper in Chicago and the sixth-tallest in the United States, after the Sears Tower, the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower, the Trump Tower, and the Aon Center. When measured to the top of its antenna masts, it stands at 1,500 feet (457 m). The building is home to offices and restaurants, as well as about 700 condominiums and contains the highest residences in the world. This skyscraper was named for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, a developer and original tenant of the building. The 95th floor has long been home to a restaurant, the latest tenant being "The Signature Room on the 95th Floor." While patrons dine, they can look out at Chicago and Lake Michigan. The 44th-floor sky lobby features America's highest indoor swimming pool.
The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. The purpose of the Democratic National Convention was for the election of a suitable nominee to run as the Democratic Party’s choice for the post of President of the United States of America. With events in the United States crashing against the American population faster and faster, 1968 quickly developed into a year of rage. All across America emotions ran high. Tensions peaked when two leaders, ones who had brought the promise of hope to a generation, were assassinated. A harsh blow came to the Civil Rights movement when Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968, followed by the assassination of one of the anti-war movements hopefuls, Robert F. Kennedy on June 5/6 (shot early morning of June 5, died 26 hours later), 1968. The rioting, which then took place between demonstrators and the Chicago Police Department and the Illinois National Guard, was well publicized by the mass media, some of whose members experienced firsthand what the protestors at Chicago also suffered. Respected newsmen of the day, Mike Wallace and Dan Rather, were both roughed up by the Chicago police while inside the halls of the Democratic Convention. Chicago's mayor. Richard J. Daley, intended to showcase his and the city's achievements to national Democrats and the news media. Instead, the proceedings garnered its media attention and notoriety because of the large number of demonstrators and the use of force by the Chicago police during what was supposed to be, as named by Yippie activist organizers, “A Festival of Life.”
Hugh Hefner opened his first Playboy Club in 1960. He was inspired by Burton Brown's Chicago chain of Gaslight Clubs. The Gaslight Clubs opened in 1953, featuring women dressed in velvet, one-piece "bunny" type costumes, and had live entertainment. The clubs were essentially bars with entertainment, featuring Playboy Bunnies serving drinks to keyholders, and performances by some big names in entertainment. There is now only one Playboy Club, and it is in The Palms Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Chicago's first subway had opened in 1943 under Clybourn, Division, and State Streets, 80 years after the London Underground and 46 years after the first U.S. subway in Boston. The busy North-South elevated line was rerouted through it, relieving congestion on the loop. A second subway under Dearborn Street was completed in 1951, enabling the CTA to abandon part of the Logan Square “L.” In the 1950s the Garfield “L” was replaced by a rapid transit line in the median of the Congress (later Eisenhower) Expressway.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also popularly known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers. The All-Star Game usually occurs in early to mid-July and marks the symbolic halfway point in the Major League Baseball (MLB) season (though not the mathematical halfway point; in most seasons, that actually takes place one week earlier). The game is usually played on a Tuesday, with no regular season games scheduled on the day before or the day after. These are the only two calendar days in the year in which no regular or preseason games in any of the major professional sports leagues of the United States are scheduled. The other three major American sports - basketball, football, and hockey - are in their off seasons in the summer and winter, but otherwise overlap each other frequently, in the other three seasons.
The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Illinois was the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere and is the oldest in existence today. The Adler was founded and built in 1930 by the philanthropist Max Adler, with the assistance of the first director of the planetarium, Philip Fox. Located on Northerly Island, it is a part of Chicago's Museum Campus along with the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. n the second presidential debate of 2008, John McCain was critical of Obama's support for a $3 million earmark which would have bought a new projector for the planetarium. The current Zeiss Mark VI projector is 40 years old and no longer supported by its manufacturer, Carl Zeiss AG. The Adler has asked six area U.S. representatives and both Illinois senators for assistance in obtaining federal funding for various projects. Both Republicans and Democrats were enlisted for assistance. The replacement projector earmark was not approved. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
The Saint Valentine's Day massacre is the name given to the death of seven people as part of a Prohibition Era conflict between two powerful criminal gangs in Chicago, Illinois, in the winter of 1929: the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone and the North Side Irish gang led by Bugs Moran. Former members of the Egan's Rats gang were also suspected to have played a large role in the St. Valentine's Day massacre, assisting Capone. On the morning of Thursday, February 14, 1929 St. Valentine's Day, six members of the "Bugs" Moran gang and Dr. Reinhardt H. Schwimmer were lined up against the rear inside wall of the garage of the SMC Cartage Company (2122 North Clark Street) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago's North Side. They were then shot and killed, possibly by members of Capone's gang, possibly by "outside talent" (that is, gangsters from outside the city who would not be known to their victims), most likely by a combination of both. Two of the men were dressed as Chicago police officers, and the others were dressed in long trenchcoats, according to witnesses who saw the "police" leading the other men at gunpoint out of the garage (part of the plan). When one of the dying men, Frank Gusenberg, was asked who shot him, he replied, "I'm not gonna talk - nobody shot me" despite having 22 bullet wounds. Capone himself had arranged to be on vacation in Florida. The only survivor in the warehouse was John May's German shepherd, Highball. When the real police arrived, they first heard the dog howling. On entering the warehouse, they found the dog trapped under a beer truck and the floor covered with blood, shell casings, and corpses.
In 1922, the Chicago Tribune hosted an international design competition for its new headquarters, and offered a $50,000 prize for "the most beautiful and eye-catching building in the world". The competition worked brilliantly for months as a publicity stunt, and the resulting entries still reveal a unique turning point in American architectural history. More than 260 entries were received. The winner was a neo-Gothic design by New York architects John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, with buttresses near the top. Prior to the building of the Tribune Tower, correspondents for the Chicago Tribune brought back rocks and bricks from a variety of historically important sites throughout the world at the request of Colonel McCormick. Many of these reliefs have been incorporated into the lowest levels of the building and are labeled with their location of origin. Stones included in the wall are from such sites as the Trondheim Cathedral, Taj Mahal, the Parthenon, Hagia Sophia, Corregidor Island, Palace of Westminster, petrified wood from the Redwood National and State Parks, the Great Pyramid, The Alamo, Notre-Dame, Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall among others. In all, there are 136 fragments in the building. More recently a rock returned from the moon was displayed in a window in the Tribune gift store (it could not be added to the wall as NASA owns all moon rocks, and it is merely on loan to the Tribune), and a piece of steel recovered from the World Trade Center has been added to the wall.
The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 was a major racial conflict that began in Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1919 and ended on August 3. During the riot, dozens died and hundreds were injured. It is considered the worst of the approximately 25 riots during the Red Summer of 1919, so named because of the violence and fatalities across the nation. The combination of prolonged arson, looting and murder was the worst race rioting in the history of Illinois. The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 was a major racial conflict that began in Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1919 and ended on August 3. During the riot, dozens died and hundreds were injured. It is considered the worst of the approximately 25 riots during the Red Summer of 1919, so named because of the violence and fatalities across the nation. The combination of prolonged arson, looting and murder was the worst race rioting in the history of Illinois. Starting with a white man throwing rocks at blacks in the water at a beach on the South Side, conflict escalated when police did not arrest the white but arrested an African American man instead. Objections by blacks were met with violence by whites. Attacks between whites and blacks erupted swiftly. At one point a mob of white men threatened Provident Hospital, many of whose patients were African American. The police held them off. The riot lasted for nearly a week, ending only after the government deployed nearly 6,000 National Guard troops. They stationed them around the Black Belt to prevent further white attacks. By the night of July 30, most violence had ended. Most of the rioting, murder, and arson was the result of ethnic whites attacking the African-American population in the city's Black Belt on the South Side. Most of the casualties and property damage were suffered by blacks.
The S.S. Eastland was a passenger ship based in Chicago and used for tours. On 24 July 1915, the ship rolled over while tied to a dock in the Chicago River, killing 845 passengers and crew. On the fateful morning, passengers began boarding the Eastland on the south bank of the Chicago River between Clark and LaSalle Streets around 6.30 a.m., and by 7:10, the ship had reached its capacity of 2752 passengers. The ship was packed, with many passengers standing on the open upper decks, and began to list slightly to the port side (away from the wharf). The crew attempted to stabilize the ship by admitting water to its ballast tanks, but to little avail. Sometime in the next 15 minutes, perhaps owing to a passing canoe race on the river side of the ship, a number of passengers rushed to the port side, and at 7:28, the Eastland lurched sharply to port and then rolled completely onto its side, coming to rest on the river bottom, which was only 20 feet below the surface. Many other passengers had already moved below decks on this relatively cool and damp morning to warm up before the departure. Consequently, hundreds were trapped inside by the water and the sudden rollover; others were crushed by heavy furniture, including pianos, bookcases, and tables. Although the ship was only 20 feet from the wharf, and in spite of the quick response by the crew of a nearby vessel, the Kenosha, which came alongside the hull to allow those stranded on the capsized vessel to leap to safety, a total of 841 passengers and four crew members died in the disaster. Many were young women and children. Many of the bodies were taken to a cold storage warehouse in the vicinity, which has since been transformed into Harpo Studios, the sound stage for The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Built in 1914 as Weeghman Park for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the Chicago Whales. It was designed by Zachary Taylor Davis whom also designed Comisky Park. A live cub bear was on hand when the team played their first game. It was also the home of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League from 1921-1970.It also hosted the second annual NHL Winter Classic on January 1, 2009. It was also called Cubs Park from 1920 to 1926 before finally being renamed for then Cubs team owner and chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. Wrigley Field is nicknamed The Friendly Confines, a phrase popularized by "Mr. Cub", Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. Since 2006, its capacity has been 41,118, making Wrigley Field the fourth-smallest and most actively used ballpark in 2006. It is the oldest National League ballpark and the second oldest active major league ballpark (after Fenway Park on April 20, 1912), and the only remaining Federal League park. When opened in 1914, Wrigley Field had a seating capacity of 14,000 and cost $250,000 to build. As early as the 1920s, before the park became officially known as Wrigley Field, the scoreboard was topped by the elf-like "Doublemint Twins", posed as a pitcher and a batter. There were also ads painted on the bare right field wall early in the ballpark's history, prior to the 1923 remodeling which put bleachers there. After that, the Doublemint elves were the only visible in-park advertising. The elves were removed permanently in 1937 when the bleachers and scoreboard were rebuilt. It would be about 45 years before in-park advertising would reappear.
Comiskey Park was the ballpark in which the Chicago White Sox played from 1910 to 1990. It was built by Charles Comiskey after a design by Zachary Taylor Davis, and was the site of four World Series (one of which was played by the Chicago Cubs due to lack of seating at Wrigley Field) and more than 6,000 major league games. The park was built on a former city dump that Comiskey bought in 1909 to replace the wooden South Side Park. It was originally built as White Sox Park, but within three years was renamed for White Sox founder and owner Charles Comiskey. The original name, White Sox Park, was restored in 1962, but it went back to the Comiskey Park name in 1976. Comiskey Park was very modern for its time. It was the fourth concrete-and-steel stadium in the major leagues, and the third in the American League. As originally built, it sat almost 29,000, a record at the time. Briefly, it retained the nickname "The Baseball Palace of the World." The most famous (or infamous) promotional event ever held at Old Comiskey was "Disco Demolition Night", organized by longtime Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl and White Sox promotions manager Mike Veeck (Bill's son) on July 12, 1979. Between games of a make-up doubleheader between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers, Dahl and his crew destroyed a pile of disco records that fans had brought in in exchange for a ticket with a discounted price of 98¢ (US) in honor of Dahl's station at that time, WLUP-FM. More than 50,000 fans were in attendance, along with another 20,000 who crashed the gates even though the game was sold out. After the demolition, several thousand fans, many of them intoxicated, stormed the field. The nightcap of the doubleheader was canceled and forfeited to the Detroit Tigers. The successor to Comiskey Park was built across 35th Street to the south, and was also named Comiskey Park (or "New" Comiskey Park) until 2003, when it was renamed U.S. Cellular Field. The original Comiskey Park is now sometimes known as "Old Comiskey Park".
Ed Walsh, Doc White and Nick Altrock paced the White Sox to their 1906 pennant and faced the crosstown rival Cubs in the 1906 World Series The Cubs had won a then-record 116 regular-season games and were an overwhelming favorite to defeat the White Sox, especially since the White Sox had the lowest team batting average in the American League that year. However, in a stunning upset, the White Sox took the Series, and intracity bragging rights, in six games. To this day, the 1906 White Sox are known as "the Hitless Wonders." The teams split the first four games; then the Hitless Wonders exploded for 26 hits in the last two games. True to their nickname, the White Sox hit only .198 as a team in winning the series but it bettered the .196 average produced by the Cubs.
The Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago, Illinois, within twenty minutes, claimed 571 lives on December 30, 1903. By the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) records, it is still, as of January 2009, the deadliest single-building fire in U.S. history with the most fatalities, including those who died in the hospital, bringing the death count to a total of 602. The Iroquois Theater, at 24-28 West Randolph Street, on the north side between State and Dearborn Streets, was advertised as "Absolutely Fireproof" on its playbills. Yet the construction and opening of the theater had been rushed in six months to take advantage of the holiday crowds with much being incomplete. The theater opened on November 23 and burned 37 days later on December 30. Versus the 1,724 seating capacity, nearly 2,000 patrons, mostly women and children on the holidays school break, were in attendance at this Wednesday matinée showing of the popular musical Mr. Bluebeard starring Eddie Foy and Annabelle Whitford and a performance troupe of 500.
Originally, the river flowed into Lake Michigan. As Chicago grew this allowed sewage and other pollution into the clean-water source for the city. This contributed to several public health issues including some problems with typhoid. Starting in the 1850s much of the flow was diverted across the Chicago Portage into the Illinois and Michigan Canal. In 1900, the Sanitary District of Chicago, then headed by Rudolph Hering, completely reversed the flow of the river using a series of canal locks and caused the river to flow into the newly completed Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Before this time the Chicago River was known by many local residents of Chicago as "the stinking river" because of the massive amounts of sewage and pollution which poured into the river from Chicago's booming industrial economy. The Chicago River is 156 miles long, and flows through Chicago, including the downtown. Though not especially long, the river is notable for the 19th century civil engineering feats that directed its flow south, away from Lake Michigan, into which it previously emptied, and towards the Mississippi River basin. This was done for reasons of sanitation. The river is also noted for the local custom of dyeing it green on St. Patrick's Day.
Ferris designed and built the first 264 foot (80 m) wheel for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois in 1893. The wheel was intended as a rival to the Eiffel Tower, the centerpiece of the 1889 Paris Exposition. This first wheel could carry 2,160 persons. The Ferris wheel was the largest attraction at the Columbian Exposition, standing over 250' tall and powered by two steam engines. There were 36 cars, accommodating 60 people each (40 seated, 20 standing). It took 20 minutes for the wheel to make two revolutions—the first to make six stops to allow passengers to exit and enter; the 2nd, a single non-stop revolution—and for that, the ticket holder paid 50 cents. When the Exposition ended, the wheel was moved to north side, next to an exclusive neighborhood. William D. Boyce filed an unsuccessful Circuit Court action against the owners of the wheel, to have it moved. It was then used at the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair and eventually destroyed by controlled demolition in 1906.
The World's Columbian Exposition (also called The Chicago World's Fair), a World's Fair, was held in Chicago in 1893, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World. Chicago bested New York City, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis, Missouri, for the honor of hosting the fair. The fair had a profound effect on architecture, the arts, Chicago's self-image, and American industrial optimism. The Chicago Columbian Exposition was, in large part, designed by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted. It was the prototype of what Burnham and his colleagues thought a city should be. It was designed to follow Beaux Arts principles of design, namely, European Classical Architecture principles based on symmetry and balance. Over 27 million people (equivalent to about half the U.S. population) attended the Exposition during its six-month run. Its scale and grandeur far exceeded the other world fairs, and it became a symbol of then-emerging American Exceptionalism, much in the same way that the Great Exhibition became a symbol of the Victorian era United Kingdom.
The 'L' (variously, and sometimes, styled "L", El, EL, or L) is a rapid transit system that serves the city of Chicago in the United States. It is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and is the third busiest rail mass transit system in the United States, behind New York City's Subway and Washington, D.C.'s Metrorail. It also is one of the few mass-transit systems offering 24 hour service in the U.S. The oldest section of the 'L' dates from 1892 making it the second oldest rapid transit system in the Americas after New York (where the oldest operating elevated sections date to the 1880s). It has been credited with helping create the densely built-up downtown that is one of Chicago's distinguishing features. The first 'L'—the Chicago and South Side Rapid Transit Railroad—began revenue service on June 6, 1892, when a small steam locomotive pulling four wooden coaches with 30 passengers departed the 39th Street station and arrived at the Congress Street Terminal 14 minutes later, over tracks still used today by the Green Line. Over the next year service was extended to 63rd Street and Stony Island Avenue, then the entrance to the World's Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park. It is one of the few rapid transit systems in North America to provide 24-hour service, though only on the two busiest lines. On average 658,524 people ride the 'L' each weekday, 419,258 each Saturday, and 315,240 each Sunday. Annual ridership for 2006 was 195.2 million, the highest since 1993. However, the CTA multiplies actual riders by roughly 1.2, to count riders who can transfer between lines free of charge at stations, putting the total number of riders at about 162.7 million. Noisy and at times slow and/or overwhelmingly crowded, the 'L' has nonetheless become one of the symbols of the city it serves. In a 2005 poll, Chicago Tribune readers voted it one of the "seven wonders of Chicago," behind the lakefront and Wrigley Field but ahead of Sears Tower, the Water Tower, the University of Chicago, and the Museum of Science and Industry.
The University of Chicago (also referred to as the U of C, UChicago, or simply Chicago) is a private university located principally in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. The modern University of Chicago credits its founding to the oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, the University has traditionally dated its establishment to July 1, 1891, when William Rainey Harper became president and the first member of the faculty. The modern university emerged from a voluntary bankruptcy reorganization of a predecessor institution known as Chicago University which was founded by prominent members of the Chicago and greater Illinois community including Justice Stephen A. Douglas and Chicago Mayor James Hutchinson Woodworth. It held its first classes on October 1, 1892. The University of Chicago was one of the first universities in the United States to be conceived as a combination of the American liberal arts college and the German research university. Known for its rigorous devotion to academic scholarship and intellectual life, it is often (usually jokingly) referred to as the school "where fun goes to die." The University of Chicago was founded by the American Baptist Education Society and oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, who later called it "the best investment I ever made." The land for the university was donated by Marshall Field, owner of the Marshall Field and Company department store chain. The University's founding was part of a wave of university foundings that followed the American Civil War. Incorporated in 1890, the University has dated its founding as July 1, 1891, when William Rainey Harper became its first president. On December 2, 1942, scientists achieved the world's first self-sustained nuclear reaction at Stagg Field on the campus of the university under the direction of professor Enrico Fermi. A sculpture by Henry Moore marks the spot, now deemed a National Historic Landmark, where the nuclear reaction took place. Stagg Field has since been demolished to make way for the Regenstein Library. In addition to its groundbreaking work in physics, the University of Chicago is recognized for numerous other important scientific discoveries. These include * The technique of radiocarbon dating, developed in 1949 by Willard Libby and his team during his tenure as a professor at the university. Libby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960 for this discovery. * The discovery of the atmosphere's jet stream. * The discovery of REM sleep. * The discovery of synchronized menstrual cycles * The coining of the term "heteronormative" * The procedure for the nation's first living-donor liver transplant. * The famous Miller-Urey experiment, considered to be the classic experiment on the origin of life. * The development of agent orange, a highly-toxic herbicide that would gain notoriety for its use during the Vietnam War. * The prediction of white dwarfs and black holes by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983.
The Haymarket affair (also known as the Haymarket riot or Haymarket massacre) was a disturbance that took place on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at the Haymarket Square in Chicago, and began as a rally in support of striking workers. An unknown person threw a bomb at police as they dispersed the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of eight police officers and an unknown number of civilians. In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were tried for murder. Four were put to death, and one committed suicide in prison. The causes of the incident are still controversial, although deeply polarized attitudes separating business and working class people in late 19th century Chicago are generally acknowledged as having precipitated the tragedy and its aftermath. The site of the incident was designated as a Chicago Landmark on March 25, 1992. The Haymarket Martyrs' Monument in nearby Forest Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark on February 18, 1997.
The Home Insurance Building was built in 1884 in Chicago, Illinois and demolished in 1931 to make way for the Field Building (now the LaSalle National Bank Building). It was the first building to use structural steel in its frame, but the majority of its structure was composed of cast and wrought iron. It was the first tall building to be supported, both inside and outside, by a fireproof metal frame. The architect was William LeBaron Jenney, an engineer. In fact, the building weighed only one-third as much as a stone building would have; city officials were so concerned that they halted construction while they investigated its safety. The Home Insurance Building is an example of the Chicago School in architecture. The building led to the future in the skyscrapers. The Bank of America Building (former Field Building and then Lasalle Bank Building), where the Home Insurance Building once stood, contains a plaque in the lobby.
The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned from Sunday October 8 to early Tuesday October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about four square miles in Chicago, Illinois. Though the fire was one of the largest U.S. disasters of the 19th century, the rebuilding that began almost immediately spurred Chicago's development into one of the most populous and economically important American cities. Destroyed were more than 73 miles (120 km) of roads, 120 miles (190 km) of sidewalk, 2,000 lampposts, 17,500 buildings, and $222 million in property—about a third of the city's valuation. Of the 300,000 inhabitants, 90,000 were left homeless. Between two and three million books were destroyed from private library collections. Remarkably, some buildings did survive the fire, such as the then-new Chicago Water Tower, which remains today as an unofficial memorial to the fire's destructive power. After the fire, 125 bodies were recovered. Final estimates of the fatalities ranged from 200–300, considered a small number for such a large fire. Amateur historian Richard Bales has come to believe it was actually started when Daniel "Pegleg" Sullivan, who first reported the fire, ignited some hay in the barn while trying to steal some milk. However, evidence recently reported in the Chicago Tribune by Anthony DeBartolo suggests Louis M. Cohn may have started the fire during a craps game. Cohn may also have admitted to starting the fire in a lost will, according to Alan Wykes in his 1964 book The Complete Illustrated Guide to Gambling.
The tower, built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington from yellowing Joliet limestone, is 154 feet (47 m) tall. Inside was a 138 foot (42 m) high standpipe to hold water. In addition to being used for firefighting, the pressure in the pipe could be regulated to control water surges in the area. The tower gained prominence after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The Chicago Water Tower is a contributing property in the Old Chicago Water Tower District landmark district. It is located at 806 North Michigan Avenue along the Magnificent Mile shopping district in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois. Located adjacent to Loyola University Chicago's downtown campus, the Water Tower serves as one of the Chicago Office of Tourism's Official Visitor's Centers.
The Lady Elgin was a wooden-hulled paddle wheeler steamship that sank in Lake Michigan off Chicago, Illinois after she was rammed by the unlit schooner Alberta on September 8, 1860. The sinking resulted in the loss of around 400 lives in what was called "one of the greatest marine horrors on record." Four years after the disaster, a new rule required sailing vessels to carry running lights. The Lady Elgin disaster remains the greatest loss of life on open water in the history of the Great Lakes. Her shipwreck was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
The Lager Beer Riot occurred in Chicago, Illinois in 1855 after Mayor Levi Boone, great-nephew of Daniel Boone, proposed a local ordinance which would close taverns on Sundays and raise the cost of a liquor license from $50 per year to $300 quarterly. This move was seen as targeting German immigrants. On April 21, after several tavern owners were arrested for selling beer on Sunday, protesters clashed with police near the Cook County Court House. Waves of angry immigrants stormed the downtown area and the mayor ordered the swing bridges opened to stop further waves of protesters from crossing the river. This left some trapped on the bridges, police then fired shots at protesters stuck on the Clark Street Bridge over the Chicago River. A police captain from Hyde Park lost an arm in the riot. Rumors flew throughout the city that some of the protesters were killed, although there is no evidence to support this. Loaded cannons set on the public square contributed to these rumors. The following year, after Boone was turned out of office, the prohibition was repealed.
Chicago's first institution of higher education, Northwestern University, is founded. Northwestern was founded in 1851 to serve the people of the Northwest Territory. A 379-acre tract of farmland along Lake Michigan 12 miles north of Chicago was chosen as the new Evanston campus. The university is organized into eleven schools and colleges and in 2007, enrolled 8,284 undergraduate and 9,744 graduate and professional students and granted 2,089 bachelor's degrees and 3,543 graduate and professional degrees. Northwestern employs 2,925 full-time faculty members and had $284 million in research expenditures in 2007.
On April 3, 1848 82 local businessmen started the Chicago Board of Trade. The concerns of U.S. merchants to ensure that there were buyers and sellers for commodities have resulted into forward contracts to sell and buy commodities. Still, credit risk remained a serious problem. The CBOT took shape to provide a centralized location, where buyers and sellers may meet and negotiate and formalize forward contracts.
The Tribune was founded by James Kelly, John E. Wheeler and Joseph K.C. Forrest, publishing its first edition on June 10, 1847. The paper saw numerous changes in ownership and editorship over the next eight years. Initially, the Tribune was not politically affiliated but tended to support either the Whig or Free Soil parties against the Democrats in elections. By late 1853 it was frequently running xenophobic editorials that criticized foreigners and Roman Catholics.
Washington Square Park is a registered historic landmark that is better known by its nickname Bughouse Square (derived from the slang of bughouse referring to mental health facilities), it was the most celebrated open air free-speech center in the country as well as a popular Chicago tourist attraction. It was located across Walton Street from Newberry Library at 901 N. Clark Street in the Near North Side community area of Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is Chicago's oldest existing small park. It is one of 4 Chicago Park District parks named after persons surnamed Washington (Washington Park, Harold Washington Park, Dinah Washington Park). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 20, 1991. The original purpose of the neighborhood park was as a place of assembly to discuss community issues. Chicago has a long storied history of public speeches both for entertainment and educational purposes. The Haymarket Riot first started as an anarchist workers rally. Washington Square Park has been the geographic center of Chicago public speeches. By the 1890s the park acquired its Bughouse Square moniker. Soapbox orators waxed on topics ranging from gender relations to Communism It served as a home for soapbox orators on warm-weather evenings from the 1910s to the mid-1960s. Like Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park, Washington Square became a popular spot for soap box orators. Artists, writers, political radicals, and hobos pontificated, lectured, recited poetry, ranted and raved. A group of regulars formed "The Dill Pickle Club," devoted to free expression. For years Washington Square orators appointed their own honorary "king." In its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s, revolutionary left soapboxers were occasionally joined by poets, religionists and cranks. In 1959, the city transferred Washington Square to the Chicago Park District. In 1964 Life Magazine featured an article saying that it was a meeting place for cottaging among homosexuals. Six years later, it played host to Chicago's first Gay Pride March.
John Stone was hanged for the rape and murder of Lucretia Thompson, a farmer's wife.
Ogden was born in Walton, New York. When still a teenager, his father died and Ogden took over the family real estate business. He assisted Charles Butler, his brother-in-law, with business matters related to opening a new building for New York University, attending the law school for a brief period himself. In 1834, he was elected to the New York state legislature, where he helped build the Erie Canal.
The City of Chicago was incorporated on March 4, 1837. The name "Chicago" is the French rendering of the Miami-Illinois name shikaakwa, meaning “wild leek.” The sound shikaakwa in Miami-Illinois literally means 'striped skunk', and was a reference to wild leek, or the smell of onions. The name initially applied to the river, but later came to denote the site of the city.
The Fort Dearborn massacre occurred on August 15, 1812, near Fort Dearborn, Illinois Territory (in what is now Chicago, Illinois) during the War of 1812. The massacre followed the evacuation of the fort as ordered by the U.S. General William Hull. This event is also sometimes known as the Battle of Fort Dearborn. Fort Dearborn's commander Captain Nathan Heald ordered all whiskey and gunpowder to be destroyed so it would not be seized by the local Indian tribes allied with the British, although he had agreed to these terms a few hours before. He then prepared to abandon his post. Heald remained at Fort Dearborn until support arrived from Fort Wayne, Indiana, led by his wife's uncle, Captain William Wells. A column of 148 soldiers, women and children then left Fort Dearborn intending to march to Fort Wayne.
Jean La Lime and John Kinzie were the first two settlers in town. La Lime first arrived in the Chicago area on August 17, 1792 as an agent for William Burnett. In 1800, he worked to purchase the homestead of Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable for Burnett for 6,000 livres, although by 1804, it was owned by Burnett's partner, John Kinzie. The bill of sale was filed in Detroit, Michigan on September 18, 1800, although it is dated in Chicago on May 7 of that year. From 1804 until his death, he worked as an Indian interpreter at Fort Dearborn. An improperly set broken leg during the winter of 1809 left La Lime lame. On June 17, 1812, La Lime got into a quarrel with Kinzie, who killed him. Kinzie, who fled to Milwaukee in Indian territory, claimed La Lime had shot at him and Kinzie stabbed La Lime in self defense. Kinzie was eventually exonerated of the murder when Nathan Heald, the captain of Fort Dearborn determined he had acted in self-defense. There is speculation that La Lime was acting as an informant on the corrupt activities within the fort and Kinzie killed him to silence him. La Lime's bones are currently in the possession of the Chicago History Museum.
Fort Dearborn, named in honor of Henry Dearborn, was a United States fort built on the Chicago River in 1803 by troops under Captain John Whistler. It was on the site of the present-day city of Chicago. The site of the fort is a Chicago Landmark and part of the Michigan-Wacker Historic District.
Kittahawa, du Sable's Potawatomi Indian wife, delivers Eulalia Pointe du Sable, Chicago's first recorded birth.
Six square miles (16 km²) of land at the mouth of the Chicago River are reserved by the Treaty of Greenville for use by the United States.