Rolf Achilles: Facts
Chicago's Sacred Spaces
German Science and the American West: Organizing the Unknown
The Newel

Compiled and maintained by Rolf Achilles

The French explorer Louis Jolliet and missionary Jesuit priest Jacque Marquette visits the Grand
Village of the Illinois tribe near Starved Rock. The IlliEastlannois Indians show them a shortcut back
to Lake Michigan via the Illinois, Des Plaines, and Chicago rivers. Jolliet suggests the construction
of a canal to link the Great Lakes with the Gulf of Mexico.
Marquette spends the following winter camped near what is today Damen Avenue at the Chicago
River's South Branch.

French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle, visits the "Portage de Checagou,"
Potawatomi word meaning "wild onion," or "garlic" or "skunk grass." Scientifically this plant
is known as Allium tricoccum. Chicago is the only larger city in the world named for a food.
French Jesuits may have established Fort de Checagou near what is today the city of Chicago. This
Fort may also be a myth to help establish French dominance at a time of British claims on the area.

Jesuite missionary, Father Pierre Francoise Pinet establishes the Mission of the Guardian Angel.
In a mediated agreement with the royal governor Count Frontenac, the Jesuits give up the mission
in 1699. A contemporary account by J.F. Buisson de St. Cosme locates the mission on the north bank
of the Chicago River, today between Michigan and Rush where the ancient Indian Green Bay Trail
starts. Pinet is the first resident priest assigned to Chicago.
For almost eighty years there is no known mention of Chicago.

Colonel Arent Schuyler De Peyster, British commandant at Michilimackinac, today known as
Mackinac Island, mentions “Eschikagou” while describing Jean Baptiste Du Sable.

The city’s first tornado is recorded in French.

The French speaking, Caribbean born, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable and his wife Catherine,
a Potawatomi, build the first trading post nearthe mouth of the Chicago River.

Another French fur trader, Jean La Lime, arrives in Chicago as an agent of William Burnett of Canada.
La Lime purchases du Sable's trading post in 1800; sells it to John Kinzie.
By 1800, the Potawatomi replace the Illini in the Chicago area.

The Treaty of Greenville establishes the land that is today Chicago as being on US soil.

Eulalia Pointe du Sable is born in October, the first recorded birth in Chicago.
DuSable sells his holdings along the Chicago River.

Fort Dearborn, named for General Henry Dearborn, secretary of war under Thomas
Jefferson, is erected where today the North Michigan Avenue Bridge meets Wacker Drive.
Fort Dearborn stands at a point of entry into the Louisiana Purchase.
Water is taken from the Chicago River and private wells.
Peddlers sell water at a rate of 10¢ to 25¢ a barrel.

John and Eleanor (Lytle McKillip) Kinzie purchase land and a house from Jean Baptiste Point du Sable.
Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indian Territory appoints John Kinzie a justice of the peace.
Ellen Marion Kinzie is born to John and Eleanor Kinzie. Ellen is believed to be the first Caucasian
born in Chicago.

The American Fur Company, founded by John Jacob Astor in New York in 1808, is the first big
business to be established in Chicago.

Helen Hadduck is the first child born in Fort Dearborn.
Later she marries John DeKoven.

The War of 1812 heightens tensions in the frontier.
Fort Dearborn is burned and rebuilt.
With the Indian Boundary Treaty in 1816, a canal corridor from Chicago to the Illinois River is planned.
Working for the American Fur Company, Jean-Baptiste Beaubien moves from Detroit to Chicago.

Illinois becomes a state with boundaries redrawn to ensure that the entire canal route is within the

Congress makes the first appropriation granting land for the construction of the Illinois & Michigan
Canal to replace the Chicago Portage.
August 23, the Clybourne Famile settles in Chicago.

January, the Illinois & Michaigan Canal Company is incorporated.
The Erie Canal opens.
September 6, Chicago becomes a precinct of Peoria County.
Archibald Clybourne appointed Chicago's first Constable.
October 9, Rev. Isaac McCoy preaches the first Protestant sermon.
John H. Fonda describes Chicago as containing "about fouteen
houses and not more than seventy-five or one hundred inhabitants."
Fourteen residents are assessed as taxpayers.
Chicago holds its first election.
Samuel Miller opens the first tavern in Chicago, Miller House.
Archibald Clybourne builds a slaughter-house along the North Branch of the Chicago
River to supply Fort Dearborn.

Chicago becomes part of a federal land grant of 284,000 acres to Illinois. The land is sold
to raise funds for the Illinois-Michigan Canal.
On July 20, Dr. Alexander Wolcott marries Miss ELlen Marion Kinzie. IIt's Chiago's first wedding!
The ceremony was performed byh John Hamlin, a justice of the peace 
Dr. Wolcott is Chicago's first resident physician.
Rev. Isaac Scarritt preaches in the Miller House.

The Potawatomi tribe signs a treaty with the U.S. government that cedes some 5 millions acres
to the U.S.
Beaubien opens Eagle Exchange Tavern on Wolf's Point.
James Kinzie and Archibald Caldwell open Wolf Tavern, Chicago’s second bar.
On June 2, the commissioners of Peoria County issue the first official ferry license in Chicago
to Samuel Miller and Archibald Clybourne for the forks of the Chicago River, about where
Lake St. corsses the river..

U.S. Government surveyors plot the proposed Illinois & Michigan Canal with two towns, Chicago
and Ottawa.
The Federal Gov. begins construction of a harbor by digging a channel through the sandbar, called
"the deep cut" in contrast to the earlier shallow cut made by the soldiers of at Fort Dearborn in 1818.
The cut was finished in 1833 at a cost of $25,000.00. The chief engineer was Jefferson Davies, later
President of the Confederacy.
The Illinois and Michigan Canal Commission hires James Thompson, a surveyor from Kaskaskia to
create a plat of Chicago. Chicago is plated into 58-blocks with straight streets a uniformly 66 feet
wide (the length of a surveyor's chain) with alleys 16 feet wide bisecting each block.
In the Fall, the first lots are sold in Chicago. Land speculators follow the advice, "buy by the acre, sell
by the foot."
The first Swedes settle in what becomes Swede Town, located near Wolf's Point on the Chicago River,
near today's Merchandize Mart.
The first bridge across the river is built across the south branch (at about Randolph St.)
The city's population stands at about 100.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Forbes open a school in the "Dean House.".
January 15, Cook County is created with Chicago as its county seat.
March, Cook County is organized and Chicago is made a voting precinct and first election
for county officers is held.
Adding a frame structure to their Eagle Exchange Tavern, Mark and Monique Beaubien
open Chicago's first hotel, the Sauganash Hotel. Next to the tavern is Chicago's first drug
June 16, first Methodist class formed.
First prayer meeting held.
First Post-Office established.
John Miller builds the first tannery on North Branch of the river.
Chicago has about 14 houses.
First Chicago literary society formed..
January, the first Methodist quarterly meeting.
Michael Diversey, an immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine, arrives in Chicago.
March, the first p[ublic building, the "Estray Pen," (a prison) is built.
The first bridge is built across the Chicago River. Tavern owner Samuel Miller pays for it.
August 19, the first Chicago Sunday-School is organized. .
In the winter, a second bridge is constructed to carry wagons across the South Branch. The bridge is
paid for by tavern owner Charles Taylor and his brother Anson by raising subscruptions from locals.
Frist provisions packed and shipped from Chicago.
The first saw-mill is built.
Chicago Temperance Society organized.
August 12, Chicago is organized as a town with its southern limits at Madison Street.
November 6, the southern city limits are extended to Jackson Street.
First election of town officers is held.
Land speculation increases.
The first Catholic parish is organized and commissions Augustine D. Taylor to build
St. Mary Church, considered by many to be the first balloon-frame structure in the world
built from pre-sawn boards and machine made nails.
The first Eucharist is celebrated on July 7.
Charles Butler, a New York financier and Wall Street lawyer arrives in Chicago invests $100,000.
of his family funds in Chicago real estate.
The Chicago Polemical Society is founded.
August, the Temple Building, First Baptist Church, is finished.
June 26, the First Presbyterian Church is organized.
Already in Chicago in 1833, Samuel M. Brooks is the city's first resident artist.
Tyler K. Blodgett establishes the city's first brick-yard between Dearborn and Clark along the
norrth side of the river.
A hotel named Tremont House is built on the southeast corner of Lake and Dearborn.
After an uprising under Chief Black Hawk, in September, the government commissioners call the
allied tribes of the Potawatomies, Ottawas, and Chippewas to a Treaty Council in Chicago. Five
thousand Indians answer the call and camp all over the prairie to the north. After many days,
a treaty is signed that relocates them west of the Mississippi.
William Haas and Konrad (Andrew) Sulzer erect a small brewery, Haas & Sulzer Brewery. It is an
immediate success producing approximately 600 barrels (31 gallons per barrel) of ale their first year.
The first lumber shipment arrives in Chicago from Michigan and an industry is born.
October 19, the First Baptist Church of Chicago is organized.
October, manufacture of agricultural implements, the "Bull Plow" starts by Asahel Pierv=ce, at
Lake St., corner Canal.
November 6, first fire ordenance passed, and first fire warden appointed.
November 7, ordinance against polluting the river.
November 26,, the city’s first newspaper, the Chicago Weekly Democrat, is founded by New Yorker
and Jacksonian Democrat John Calhoun after he brought type and a press from the East on a lake
City funds harbor improvements.
First shipments from port of Chicago.
Wharfing privileges defined.
Lumber-yard, brick-yard, and manufacture of soap and candles started.
An "English and Classical School for Boys" opens. .

Reverend Jeremiah Porter organizes and dedicates Chicago's First Presbyterian Church.
The first recorded public performance is by a Mr. Bowen, conjuror and ventriloquist Feb. 24 at
Masnion House.
Eliza Chappell opens the village's first public school.
Army engineers permanently open the Chicago River to create Chicago's first harbor.
Chicago's harbor receives 176 ships.
The city's third bridge and first drawbridge is built across the Chicago River at Dearborn Street.
October, Chicago experiences its first fire.
South Water St. and Lake St. graded.
First drawbridge across the river, Daerborn Street.
First vessels enters Chicago River.
December 2, "Chicago Lyceum" instituted.
Chicago & Vincennes Railroad incorporated.
Vigilance Committee appointed to see that health regulations are complied with.
St. James' Episcopal Church is organized.
First Methodist church building erected.
First divorce and murder trial.
First piano brought to Chicago.
First carriage-shop and first book-store established.

Chicago’s first Court House is erected at the northeast corner of Clark and Randolph streets.
February 12, Second State Bank incorporated..
Chicago's harbor receives 250 ships.
The first concert of record in Chicago is on Dec. 11, at the Old Settler's Harmonic Society in
the Presbyterian Church, southwest corner Lake and Clark.
The first brick hotel, the Lake House, opens on the south side of the Chicago River along
the lake shore.

January 16, Galena & Chicago Union Roailroad chartered, Chicago's first. 
Construction of the Illinois & Michigan Canal begins in an Irish settlement called Canalport, now
the Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport.
May, Chicago's first Homeopathic physician arrives.
June 11, the first Universalist Society is organized.
June 29, the first Unitarian Society is organized.
July 4, construction of I&M Canal begins at Bridgeport.
August 11, first Odd Fellows lodge in Illinois is organized.
September 14, first circus visits Chicago..
Chicago's oldest surviving structure, the Henry B. Clark House, 1855 S. Indiana, is built.
(In the Norwood Park neighborhood, the Noble-Seymore-Crippen House, 5622-24 N. Newark,
dates from 1833).
William Ogden, brother-in-law to Charles Butler, buys Sulzer's share of Haas & Sulzer Brewery.
Ogden builds a large structure on the west side of Pine (North Michigan Ave) at Chicago Avenue.
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, destrys the Ogden built building.
October, the first meeting of the Cook County Medical Society.
Archer Road is laid out from Chicago to Lockport.
Chicago's first house built from architectural plans.
Gage & Lyman open the first flour mill in Chicago.
Chicago's harbor receives 1,427 sailing ships and 39 steamships. 

The census counts 4,066 people.
January 3, the Mechanics Institute is organized.
March 2, Rush Medical College is incorporated.
March 4, the Illinois state legislature grants Chicago a charter and the city incorporates.
Chicago buys 100 acres of Canal land for use as a city cemetery.
William B. Ogden is elected the city’s first mayor on May 2.
The Panic of 1837 stops canal construction. leaves many destitute, but does not bankrupt the city.
The city's first medical school is chartered and named after Dr. Benjamin Rush, a physician
who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Chicago boasts of having a bookstore, a theater, a newspaper, and three debating societies.
City's first candy shop opens, South Water Street near Wells.
The first building of brick is constructed on LaSalle, just north of Madison.
Victoria (1819-1901) becomes Queen of England.
Congress had appropriates almost $200,000.00 for harbor improvements resulting in the
shoreline moving east some 720 feet between 1833 and 1839.
The city's first published theatre reviews appear for C.E. Walker's The Warlock of the Glen and
Mrs. Inchbald's comedy, The Midnight Hour.
The city hires a night watch to look out for fires and criminals.
Wiliam Lill buys part of Haas's share of Haas & SUlzer, renaming the brewery Haas & Lil.
Meanwhile, Michael J. Diversey, an immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine shares the ice storage
and runs a dairy in the brewery building..
Newberry & Dole operate a 3-story elevator on the north side of the Chicago River.
The city has a population of 4,470.
The first Clark Street Bridge is constructed.
James Carney Brewery opens on South Water Street.
On July 10, Chicago legally executes its first criminal, John Stone.
Several prominent Chicagoans establish the Young Men's Association, primarily to provide the city
with a subscription library. Retail workers band together to force stores to close at 8 p.m.
The first permanent Jewish settlers arrive.
John Van Osdel, Chicago's first architect, designs and builds a pontoon bridge at Wells Street.
Lill & Diversey Brewery created when Michael Diversey buys out William Ogden's share of the
Haas Brewery. It is renamed the Lill & Diversey Brewery, aka "The Chicago Brewery."
First business opens near Six Corners intersection in Portage Park at Irving Park Boulevard and
Milwaukee and Cicero Avenues.

Construction is completed on Chicago’s first water works at the corner of Lake Street and Michigan
Avenue. The water intake is located about 150 feet into Lake Michigan. Its water mains are made
of cedar.
Far from the city's center and outside the city's limits, the Chicago city cemetery stretches from
North Ave. to Webster, and from Clark Street to the Lake.
The business center of Chicago, until about 1860, is on Clark Street, in the first three blocks south
of the river. This business district is brought about largely by the construction of the Clark Street
Bridge in 1840.
Mrs. Strangman advertised in the "Daily American" that she is prepared to give instructions music,
painting and ornamental needlework.
Washington Square, later known as Bughouse Square and home to orators of all stripes, is

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Chicago is established
March 11, the Junior Washington Temperance Society is organized.
March, the City Hospital burns
March 25, the Chicago Society of the New Jerusalem is organized. On September 7 it incorporates.
Chicago celebrates its first St. Patrick's Day.
Chicago has a great spring snowstorms.
August 14, Tabernacle Baptist Church is organized.
Canal-street Methodist Episcopal Church is organized.
St. Paul's Evan gelical United Church is organized.
September 25, the Young Men's Lyceum is organized.
The German Evangelical Association is organized.
Chicago Hide & Leather Company is formed, WIlliam S. Gurneee, president.
Only 816 of the city's 7,580 residents are "German and Norwegians," and another 667
are foreigners of an "undesignated origin."
The city cemetery opens.
The Directory of 1844 is the first book compiled, printed, bound, and issued in Chicago.

Chicago has more than 10,000 inhabitants.
John M. van Osdel (1811-92) opens the city’s first professional architect’s office.
Grant Park is founded as Lake Park, the city's first park.
Illinois Medical and Surgical Journal is published.
May 20, the first issue of Gem of the Prairie is published. It merges with the Chicago Tribune in 1852.
June 3, the University of St. Mary of theLake is established.
August 9, a severe storm and tornado strike the Bank building and residence of E.H. Hadduck with
lightning. The schooner, Daniel Whitney is ost on Lake Michigan, with all on board.
August 20, the Independent Order of Rechabites is instituted.
November 4, severe wind storms demolish the walls of First Baprtist Church, under construction.
The first homeopathic pharmacy opens in Chicago.
Meat is first packed for export to the English market.
The largest meatpacker in Chicago, Gurdon Hubbard, is slaughtering some 300-400 hogs per day.
The first Catholic school opens (for boys).
The first edition of Mrs. Juliette Kinzie's "Massacre at Chicago" is published.
The Seaman's Society is organized.
An all-brick German Evangelical Lutheran church is built at the corner of Wabash and Monroe Streets.
The College Inn restaurant opens (closes 1978). Eventually it becomes known for its signature dish,
chicken à la king (yes, that one and only!), and introduces indoor ice-skating.
Michael Diversey is elected to the office of Alderman in the predominately German Ward Six.
Called School No.1, aka Miltimore's Folly, and Dearborn School, the first permanent school, is built
at 12-24 Madison
September 23, the Reformed Presbyterian Church is organized.
Chicago passes its first blue law, closing "tippling houses" on Sundays.
Jacob Gauch's Brewery opens on Indiana Street.
September 26, the first issue of a Chicago newspaper in a foreign language, Chicago Volksfreund,
a weekly, is published. Robert Hoeffgen is its editor.
J. L. Porter, a miniature painter, has a studio in the Exchange Building until at least 1847
The first chair manufacturer is established.
A large group of Jews settle in Chicago.
November 8, The Independent Order of Sons of Temperance is instituted.

Kehilath Anshe Ma'ariv (Congregation of the Men of the West) is founded.
St. Patrick's, the second Catholic parish, is founded.
St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran church is built at the corner of LaSalle and Ohio Streets.
January, the St. Andrews Society is organized.
March 20, the city levies its first special tax for street improvements.
St. Xavier Academy, a school for young women, is opened by the Sisters of Mercy.
Jonas Swedberg from Smaland, Sweden, opens a grocery store on South Water Street that sells
Swedish products.
july 16, Chicago is made a port of entry.
July, Chicago hosts the River and Harbor Convention.
St. Peter's Catholic Church is built on Washington Street  between Wells and Franklin.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church is built at the corner of Chicago Ave. and Cass (Wabash) Street.
March 20, Chicago levies a special tax for street improvements.
There are 177 manufacturing concerns in Chicago, employing 1,400 persons, 10 percent
of the city’s population.
October 8, Chicago hosts the State School Convention.
The City receives its first supply of Bibles from the Bible Society.
The New England Society is organized.
The "Athens Quarries" in Athens, former name of Lemont, are discovered. They help build Chicago.
Phoenix Foundry is the city's first stove foundry.

February 16, a legislative act supplementary to te city charter granted power to the common
council to build and repair sewers by special assessment upon the property benefited.
February 16, the City is divided into nine wards, with each alderman to hold office for two years.
February 16, an act is passed adjusting wharfing priviliges. 
Cyrus H. McCormick opens a factory in Chicago and builds 500 reapers. By 1871 production
is 10,000 reapers annually, increasing to 250,000 annually by 1900.
The Chicago Tribune, a newspaper, begins publishing.
March, City government appropriates $3,500. for the Chicago light-house.
March 30, County Hospital is openend in "Tippecanoe Hall."
April 27, the St. George Society is organized.
May, the Scammon School building is erected on West Madison, near Halsted.
Stephen A. Douglas, known as "The Little Giant," moves to Chicago.
June 28, the Rice Theater opens on Randolph Street.
July 1, Third Presbyterian Church is organized.
July 10, the first issue of the Chicago Tribune is published.
July 22, an African-American minstrel troup known as Christy's Minstrels give a
performance at Rice's Theatre.
July 22-23, Quinn Chapel, African Methodist Episcopal Church is organized.
August, weekly steamboat communication established with Sault Ste. Marie.
August 10, the first number of Watchman of the Prairie issued (later Christian Times, Baptist and
August 15, the first German Methodist Episcopal Church is organized.
The convent of Sisters is incorporated.
November 14, the Indiana St. Methodist Episcopal Church is dedicated.
November 15, the St. Peter's Society is organized.
The Wells, Madison, and Randolph Street bridges are completed.
The Chicago and Rock Island Railroad is chartered.
Chicago officially has twenty-five hotels and taverns, eighteen of them
large enough to be considered hotels, and nine free-standing restaurants.
Oats is first exported from Chciago.
The American Medical Association is founded in Chicago.
The first law school opens.
Chicago exports 67,315 bushels of corn.

The population of Chicago reaches 20,243.
The Potato Famine in Ireland officially begins the "Irish Diaspora."
The "Revolution of 1848" fails in Germany.
Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany, installs landmark stained glass windows into Cathedrals in
Kõln and Regensburg, Germany. These windows set an international style trend.
January 15, the first telegram is received in Chicago (it's from Milwaukee).
February 14, the first Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church is organized.
The "Pioneer" locomotive arrives in Chicago. It runs from Chicago to the Desplains for the
Galena & Chicago Railroad.
The city's first railroad, the Chicago and Galena Union Railroad, begins operating along 10 miles
of track completed to the Des Plaines River. It has a 32-mile contract.
 The first car and locomotive shop is established (become the Scoville Iron Works).
The Illinois Staats-Zeitung, a German language weekly, begins to be published. Its editor is
Hermann Kriege, its politics, Republican. In 1851 it becomes a daily.
The "General Fry" is the first boat to pass over the Illinois & Michican Canal.
The first boatload of goods arrives through the I&M Canal, followed by a flood of grain.
March 13, to regulate this grain trade, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) is created in 1848.
April 16, is the formal opening day of the I&M Canal.
The first telegraph is built and activated between Chicago and New York City.
Chicago gets its first telegraph office.
Some streets in Chicago’s business center receive their first paving, wooden planks.
The city’s first cattle yards open at Bull’s Head, where Madison Street meets Ashland and Ogden.
Francis Adolph Valenta, a Moravian doctor, is probably the first Czech to settle in Chicago. He owns
a pharmacy.
July, first United States Court opnes.
October, the Northwestern Journal of Homeopathy is first issued.
Josiah H. Reed opens Chicago’s first soda fountain.
Clark street is numbered from South Water to Randolph.
Chicago's "Robert Blum Lodge, No.58," a German chapter of the Odd Fellows, is the first
foreign language lodge in Illinois.
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The U.S. Congress appropriates funds for the erection of the Chicago Marine Hospital.
Chicago's first cattle yards are established near West Madison and Ashland.
The first school opens in Bridgeport.
The Hibernian Benevolent Society is organized
December 18, the Excelsior Society is organized.
First small pox vaccinations instituted.
The Aurora Branch Railroad is established
February 1, the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad reaches Elgin.
The first turntable pontoon swing bridge is completed.
Harriet Hubbard Ayer is born June 27, 1849. She establishes the first cosmetic company in the US,
Recamier Toilet Preparations, Inc. For the last seven years of her life she is the highest paid
newspaper woman in the U.S. with articles on beauty, health, etiquette for Joesph Pulitzer's New York
March 5, St. Ansgarius Swedish and Norwegian Chuirch is organized.
March 12, the Great Flood. The Des Plaines River overflows, swelling the south branch of the Chicago
River, breaking up its ice and sweeping more than 40 ships and wharves and all five of the city's
bridges are destroyed
March, first organized emigration from Chicago to California's Gold Rush.
Banking exchanges between Chicago and California established.
May, the Chicago Temperance Savings Association is organized.
July 21, the Tremont House burns a second time.
August 1, 30 deaths are attributed to cholera.
August 16, the Catholic Orphan Asylum is established.
Kehilath Anshe Ma'ariv (Congregation of the Men of the West) opens at Clark and Jackson.
Methoidst Protestant Church is organized
Chicago German Odd Ball is organized.
Tobacco products are manufactured in Chicago.
On October16, the Chicago Gas-Light and Coke Company is organized. It is chartered by the
State of Illinois on February 12, 1850.
Robert Hoeffgen is the first printer in Chicago to publish pamphlets and books in a foreign
language, German.
Madison Street east and west and State Street north and south were decided upon as the summit in
the South Division of the city; grade of that portion lying north of Madison Street and west of State
Street to slope to the north and drain into the main river. The portions of east of State Street to slope
east and drain into the lake.The portion south of Madison Street and west of State Street to slope
west and discharge into the South Branch of the river.
Principal Chicago streets are planked.  

July 30, the first opera presented in Chicago, Bellini’s La Sonnambula, is performed in Rice Theater.
The night after the first performance, the theater burns to the ground, making the city's first opera
season the shortest in city history.
Emma Abbott is born in Chicago. She became an opera singer kknown as "the people's prima donna".
The Chicago Gas Light & Coke Company is formed. It erects the first gas works in Chicago at a cost
of $105,000. and turns on gas for the first time on September 4th. The gas is manufactured from coal.
Gas costs $3.50a thousand feet. In 1871 the price is $3.00 a thousand and remains so until 1883, when
it is reduced to $1.25.
City Hall has 36 gas burners. Gas lights are seen along some streets.
The census counts 5,094 Germans living in Chicago, 17% of the city's population.
Julius Dyhrenfurth founds Chicago’s first symphony orchestra, the Philharmonic Society, October 24.
Less than a fifth of Chicago's eligible children are enrolled in public schools.
Frederick Baumann (1826-1921) becomes the first German architect to practice in Chicago.

In November, Power’s “Greek Slave” is exhibited at Tremont Hall, and aroused much discussion

as the propriety of the nude in art.
The city has 6.7 miles of planked streets, including 12,000 feet of State Street.
Chicago has six daily, 14 weekly and four monthly newspapers.
Chicago numbers streets.
October, Illinois Central Railroad company obtains a portipon unoccupied Fort Dearborn Reservation
October 22, there is a mass-meeting held condemning the Fugitive Slave Bill, and defying its
enforcement in Chicago.
October 24, Great Speech of of Stephen A. Douglas in Chicago.
October 26, the Printer's Union is organized in Chicago.
Chicago Medical Society organized.
Night School opens at at Mechanics' Institute.
A Teachers Assoication is formed.
United States Marine Hospital erected.

January, the second Rice Theatre is completed.
Scotch Temperance Society formed.
February 15, Chicago City Hydraulic Company incorported.
Northwestern University is organized at the Clark Street Methodist Church.
The Illinois State Legislature grants the city a charter to build and operate its own water works
system. Board of Water Commissioner created. The Public Water Board is organized to handle
recurring cholera outbreaks.
Edited by Georg Schneider (1823-1905), the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, a German language newspaper,
becomes a daily. Schneider, who fled Germany in 1849, is credited with helping elect Lincoln who
awarded his efforts with the ambassadorship to Denmark. Later Schneider was also the president
of the National Bank of Illinois from 1871-1896.
May 20, Grace Episcopal Church is organized
May 22, First Congregational Church is organized.
June 7, Trial of first fugitive slave case.
June 26, Tabernacle Baptist church building destroyed by fire.
September, the corner Stone of the County and City Court House laid.
Jenny Lind presents communion services to Saint Ansgarius Church.
Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad Company is chartered.
Chicago's first brick building, the Tremont House (Hotel) is built by Ira and James Couch at the
corner of Lake and Dearborn. Named after Boston's Tremont House, it is the third hotel on the site.
The Illinois Central Railroad is chartered and is the first U.S. railroad to receive a public land grant.

Old St. Patrick Church is started. It is finished in 1856. Replacing earlier windows, the stained
glass windows installed in 1912 and later are by Thomas O'Shaughnessy.
Premium Mustard Mills is founded. In 1883 it becomes Plochman, named for its new oener, chemist
Moritz (later, Morris) Plochman, immigrant from Wuerttemberg, Germany, who acquires the company.
Regular rail traffic is established between Chicago and Aurora.
January 13, the First Bank in Chicago is organized under the State General Banking Law..
February 7, the Western Tablet ( a Catholic literary periodical) is established.
February 20, Michigan Southern Railroad is completed to Chicago. It's the first eastern trunk line.
The first through train from the east enters Chicago over the Michigan Southern & Northern Indian RR.
March, construction starts on the Illinois Central Railroad.
May 21, Michigan Central Railroad is completed to Chicago. First train enters Chicago.
Twenty-six year old Potter Palmer, a Quaker from upstate New York, opens a small store at 137
Lake Street, the city's first commercial strip. He caters mostly to women. He introduces fixed prices.
The city's first railroad bridge crossing the river is built near Kinzie Street.
Chicago's first "Turnverein," the "Chicago Turngemeinde," opens. It attempts to popularize gymnastics
in various ways, most notably in public schools. .
The Illinois Central builds a breakwater in return for shoreline property. A century of land-filling
operations follow.
June, the Chicago Typographical Union is chartered.
Mercy Hospital is incorporated.
The City Council passesan ordinance allowing the Illinois Central to lay tracks parallel with the
Lake Shore.
Chicago corn buyers establish the official weight of a bushel of corn at 56 pounds.
September 16, the Daily Democratic Press is established.
On October 6, the first order of Hermann's Sons is founded by Nicolaus Kastler, Anton Neubert,
Mathias Krier, Frederick Schmitt, and George Baum after the very first lodge founded in New York,
on July 1, 1840.
October 14, the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad is organized.
October, the Van Buren Steet German Methodist Episcopal Church is organized.
November, the Spritualist Society is formed.
December 1, Plymouth Congregational Church is organized.
Athens Marble is first used for facing buildings.
Owen Street Methodist Episcopal Church is organized.
Maxwell Street German Methodist Episcopal Church is organized.
Saint Michael's Church is established.

January 1, the first number of Christian Banker issued.
January 5, establishment of Northwestern Christian Advocate.
January, Swedish Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church is organized.
February 3, Tabernacle Baptist Church is dedicated..
February 11, Canal Street Methodist Church is organized as Jefferson Street Methodist.
February 12, the State of Illinois passes legislation preventing immigration of free Blacks into Illinois.
March Daily steamboat communication is established with Milwaukee.
April 25, Salem Baptist Church is organized.
April 25, Passanger trains on Michigan Southern & Michigan Central collide at Grand Crossing,
eighteen killed and many injured.
September 5, attempted assassination of Allen Pinkerton on Clark Street.
November, the Office of Superintendent of Schools is crated.
NOrthwestern Univeristy is located at Chicago.
Frank Parmelee and Company begins to provide passengers with safe, affordable livery
transportation in omnibuses or covered wagons, operated by neatly groomed, trustworthy
and helpful drivers between hotels and railroad stations.
Chicago Tribune writers begin a jingoistic attack on the Catholics (read Irish) population of the city.
Constable James Quinn dies of injuries from two beatings. He is the first Chicago Police
officer to die in the line of duty.
The Northern Indiana Railroad is established with service east of the city.
The first distilleries begin to operate in Chicago.

The Chicago & Rock Island Railroad becomes the first line to cross the Mississippi River.
April 27, severe storms on Lake Michigan result in seven vessels wrecked near Chicago.
Conrad Seipp enters the brewing trade.
The first Polk Street Bridge is built using the old Clark Street Bridge.
The German language "Staatszeitung" is the first Chicago newspaper to issue a Sunday
paper, entitled "Der Westen."
September 1, a mob prevents Steven A. Douglas from speaking in Chicago.
A mob threatens the building of the Staats Zeitung on account of hostility of the paper to the
Nebraska bill.
St. James' Hospital is incorporated.
Chicago's first homeopathic hospital is established.
The Chicago, St. Paul & Fond du Lac Railroad is organized.
The Joliet & Chicago Railroad Company is chartered.
Dearborn Seminary is established.
Chicago Woodenware Manufactory is established.
Chicago Mills and Adams Mills are flour mills established in Chicago.
Monsieur Montel an artist and teacher of French has a studio at 84 Dearborn.
Lakeview is promoted as a pleasant summer retreat away from the city's disease and heat.

Chicago has 675 “liquor establishments” – 625 owned by Germans and Irish, 50 by "Americans."
Hahnemann College is chartered.
January 25-February 7, all railroad traffic in and out of Chicago stops on account of snowstorms.
February 14, the Board of Swerage Commissioners is incorporated.
February 15, the Chicago Theological Seminary if chartered.
March 6, physician Doctor Levi Boone of the Know-Nothing Party becomes mayor of Chicago.
In his inaugural speech he unveils his "dry" policy, including the sale of intoxicating liquors after
the first day of April, fix the city liquor license at $300. per year, and forbidding liquor sales on
the Sabbath day.
Railroad connections established between Chicago and Burlington, Iowa.
When Chicago’s Mayor Levi Boone signed a temperance edict which forbade the drinking of beer
on Sunday as "un-American," the German immigrants reacted with the "Lager Bier Riots."
June 18, trial of Beer Rioters.
Allan Pinkerton opens his detective agency, "The Eye that Never Sleeps."
On May 22, the Norwood Tornado strikes around 4:30 P.M., killing 3 and injuring 6.
The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad starts regular service between Chicago and Quincy.
Chicago & Northwestern Railway links Milwaukee with Chicago.
By a series of ordinances, begining this year, the grade level of streets was raised, about 10 feet
along the river, and by varying heights in outlying areas.
The first Hungarians come to Chicago and establish the city's first private foreign-language school.
The Cabinet Makers Society of Chicago is organized.
The first type foundry is established.
Surveys for sewerage system
Plan of draining city water into the river, and then into the Lake is adopted. .
The Chicago Theological Seminary is organized.
The Chicago Phrenological Society is organized.

The Episcopal Cathedral of St. James is built. The church is rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1871
and over the next four decades receives very fine English stained glass windows.
April 24, The Chicago Historical Society is founded.
Fort Dearborn is demolished.
Nelson Morris (born Moritz Beissinger, 1839, came to US in 1848), age 17, moves from
New York to Chicago and starts his own meatpacking co. in 1859.
An iron bridge at Rush Street is built.
The first Madison Street bridge is built at city expense.
November 28, The first wooden pavement is laid on Wells Street. 
Chicago lays its first sewer.
The first steam-tugs are working the river.
July, the first direct voyage made from Lake Michigan for Europe.
September 19, the Lake House ferry-boat capsizes and ten drown.
October 8, Chicago High School opens.
The first train runs from Chicago to Hyde Park.
The Illinois Central Railroad opens its line from Chicago to New Orleans.
December 14, Berean Baptist Church is organized.
Six flour mills are active in Chicago.
December, Rounds' Printer's Cabinet issues the first monthly typographical journal in the U.S.
The Board of Trade implements a wheat grading system: "White Wheat." "Red Wheat," and
"Spring Wheat." 
Guided by Rev. Arnold Damen, Holy Family Church is built. Magnificently restored, its circular
stained glass windows, made by an unknown Chicago studio, survive as the oldest locally produced
stained glass windows.
The Cake Baker, a cookbook, is published in Cihcago. It may be the first cookbook published
west of Indiana.
Solomon A. Smith is one of the original incorporators and the first President of the Merchant's
Savings, Loan and Trust Company (later the Continental Illinois Bank and Trust Company, eventually
merging with the Bank of America)
The first Nicholson pavement is laid in Chicago.
Nine flour mills are active in Chicago.
Brown and Foster school buildings erected. The first steam-heating of a school building. .
At a cost of $7,000.00 a mausoleum is built for Ira Couch (builder of the Tremont House, Chicago's
first grand hotel) in Chicago City Cemetery, known as Lincoln Park since 1866.
Street grades are raised in Chicago. Buildings are lifted with jacks.
Ebner B. Ward opens Chicago's first steel mill, North Chicago Rolling Mill, on the North Branch of the
Chicago River.
The Board of Trade adds more grades to its wheat grading system: "Spring Wheat" is defined
as "Club Wheat," "No.1 Spring," "No. 2 Spring."
The Lill & Diversey Brewery is the largest brewery west of the east coast.
The McVicker’s Theater opens at 25 West Madison Street.
Merchant's Saving and Trust Company is organized. .
Mathias Klein, a trained locksmith-blacksmith from Germany working in Skokie, produces the first
pair of pliers (it may have been 1861) made in the United States.

John Hoerber opens Chicago’s first brewpub.
The Musical Union for vocal and instrumental music is organized, with J.S. Platt as president,
C.M. Cady, conductor. Until 1866, the Musical Union gives an annual series of successful concerts.
The Mendelssohn Society is founded by its conductor, A.W. Dahn.
Seipp & Lehman Brewery is established.
The Board of Trade adds a "rejected" category to its wheat grading system.
The city’s first horse-powered streetcar line begins operating south on State Street from Randolph St.
Chicago's police force gets uniforms and the fire department switches from volunteer to paid.

The city’s streetcar line is extended south to 31st. along State Street.
In May, the last lots are sold in the City Cemetery. It occupies 120 acres.
In August, Rosehill Cemetery opens.
Nelson Morris (born Moritz Beissinger, Germany, 1839), age 20, starts his own meatpacking co.
William Butler Ogden founds the Chicago & North Western Railway.
The Illinois State Legislature gives the Chicago Board of Trade legal authority to establish a
grading system and to hire inspectors whose grading decisions and trading rules are legally
Chicago's first public drinking fountain is installed at the northeast corner of the public square.
Chicago holds its first art exposition from May 9- in Burch’s Building, corner Lake St. and
Wabash Ave. About 350 works are contributed by some 70 artists. 12,000 registered visitors
James S. Kirk & Company moves its soap-manufacturing business from Utica, NY to Chicago.
In 1867 James S. Kirk set up a new plant on North Water Street. It quickly becomes one of the
world's largest soap factories employing some 600 workers in the 1880s and 1890s. 

Chicago Art Union exhibition opens December 5, 1859 and closes January 1, 1860 It is held

in the gallery of Mr. Hesler at No. 113, Lake St. Here L.W. Volk exhibits a bust of Abraham Lincoln

cast from a mask cast made shortly before his nomination for the presidency in 1860. The original

was presented by Volk to the Crosby Opera house in 1866 and exhibited at the Paris exposition in 1867.


The census counts 112,172 people in Chicago and 32 breweries.
The census counts 22,230 Germans, comprising 20.35% of the city's population.
The city is the center of the world's largest railroad network.
Joseph Ryerson, Lumber magnate, saw a whole block of buildings on Lake Street between
Clark and LaSalle streets lifted 6 feet by the simultaneous movement of 6,000 screws.
Chicago hosts its first political convention when the newly organized Republican Party comes to
town and nominates Abraham Lincoln for president in the Wigwam.
The Tremont House serves as the Headquarters for the Illinois Republican Party during the
Republican National Convention.
Hans Balatka revives and re-organizes the Philharmonic Society.
The music publishing house of Root & Cady is founded.
The Lady Elgin sinks off Evanston killing an estimated 300 people.
Thirty-two breweries operate in Chicago.
Lucius Olmsted and Lyman Baird form the real estate firm of L.D. Olmsted & Co. After Olmsted’s
death in 1862, age 35, the company is renamed Baird & Warner.

Potter Palmer promotes his business by advertising daily. On November 26 he posts: "Notice.
Purchases made at my establishment that prove unsatisfactory either in price, quality, or style,
can be returned...for which the purchase money will be with pleasure returned. P. Palmer." No
American merchant had ever made such a promise before.
The city's South Side streets begin to be numbered.
Lill & Diversey Brewery produce nearly 45,000 barrels of beer, porter, stout, and their popular "Lill's Cream Ale."
The northern section of Chicago's cemtery, formerly sand dunes and swamp, becomes
LaFramboise Park, named in honor of an old French-Indian family of early Chicago settlers.
Corydon Downer and H.V. Bemis build a brewery at Sixteenth Street and Lake Street.
Chicago Sinai is the city's first Reform congregation.
George M. Pullman, with the firm of Ely, Smith and Pullman, makes his reputation as a building
raiser when he lifts the Tremont House some six feet above grade to match the raising of streets.

The Czechs of Chicago establish the first Czech school.
Chicago experiences its first race riot when white teamsters tried to prevent African Americans from
using the omnibus system.
On August 2, the Norwegian ship Sleipner sailed up the Chicago River. It was the first vessel direct
from Europe to arrive in Chicago. It held 350 tons of cargo and 107 Norwegian passangers who settled
in Chicago. The Sleipner visits Chicago again in 1863, 1864, and 1865, paving the way for regular
ship commerce between Europe and Chicago.
John Wilkes Booth performs Shakespeare's Richard III, and a Chicago Tribune critic applauds
his "...fine voice, ... piercing eye and handsome person."
Camp Douglas is converted to a prison for Confederate soldiers.
Steele-Wedels opens a retail and wholesales grocer on South Clark street near 12th Street.

The Chesbrough plan is adopted to construct intake cribs and deep tunnels two miles off the shore
of Lake Michigan to avoid shoreline pollution, and better serve Chicago's growing population.
The First National Bank of Chicago is founded.
Mary Livermore and Jane Hoge rally the women of the Midwest through the operation of a gigantic
fair, the Northwest Sanitary Fair. Its donated items were sold to fund medical supplies and treats for
the troops. The Chicago fair was imitated throughout the North.
The term of office of Mayor is extended from one to two years.
The Rush Street bridge collapses, killing a girl and scores of cattle.

George A. Misch and his brother Adolph learned the stained glass trade in Germany and open their
shop in Chicago with an emphasis on houses of worship. By 1873, the firm employs 30 men and is
equipped with a 15-horsepower steam engine, which greatly simplifies the cutting at angles of glass.
LaFramboise Park is renamed Lake Park.
Construction begins on a road along the shoreline, a parkway later named Lake Shore Drive.
Free mail delivery begins.
George W. Lyon and Patrick J. Healy arrive in Chicago from Boston and start a business selling sheet
LaFramboise Park is renamed Lake Park. 
Botti/Panzironi Studios is founded in New York. The firm continues under this name until 1950.
Known as Botti Studio of Architectural Arts, it continues to operate in Evanston.
The Volunteer Firefighters Monument, by Leonard W. Volk, is erected in Rosehill Cemetery.
The first steam-driven elevator in Chicago is installed in the Charles B. Farwell Store, 171 N. Wabash.

The Civil War ends.
Marshall Field and Levi Leiter establish a dry-goods store that evolves into Marshall Field & Co.
Crosby’s Opera House opens. It is destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871, but rebuilt by 1873 to
house touring companies.
The nation’s first steel railroad rails are rolled at the North Chicago Rolling Mill.
The Chicago Board of Trade initiates futures contracts.
With Lorenz Brentano as proprietor and editor-in-chief, Illinois Staats-Zeitung is the
second-largest daily newspaper in Chicago.
Jacob Rehm & Company Brewery opens on West Twelfth Street. Jacob Rehm is from Alsace.
The Lincoln Special, a funeral train, arrives in Chicago at nine o'clock on the morning
of May 1 and departs for Springfield at 9:30 pm on the night of May 2.
Chicago has 13 national Banks, more than any other city in the US.
After the death of President Lincoln, Lake Park is renamed Loncoln Park on June 5.
The considerable numbers of livestock pasturing on public squares had been a
nuisance long enough that the City Council finally directed the Board of Police to
do something about it in October.
Potter Palmer sells his business to rival merchants Marshall Field and Levi Z. Leiter.
While drilling for oil the Chicago Rock Oil Co. gushed water, resulting in Artesian St.
On Christmas Day, the Union Stock Yards open on Chicago's south side.
The six-story Hough House Hotel opens on South Halsted at the Stock Yards.

St. Michael's Church in Old Town is built. It is rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1892
this church serves the largest German national parish in Chicago. A fine set of windows by Franz
Mayer of Munich is installed in 1912.
In March, under the guidance of Brother Bonaventure Thelen, the Alexian Brothers open their first
hospital in the U.S. on land deeded them by the Bishop of Chicago, corner Dearborn and Schiller.
Sidley Austin is founded in Chicago by Norman Williams and John Leverett Thompson as the
partnership Williams & Thompson.
Dankmar Adler (1844-1910), German born, American architect, moves to Chicago.
The Chicago Academy of Design is established with H.C. Ford as its president.
The Lill & Diversey Brewery sprawls over 2-acres on the corner of Pine (N. Michigan) and Chicago.
Cook County Hospital opens.
An amended City Charter is passed by the Illinois legislature. Among other things, Chicago
sought to prevent burials within the city limits, to build a city hall, to seize and destroy tainted
foodstuffs, to outlaw concealed pistols and colts, sling shots, cross knuckles, brass and lead
knuckles, bowie knives, dirks, and daggers.
The city completes a two-mile tunnel into the lake to draw "pure water."

The Chicago Academy of Music, the city’s first important conservatory, is organized. It changes its
name to the Chicago Musical College in 1872, and becomes part of Roosevelt University in 1954.
The University of Illinois is founded in Urbana.
Chicago’s first YMCA, Farwell Hall, opens.
Florenz Ziegfeld founds the Chicago Academy of Music. 
The Academy of Design is founded in Chicago. It changes its name in 1882, to the Art Institute
of Chicago.
The Alexian Bros. move their hospital to 546 N. Franklin.
The nation’s first temperature controlled train, the Thunderbolt Express, rushes fresh fruit from
southern Illinois to Chicago.
Phillip Armour opens his meat packing company.
The “Two-Mile” crib and tunnel are successfully put into operation.
A set of water maps showing the locations of water mains, and the drawing of the details of the
construction of the lake tunnel, received prize medal at the Exposition universelle
(d'art et d'industrie) de Paris 1867.
George Pullman hires his first black porter (by the 1920s, some 12,000 porters were serving more
than 100,000 passengers a night).
St. Stanislaus Kostka parish is the first of many to serve the Polish community.

The first river tunnel in the United States is completed under the Chicago River.
The Chicago Terra Cotta Company, the first permanent terra cotta works in the United States,
is established at W. 15th St. and Laflin.
Lincoln Park zoo opens with a gift of two swans from New York City's Central Park.
Augustus Wheeler rides about on a French made velocipede, the first documented bicycle in Chicago.
Bourgeois Germans in Chicago celebrate the City's first Carnival on March 3 in Crosby's Opera
House that was becoming the epicenter of Chicago's German community.

The new north pumping station (now the Chicago Avenue Station) and Water Tower are constructed
to regulate the water pumped into the city. Both survive the Great Fire of 1871, and remain city
On April 5, Jewish businessmen organize The Standard Club. 
The Federal Government recognizes the Chicago Harbor as a national asset and takes over complete
responsibility for preserving the entrance.
Philip Henrici opens Chicago’s first Viennese style coffeehouse, Henrici's (closes 1962).
The first lodge of the Knights of Pythias in Chicago is Welcome Lodge No.1.
The Illinois State Legislature creates the West Parks Commission resulting in the creation of the
LaFollette, Douglas, Garfield, Columbus, and Humboldt Parks.
The Illinois State Legislature introduces a bill to permit the Chicago Elevated Railway to construct
single elevated tracks over each side of various streets throughout Chicago. No action is taken.
The time of holding the city election is changed from April to November.
The Prohibition Party is organized in Chicago on September 1. Five hundred delegates from nineteen
states attend the party's initial session at Farwell Hall (Madison Street between Clark and LaSalle).
Ives W. McGaffey invents a hand-pumped wood and canvas vacuum cleaner, "sweeping machine,"
for which he is awarded an American patent. He names is the Whirlwind and it is manufactured and
sold by American Carpet Cleaning Co.
Counting only larger breweries, Chicago officially reports a production of 246,212 barrels of beer.
Dr. John H. Rauch formally suggests the formation of the Chicago Park District.

German Jesuits establish St. Ignatius College, after 1909 known as Loyola University.
In the spring, the J.L. Fulton & Co. puts the city’s first bituminous asphaltic concrete (asphalt)
pavement at the intersection of Clark and Monroe.
The Sturgis & Buckingham grain elevator, near the mouth of the Chicago River, holds more than
3 million bushels at one time.
Twenty-six brickyards employ some 1,008 people in Chicago.
Nearly half of Chicago's residents are immigrants.
The census counts 51,114 workers in manufacturing and mechanical industries in Chicago,
14,251 are German-born, 12,519 are American born, and 11,445 are Irish. Germans constitute
19.83% of the population, but represent 41.02% of the total foreign-born population.
Critics declare the "British Blondes" burlesque troupe's performance at Crosby Opera House as
"gross animalism," and Chicago Times editor Wilbur Storey compares the performers to prostitutes.
The "Blondes" are so incensed that they confront Storey on Wabash Avenue and horsewhip him at
Chicago has sixty-eight bookstores, one for every 4,396 inhabitants.
Chicago has 17 candy businesses.
German made lager beer becomes Chicago’s favorite drink.
C.W. Baldwin is granted a patent on his hydraulic elevator.
On October 15, Chicago’s “official” climatological record keeping begins at 181 W. Washington.

The La Salle Street tunnel under the Chicago River is completed.
135 miles of gas mains have been laid.
Chicago has a total of forty aldermen.
In May, E. Juessen(1830-1891), a well-known German-American lawyer, attempts to start a national
German political party in Chicago.
Before the Great Fire of 1871, thirty-seven German-language newspapers are published in Chicago.
After a very dry summer with more than 30 neighborhood fires, The Great Chicago Fire on October
8-9 kills over 300 people, destroys 17,450 structures, and devastates some 2.7 square miles including
the downtown and North Side. More than 90,000 people are left homeless.
Of the 534 miles of streets in the city, over 28-miles of streets were exposed to the Fire.
The Fire desdroyed 624,841 linear feet or 121 3/4 miles of sidewalks comprising wood, stone, and
The Fire damages/destroyed 2,162 street lampposts.
The Fire swept away eight bridges and two viaducts.These included the Rush, State, Clark, and
Wells-street bridges, over the Main Branch; the Chicago avenue over the North Branch; and the Adams,
Van Buren, and Polk-street bridges over the South Branch. The viaducts iver the railway tracks at State
and Wells streets were destroyed, and that at Adams was seriously damaged.
While not yet finished, the Nixon Building, northeast corner of Monroe and LaSalle Streets, designed
by Otto H. Matz, is the first fire-proof building built in the city. It was damaged so little by the fire
that it was opened one week after the Great Fire and is occupied at once by leading architects and
business men.
Enterprising real estate agent, William D. Kerfoot, erects the first building in the burnt district at
89 Washington Street.
The push to rebuild helps Chicago survive the national economic Panic of 1873.
The American Express Company building, on the south side of Monroe near State Street, has
a façade designed by H.H. Richardson in his ideal American style, now called Richardsonian
Aaron Montgomery Ward invents the mail order catalogue.
Cargo ships begin using the Calumet Harbor for the first time.
Wells Fargo of San Francisco opens its first Chicago office.
On October 15, Chicago’s climatological record keeping moves to 427 W. Randolph.
The infant mortality rate in Chicago among children five years and younger is 70.7%.
Chicago has more than 50 miles of wood-paved street. (The technique was developed by Samuel
Nicholson of Boston).
Chicago is the hub of a railroad system of 10,750 miles of line.
Some 75 passenger trains per day operate to and from Chicago's terminals.
Chicagoan Joseph Chesterfield Mackin offers a free oyster with each drink, inventing the free lunch.
James Renwick, the foremost American architect of his day, designs Second Presbyterian Church
at Michigan Avenue and 19th Street. The interior of the church burns in 1900, and it redesigned by
Howard Van Doren Shaw, who saves superb windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and installs windows
by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Healy & Millet.
William Louis Lehl, born 1846 in Ulm, Germany, educated University of Stuttgart, in US since 1867,
opens an architectural practice in Chicago specializing in breweries, other industrial plants and motion
picture facilities.
Chicago printer, R.R. Donnelley publishes, The Cuisine, a cookbook by a French caterer.
Stop and Shop (formerly Tebbets and Garland) is founded at 18th and Wabash.
Silas G. Pratt and George P. Upton, the Chicago Tribune's first music critic, found The Apollo Music
Club, known today as the Apollo Chorus, is founded to bring cultural life back to the burned city. Over
the years the Apollo Chorus has given the Chicago premiers of such works as Bach’s Mass in B Minor
and St. Matthew Passion; Elgar’s The Light of Life, Caractacus, and Apostles; Berlioz’s La damnation
de Faust, Te Deum and long-lost Messe SolennelleBeethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and the U.S.
premier of Weber/Berlioz’s Le Freyschütz at the Ravinia Festival.
The Committee of Seventy, composed of leading and influential citizens and clergymen, is created
to reform city activities and to regulate saloons and enforce a Sunday blue law. Pressured by Mancel
Talcott, President of the Police Board, Mayor Medill orders the enforcement of section 4, chapter 5 of
the city ordinance to close Chicago saloons on Sunday. The Germans and Irish object. 
Doctor John E. Siebel, former Chief Chemist of Chicago, opens a laboratory for analysis and prevention
of beer spoiling pathogens. He also founds the Siebel Institute of Technlogy.
Chicago Terra Cotta Company is not damaged by the Great Chicago Fire. Its production is key to
On June 11, Chicago’s climatological record keeping moves to 20 North Wacker.
City law prohibits the city's bridges from remaining open longer than 10 minutes during the morning,
noon and evening rush hours, but the "rule is shamefully disregarded," the Chicago Tribune reports.
The city hires its first African-American police officer.
Furniture Workers Union No. 1 is organized.
Leopold Schlesinger, born in Brotchizen, Germany and David Mayer, a German immigrant, found
Schlesinger & Mayer, a dry goods store.

An Exposition Building is erected on the lakefront intended for an annual exposition of industrial
products of Illinois and adjoining states. Among the principal promoters and contributors are
Cyrus H. McCormick, Potter Palmer and R.T. Crane. The building is replaced in 1892 for what
would become the new Art Institute.
John Jones, a wealthy African-American, is elected a Cook County commissioner. He is the first
black person to hold elective office in the state of Illinois.
On June 8, Chicago’s climatological record keeping moves to the corner of Madison & LaSalle.
The Palmer House re-opens. Since the opening the hotel’s kitchens have never been closed, even
for a day.
The Clybourn bridge is built. It is a superstructure of the combination Howe truss, with iron
turn-table. It is 140 feet long.
Chicago has twenty-seben bridges and eleven railway viaducts.
Bridges are, enforced by law, allowed to be open for no more than 10 minutes.
C.W. Baldwin is granted a patent for what has since been known as the Hale Hydraulic Elevator.
In September, Chicago participates actively in the financial Panic, followed by a depression that
puts a quick stop to Chicago's rebuilding after the Great Fire.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the new city directory shows Chicago has 212 churches,
80 newspapers and 31 railroad companies.
The City has 17 brick manufacturers and 1 terra cotta company, Chicago Terra Cotta Co.
The City funds the entire cost of the Courtland Street Bridge.

Not able to move Chicago's Catholic politicians to action, the mostly Protestant Women's Christian
Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded in Evanston with Frances E. Willard (born 1839) as its first
Chicago boasts one saloon for every 26 men.
Two bridges and two viaducts were completed in the past year.
In Evanston, The Grosse Point Lighthouse opens. Its Fresnel lens projects a three-wick oil lamp
light some 21 miles.
On July 14, forty-seven acres bounded by Clark, Polk, Michigan and Van Buren burned with an
intensity reminiscent of the Great Fire of 1871. The fire stopped just before it reached the rebuilt
business district.
The all male Chicago Literary Club begins to meet to share their love of literature.
The Workingman’s Party is formed at West Side Turner Hall (Roosevelt Road and Halsted Street).
Cedar block paving of streets becomes common.

Lake Shore Drive opens as a Lincoln Park carriage drive.
The remains of the Old Post Office Building is fitted up by John H. Haverly into the New Adelphi,
the largest theater erected in Chicago.
Philip Henrici opens the Lincoln Pavilion at Clark and Grant Place, known as the "German Broadway,"
a fancy beer garden with entertainment by a forty-piece orchestra. It attreacts society, not the beer
drinking public and closes in 1878. It opens again in 1884 as Walker & Koester's Summer Garden, 
admission is free. 
The Daily News is founded by Melville E. Stone, Percy Meggy, and William Dougherty.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of Tarzan and John Carter novels, is born in Chicago.
On Monday, November 15 the Great Walking Match for the Championship of the World begins in
the Interstate Exposition Building. The race is 6 days and 500 miles. THe leading men on the track
are Edward Payson and Dan O'Leary..
The Western Sand Blast Manufacturing Co. begins to specialize in sandblasted, chipped, etched,
and beveled ornamental glass. The firm does work for Adler & Sullivan in the 1880s and Edgar
Miller in the 1920s.
Victoria, Queen of England since 1837, becomes Empress of India.
On May 6, the only tornado ever to hit downtown Chicago cuts a 4-mile-long, 100-yard wide
path, killing two and injuring 35.
John McCully and N.F. Miles found their Chicago stained glass studio McCully & Miles.
The Western Brewer, a German/English beer trade journal, starts publication by J.M. Wing & Co.
A group of female reformers establish the Young Women’s Christian Association of Chicago.
Chicago White Stockings baseball team is one of eight charter members of the National League.
A.G. Spalding is their first manager, pitches the first National League shutout game, and White
Stockings go on to win the first National League championship.
Chicagoan John W.E.Thomas becomes the first African-American elected to serve as a
representative in the Illinois General Assembly.
Victor F. Lawson purchases The Chicago Daily News.
Walter Burley Griffin is born in Chicago.
D. Knight Carter establishes The Vincennes Gallery of Fine Arts, located on Vincennes Avenue,
near Aldine Square.
Ferdinand Bunte, Gustav A. Bunte, and Charles A. Spoehr found a candy manufactory on State St.
By 1910, Bunte Candy Co. employs some 1,200 people.

Theodore Thomas gives a series of summer night concerts in the Exposition Building on the lakefront.
The Pacific Garden Mission begins offering refuge to the downtrodden.
Battle of the Viaduct (16th and Halsted Streets), a deadly clash between the German furniture
workers union and police/national guard.
H.V. Bemis, co-owner of the Downer & Bemis Brewery, working with inventor David Boyle, a
Scotsman, erects an ammonia compression machine in his brewery for mechanical refrigeration.
Quickly perfected, the Boyle Ice Machine weighed over 50-tons and supplied refrigeration for the
entire brewery. It was an instant success. Within five months, Boyle shipped 22 refreigeration units
to brewers throughout the US.
The Meat Cook's, Pastry Cooks and Confectioners' Cosmopolitan Society is founded and starts to
hold an annual banquet.
The Austin_Western Co., in Mount Prospect and Chicago invents the first road grader.
Chicago’s warmest December on record has an average temperature of 43.4° contributing to an
average winter temperature of 37.2°.

The single-hole ticket punch is invented in Chicago.
The fire pole is invented in a Chicago firehouse.
A "Floating Hospital" opens at north Avenue pier. This facility closes in the late 1880s.
The first open air concert is held in a Lincoln Park bandshell.
By June, the Chicago Telephonic Exchange has 267 corporate and private subscribers talking to
each other on lines furnished by Alexander Graham Bell.
Keeley Brewing Company is established.
The first Hale Hydraulic Elevator is manufactured and installed in the store of Burley & Co.,
77-81 State Street, Chicago. The elevator car traveled at eighty feet per minute..
The Northwestern Terra Cotta Company is founded by a group of investors including John R. True.
By 1927 it has become the largest terra cotta manufacturer in the United States with main factory
at 2525 North Clybourn.
Bunte Candy Co. opens a retail and wholesale candy company at 416 State Street. By 1918
they employ 1,800 people.
Ferdinand Bernett, an attorney, publishes the city's first black newspaper.
Emma Abbott forms the Abbott English Opera Company in Chicago. It is the first opera company
formed by a woman. The company sings only in English.

The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts is organized. Its core art collection is acquired at a sheriff sale
from the bankrupt Academy of Design. In 1882, the Academy of Fine Arts changes its name to the
Art Institute of Chicago, a school of art and design, and a collection of objects of art.
The Quaker Oats Company is founded in Chicago.
Hans Balatka founds the Balatka Musical College.
Harry and Max Hart, Joseph Schaffner, and Marcus Marx introduce men’s clothing in sizes Small,
Medium, and Large. The firm of Hart Schaffner and Marx introduces national advertising for men’s
clothing, and the selection of material through swatches of cloth.
Marshall Field and Levi Leiter open a store in their own new building at State and Washington Streets.
Colonel Mapleson gives his first season of Italian opera in Chicago in the New Adelphi Theater.
The Union League Club of Chicago is organized.
The Apollo Chorus performs George Frideric Handel's Messiah and has done so every year since.
Edward B. Butler (1853 - 1928) moves to Chicago and founds Butler Brothers that becomes the
largest wholesale business in the world.

George L. Healy and Louis J. Millet begin their very influential partnership, Healy & Millet. The firm's
stained glass and decorating skill are associated with some of the most important structures built
in Chicago after the Great Fire. Louis Millet is associated with the Art Institute of Chicago from
There are 52 brick manufacturers employing 956 people in Chicago.
A number of artists organize the Chicago Art League with showrooms on Van Buren Street.
Fred. W. Wolf Company of Chicago obtains the patent rights to the Linde Ice Machine, introduced
in Germany by Professor C.P.G.Linde of Munich. The Wacker & Birke Brewing & Malting Company
of Chicago is the first brewery to install this type of refrigeration unit in the US.
The furniture fabricator S. Karpen & Bros. is founded by German immigrant brothers.
George Pullman hires architect Solon S. Beman to design the town and railroad car factories of
Pullman, near Lake Calumet.
Chicago has 33 bridges over the Chicago River. All are center-pier swing bridges.
"Little Hell" is an area of the city bounded by La Salle St, Division St. and the Chicago River. This
area was famous for its depravity, including brothels, some 400 saloons, robbery, cocaine and
morphine sales.
Rabbi Emil Hirsch takes over Chicago Sinai Congregation and builds it into the city's largest.
172 Chinese call Chicago home.
Field & Leiter do $25 million in sales.
1,200 Chinese live in the city.
There are nearly 1,360 cigar stores in the city. Nearly all are marked by the conventional wooden
Indian sign.
During 1890 the Health Department removed 9,661 dead horses, 143 dead cattle, and 14,458
dead dogs. These bodies found their way into the tanks of the Union Rendering Company. .

Aurora is the first city in Illinois to light streets electrically.
Sarah Bernhard makes her Chicago debut at the McVickers, followed by 27 curtain calls.
Eastern European Jews start to arrive in large numbers and the Russian Refugee Aid Committee
is established to find shelter and employment for the new immigrants. Several other organizations
are soon set up to aid the poor.
The Chicago Art Guild is organized with showrooms on Wabash Avenue.
Marshall Field buys out Levi Leiter. The store is renamed Marshall Field & Co.
George "Harvey" Schaller opens Schaller’s Pump Restaurant, 3714 S. Halsted St., in Bridgeport.
The fifth generation of the founding family continues to own it.
Eugene A Sitting starts publishing Brauer und Malzer, a trade beer industry journal.
J. Lewis Cochran begins to build an upscale subdivision called Edgewater on 380 acres of farmland.
Cochran also hires an architect, Joseph L. Silsbee who in turn gives Frank Lloyd Wright his first job
as an architectural draftsman.
The first Madigan dry goods store opens across from what is now the United Center. Eventually,
under the farsighted leadership of Joseph Denis Madigan, Jr., stores open in Yorktown Shopping
Center in Lombard (1968, where Madigan's was a charter store), Woodfield Mall in Schaumberg,
Harlem and Irving Plaza in Chicago, North Riverside Mall and Chicago Ridge Mall among others.
The Chicago Literary Club is organized.

Chicago's first cable-car debuts January 28 on State Street, from Madison to 21st street. The cable
weighs 8 tons per mile. It is operated by the Chicago City Railway. Chicago Passanger Railway follows
in 1883. By 1887 Chicago has the largest cable-car system in the world.
Ghosts, Henrik Ibsen's banned-everywhere-in-Europe play, has its world's premier in Chicago.
John H. Haverly opens a new New Adelphi theater, with Robson and Crane in Shakespeare’s
Twelfth Night. In 1885 the theater changes its name to the Columbia.
Asphalt becomes an accepted street surface.
Bicycling is allowed in Lincoln Park.
Wacker & Birk Brewing and Malting Company is founded.
Chicago has a population of 580,693 people and 3,759 saloons, one for every 149 men, women,
and children.
In the 16th and 17th ward, at the lower end of Milwaukee Avenue, there is a liquor license for
every dozen drinkers.
Over one million tons, the most ever, are shipped on the I&M Canal.
Children's Memorial Hospital opens.
At 10-stories, the Montauk Building is the tallest in Chicago.

On March 24, long-distance telephone service is inaugurated between Chicago and New York.
Several major railroads sponsor The General Time Convention in the Grand Pacific Hotel, corner
of La Salle and Jackson. The resulting "Day of Two Noons," November 18, completes the plan
proposed by William F. Allen, to establish four equal time zones across the country, each one
hour ahead of the zone to its west. On that Sunday the Allegheny Observatory at the University of
Pittsburgh transmits a telegraph signal when it is exactly noon on the 90th meridian. Railroad
clocks throughout the United States are then reset on the hour according to their regional time
zone. And, all railroad clocks in each zone are synchronized to strike the hour simultaneously.
The city's Washington Park Jockey Club is established.
There are 190 Chinese-owned laundries registered in the city.
Junk Brewery is founded by Joseph Junk. After his death in 1887, Magdalena Junk, his wife, takes
over the business.
The first electric lighting is installed in Lincoln Park.
The Donohue Building (711 S. Dearborn St.) is the first large printing factory in what becomes know
as printing house row, South Dearborn Street. Until 1971 the Donohue block serves as the
headquarters of the M.A. Donohue Publishing Co.
Oscar R. Mayer and his brothers (German immigrants) lease a meat market in Chicago. Within
five-years the Oscar Mayer Company on Sedgwick Street becomes a successful meatpacking
The Home Insurance Building, corner of La Salle and Adams, is the first building with an iron and
steel frame designed and built in Chicago, possibly the world, by William Le Baron Jenny.
Washington Park Race Track opens.
Levant M. Richardson invents the ball-bearing wheel making possible the modern roller skate.
The Alarm, a weekly anarchist newspaper is launched in Chicago. Its first press run is 15,000 copies.
The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor unions of the United States and Canada convene in
Chicago and declare that the eight-hour day would go into effect across the country on May 1, 1886.
Representing 69 candy makers, The National Confectioners Association is founded.
Louis C. Tiffany & Co. is listed as decorators in the Lakeside  City Dirctory with offices in the Central
Music Hall.
There are 13,693 gas lamps in public use in the city.
The Mexican government opens a consulate.
Named Augustana Hospital, a 15-patient facility is founded by the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran
Church at the corner of Cleveland and Lincoln Avenue.

Joseph E. Flanagan and William C. Biedenweg, a German trained craftsman, establish Flanagan &
Biedenweg Co. By 1900 the firm is the largest of the Chicago producers of stained glass windows
for residential and ecclesiastic use. The firm is active until 1953.
By the mid-1880s, several German producers of stained glass windows have opened offices and
made local arrangements to sell and install stained glass windows in Chicago and vicinity.
A typhoid epidemic kills a thousand people.
R.R. Donnelley secures its first contract to print telephone directories for the Chicago Telephone Co.
Designed by W.W. Boyington, The Board of Trade moves into new headquarters at the foot of LaSalle
Street. Its 300-foot tall tower is the highest structure in Chicago.
Purchasing the Chicago Union Brewing Comapny, John S. Cooke, an Irishman, names his purchase
Cooke Brewing Company.
J.R. Bowman of the Bowman Dairy Company of St. Louis buys M.A. Devine Dairy of Chicago and
builds the company into the city's largest home milk supplier.
Chicago's Colored Men's Professional Business Directory lists 15 restaurants and 20 saloons.
The Chicago Opera Festival Association constructs an auditorium in the Exposition Building seating
10,000 people. It holds a successful season of opera at popular prices.
H.V. Bemis of Downer & Bemis Brewing Co. sells his share of the business and opens the city's most
opulent hotel, Hotel Richelieu, on Michigan Ave.(today, 318 S. Michigan). Clad in imported white marble
and fitted with an art gallery, the Parisian inspired hotel with its French cuisine and reknowned wine
cellar thrive, only to go bankrupt in 1893.
On December 2, Charles Cretors is issued the first peddler's license to operate his popcorn machine.
Swift & Co. uses 450,000 tons of ice every year for shipping meat.

On May 1, Albert Parsons, his wife Lucy and their two children lead 80,000 workers up Michigan
Avenue, in what is regarded as the first-ever May Day Parade in support of the eight-hour work
Alessandro Gonnella opens his first storefront bakery on DeKoven Street in Little Italy.
On May 4, striking workers meet to hear speeches in Haymarket Square. As the meeting ends,
170 police arrive, a bomb is thrown, seven police are killed, eight anarchist leaders are arrested,
four eventually hanged. The following year a day of commemoration is set on May 1, May Day.
Some 5,000 cases of typhoid are reported in Chicago.
Construction of a sea-wall begins to protect Lake Shore Drive and Lincoln Park from the Lake.
Its design is by Maj. T.H. Handbury of the Engineering Corps of the United States Army.
Lake View, Hyde Park and Jefferson Park are annexed by Chicago.
Wacker & Seipp, Chicago beer brewers, donate funds to erect a statue of Johann Christoph Friedrich
von Schiller, to Lincoln Park. This sculpture is a second cast by William Pelargus of Stuttgart, Germany.
The sculpture stands on a Chicago fabricated pedestal designed by Professor C. Dollinger, also of
Stuttgart, Germany.

January 1, Chicago’s climatological record keeping moves to the corner of Clark & Washington.
The world's first softball game is played on Thanksgiving Day in the Farragut Boat Club on the
South Side of Chicago.
The Art Institute of Chicago opens in its first building designed by Burnham & Root at Michigan
Avenue and Van Buren Street.
Electric street lighting is introduced.
The Newberry Library is founded as a free public reference library. Its present building, designed
by Henry Ives Cobb, opens to the public in 1893.
Abraham Lincoln: The Man (a.k.a Standing Lincoln), by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, is erected in
Lincoln Park. It has been called the most important sculpture of Lincoln from the 19th century.
The Chicago Society of Artists is founded.
Hermann Kohlsaat, West Side Park Commissioner and publisher of various Chicago newspapers
founds the Colored Men's Library Association with a basic stock of over 300 books. It's located at
the corner of Dearborn and Harrison Streets.
With 86 miles of track, eleven power plants, and over 1,500 cars, Chicago boasts the largest cable
car system in the world. The longest single cable, 5.3 miles, is on Chicago City Railway's Cottage
Grove Avenue line. The cable weighs 8-tons per mile. The cable cars run until 1906.
Der Braumeister is the official publication of The Master Brewers Association of Chicago.
Richard E. Schmidt, born in Bavaria, opens his architectural practice in Chicago.
The first central station of the Chicago Edison Company is disguised as an office building in the
heart of the financial district at 120 West Adams Street.
Some 21,000 ships arrive and depart from the Chicago River.
President Grover Cleveland lays the cornerstone for the Auditorium building on October 5.
In December, August Schuenemann is believed to have delivered the first boatload of Christmas
trees to Chicago.
Linden Glass Company is founded. The firm manufactures windows for George Pullman, Frank
Lloyd Wright and others until 1934.
More than forty synagogues are scattered throughout the Near West Side Maxwell Street area.
Until the first skyscrapers were built in the mid-1880s, only Chicago's Loop is paved, the rest of
the sprawling city still had mostly dirt streets and sidewalks of wood.
A.G. Spalding takes a group of major league players on the first ever around the world to promote
baseball and Spalding sporting goods. The team stops in Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Ceylon,
Egypt, Italy, France and England. .
In July, Permit number 2325 is issued to the Germania Maennerchor and the cornerstone is placed
for the Germania Club, Clark and North Ave. September 8, with Mayor Roche in attendance; long-
time Republican leader Hermann Raster, "the Nestor of German journalism in America," editor of
the Illinois Staats-Zeitung gives the opening speech. William August Fiedler is the architect and he
personally lays the mortar using a silver trowel.
Victor F. Lawson takes over full ownership of the Chicago Daily News.
Jacob Bauer of Terre Haute, Indiana founds the Liquid Carbonics Manufacturing Company in Chicago,
becoming the Midwest's first manufacturer of liquedfied carbon dioxide.
The Republican National Convention is held in the partially finished Auditorium Building where
Benjamin Harrison is nominated as a presidential candidate.
Morton Salt builds a seventeen-acre warehouse and packing facility along the pier at Randolph at
the mouth of the Chicago River.

Chicago annexes 120 surrounding square miles by popular referendum, including towns and
villages such as Jefferson, Lake View, Lake, Hyde Park, and part of Cicero, resulting in 182.9
square miles, making it physically the world's largest city.
With an official population of 1,098,576, the census of 1890 declares Chicago the official
"second city" of the United States. This population represented a growth increase of almost 37
times since its founding in 1830. In comparison London's and Paris' populations doubled, Berlin's
quadrupled, and New York's increased by 4.1 times.
Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr found Hull House and introduce the first children's playground
to the United States.
At the Paris World Exhibition, the Chciago Public Library receives the gold medal of excellence.
Lyon & Healy produce their first harps.
McAvoy Brewing Company and the Wacker & Birk Brewing and Malting Company are the first Chicago
breweries acquired by an English-owned syndicate, the Chicago Breweries, Limited. Other acquisitions
quickly follow.
The Chicago stained glass and decorating firm of Healy & Millet exhibits at the great Paris World's
Fair where their entire exhibition of American Glass is purchased for installation in the national
Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Paris, France. This installation signals the birth of Art Nouveau in Europe.
Byron Laflin Smith, son of Solomon A. Smith, founds The Northern Trust Company, and in 1912,
Illinois Tool Works.
Gibson's Steakhouse opens.
Marie Owens becomes one of five female factory inspectors who enforces child-labor and
compulsory education laws in Chicago. In 1891 she is transferred to the Police Department and
given the powers of arrest, the title of detective Sergeant and a police star.
On Memorial Day, the Chicago police erect a commemorative statue to their fallen comrades in
Haymarket Square.
In their plant at 16th and State Arthur and Charles Libby develop a technique for canning corned beef.
Chicago Paper Tube & Can Co. opens.
President Benjamin Harrison dedicates the Auditorium Building on December 9. Opera star Adelina
Patti sings Home Sweet Home.
Louis Sullivan has his offices on the 16th and 17th floors of the Auditorium Building's tower
Renowned contralto, Ernestine Schumann-Heink (1861-1936) makes her American debut in
Chciago in "Lohengrin."

Adler & Sullivan design the magnificent Temple K. A. M. at Indiana and 33rd Street. In 1922, the
building becomes Pilgrim Baptist Church. Fire guts the church January 6, 2006, leaving a hollow shell.
On 1 February Chicago’s climatological record keeping moves to the corner of Wabash/Congress.
Aaron Montgomery Ward successfully sues the city to keep Grant Park open.
Sara Hallowell, secretary of the art department of the Interstate Industrial Exposition introduces
Impressionist art to Chicago and through Chicago the nation. On display are six Monets, four
Pissaros and one Degas, all borrowed from the avant-garde French dealer Paul Durand-Ruel.
Mickey Finn, a Chicago bartender in the Custom House Levee District, invents an infamous drink.
Ernest Kimball opens Kimball’s, the country’s first public cafeteria. It is the inspiration for many
similar eateries offering “cheap fare with self-service."
Swedes are the third largest ethnic group in Chicago behind the Irish and the Germans.
The 1890 census records 15,000 African-Americans in Chicago.
A city Art Commission is established to approve all works of art before they become the property
of the city. An early notable acquisition is Lorado Taft's "The Fountain of the Great Lakes".
A Municipal Art League is established to motivate and arouse civic pride.
The lavish Tearoom at Marshall Field’s opens offering lady shoppers a place to rest and refresh.
On October 18, the Hyde Park Thomson-Houston Light Company (HPTHLC), begins generating
electricity and "hustling" residential service.
Chicago has 44 swing bridges and 8 fixed bridges over the I&M Canal, the Calumet and Chicago
The section of modern Beverly north of 95th Street was annexed to the City of Chicago.
Marketing itself as the first "electric suburb" because it had state of the art streetlights, Edison
Park, a Far North Side community, receives permission from Thomas Edison to name their village
in his honor. Edison Park joined Chicago in 1910.
Starting October 2nd, the first electric trolley line operates from 95th Street and Stony Island 
to South Chicago.
The output of Chicago's breweries was 2,500,000 barrels of malt liquor.
There are forty-three breweries within the city limits employing some 2,200 persons.

On January 1, there were 5,650 saloons in the city employing some 17,050 men, 3,900 women.
Each saloon paid a license fee of $500. per year and a $25.00 per year cigar and tobacoo selling
Theodore Thomas founds the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and makes its home in the
Auditorium Building.
U.S. premier by CSO of Dvorak's Violin Concerto..
Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, Chicago's oldest African-American congregation and second oldest
Methodist church, is designed by Henry F. Starbuck. Its tin clad interior and stained glass windows
are unique reminders of its origin.
Marie Owens, a female factory inspector, is transferred to the Police Department and given the
powers of arrest, the title of detective Sergeant and a police star.
The monthly, Der Braumeister, is taken over by Doctors Max Henius and Robert Wahl and renamed
the American Brewers Review. Published in Chicago until 1939, the American Brewers Review focuses
on local politics and its effect on the industry.
Designed by Chicago architects Willoughby J. Edbrooke and Franklin Pierce Burnham, the Mecca
Apartments open. Located on the busy corner of 34th and State, the one block large structure built
around an atrium, has 12 stores along State and 96 flats in its four-stories. In the early 1950s the
much neglected Mecca is demolished and S.R. Crown Hall, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,
rises in its place.
Provident Hospital, the first Black-owned and operated hospital in America is established by
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, and African-American surgeon.
Walter Crane, British arts and crafts advocate, visits Chicago for 5 weeks, completing his book
The Claims of Decorative Arts, the preface of which is dated "Edgewater, Illinois 1892." 
Possibly 1,700 Chicagoans die of typhoid.
Brick paving of streets becomes common.
There are some 4,000 cycling club members.

The University of Chicago, funded by John D. Rockefeller, opens its doors.
Amos Alonzo Stagg, the nation's first tenured professor of physical culture, begins football practice
on a playing area called Marshall's Field, later renamed Stagg Field.
Milton Florsheim and his father, Sigmund, start the Florsheim Shoe Co. and promptly revolutionize
the men's footwear industry by selling under the manufacturer's name, not the retailer's.
The Van Buren Street Tunnel under the Chicago River is completed.
The city inspector report lists 18 central electric stations and 498 self-contained systems that
power a total of 273,600 incandescent lights and 16,415 arc lamps.
On July 1, Samuel Insull assumes the position of chief executive officer of Chicago Edison, a
position he would hold for the next forty years.
The Illinois Pure Aluminum Co. is founded in Lemont, Illinois. In 1897 the company adds a
foundry to make cast utensils.
There are about 700 bakeries.
On June 6, Chicago's first "L" route begins operation between Congress and 39th Street. By May,
1893, the elevated serves the World's Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park.
Designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, the Schiller Theatre Building celebrates its formal
opening on October 1. In its lobby Herman Michalowski of Milwaukee painted an allegorical mural
showing the Genius of Rhetoric standing between busts of Schiller and Shakespeare, at whose feet
sat Clio, the muse of history, writing names of these titans in the annals of world history. Inside
are two murals by Arthur Feudal and two plaster reliefs by Richard Bock, one of which shows Schiller
riding the winged horse Pegasus, led by the figure of Genius, who holds the torch of enlightenment.
Outside, on the second story loggia facing Randolph Street, and in the tower, sculptor Frederick
Almenrõder created busts of Beethoven, Wagner, and Goethe, among others.
Construction begins on the Sanitary & Ship Canal, eventually reversing the flow of the Chicago River.
Francis J. Dewes, a German brewer, donates a statue of Friedrich Heinrich Alexander Von Humboldt
by the Berlin artist, Felix Gõrling to Humboldt Park.
In September, soap manufacturer, William Wrigley, Jr. adds a new premium to his slow selling
Lotta baking powder line, chewing gum. By 1895 Wrigley is in the chewing gum business.

The World's Columbian Exposition opens. The central attraction of the Exposition is a great wheel
devised by George Ferris. Its axle is the largest forged piece of steel ever made, 33” diameter, 45
feet long. The wheel is 260 feet in diameter, each of its 36 cars carries up to 60 people, 2180 people
per turn. A ride costs 50 cents, lasts two turns, 20 minutes. There are 1,340 lights on the rotating
section and 1,100 bulbs on the supports. In total over 90,000 incandescent bulbs and 5,000 arc
lamps are used.
Sophia Hayden, the nation’s first college-trained woman architect, designs the Woman’s Building.
The “Brownie” is invented by the Palmer House chef to use as a dessert in box lunches at the
Woman’s Building.
The Liberty Bell arrives in Chicago from Philadelphia on the evening of April 28 for display at the Fair.
Photographer Eadweard Muybridge projects motion pictures on his Zoopraxiscope to a live audience
at the World’s Columbian Exposition, two years before the Lumiere Brothers are credited with
beginning the formal history of movies in Paris.
Saccharine is first introduced to the world in the Agricultural Pavillion, German Group 18a, 547, by
Fahlberg, List&Co., Salbwke-Westerhausen an der Elbe. The new sweetening agent made from coal
tar, is 500 times sweeter than granulated sugar. It is unfermentable.
The Illinois Manufacturers Association, the oldest association of its kind in the U.S., is founded.
A chapel designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany wins several gold medals and introduces the world to
"Favrile" glass.
Frederick Douglass speaks on the subject of Haiti, the world's first Black republic at Quinn Chapel.
The Art Institute of Chicago commissions Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. to create a gallery, funded
by Mrs. Thomas Nelson Page as a memorial to her first husband, Henry Field.
Farida Mazar Spyropolous, a.k.a. Little Egypt, a hootchy kootchy dancer, finds fame on the Midway.
America’s first model electric kitchen is exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition.
The Ludvik Players perform Gazdina Roba; the first documented professional dramatic performance
in the Czech language in the United States, in Thalia Hall, Pilsen.
Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the first African-American member of the American College of Surgeons,
performs the first successful heart surgery on James Cornish, July 9, in Provident Hospital.
Two Austrian immigrants bring their frankfurter sausage recipe from Vienna to the World's Fair
and start a taste sensation that becomes the Vienna Beef Empire.
F.W. Rueckheim invents Cracker Jacks to sell at the World's Columbian Exposition. Originally sold
as "Candied Popcorn and Peanuts," the taste treat receives its name, Cracker Jacks, in 1896.
Texas chili goes national when Texas sets up a San Antonio Chili stand at the World's Columbian
Fictional pancake maker, Aunt Jemima makes her debut at the Fair. Chicagoan Nancy Green, a
former Kentucky slave plays Jemima. Buttons were handed out with Green's likeness and the
words, "I'se in town, honey."
R.R. Donnelley prints the innovative Art Nouveau books and posters of Chicago publishers
Stone & Kimball.
Fahlberg, List & Co. Salbwerke_westerheusen an der Elbe intorduces saccharine, a new sweetening
medium made from coal tar, 500 times sweeter than granular sugar. 
Sears, Roebuck & Co. is founded and publishes its first catalog, only watches!
Charles T. Lucklow opens the Globe Laundry Co., the city’s first commercial laundry.
Chicago has about two thousand miles of roads, many paved.
Chicago has six panorama mural companies and six panorama rotunda buildings, each housing a
50x400 foot (20,000 square feet) mural.
December 8 is the official opening of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The United States Golf Association is co-organized by the Chicago Golf Club.
On February 12, an intense low pressure results in a "severe gale" over Chicago with record
setting winds of 68 mph and gusts to 87 mph.
Comedian Jack Benny is born as Benny Kubelsky in Chicago on February 14. He dies Dec. 1974.
The two bronze lions, designed by Edward Kemeys, are installed at the main entrance of the Art
Institute of Chicago.
Bismarck Gardens (beer garden) seats about 4,700 at the corner of Halsted and Grace, in Lakeview.
Archibald Motley, age 3, born in New Orleans, moves to Chicago with his parents and settle in
Englewood, the first black family to do so the German and Irish neighborhood.
In the 1890s, asphalt and brick paving of Chicago streets became the norm. (The paving of
Chicago streets started with grading from1835-44, followed by planking, 1844-55, and cedar
blocks in 1874. Asphalt became common in 1882, and bricks in 1891).
Lucy Porter is recorded as the first Chicago woman to ride a bicycle wearing "bloomers."
The Field Museum of Natural History, named after its lead patron, Marshall Field, is established.
The Union Elevated Railroad Company is organized to construct what was officially known as the
Union Loop, referred to commonly as “the Loop”.
Ellen Gates Starr of Hull House collaborates with the Women’s Club to found the Chicago Public
School Art Society.
Tiffany's "Favrile" glass is displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Jacob A. Holzer designs a mosaic frieze for the lobby atrium of the Marquette Building.
British writer William T. Stead publishes If Christ Came to Chicago, and expose about the city's
vice and corruption.
Total sales for city saloons were around $70,000,000, beer accounting for $34,000.000 of the total.
Chicago has a total of fifty-three breweries and ranks third nationally after Philadelphia and New York.
On November 13, in Chicago, the inventor Frederick Weeks Wilcox patented a version of what he
called a "paper pail," which was a single piece of paper, creased into segments and folded into a
(more or less) leakproof container secured with a dainty wire handle on top. Today we know it as
the Chinese takeout container.
Chicago becomes the nation's bicycle capital with the help of Ignatz Schwinn, a German mechanic,
and Adolph Arnold, a Chicago meatpacker who provides capital. A top-of-the-line Schwinn sells for
about $150.00, half a working-man’s annual wage.
"Colonel" William Nicholas Selig, a magician interested in projection develops a film projection
system, the Polyscope, in Chicago.
Francisco Terrace, the first subsidized housing in Chicago, is a 40-unit "model tenement"
designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. A classic in the history of low-income housing, the building stands
at 255 N. Francisco Terrace until it is demolished in 1974.
Chicago's first bathing beach opens at Fullerton Avenue with separate beaches for boys and girls.
About 276 firms manufacture furniture in Chicago.
Catherine O'Leary (born 1827), an Irish immigrant whose cow allegedly started the Great Fire of 1871,
dies. She is buried at Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery.
George Halas, the founder and long time owner of the Chicago Bears, is born in Chicago on February
Fifteen Chicago bibliophiles found the Caxton Club.
Chicago claims the world’s largest picture sign with an ad for Wilson Whiskey at the corner of
Madison and Wabash.
Designed in 1893, following a patented design by Swiss-trained Chicagoan, William Scherzer, the first
Scherzer rolling-lift bridge is completed. The Chicago-based Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Company
develops an additional 14 bridge patents and builds more than 175 Scherzer bridges nationwide by 1916.
The first ever car race, billed as a "Motorcycle" race, from Jackson Park to Grant Park via Waukegan, is
organized for November 2 between Frank Duryea and Oscar Mueller. When Duryea drops out Mueller
goes it alone and wins!
The first "official" automobile race with more than one contestant is held Thanksgiving Day. The race is
from Jackson Park to Evanston and back. Snow slowed speeds to an average of just over 5 mph. The
winner in 10 hours, 17 minutes, is Frank Duryea and his brother Charles, owners of Duryea Motor
Wagon Co. Second is Oscar Mueller. Both drive Benz (a German made engine) powered vehicles.
The former Hotel Richelieu (today, 318 S. Michigan Ave.) is acquired by Karpen & Bros. furniture
manufacturers, who commission Hessenmueller & Meldahl to do a complete makeover.
Eugene V. Debs, President of the American Railway Union, is released in November after being jailed
for his involvement in the 1884 Pullman strike. The strike effects more than 250,000 workers in 27

On May 25, a tornado, estimated to have been of F3 intensity, cuts a 4.5 mile-long path of
destruction east from the Leyden-Maine town line to the Jefferson-Niles area, directly through
Park Ridge, Edison Park and Norwood Park. At the weather office located in the Auditorium Tower
at Wabash and Congress, winds gusted to 62 mph and a cloudburst dropped nearly an inch and
a quarter of rain in 15 minutes.
Tamale street vendors start a craze for tamales that lasts until about a decade.
At 727 feet long and 300 feet wide, the Coliseum bills itself as "the largest permanent convention
hall in the world."
William Jennings Bryan persuades the Democratic Convention, held in the Coliseum Building in
Chicago to endorse silver as monetary standard. Demanding the free coinage of silver, Bryan
shouts: "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not
crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." At age 36, the "Boy Orator" from Nebraska received the
Democratic nomination for President.
Chicago uses landfill to extend Grant Park into the lake.
In July, the Chicago Cycle Club hosts its first indoor bicycle races in the Coliseum Building. The
especially designed track quickly acquires a reputation for "being the fastest indoor track in the world."
William Selig builds the world’s first movie studio. Opening in 1897, it produces The Tramp and
the Dog in Rogers Park. It’s the first narrative film made in Chicago.
Chicago Bicycle Exhibition opens in a blizzard, attracting 10,000 visitors on its first day. Ultimately
100,000 paid the 50cents entrance fee. The Fair covered 60,000 square feet, had 368 booths operated
by 289 separate exhibitors. The one-week long show was estimated to yield $10,000,000 worth of
goods sold to the bicycle agents.
Eugene O. Reed Co. manufactures butterscotch candies.
The Chicago Federation of Labor is founded.
With 25 bicycle manufacturer's in the city (up from 4 in 1890), the Chicago Tribune procalims:
"Chicago is the bicycle center of the United States."
Chicago has 54 cycling clubs.
O'Brien's Art Galleries sell "Favrile" glass.
The Long Man and Short Man Gang terrorize the city.
House Beautiful magazine starts publication in December in Chicago. It quickly becomes the
principal organ for the Arts and Crafts Movement in America.

Albert G. Spalding makes Chicago the center of the sports industry.
Jacob A. Holzer collaborates with architect Charles Coolidge to design the interior of the
Chicago Public Library and Louis Comfort Tiffany and Co. of New York installs the largest stained
glass dome the firm ever fabricates in what is now Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center.
William Hall Sherwood, a celebrated concert pianist and teacher, founds Sherwood Conservatory.
The Chicago Teachers Federation is founded.
Rumors accuse Adolph L. Luetgert, a German sausage maker with a factory at 601-629 Diversey
(corner Hermitage, became a condominium in 1999), of killing his wife, Louise, by stuffing her into
a grinding machine. Police recovered wedding rings and human bone fragments from the factory.
While awaiting trial in jail, Luetgert received 2,385 female visitor; 33 proposed marriage. He dies
within a year of receiving a sentence of life in prison.
In August, The Chicago Gas Light & Coke Company merges into the People’s Gas Light & Coke Co.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. publishes a 500-page catalog.
In August the Chicago Tribune reports that police handled 100 bicycle accidents in the two months.
City officials estimate that about 300,000 people ride bicycles in Chicago, 1 of 5 Chicagoans.
On October 22, the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society is founded at Hull-House. Within six months the
group has 128 members.
The first renowned clock is installed by Marshall Field’s November 26, at the corner of State and
Washington. The current clock is from 1907, the design of Pierce Anderson of D.H. Burnham & Co.

In April the first electrically-powered run is made over the entire "L" system. Five days later, the
first 20 electric "L" cars are placed in service.
The Chicago Telephone Company has 8,000 outlets in use, all of them dial phones.
The Chicago Produce Exchange, founded 1874, becomes the Butter and Egg Board which is a
spin-off entity of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) which is re-organized in 1919, as the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange (CME).
Five sailboats set out from Chicago to Mackinac, the beginning of what will grow into the longest
Annual freshwater sailing race in the world.
A Chicago made silent film named "Something Good - Negro Kiss," was likely filmed in the South
Loop by William Selig. The film stars Saint Suttle and Gertie Brown, both well known at the time.
Herman Joseph Berghoff from Dortmund, Germany arrived in the US in 1870. By 1887, he is,
with his three brothers, brewing Berghoff Beer in Fort Wayne, IN. His sales are so impressive at
the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition that he decides to open a café in Chicago. The Berghoff Café
opens its doors on April 15, on the southeast corner of Adams at State. When Prohibition is
repealed in 1933, Berghoff receives liquor license number 1 and sells the first legal beer in Chicago.
DePaul University is founded as St. Vincent College.
Mary Margaret Bartelmes is the first woman judge in Illinois to be appointed public guardian for Cook
Edward Amet and George Spoor produce the first pseudo-documentary and the first use of special
effects "miniatures" in a series of Spanish American War movies.
The Art Institute of Chicago commissions Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. to construct a dome with a
gold opalescent glass skylight and a brass and crystal electrified chandelier for Fullerton Hall, a gift
of Charles W. Fullerton in memory of his father.
Chicago has about 400 bicycle shops spread across the entire city.
The City Hosts a lantern-lit bicycle parade that includes German Wheelmen, Polish-American,
Cuban-American, even the Mayor of Chicago, among thousands of cyclists.  .
Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. decorates the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall in the
Chicago Public Library in neo-Renaissance style.
To help meet the maximum demand for electricity between 5:00 and 8:00 on winter evenings, the
world's largest storage battery is installed at the Adams Street Station.
National Biscuit Company (known as N.B.C., later renamed Nabisco) opens corporate offices in the
Home Insurance Building. N.B.C. is the merger of 40 Midwest bakeries and the eastern New York
Biscuit Company and the United States Baking Company resulting in an amalgamation of 114
bakeries within the biscuit industry. Its chief architect and first chairman is Adolphus Green, a
Chicago lawyer and businessman.
John Nuveen founds his own investment banking firm.

Giannini & Hilgart is founded and executes Prairie School style windows for Frank Lloyd Wright
and others.
Czar Nicholas II donates the funds for Louis Sullivan to design and build Holy Trinity Russian
Orthodox Cathedral (1121 N. Leavitt St).
Chicago ranks thirtieth in the US in regard to recreation and parks. The need for parks is paramount.
Austin is annexed.
Frank Vernon Skiff founds Jewel in Chicago, as a door-to-door coffee delivery service.
Oscar Lovell Triggs founds The Industrial Art League of Chicago. Triggs is dedicated to the idea that
the more sophisticated machines become, the more essential it was to have intelligently designed
work by skilled craftsmen for it to produce. The League is discontinued in 1904, its function taken
over by others.
A pair of Belgian immigrants open the DeJonghe Hotel and Restaurant. Its signature dish is
Shrimp DeJonghe .
Alzina Parsons Stevens becomes the first probation officer of the Cook County Juvenile Court.
Championed by Lucy Flower, Julia Lathrop and Jane Addams, the world's first juvenile court, opens
in July. Located across the street from Hull House, it serves as a model for the new social welfare 
approach that emphasizes individualized treatment of cases instead of rigid adherence to due
process, and probation over incarceration.
Ernest Miller Hemingway is born July 21, in Oak Park, a part of Cicero.  
On August 3, Marshall "Major" Taylor, an African-American, sets a world bicycle speed record scorching
one mile in just over a minute and 22 seconds.
Chicago sets an automobile speed limit of 8 mph.
Mary Margaret Bartelmes helps establish Chicago Juvenile Court.
Henry Gottlieb Eckstein, a part owner and partner of Cracker Jack, invents the "triple proof package"
or "waxed sealed package," a moisture proof paper package to retain freshness. Previously sold in
tubs, the new package allows Cracker Jack to mass-produce and distribute nationally. The company
is reorganized in 1902 as Rueckheim Bros. and Eckstein. The box becomes an American icon.
Red Star Inn opens as Zum Roten Stern, in Old Town with access from the Germania Club.

Chicago's population count of 1,698,575 includes more Irish, Germans, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks,
Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, Croatians, Lithuanians, and Greeks than any other city in the US.
The census counts 30,150 African Americans.
Chicago has 60 breweries, most of which were German owned.
The Public School census reports that every second child entering first grade in Chicago has one or
both parents who speak German at home.
Clara Barck Welles establishes the Kalo Shop, Chicago's premier maker of hand wrought silver.
Opening of the Sanitary & Ship Canal reverses the flow of the Chicago River and helps start the
cleanup of the lakefront and the river. More earth and rock are moved during the construction of
the Sanitary & Ship Canal than the Panama Canal.
Nelson Max Dunning, architect, wins the first Chicago Architecture Club traveling scholarship award.
In August, the Amalgamated Glass Workers International Association (A.G.W.I.A.) is organized in
By 1900, Chicago is the manufacturing center of the nation's printed materials, cardboard boxes,
live action films, farm machinery, furniture, roller skates, bicycles, and automobiles.
Chicago has 57 working drawbridges.
Chicago issues 300 automobile registrations.
By 1900, Chicago has 60 breweries producing more than 100 million gallons of beer per year,
primarily for local consumption.
By 1900, Chicago has built the longest cable and streetcar lines in the world.
On any given day in 1900, Chicago's streets are filled with some 10,000 horses and the automobile
is seen as a breath of fresh air.
L. Frank Baum and William Denslow publish The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.It is an immediate success.
Theodore Dreiser’s book, Sister Carrie violates conventional morality and is not bought by the public.
Chicago’s stockyards expand to 475 acres.
In 1900, Chicago employs 25,000 out of the nations total 68,000 meat packinghouse employees.
Chicago boasts 65 candy companies.
Frank Lloyd Wright and others invent what becomes known as the Prairie Style.
The White Sox play their first game.
About 1900, ice cream parlor owner Deacon Garwood begins serving sundaes on Sundays.
About 1900, Shrimp de Jonghe is introduced by Belgian immigrant Henri de Jonghe in the
de Jonghe Hotel and Restaurant located on 43-45 E. Monroe just off State Street.

Queen Victorian of England, empress of India (since 1876), dies.
In March, the first “official” Chicago Auto Show opens with about 65 cars on 58,000 square feet
of the Chicago Coliseum, 15th Street and Wabash. Admission is 50 cents.
There are about 15,000 cars in the USA.
In a letter written to the Chicago Record Herald, Edward Paul Brennan suggests that the city use
State and Madison streets as the dividing lines on which the numbering of streets could be based.
He also suggested the odd/even numbering system. The city adopts his suggestions in 1909.
Charles Walgreen opens his first namesake neighborhood store.
Sophonisba B. Breckinridge is the first woman to earn a PhD in Political Science from the
Univesity of Chicago.
Selig Polyscopes makes the first industrial film for a corporate client, Armour and Co.
Automobile drivers wore metal badges displaying their drivers license number.
Marshall Field & Co. becomes the authorized agent for Tiffany in Chicago.
William Day Gates' American Terra Cotta & Ceramic Company (near Crystal Lake, Illinois) starts
to market Teco pottery.
Chicago's first park, Lake Park (founded 1844) is renamed Grant Park.
The White Sox win the American League Pennant.
Walt Disney is born on December 5 in a house at 2156 N. Tripp in Chicago. Walt Disney's father
built the house.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is formed in Chicago.
On March 27, the Chicago Daily News first uses the term the Cubs, alluding to the team's, at the
time called the Microbes, many young, inexperienced players.
On June 10, Americus F. Callahan of Chicago is awarded patent number 701,839 for the "outlook" or
window envelope. By the 1930s the glassine window envelope had become a standard business tool.
Marshall Field's opens a new State Street store.
Richard J. Daley is born.
Cortland St. Bridge (1400 West at the Chicago River) is the nation's first trunnion bascule bridge.
Frank Vernon Skiff partners with his brother-in-law Frank P. Ross, naming their business Jewel Tea Company.
L. Frank Baum and William Denslow team up with composer Paul Tietjens and director Julian Mitchel
to produce a musical stage version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz under Fred R. Hamlin. The musical
opens in Chicago as The Wizard of Oz, and then runs on Boradway in 1903 and 1904 before it
successfully tours the U.S. until 1911.
On November 26, the site of Leroy Payne’s livery stable is purchased as the future home of the
Chicago Orchestra. An ambitious fund-raising effort brings in 8,000 individual contributions, raising
a total of $750,000.
The Art Institute of Chicago opens its First Annual Exhibition of Original Designs for Decorations and
Examples of Art Crafts having Distinct Artistic Merit.
Henry Haven Windsor publishes the first issue of Popular Mechanics, showcasing new scientific and
mechanical developments "Written So You Can Understand It."
Samuel Insull installs the world’s first modern turbogenerator at the Fisk Street Station.
About 800 people have automobile licenses in Chicago.
The Portland Cement Association, a non-profit, cooperation organization, is founded to promote
the research and market development of cement in building and industry.
Samuel Eberly Gross, a Chicago real estate developer and playwright files suit claiming Edmond
Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac plagiarized from his play The Merchant Prince of Cornville. Both
works featured big-nose characters who helped men woo ladies. Gross wins a favorable ruling in
U.S. federal court with Ronstand paying one dollar in damages to Gross.
Ray Kroc is born in Oak Park.
In December, the City Council requires license numbers on automobiles. 
The rollerrink "Coliseum" opens in Chicago. It quickly boasts 7,000 skaters per night.

Max Guler, a Munich, Germany trained china and glass painter, L. Holzchuh and Dennis S. Shanahan,
found Munich Studio.
Henry J. Niethart and Joseph E. Vogel found Temple Art Glass Co.
The Church Glass & Decorating Co. of New York installs the Ivanhoe window designed by E.P. Sperry
of New York, in Bartlett Memorial Gymnasium, The University of Chicago.
James L. Kraft moves to Chicago from Ontario, Canada, and starts selling cheese. In 1916 Kraft
patents a method for making pasteurized process cheese and promptly sells six millions pounds to
the U.S. military during World War I.
Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen is born in Chicago.
The city grants a new franchise for a larger underground tunnel, containing an electric railroad, to
the Illinois Tunnel Company, which had bought the tunnel property from Illinois Telephone and
Telegraph. The locomotives ran on 240 DC flowing through wires seven feet overhead. More than
a million tons of freight are hauled through the tunnels in 1933.
Winton Motor Carriage Co. is the first automobile showroom to open on what becomes Motor Row.
Will Ransom and Frederic Gaudy start Village Press in Park Ridge. Village Press is one of the first
private presses in the U.S. and a popular meeting place for artists, especially "Oz" Cooper who
designs the typeface Parsons.
December 30, the Iroquois Theatre, north side of Randolph, between State and Dearborn Streets
(since 1924, site of the Oriental Theatre, today the Ford Center for the Performing Arts) designed
in 1902 by Chicago architect Benjamin H. Marshall (patterned after the Opera Comique in Paris),
burns. Out of an audience of about 1900 people, 602 died. This is twice the number that died in
the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. As a result of this fire, fire alarms, push bar fitted outward-opening
exit doors that remain unlocked from the inside, fireproof scenery and equipment, and steel stage
curtains are implemented nationwide.
With its average temperature of 18.3°, Chicago records its coldest winter on record for the three-
month meteorological winter period from December 1, 1903 to February 29, 1904.

One of the most influential buildings of the 20th century, Unity Temple in Oak Park, is designed
by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Riverview Park, billing itself as the largest amusement park in the world, opens on 74 acres near
Belmont at Western Avenue.
Austin-Wearern of Aurora and Chicago perfects the dump car which help construct the Panama Canal.
On April 1 and 2, at Theodore Thomas' invitation, Richard Strauss, becomes the first-ever Chicago
Symphony Orchestra guest conductor on subscription concerts. He performs Also sprach Zarathustra,
Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, and Death and Transfiguration.
On April 4, Dr. and Mme. Strauss give a benefit recital for the Russian Red Cross Society at the
residence of Potter and Bertha Palmer on Lake Shore Drive. The event nets $4,500. for the relief
of Russian soldiers fighting in the Far East..
The City's first branch library, the Blackstone Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave., opens. It is designed
by Solon Beman and paid for by Isabella Norto Blackstone in honor of her husband, Timothy Beach
The A.C. Frost Company creates Ravinia as an upscale amusement park to lure riders to the
fledgling Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad.
Theodore Roosevelt is nominated for President by the Republican National Convention in Chicago.
Chicago wins Olympic host city bid, but St. Louis steals it away.
Robert Jarvis, one of America's outstanding modern metal smiths establishes a shop in the Fine Arts
Building on Michigan Avenue.
For lack of interest, the great Ferris wheel of 1893 is destroyed in St. Louis after the Louisiana
Purchase Exhibition.
Bakery and confectionary workers unite, designating Chicago as headquarters for its union. By
the 1940s the union has some 80,000 members nationwide.
On December 14, Theodore Thomas opens the doors of the new 2,566-seat Orchestra Hall,
designed by Daniel Burnham with a Grand Dedicatory Concert. Ten days later, Thomas conducts
the Chicago Orchestra for the last time, succumbing to pneumonia on January 4, 1905.
Emil Brach opens a storefront called Brach's Palace of Sweets; caramels sell for 20 cents a pound.
The University of Chicago Laboratory School is founded by John Dewey, a pioneer educator.
Norwegian immigrant, Jens Andreas Paaschen, starts the Paaschen Airbrush Co.

The Chicago Defender is founded by Robert S. Abbott and rapidly becomes the most popular
black newspaper in the United States.
Performing in a cabaret at 2700 S. State, the Pekin Theater Company is the city's first black
theater company. The Pekin Theatre is the first black owned vaudeville stock theatre in the U.S.
It could seat 1,200 people.  
While lunching on spaghetti at Madam Galli’s (18 E. Illinois), Chicago attorney Paul P. Harris first
discusses what would become the Rotary Club.
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is founded in Chicago, June 27. Also known as the
Wobblies, they favored self-management, a worker run shop with worker elected managers. The
IWW reached a self-claimed membership high in 1923 of 100,000. 
On July 1, Chicago’s climatological record keeping moves to 219 S. Clark.
The White City amusement park, billed as "the city of a million electric lights," opens at 63rd Street
and Cottage Grove Avenue.
About 1905, Bunte Brothers pioneers the process of making hard candies with soft fillings.
20 runners register for the first Chicago Marathon with 15 actually starting the race and 7 finishing.
Frederick Stock succeeds Theodore Thomas as music director of the Chicago Orchestra, serving
until his death in 1942.
The Norge Ski Club is founded by Chicago Norwegians who missed ski jumping and wanted to
introduce the unfamiliar sport to their new, very flat, homeland. They build a jump facility in what
is now Fox River Grove.

Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, a bitter denunciation of the Chicago meat packing industry.
Sponsored by Chicagoan Charles R. Crane, Alphonse Mucha, a highly acclaimed Czech painter,
lectures in the fall term at the Art Institute.
Marshall Field dies, leaving an estate of some $120 million.
St. Scholastica Academy, an all-girls Roman Catholic school, is built near the Benedictine Sisters
Convent in Rogers Park.
The Illinois State Highway Commission is organized.
In August, a five-mile race from the Lakeview water intake crib to shore was won by H.J. Handy,
who finished in just over an hour.
In October, the first tenants move into the new Marshall Apartments at the northwest corner of
Cedar Street and Lake Shore Drive. The nine-story building contains eight apartments of 4,000
square feet each. Rent is an unprecedented $4,200 per year. Even before the land on which it
is built is cleared, every apartment is spoken for.
Bosnians establish Chicago's first Muslim benevolent society.
Louis C. Tiffany and Co. collaborates with Edward Bennett of D.H. Burnham & Co. on the Men's
Grille at Marshall Field & Co.
The Chicago Cubs win 116 games this season and the National League pennant.
Camille Saint-Saens makes his only appearance with the Chicago Orchestra as soloist in his
Second Piano Concerto.
The Majestic Theatre Building (Shubert from 1945-2005, now LaSalle Bank Theatre) opens
and hosts Chicago’s first public pay phone.

Cubs win their first World Series. They win again in 1908.
Albert Abraham Michelson, a physicist at the University of Chicago asince 1892, is the first American
to win a Nobel Prize in science for inventing several instruments to measure light waves..
The Logan Medal of the Arts is an arts prize initiated in association with the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Medal is named for arts patron Frank Grangher Logan, founder of the brokerage house of
Edward Elgar conducts the Chicago Orchestra for the first time in his Enigma Variations, In the
South, and the first Pomp and Circumstance March.
Chicago records 1.3 inches of snow on May 3.
Tiffany Studios designs the arched and domed mosaic ceiling of the five-story atrium at Marshall
Field & Co.
When Garfield Park Conservatory opens, designed by Jens Jensen and Schmidt, Garden & Martin,
it is the nation’s largest garden under glass.
Samuel Insull creates Commonwealth Edison Co.
Chicago has 116 licensed theaters, 320 in 1908, 606 in 1913.
Chicago police start a movie censorship board. It is very active over the years. It ends in 1984.
The Green Mill, a jazz bar then known as Pop Morse's Roadhouse, becomes important as a Chicago
film setting for on and off-screen action.
Essanay Movie Studios, founded by George K. Spoor and Max Aronson (a.k.a. Broncho Billy, the
first movie cowboy) opens on West Argyle Street and quickly becomes a force in filmmaking,
with Gloria Swanson, Wallace Beery and Charlie Chaplin as its brightest stars. Essanay closes
its doors in 1917, as moviemaking shifts to California.
A set of 16 teddy bear cartoon postcards is available free with ten sides from Cracker Jack boxes
through Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein, the Chicago based manufacturer of Cracker Jack.
The Cliff Dweller’s Club is founded.
Steele-Wedeles, wholesale grocers, builds a large warehouse at the Dearborn just north
of the Chicago River.
On September 30, the Chicago Tribune runs John T. McCutcheon's, "Injun Summer" for the first time.
Inspired by a string of beautiful, warm autumn days and remembering his youth in Indiana,
McCutcheon conjures up the illustration that becomes one of the most popular features in Tribune
history. It was reprinted in 1910 and then annually from 1912 to 1992.

The Montgomery Ward Warehouse, a 717-foot long masterpiece of concrete construction, by
Richard E. Schmidt, is completed along the North Branch of the Chicago River.
It takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to go the 73 miles from Evanston to Milwaukee on the Chicago
and Milwaukee Electric Railway.
Crime syndicate leader Sam Giancana is born in Chicago, May 24.
Dr. Ben Reitman founds Hobo College to give homeless a place to gather and hear lectures on
philosophy and literature.
An 8.5 mile roller marathon is organized by a group of roller skating rink owners.
Chicago’s first public school exclusively for children with disabilities, Spalding High School, opens.
State Representative Albert Keeney introduces a bill to form a Forest Preserve District and Outer
Belt Park Commission of Illinois. Public support is high due to the continued efforts of Dwight
Perkins and the Saturday Afternoon Walking Club.
Selig Polyscope makes the first Wizard of Oz film.
Essanay Studio makes the first movie about Jesse James, The James Boys of Missouri.
Selig Polyscope make the first movie adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
It may be the first American horror film.
Essanay Studio makes the first biographical film about a U.S. President, The Life of Abraham Lincoln.
Chicago becomes the first city in the world to require all commercially sold milk to be pasteurized.
In Chicago, Victor Samuel Johnson establishes the Mantle Lamp Company of America, which began
marketing the Aladdin Lamp. The lamp quickly becomes the most popular kerosene mantle lamp in
America and, for a time, the world.
Alva J. Fisher invents the first electric-powered washing machine; named Thor, it is manufactured
by the Hurley Machine Co of Chicago.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. starts to sell mail-order homes.
Chicago ranks first among cities with the most sideshow freak in residence.
Chicago police log 68 220 arrests for the year, of which 40,875 are for drunkenness-related

Chicago architects Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett unveil their Plan of Chicago. It is radical
and many aspects are implemented.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, the quintessential Prairie School style building, is completed
in Hyde Park.
The ten-hour workday law is passed for women.
Chicago has 470 motion picture houses, one for every 5,350 people.
The Art Institute of Chicago board founds Friends of American Art, a women's auxiliary.
Willard Francis Motley is born July 14. He goes on to publish a column in the Chicago Defender
under the pen-name Bud Biliken and his first novel, Knock on Any Door, is published to wide
acclaim in 1947 Humphrey Bogart stars in the 1949 film of the same name.
Myrtle Walgreen invents the drugstore lunch counter when she starts serving hot meals in her
husband's first drug store, 4137 S. Cottage Grove Ave. (at E. Bowen Ave.), in Barret's Hotel.
Californian Glenn Curtis flies a quarter-mile in forty seconds at the Hawthorne Racetrack in Cicero.
On September 1, Edward Paul Brennan's city street numbering system goes into effect. Using the
intersection of State and Madison as 0, it gives 800 numbers per mile, odd-numbers to the east side
of north-south streets and to the south side of east-west streets, abolishes all duplicate names, and
gives broken-linked streets a single name,
Selig Polyscope produces the first "two-reeler" film, Damon and Pythias.
Essanay's Mr. Flip is credited with being the first "pie-in-the-face" slapstick comedy.
Tom Mix, first western superstar, makes his debut in Selig Polyscope's The Cowboy Millionaire.
Composer Sergei Rachmaninov makes the first of several guest appearances as conductor and
soloist with the Chicago Orchestra.
A. Stein & Co., famous for its Paris garters and later for the perma-lift "will never let you down"
brassiere, incorporates.
S. Rosen bakery creates the iconic Chciago poppy seed hot dog bun.

Fingerprints at the scene convict Thomas Jennings of murder after he had burglarized a house in
Englewood where Jennings killed the homeowner who confronted him. Jennings left fingerprints on
a freshly painted railing outside the house.
Walter Brookins is the first person to makes several passes over the city and lakefront in an airplane.
In April, Chicago has 5 straight days of measurable snow and also 9 days with highs in the 70s, one
day reaches 86.
Nancy Cox-McCormack moves to Chicago, and enrolls at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she
studies sculpture with Charles Mulligan and then has a studio in the Tree Studio Building.
Chicago Opera Ballet, the first ballet company in America, is organized.
The White Sox play their last game at the 39th Street Grounds, losing to Cleveland, 7-2, on June 27.
Comiskey Park officially opens, with the White Sox losing 2-0 to the St. Louis Browns before a crowd
estimated at 28,000. .
The Marx Brothers, at the time known as "The Four Nightingales," move to Chicago and live briefly
at 4649 S. Calumet Avenue and then for 12 years in their own house at 4512 W. Grand Avenue.
12,926 passenger automobiles and 58,000 horse-drawn vehicles are registered in Chicago.
65 Chinese women and 1,713 Chinese men call Chicago home.
On June 2, snowflakes are recorded in the Loop.
The 1910 census notes future Olympian Johnny Weissmuller, age 7 (Austro-Hungarian, Banat
Swabian by birth), lives at 1521 Cleveland, in the 22ndWard. He attends Lane Tech High School,
is a life guard at a Lake Michigan beach, and works as a elevator operator in the Illinois Athletic
Club (112 S. Michigan)
The 1910 census counts only 108 American Indians in the city.
On October 24, the Everleigh Club at 2131 S. Dearborn is closed, followed in 1912, by the closing
of the whole Levee district, officially ending organized prostitution in Chicago.
A group of North Shore residents purchase Ravinia Park in Highland Park and Found the Ravinia
Company under the leadership of Louis Eckstein, a philanthropist.
On December 22, 21 firefighters are among the 24 killed instantly in a blaze at Nelson Morris &
Co. plant in the Union Stockyards.

Chicago hosts the first ever International Aviation Meet in Grant Park. (America's first air competition
had been January 10, 1910 in Los Angeles, followed by meets in Boston and New York.) A.L. Walsh
set a world record when his Wright biplane carried one passenger aloft for more than two hours.
Chicago-area's first airfield, Cicero Field, opens July 4.
Edward E. Ayer, a Chicago businessman, presents the Newberry Library his superb collection
(some 49,000 volumes) of historical source material relating chiefly to the discover, exploration
and colonization of North America and to the native races of North America, the Hawaiian Islands,
and the Philippine Island.
On July 4 the temperature soars to 102°, a record for the day.
After its gala opening Ravinia becomes primarily a summer venue for classical music.
Emil Brach's Palace of Sweets produces some 50,000 pounds of caramels per week.
John C. Shaffer and John G. Shedd launch a bus company replacing horses used on the route to
the State Street Marshall Field store. It is incorporated as the Chicago Motor Transfer Company,
later becoming the Chicago Motor Coach Company owned by John Hertz. Eventually Chicago Motor
Coach becomes part of the Chicago Transit Authority.
Morton Salt starts adding an anti-caking agent, magnesium carbonate to its salt.
John Roeser Sr. opens Roeser's Bakery on North Avenue in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood.
By 2012, Roeser's is Chicago's oldest family-owned bakery maintaining its original location.
The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago is established.
Chicago produces more men’s suits than any other city in the nation.
Walter Burley Griffin is the first Chicago architect to be awarded a commission from a foreign country
when he wins the international competition for the plan of Canberra, Australia.
The state legislature passes the Forest Preserve District Act of 1911. It is declared unconstitutional.
Dwight Perkins and the Forest Preserve District Association remains active.
Chicago experiences its largest 24-hour temperature plunge. Around 4 p.m. on November 11 the
city’s temperature peaked at 74° - a record for the date. Just 20 hours later, on November 12, the
mercury had plunged to 13° - a drop of 61 degrees!

Harriet Monroe founds Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. It is the oldest monthly publication dedicated
to verse in the English-speaking world.
Bernard Carsten starts Progressive Windshield Co. and develops bullet resistant automobile
windshields which sell briskly to mobsters in the 1920s.
Chinatown is built by the On Leon tong.
Maxwell Street becomes an official open-air market about six blocks long with a ten-cents-per-day
fee for pushcarts. Until the late 1950s, the markets flourish.
Chlorination of Chicago’s water begins on the city’s southwest side.
Known today as the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association (since 1942), The Greater Central
Association is formed by business and residential community leaders to provide unity and vision
for the area.
The first film directed by an African-American is The Railroad Porter, independently produced by
Foster Photoplay Company.
Preston Bradley (1888-1983) rejects the fundamentalism of Chicago's Moody Bible Institute and all
Christian orthodoxy when he adopts what he calls "Christian Unitarianism" and nurtures it at the
Peoples Church, 941 W. Lawrence Ave. He eventually spreads his words by radio to millions of listeners.
Prizes are added to each box of Cracker Jack.
On June 5, the first hearings are held in the city's first "auto court."
Chicago hosts the first Clay Products Exposition sponsored by the American ceramics industry.
The Levee district is closed, officially ending organized prostitution in Chicago.
Ravinia Park in Highland Park is bankrolled by Louis Eckstein. Aida opens a series of lavishly cast
summer operas. Within two-years Ravinia earns a reputation as America’s summer opera capital,
presenting such vocal legends as Lucrezia Bori, Edward Johnson, Giovanni Martinelli, Claudia Muzio,
Rosa Raisa, and Tito Schipa. The series is brought down by the Depression in 1932.
Ellen and Maurice Browne open The Chicago Little Theatre in the Fine Arts Building with a
production of The Trojan Women.
Between 1908 and 1912, when it closed this branch of its mail order business, Sears, Roebuck & Co.
sells some 3,500 automobiles.
Gustav Goelitz's co. specializes in making candy corn in its North Chicago factory (In 2001, the
business is renamed Jelly Belly Candy Co.
Last seen November 23, Herman Schuenemann's "Christmas Ship" is declared lost on Lake Michigan
with 17 people, on board.
Born in 1846, Daniel Burnham, noted Chicago architect and acclaimed father of the skyscraper, dies.
Theodore Roosevelt gives his now famous Bull Moose speech in the Auditorium Building where he is
also nominated for President of the United States by the independent National Progressive Party.

October 31, Frederick Stock, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's second music director, conducts
the Orchestra in the American premier of Arnold Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra.
Arthur Andersen founds the Chicago-based public accounting firm.
William Foster founds Photoplay Company; the first black owned film company with offices on
the South State Street “Stroll.”
On the urging of the Juvenile Protection Association, the city council takes actions on July 30
restricting entertainers to perform on the stage, outlaws the wearing of tights and ends public
dancing. The Drake Hotel brings suit and in 1916, the Illinois Supreme Court declared the city
ordinance unconstitutional.
The Adventures of Kathlyn filmed by Selig Polyscope is the first American "cliffhanger" serial.
Known as the Post-Impressionist Exhibition, the controversial Armory Show of New York comes
to Chicago where Chicago lawyer, collector, art critic Arthur Jerome Eddy sees paintings by Wassily
Kandinsky whose work he subsequently acquires making his the first Kandisnky's in the U.S.
The Art Institute of Chicago becomes the first American art museum to present work by Picasso
when it hosts the Armory Show. Exhibited are seven paintings and drawings.
Alice B. Clement, police star 3428, becomes Chicago’s first female detective.
"Policewomen" are officially appointed to work with women and children.
Chicago bans The Miracle because the film depicts "murder, drunkenness and immorality, and is
insulting to religion."
In October, under the direction of superintendent Ella Flagg Young, Chicago Public Schools, launch
the country’s first sexual education classes. The program is shut down June 1914.
The Theodore Thomas Orchestra, know as such since 1905, is renamed the Chicago Symphony
Through the efforts of Dwight Perkins and the Forest Preserve District Association a third law is
enacted by the State Legislature for the preservation of forests and natural lands.
Chicago is on the western edge of the "White Hurricane," a massive storm that lashes the Great
Lakes on November 9-11
Chicago City Club hosts a contest for the best “modern suburb" as part of its Housing Exhibition.
There are 22,136 autos registered in Chicago.

Margaret Anderson founds The Little Review, a literary magazine.
Arthur Jerome Eddy’s book, Cubists and Post Impressionists is published.
By early August, Europe is at war.
A fence is erected at Diversey Beach (now Diversey Harbor) extending into Lake Michigan to
separate male and female swimmers.
Colosimo's, is opened by "Big Jim" Colosimo, founder of the Chicago "outfit," in the South Loop.
In the March issue of Poetry, Harriet Monroe publishes Carl Sandburg's poem Chicago and seven
other poems. The line, Hog Butcher for the World,...City of the Big Shoulders. quickly becomes iconic.
April 23 is opening day of Charles Weegham's Weegham Park (designed by brothers, Chicago architects,
Zachary Taylor Davis and Charles B. Davis). Weegham Field is built of fireproof steel and concrete.
Later, Weegham introduces concession stands and sells hot dogs and peanuts. It is known as Wrigley
Field since 1926. Later, Wrigley Field is the first baseball facility to have an organist, a center field
television camera, and to allow fans to keep balls hit into the stands.
The School Census of May 4, indicates that Chicago'sd total population of 2,437,526 consisted in part
of 876,288 foreign-born and another 754,570 with foreign-born paretns. The Germans constituted the
largest foreign group amounting to 399,977, 191,168 born in Germany and another 208,809 of German
parents. Polish 231,346; Russian 166,134; Irish 146,560; Swedish 118,533;; Italian 108,160; Bohemian
102,749; Austrian 58,483; Norwegian 47,496; English 45,714; Canadian 44,744; and 242 Mexicans.
Morgan Park, on the Far South Side, is annexed to Chicago after residents had gone to the polls eight
times (six times voting no and two times yes).
Chicago holds its first aldermanic election in which women can vote.
The American Licorice Company factory is built at Keystone and Belden Avenues.
Charles Pajeau, a tombstone manufacturer, invents Tinkertoys in Evanston.
"Sailor Jack" and his dog, "Bingo," become part of the logo of Cracker Jack.
In a series of ads in Good Housekeeping, Morton Salt unveils its slogan umbrella toting 8-year
old girl and its slogan-"when it rains, it pours."
Helen Keller is the featured guest at a gathering of the North End Club.
Frank Lloyd Wright designs the Midway Gardens.
A bond issue is approved to widen Michigan Avenue and build a new Michigan Avenue bridge across
the river.
On November 3, under the new law, spearheaded by Dwight Perkins, the residents of Cook County
vote in favor of establishing a forest preserve district whose boundaries would be analogous to the
boundaries of Cook County. The Forest Preserve District if officially and formally established.
Roosevelt Road is widened.

Barney Balaban (born in the Maxwell Street neighborhood) and Sam Katz open their first theater
on Central Park Avenue in Chicago, followed by the Riviera in 1918. Balaban & Katz would create
several other Chicago theaters before their style would become a national phenomenon.
Charlie Chaplin shoots His New Job (Gloria Swanson has a small role) at Chicago's Essanay Studios.
While working for Essanayfor about three weeks, Chaplin is paid $1,250 per week, and is later
rumored to have lived in the penthouse of the Brewster Building, 2800 N. Pine Grove.
The first successful newsreel is filmed and released by The Hearst-Selig News Pictorial.
The steamer "Eastland" capsizes in the Chicago River on July 24, 812 drown. In 2015 two film clip,
55 and 30 seconds long are found in a Dutch film archive by Jeff Nichols. 
Start of 5-year conversion of Lake Shore carriage drive through Lincoln Park to auto parkway.
Marshall Field’s opens their instantly famous Candy Kitchens.
The White Sox purchase the contract of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson from Cleveland for $31,500.
George Mundelein (age 43) is named Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.
The Chicago Daily Tribune uses the term "Jazz" to describe music. This may be a first.
Garfield Ridge and Clearing are annexed.
The Chicago Orchestra presents the world premiere of Frederick Stock's Festival Prologue,
composed to celebrate the Orchestra’s 25th anniversary.
John Daniel (Sandor) Hertz founds Yellow Cab Co. in Chicago.
Charles Weegham purchases the Cubs from the Taft family of Cincinnati. Renamed the Chicago Cubs,
they start to play at Weegham Field in 1916.
June 26, Speedway Park, a two-mile, banked wood-planked oval opens near Maywood on Roosevelt
Road with 80,000 people watch as Dario Resta shatters the speed record for a 500-mile race,
averaging 97.6 mph.
Katherine Stinson, 21 years old, known as the "Flying Schoolgirl" of Cicero is the fourth woman
in the US to earn a pilots license and is the first woman to perform a loop.
The Renaissance Society is founded at the University of Chicago to present groundbreaking
exhibitions that eventually including Fernand Leger and Alexander Calder (1936); Jacob Lawrence
(1944); Paul Klee (1945); Diego Rivera (1949); Hans Haacke (1978); Kara Walker (1997); Kerry
James Marshall (1998).
The American Medical Women's Association is founded in the Fine Arts Building on November 18.
Switzerland based Wander Co. opens its first US facilities to produce Ovaltine in Villa Park. George
Wander and his son, Albert developed Ovaltine between 1863 and 1904. A mix of whole milk, fresh
eggs, barley malt and cocoa, Ovaltine used in hospitals as a tasty way to give patients vitamins.

Carl Sandburg publishes his Chicago Poems.
The Chicago Cubs begin to play at Weegham Field, renamed Wrigley Field in 1926.
Supported on 20,000 Oregon timber pilings, Navy Pier opens to the public on June 25. At the time,
the largest structure of its kind in the world, the pier is 3,040 feet long and 292 feet wide with a
3,500 seat Concert Hall at its extreme east end.
Frederick Stock and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra make their first set of recordings for the
Columbia label in New York's Aeolian Hall.
Sherlock Holmes, an Essanay Studio film, is the first feature-length movie to feature Arthur Conan
Doyle's Sherlock Holmes character.
The Electric Club, located on North Dearborn at West Calhoun, is founded by Samuel Insull.
July 26-30 average 91.3º, a 3-day heat record.
Samuel Insull buys the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric Railway and reorganizes it into the Chicago,
North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad. In 1919, Loop to Milwaukee service is introduced.
January 25, 1963, at 10 p.m., locomotive 455 pulls into the yard to end run of Chicago, North Shore
and Milwaukee Railroad.
Elder William Roberts founds the Chicago sanctuary of the Church of God in Christ.
Lake Forest's Market Square opens. Later the National Trust of Historic Places deems it to be the
nations first planned suburban shopping center.
54,000 automobiles are registered in the city.
Rue Carpenter, Alice Roullier and others found the Arts Club of Chicago. Roullier heads the
exhibitions committee from 1918 to 1941 resulting in many artists firsts for Chicago.
There is immediate uproar when the Sower, a seven foot tall male nude statue sculpted by Albin
Polasek is placed on the front steps of the Art Institute of Chicago. It is quickly removed.
Otto Schnering (1891-1953) founds Curtiss Candy Co. By 1919 the company has its own
three-story factory that by 1921-3 turns out Baby Ruth, Butterfingers, and Polar Bar.
During World War I the Germania Club renames itself the Lincoln Club.
Due to anti-German sentiment, the Bismarck Hotel becomes Hotel Randolph, and Kaiserhof
the Atlantic Hotel.

Wallace Rice designs the flag of Chicago. It has two stars representing The Great Chicago Fire and
the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The Century of Progress star was added in 1933 and the
Fort Dearborn star in 1939. The two blue bars represent the two branches of the Chicago River. The
center bar of white is the West Side; the narrower white bars are the North and South Sides.
At least seven barber's homes or barbershops are bombed in a union dispute.
Named for his sister Mable, Maybelline cosmetics, locateda at 4750 N. Sheridan Rd, later 5900 N.
Ridge Ave., is started by Tom Lyle Williams.
On September 28, a grand jury indicts 166 leaders of the IWW for sabotage, conspiracy, and plots
akin to treason, of whom "Big Bill" Haywood and 99 others are found guilty on August 17, 1918.
The Dil Pickle Club is founded by John "Jack" Jones, a member of the Wobblies. The Club started
as several weekly forums at the Radical Book Shop on North Clark. Membership quickly grew and
Jones found an old barn on Tooker Alley off Dearborn St. that he named the Dil Pickel Club.
Albert Schorsch, a 29-year-old real estate dealer, sent carpenters and bricklayers to build 16 single-
family homes on the 6000 block of Grace Street in a style that became known as the bungalow.
In a Chicago Tribune essay, H.L. Mencken calls Chicago “the most civilized city in the world” and
stood as “the most thoroughly American of cities.”
November 23, Jascha Heifetz debuts with the Chicago Orchestra in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
The Slacker, independently produced by the Peter P. Jones Film Company, is the first feature film
by an African-American.
Saint Francesca Xavier Cabrini, M.S.C., born in Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Lombardy, Italy, known as
Mother Cabrini, dies in Chicago. December 22. She is Canonized July 7, 1936 by Pope Pius XII.
Mother Cabrini is the first citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

Illinois celebrates its centennial. Construction of statewide system of hard roads approved by voters.
One of the worst rail disasters in Chicago history occurs on June 22, when an empty train slams into
a circus train, killing between 61 and 86 people.
On February 12, two Chciago German IWW leaders John L. Metzen and Sezerion Oberdan were
tarred and feathered.
Andy's Deli serving Polish restaurant and wholesaler opens on North Milwaukee Avenue.
The Union Stockyards of Chicago are forced to grant an eight-hour day and forty-hour week, wages
increase and overtime is paid.
On May 3, Captain George Hull Porter, president of the Illinois Athletic Club, announces that all
German employees had been discharge.
On May 9, the membership of the Germania Club, founded 1865, decided to unanimously to rename
itself the "Chicago Lincoln Club.".
On May 16, the Chciago Athletic Association accounces that is has dismissed eighteen enemy aliens,
read, German employees.
On May 19, the Hotel Bismark renames itself Hotel Randolph.
June Wayne, born June Claire, March 7, becomes a famous printmaker in the 1950s, founding
Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. She drops out of high school at 15, holds various
jobs and made paintings of Depression Era scenes. She has her first exhibition in 1935 at a Chicago
art gallery when she is 17.
William Wrigley, Jr. hires William Veeck as the Cubs vice president and treasurer.
John Lloyd Wright, a son of the famous architect, invents Lincoln Logs in Oak Park.
The State Council of Defense of Illinois published an official recipe book of a "Patriotic Food Show,"
entitled What to Eat: How to Cook It. This cookbook is subtitled: "Win the War in the Kitchen," with a
forward by Woodrow WIlson.
Sergei Prokofiev presents two American premiers with the Chicago Orchestra, conducting his
Scythian Suite and performing as soloist in his First Piano Concerto.
Ernest Poole wins the first ever Pulitzer Prize awarded for fiction for the novel, His Family.
On September 4, a bomb explodes in the Federal Building, the police suspect the IWW, killing four
and injuring thirty.
September 5, 1918, the tradition of playing The Star-Spangled Banner at big league baseball games
is started in Comiskey Park, during the 7th inning of Game 1 of the Cubs-Red Sox World Series.
The Great Northern Chair Co. of Chicago is founded. It specializes in making inexpensive bentwood
chairs, modeled after those invented by Thonet in Vienna, Austria, for restaurants.
The patriotic touch underscored America's entry into World War I, which had shortened the season.
At 7.1", Chicago receives its largest ever Christmas Eve snowfall.

Frank J. Drehobl, a glass-cutter for Flanagan & Biedenweg, with his brother Joseph, founds Drehobl
Bros. Art Glass Co. The firm closes in 2006.
Known as the Black Sox Scandal, eight members of the Chicago White Sox are paid cash to lose
the World Series.
Illinois ratifies 18th Amendment, prohibiting liquor and also the 19th Amendment, granting woman's
Swift and Co. publish Jewel Menus with Tested Recipes Using Jewel Shortening.
Benjamin B. Green-Field and his sister Bessie Green-Field Warshawsky, open Bes-Ben Shop that
creates and sells witty and sophisticated ladies' hats.
Claude A. Barnett founds The Associated Negro Press (ANP).
Trumpeter-bandleader Joe “King” Oliver moves to Chicago, continuing a migration of New Orleans
musicians to the bigger, more prosperous city of the north.
The first air delivery of an electric appliance occurred on March 11, 1919, when a plane flew from
Grant Park to the home of Rufus C. Dawes in Evanston. It was a publicity stunt.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.'s first commercial airship, the 186 -foot-long Wingfoot, is hangared at
the White City amusement park, 63rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. Shortly before 5 p.m. on
July 21, while putting on a show and cruising over the city at some 1,200 feet, the Wingfoot caught
fire and plunged through the skylight of Illinois Trust & Savings Bank at Jackson Blvd. and LaSalle
Street. Eleven bank employees and two blimp passengers die, 26 others are injured. Within six hours,
the City Council adopts a resolution to limit flying over the city.
Grace Abbott becomes the first woman director of Illinois State Immigrant's Commission.
On July 27, Chicago's racial tensions come to a head when Eugene Wiliams and four other black
teenagers from the South Side swim at the Twenty-Fifth Street Beach and stray into the "white"
waters of the Twenty-Sixth Street Beach where a man throws rocks and hits Williams who drowns.
White police refuse to arrest the thrower. Blacks gather on the beach, rocks are thrown, shots are
fired at police who are hit and killed. They return fire. For five days gangs of whites clash in black
neighborhoods .
William Veeck becomes president of the Cubs.
Based on a story by Oscar Wilde, Adolph Bolm presents The Birthday of the Infanta for Chicago Grand
Opera. Ruth Page stars as the Infanta. Music is composed by John Alden Carpenter and sets are by
Robert Edmond Jones. 
The Communist Party of the United States is founded in Chicago on September 1
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is founded.

Chicago supports some fifty manufacturers of stained glass windows.
Prohibition becomes effective January 16, the day before the Volstead Act becomes law.
The African-American population of Chicago reaches 109,000 and will continue to grow to 250,000
by 1930. In 1920, the Washington Park area had 38,076 residents, 15 percent of them African-
American; in 1930, 92 percent of the Washington Park population of 44,016 is African-American.
A Black Metropolis, also known as Bronzeville, thrives around 35th Street and State St. where
the clubs were home to Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton.
About 1,200 Mexicans live in Chicago.
Woman's suffrage is established.
Groucho Marx marries his first wife, Ruth Johnson, in a Cook County judge's chambers.
The Michigan Avenue Bridge is the first double-decker bascule bridge to open.
George H. Williamson creates the Oh Henry! candy bar. He sells it for 10 cents, twice the cost
of most candy bars. Extensive coordinated advertisement makes it a runaway success.
William Veeck persuades baseball owners to name Chicago-based federal Judge Kenesaw Mountain
Landis as commissioner, establishing a system for overseeing the integrity of baseball that stands
90,000 passenger automobiles are registered in Chicago.
Frederick Stock conducts the American premiere of Gustav Holst’s The Planets.
Don Roth’s Blackhawk restaurant opens and introduces the Spinning Bowl salad.
Holloway Candy Co. is founded, developer of Milk Duds and Slo Pokes.
In the 1920s landfill expands Lincoln Park from Addison to Lawrence Ave. to 324 acres.
H. Teller Archibald opens the first Fannie May candy store at 11 N. LaSalle Street
(the chain closes and reopens in 2004). All Fanny May candies sell for 70 cent per pound.
Legend has it that the original: smoke-filled room” was in Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel to arrange
the nomination of Warren G. Harding as Republican candidate for president in 1920.

World Premier of Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges with the Chicago Opera Company.
U.S. premier of Mahler's Symphony No. 7 and world premier of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto
by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout the 1920s, landfill from Addison Street to Lawrence Avenue alters the lakefront and
enlarges Lincoln Park.
Supported by James H. Bowen, Calumet Harbor gets federal approval to become the city's deepwater
port. The Calumet River and Harbor already handle some 80% of the city's shipping tonnage and 73%
of incoming ships.
The Chicago Theatre opens October 26, the first downtown theater built for Balaban & Katz
on State Street. Opening day fare includes a feature film starring Norma Talmage, a stage show
starring Buster Keaton and a small concert with the theater’s Wurlitzer organ as star.
William Veeck leads baseball executives in banning clubhouse gambling.
On June 15, Bessie Coleman, a manicurist at the White Sox Barber Shop, becomes the first woman
of African-American descent to earn an international aviation license from the Federation Aeronautique
International and the first American of any gender or ethnicity to do so, but the first woman of African-
American descent to earn an aviation pilot's license.
The Tivoli Theater, with 4,000 seats the city’s largest movie house, opens.
The Morton Salt Girl turns up her right foot.
Ruth Blackwell joins Iannelli Studios.
Curtis Candy Co. sells the nations first 5-cent candy bar, "Baby Ruth," forcing others to follow.
Legendary Chicago ad man, Eddy S. Brandt writes the "Baby Ruth" slogan, "Everything you
want for a nickel."
Greek immigrant Peter George Poulos opens a candy shop on Western Ave. When his son marries
the love of his life, the store is renamed after his wife, Margie's.
Wrigley Field becomes the home of the Chicago Bears (until 1970).
Merriel Abbott’s newly formed dance school in downtown Chicago taught such soon-to-be stars
as Ginger Rogers and June Taylor (later the June Taylor Dancers).
George Trafton, as the center for the Decatur Staleys (Chicago Bears) 1920-21 and 1923-32, is
the first to snap the ball with one hand.
On October 23, the Chicago Tribune reports the "newest wrinkle in housing," the Garlow, a 4-5
room, 20-foot-by-25-foot brick house with garage built on the back of a standard city lot. A few
are built in the Chatham neighborhood on the 8100 block of South Calumet Avenue and the 8000
and 8100 block of S. King Drive.
Chicago experiences its least snowy winter with 9.8" recorded.
The city records an average temperature of 54.4º for the year, the warmest year recorded
since 1871. 

The Chicago Tribune announces a worldwide competition to design a new office tower that ushers
in the modern skyscraper.
The Association of Arts and Industry if founded in March.
Seymour H. Perskey is born to Russian-Jewish immigrants in an area west of Maxwell Street. Seymour
becomes a major Chicago philanthropist interested in Sullivan and Prairie School.
Grace Abbott of Chicago is the first woman unofficial delegate to the League of Nations.
Sybil Bauer, born in Chicago, attended Schurz High School, is the first woman to break a men's
440 =yard backstroke in a time of 6:24.8, about four seconds ahead of the old 6:28 record. In all
she broke 23 recods, mostly in backstroke.
Considered to be the first Modern church in the U.S., Chicago architect Francis Barry Byrne designs
St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Kimbark at 55th Street.
F. X. Zettler of Munich, Germany provides the windows.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, gives two lectures in Orchestra Hall.
Louis Armstrong moves to Chicago at the invitation of Joe “King” Oliver, and after a brief sojourn
to New York returns to Chicago to establish himself as the first great soloist in jazz.
The Karzas Brothers open the palatial Trianon at 63rd and Cottage Grove Ave. It opens with a major
social gala and continued a “no jazz” policy through the 1920s.
Andreas Pavley and Serge Oukrainsky create Pavley-Oukrainsky Ballet, Chicago's first independent
ballet company.
Chas. F. Lorenzen & Co., 521-523 W. Monroe St. claims to be “America’s Largest Tile Jobbers."
Ivar "Pop" Coulson creates the "Malted Milk Shake" at a Walgreen’s soda fountain.
Per year Chicago distributes some 446 million pounds of butter, more butter than any other city
in the nation.
The first jungle gym, invented by Sebastian Theodore Hinton, is placed on the playground of Horace
Mann School (now Crow Island School). It is removed in 2003, but saved.
Barney Rosset is born into a wealthy Chicago banking family, attends Francis W. Parker School
where he published a newspaper called Anti-Everything. In 1951 he purchases tiny Grove Press
in New York and soon publishes Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Che Guevera along with such
banned books as D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterly's Lover and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer.
On Arbor Day, Joy Morton, of salt fame, plants 17 trees, then another 130,000 in the spring, on his
estate in Lisle, creating the Morton Arboretum. Morton's father, Julius Sterling Morton had founded
Arbor Day in Nebraska, in 1872.
The Forest Preserve District encompasses 21,516 acres.

The Thompson submachine gun becomes a business tool for the first time in the hands of the South
Side Saltis- McErlane gang.
On March 1, the first issue of the Chicago Literary Times appears on newsstands.
On March 12, Chicago records its all-time low air pressure, 28.70".
The original grandstand of Weegham Field is divided into three sections to expand the ballpark.
Chicago has 9 butter making plants; 1,052 commercial bread baking facilities; 38 pickle & jelly
factories; 43 sausage plants; 32 commercial ice cream makers.
Robert Allerton buys Picasso's drawing Sketches of a Young Woman and a Man and gives it to the Art
Institute of Chicago. It is the Museum's first Picasso.
Lou Mitchell's restaurant opens along Jackson Boulevard, near Union Station.
Joe Colton of Chicago's College Inn Restaurant ignites a trend among home chefs with thie innovative
dishes like Chicken a la King and Lobster Newburg made with his signature chicken broth.
Franklin "Frank" Mars develops the "Milky Way," named for milk, not celestial bodies.
The Arts Club presents "Original Drawings by Pablo Picasso," an exhibition for which Picasso provides
instructions on how to mount and display his work.
Willa Cather is awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours.
Lucien Harper editor-in-chief of the Chicago Defender, starts the Bud Billiken children's page in
the Defender.
The Club Aluminum Utensil Co. is organized in Chicago. The marketing innovation on which Club
builds its business is a form of selling called the party plan.
Chicago is divided into 50 wards.
Laben Deardorff designs and starts manufacturing the Deardorff camera. When the U.S. Postal
Service issues a photography stamp in 1978, the Deardorff is on it. By the time L.F. Dearborn
& Sons Photographic Equipment went out of business in 1988, some 10,000 cameras had been made.
Highly prized by photographers and collectors, many are still in use.

The Johnson-Reed Act establishes immigration quotas.
There are approximately 20,000 illegal retail liquor outlets in Chicago.
New speed limits are set for Chicago: top of 20 miles per hour in sparsely settles areas, 10 or 13
in the city, less in turns.
March 29 the Tribune Co., a newspaper, goes on the air with WGN (World's Greatest Newspaper) radio.
South Water Street Market is moved to a new 70-acres site at Ashland and 31st Street to make
way for the world's first double decker roadway, Wacker Drive.
Alderman Stanley Adamkiewicz (31st Ward) gets the Chicago City Council, on April 26, to officially
change the name of Western Avenue to Woodrow Wilson Road. By June, the City Council had
repealed the name change.
Clarence Darrow successfully defends Richard A. Loeb and Nathan F. Leopold, who had attempted
to create a "perfect" crime in the murder 14-year old Bobby Franks.
Sybil Bauer represents the US at the 1924 Summer Olymbics in Paris where she wins the gold
medal in th wome's 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:23.2, four seconds ahead of the silver
meadalist. She dies of cancer in 1927, age 23.
An estimated 1 million Chicagoans line the streets when Chicago George Cardinal Mundelein returns
from Rome with his cardinal's hat.
The northern suburb of Area renames itself Mundelein and its University of St. Mary of the Lake is
renamed Mundelein University.
April 4 the Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago has a new airport, Municipal. 
The Ford Motor Company opens a plant on Torrence Ave. to assemble Model T’s.
The Federal Trade Commission abolishes the "Pittsburgh plus" steel pricing system that allows
steel to be produced in Gary, Indiana, for 20% less.
WGN Radio broadcasts the Indianapolis 500, for the first time allowing listeners to experience an event
as it happens.
Adolph Bolm helps establish and is first director of Chicago's Allied Arts. The company is considered
the first ballet theatre in the US. 
A record high of 105º is recorded on July 24.
Union painters receive $1.50 per hour, making them among the highest paid industrial workers
in Chicago.
The Illinois Brick Company, Chicago’s largest brick manufacturer, produces more than 700 million
common bricks for the building boom that is underway in the city.
The Chicago Bar Association’s “Christmas Spirits” revue starts.
Jules Stein starts booking bands out of the Chicago office of Music Corporation of America, which
becomes Universal Pictures.
Schutter-Johnson introduces "Bit-O-Honey," a taffy based candy bar.
Sears Roebuck goes on the air April 10 and 11 with WES (World’s Economy Store) to test farm
radio broadcasts. The station officially airs as WLS (World's Largest Store), AM 890. On April 19,
WLS radio airs the nation’s first National Barn Dance program (billed as the Saturday Night Barn
Dance), a four hour extravaganza of music, comedy and down-home entertainment. One year later,
Nashville's Grand O'le Opry starts. Sears sells WLS in 1928 to ABC (the Agricultural Broadcasting
Company) a holding company set up by Prairie Farmer Magazine.
Harry Shapiro Jr. is born in Chicago. As the painter Harry Jackson he is one of the most promising
New York Expressionists. As a sculptor of American Western imagery he becomes an acclaimed
artist in the tradition of Frederick Remington and Charles Russell. His bronze statue of his friend
John Wayne is internationally acclaimed.
In 1920s Walgreens designs the open view pharmacy, still in use today.
Johnny Weissmuller wins the 100-meters and 400-meters freestyle and the 4x200 meters relay in
the 1924 Summer Olympics. In all, Johnny Weissmuller wins 5 Olympic gold metals and one bronzed
in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics.
Morton Salt Company of Chicago begins distribution of iodized salt nationally.
Zenith Radio Corporation (incorporated in Chicago, 1923) introduces the "Companion," possibly the
first modern portable radio.
The first event on the official opening day, October 9, of Municipal Grant Stadium (named Soldier
Field in 1925), is a track meet featuring 1,000 Chicago Policemen, reportedly drew a crowd of 90,000.
Dion O'Banion (1892-1924), professional singer, pickpocket, safe-cracker, and gang leader was
assassinated in his flower shop at 726 N. State by Mike Genna with the indifference of Al Capone
and Johnny Torrio.
On November 22, the first football game played in the Municipal Grant Stadium is Notre Dame over
Harry Houdini gives a lecture demonstration entitled “Can the Dead Speak to the Living?”
While living at 1710 N. Crilly Court, Henry Gerber co-founds the Chicago Society for Human Rights,
the country’s first gay-rights organization. Publishing two issues of its newsletter, Friendship and
Freedom, it was short lived.
Northerly Island is considered for an airport.

MacLean-Fogg starts producing the lock nut. It prevents the loosening of bolted joints.
WGN Radio is granted exclusive rights to broadcast the Scopes evolution trial in Dayton, TN.,
the first trial ever on radio, and Judge John T. Raulston alters the layout of the courtroom to allow
the microphone to pick up all remarks. The Chicago Tribune reports that it costs $1,000.00 per
day to maintain the long distance wires connecting the Tennessee courthouse and WGN in Chicago.
The Bethesda Baptist Church at 53rd and South Michigan is totally destroyed by bombing.
Over 75,000 people attend Chicago's first rodeo, held in Grant Park stadium.
WGN Radio forms its own Studio Symphony Orchestra. It is disbanded in 1956.
WMAQ-AM broadcasts the complete Chicago Cubs season hosted by sportswriter-turned sportscaster
Hal Totten.
On April 25, the first Woman's World Fair closes a successful eight-day run at the Furniture Mart on
North Lake Shore Drive. Attracting more than 200,000 visitors, the Fair highlights women's
achievements in art, commerce and industry, with more than 100 exhibitions of women in business
and earned a net income of $50,000. The Fair was organized by Helen Bennett, manager of the
A new South Water Market, keeping the old name, is built on the Near West Side, sdjacent to the
Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy and Chicago and North Western rail lines, between Racine and
Morgan and 14th and 16th streets.
Collegiate Bureau of Occupations and author of "Women at Work."
Drew Ali arrives in Chicago and officially registering Temple No.9, the Moorish Science Temple. By
the end of the 1920s, there are 35,000 members in 17 temples across the Midwest and upper South.
Leonardo Alanis, aka "Leo Najo," a dark complexioned Mexican shortstop, signs with the Chicago
White Sox. Leo Najo may be the first Mexican and person of color ever to play in the big leagues.
Chicago has 14,956 hospital beds.
Roy Scherer Jr., better known as screen star Rock Hudson, is born in Winnetka.
Chicago has 300,000 passenger vehicles registered.
18,000 horse- drawn vehicles are registered in Chicago.
Arthur F. Woltersdorf, born in Chicago to a Prussian family, attends lectures at the Technical
University of Berlin and translates two articles by Peter Behrens for publication in the American
Architect, August and December, 1925.
Dominick DiMatteo, a Sicilian immigrant, opens his first store at 3832 W. Ohio and Avers Ave.
The American Licorice Co. creates a licorice boot for a starving Charlie Chaplin to eat in the
movie "The Gold Rush."
Scala Packing produces packs and distributes roasted beef, known everywhere around Chicago
today as Italian Beef sandwiches.
Edna Ferber receives a Pulitzer Prize for novel, So Big, about Dutch immigrants in Chicago and
suburban South Holland.
Archibald John Motley, Jr. wins the $200. Mr and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Art Institute Prize. for
"A Mulatress" and the Joseph N. Eisendrath Prize for "Syncopation" from the Art Institute of Chicago.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under director Frederick Stock, makes its first electrical
recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company in their Chicago studios.
Maurice Needham starts his namesake ad agency in Chicago.

Downtown temperatures were the city’s official readings until Jan.1, when the official site switched
to Rosenwald Hall, University of Chicago.
Designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw, the Goodman Theater opens. It quickly becomes one of the
most important theater venues in the United States.
Lubliner and Trinz open the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee. Seating over 2,500, it is built by
Fridstein and Company in a melange of styles, freely combing Classical and Italian Renaissance
Earl "Little Hymie" Weiss is gunned down on the steps of Holy Name Cathedral.
George Cardinal Mundelein hosts the First Eucharistic Congress of the Roman Catholic Church in the
United States. It is held at Soldiers Field. A million pilprims attend.
Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner is born in Chicago, April 9.
Edwin Clarke designs Spanish styled Plaza del Lago in Wilmette. It is the nation's second mall.
Coffee Tycoon Fred McLaughlin is granted the Blackhawk’s franchise by the National Hockey
league for $12,000.
Sean le Noble from Le Noble and Company tries to manufacture perfectly round chocolate-covered
caramel candy, but  fails, calling them "duds." Milton J. Holloway takes over the production calling
them "Milk Duds."
The Lincoln Monument is added to Grant Park.
Marie and Charles Vitner found C.J. Vitner. The company is formed as a collection of retail outlets
consisting of five storefront shops selling candy, magazines, tobacco products and ice cream on
the South Side of Chicago. In the course of the 1930s Vitner developed bar snack foods, popcorn
and potato chips, and develops into a snack food distributor. Vitner's is sold to California based
Snak King Corp. in 2012.
Chicago artist Frederic Clay Bartlett donates Picasso's "The Old Guitarist" (1903-04) to the Art Institute.
It is very likely the first Picasso painting in an American museum and the first on permanent display.
Eugene V. Debs, ran for president five times as Socialis, dies in an Elmhurst sanitorium. He is 70.
Tiffany Studios designs the peacock entry doors for the C.D. Peacock jewelry store in the Palmer
Arnold Shircliffe, a caterer wrote the Edgewater Beach Hotel Salad Book. It became very popular.
Zenith introduces the Model 27, the first mass-produced home radio using AC household current. .
Maurine Dallas Watkins writes the play Chicago.
By the mid-1920s most of Chicago's neighborhood streets are paved with brick, cement, or asphalt
and the bustle of automobiles begins its reign. In the 1920s, 120 miles of arterial streets are widened
to accommonade cars.

Chicago has 350 movie and vaudeville houses.
The McVicker’s Theatre, 25 W. Madison (demolished in 1984), introduces Chicago to movies with
The United Biscuit Company is organized out of a consolidation of Midwestern bakeries.
Louis Armstrong temporarily breaks racial barriers by leading a band in the Loop's Blackhawk
Restaurant. The Blackhawk Restaurant on Wabash Avenue becomes one of the first restaurants
in the country to offer a big band for dancing at dinner.
Zenith introduces push-button radio tuning.
Zenith first uses its famous slogan, "The Quality Goes In Before The Name Goes On."
A police drug raid nets some 2,000 ounces of morphine and cocaine, and more than 300 pounds
of smoking opium, all of the finest grade.
Alfredo Capitanini opens the Italian Village Restaurant.
Charles Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic in 33 hours.
The Society of Typographic Arts (STA) is founded.
Mount Greenwood, on the far southwest side, is annexed.
On March 19, WLS radio becomes the first radio station in the U.S. to broadcast Beethoven's entire
9th Symphony (about 77 minutes).
Robert Louis "Bob" Foss is born June 23. He eventually wins eight Tony Awards for choreography.
While training off North Avenue Beach on a stormy day in July, Olympian swimmer Johnny
Weissmuller with his brother Peter encounter a sudden storm that swamps the nearby pleasure
boat "Favorite." The Weissmuller brothers rescue 11 people. The disaster kills 26 of the 71 people
Chicago's iconic Buckingham Fountain is inaugurated to Grant Park.
For lack of funds, Chicago's Allied Arts ceases.
The National Restaurant Association moves its headquarters from Kansas City to Chicago and with it,
its annual Restaurant Association show.
Adolph Bolm becomes Ballet director of Chicago Opera.
The Illinois Academy of Fine Arts is established in Chicago. Its purpose is "to promote the production
and sale of the works of living artists of Illinois and for the encouragement of all the fine arts." J.F.
Cornelius, representing the Uptown Civic Music Association, is its first president.
Richard Wright, later to write Native Son, arrives in Chicago. He is 19.
The world heavyweight boxing championship match between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney,
forever known as "The Long Count" is staged at Soldier Field, on September 23, before a crowd
of 104,000. Dempsey knocks Tunney down but goes to the wrong corner, losing five seconds
before the referee begins counting; Tunney rises at the count of 9 and goes on to defeat Dempsey.
"Make the World a Better Place to Die In," is the slogan of the tenth annual convention of the
National Selected Morticians held in Chicago, October 4.
Myra Hess makes her Orchestra Hall debut on November 25.

Three graduates of the Architecture School of Armour Institute, Loebl, Schlossman and Demuth,
design Temple Sholom, 3480 N. Lake Shore Drive. Over the years an important collection of
stained glass windows has been installed, including designs by Karel Appel and Leon Golub.
Amos 'n' Andy debuts, March 19, on Chicago's WMAQ radio.
The Chicago architecture firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White double-deck the original Wrigley
Field grandsatnds down the third-base and first-base lines, add projecting ticket booths topped with
clay tile roofs at ground level outside the park and make other decorative changes .
In his only Chicago Symphony Orchestra appearance, Maurice Ravel conducts concerts including
his Sheherazade, Daphnis and Chloe, and La valse.
Journalists Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur write The Front Page.
In May, Chicago Mayor William "Big Bill" Thompson closes public schools, 10 to 20 each day, so
kids could attend Riverview for free, despite protests from outraged teachers and parent groups.
Leslie Townes Hope, decides to go solo as Bob Hope, moves to Chicago. He finally becomes master
of ceremonies at the Stratford Theater.
The Regal Theater opens at 47th and South Parkway (later King Drive). It's Chicago's equivalent
to New York's Apollo Theatre. Next to the Regal the Savoy Ballroom had opened in 1926. The
opening of these two venues moves the heart of the black entertainment district from 31st-35th
and State to 47th.
Richard Hess, incorporates Ace Stores with his store at 5830 N. Clark Street as the flagship. By
1949 there are 133 Ace Hardware stores in seven states.
Television arrives in Chicago when WCFL (W Chicago Federation of Labor)uses its visual station,
W9XAA to broadcast the head and shoulders of E.N. Nichols.
Ella Van Hueson, Miss Chicago, wins the Third International Pageant of Pulchritude and Ninth
Annual Bathing Girl Revue, June 1928 in Galveston, Texas.
Johnny Weissmuller wins 2 gold medals in the Amsterdam Olympics.
Chicago’s Swift & Co. launches Peter Pan brand of peanut butter using a process to keep the oil
from separating developed by Joseph Rosenfield (Rosenfield starts his own brand, Skippy, in 1933).
Heath Confectionery introduces “English Toffee.”
Prophet Noble Drew Ali founds The Moorish Science Temple of America in Chicago.

The Merchandise Mart opens. At 97 acres of floor-space it's the world's largest building.
NBC wires its studio in the Merchandise Mart for television.
Chicago Stadium opens. With its steel trusses that span 266 feet without support, is the largest
indoor arena on Earth.
On February 24, the Chicago Tribune reports Municipal Airport handled more than 30,000
passengers and was home to 10 airlines that handled more than 1.6 million pounds of airmail. 
Milton Berle performs on a closed-circuit telecast in Chicago for the American Television Corp.
On St. Valentine's Day, seven members of Bugs Moran's North Side gang are killed in a garage at
2122 North Clark Street.
Drew Ali, founder of the Moorish Science Temple, dies in his home July 20, age 43.
Comet Model Airplane & Supply Company is founded by two Crane Technical High School students,
Samuel A. Goldenberg and Bill Biblichkow, with $5.00 in capital.
Frank Mars opens a factory on the Far West Side to help meet demand for "Milky Way."
Obligatory school year increases from six to eight months in Illinois.
The 3,500 seat, Art Deco style Civic Opera House, built by Samuel Insull, becomes the new home
of the Chicago Civic Opera, moving there from the Auditorium Building. A private club, The Tower
Club, formerly the Electric Club, moves to the 39th floor.
Howell Company of Geneva, Illinois produces the first tubular furniture in the US.
Thirty-one years old Robert Maynard Hutchins, dean of the Yale University Law School, becomes
the president of the University of Chicago.
In the 1920s Chicago claims to have over 1,000 street gangs.
Started in 1927, the straightening of the Chicago River is completed.

The pin-ball machine began as the Whoopee Game and sold briskly under the name Ballyhoo
which in turn gave its name to the Bally Manufacturing Co.
Brothers, Paul V. and Joseph E. Galvin begin to produce the first practical and affordable auto
radio and decide on the brand name, "Motorola."
In his quest to create a two-for-a-nickel snack, James Dewar comes up with the recipe for Twinkies,
first produced on April 6 at Continental Baking Co., River Forest.
Television station W9XAO airs its first drama, “The Makers of Dreams,” starring Irene Walker.
Mars launches a peanut, caramel, and nougat bar named "Snickers."
Designed by Holabird and Root, the Chicago Board of Trade Building opens on June 9, as the
tallest building in Chicago, 609 feet. A 31-foot, six-ton aluminum statue of "Ceres," the Roman
goddess of grain and harvest, designed by Chicago sculptor John Storrs, tops it.
The name "Bronzeville" is first used by James J. Gentry, a local theater editor for the Chicago Bee.
Tsianina Blackstone, a Cherokee Creek operatic mezzo-soprano and Anna Fitzgerald, a Chippewa,
found First Daughters of America, an American Indian women organization.
Guy Day, co-founder of the Los Angeles based advertising agency, Chiat/Day, is born July 30,
in Chicago.
Antoinette and Francois, cookbook authors and teachers, open the Antoinette Pope School of
Fancy Cookery.
On October 13, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiers Concert Music for piano, two harps,
and brass by acclaimed German composer Paul Hindemith; the piece had been commissioned
by Chicago-born art patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864-1953).
Katherine Dunham founds Ballet Negre, one of the first African-American ballet companies in US.
Walgreens creates store-brand items.
Former School of the Art Institute student, Grant Wood, paints American Gothic.
Alexander’s Steak House opens in South Shore (Nicky Hilton flew buckets of their salad dressing
to the Anaheim Hilton when he married Elizabeth Taylor).
About 20,000 Mexicans live in Chicago
The 1930 census counts 246 American Indians in the city.
The Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium open.
Designed by Holabird & Root, the Chicago Board of Trade Building opens.
WGN Radio airs, "Clara, Lu, and Em" on June 16. The show, a sorority sketch, is created by three
friends, Louise Starkey (Clara), Isobel Carothers (Lu), and Helen King (Em), all from Northwestern
University. Colgate-Palmolive's "Super Suds" becomes the sponsor. A daytime show at first, it moved
to evenings on February 15, 1932.
Irna Phillips creates the first American soap opera, ”Painted Dreams.” It premiers on WGN on
October 20.It's the story of Mother Moynihan and her unmarried daughter.
Jake Lingle, a Chicago Tribune reporter who had been a middleman for those seeking favors from
Al Capone and the city's police commissioner, is killed at the Illinois Central train station at Randolph
The comic strip Little Orphan Annie, debuts as a 15-minute Radio show on WGN. It goes national
on NBC's Blue Network April 6, 1931.
The Adler Planetarium opens. Modeled after the planetarium in Jena, Germany, it’s the first
planetarium in the U.S.
Adlai Stevenson III is born, in Chicago, October 10. He is a U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1970-81.
US Highway 45 opens to traffic. It is the main thoroughfare between Chicago and Paducah, KY.
That changes with the opening of Interstate 57 in 1970.
There are some 402,916 autos registered in Chicago.

Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Suffering
from tertiary syphilis, he is paroled in 1939 and dies of pneumonia in Florida in 1947, age 48.
The Chicago Historical Society moves into a 105,219 square foot Georgian Revival building
designed by Graham Anderson Probst & White along Clark Street at North Avenue.
Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite is premiered by Paul Whiteman Orchestra at the Studebaker
To help lift the spirits of Chicagoans during what would become the Great Depression, Chicago Mayor,
Anton Cermak commissions a band shell for free concerts. It is named for James C. Petrillo, president
of the Chicago Federation of Musicians from 1922-1962 and president of the American Federation of
Musicians from 1940 to 1958 and a commissioner of the Chicago Park District from 1934-1945. The
free concerts are an immediate success.
Jane Addams wins Nobel Peace Prize.
Katherine Dunham's "Ballet Negre" gives its debut performance at the annual Beaux Arts Ball. One of
the numbers on the program, Negro Rhapsody is well received. No engagements follow, and the group
The Chicago Daily News sells WMAQ to NBC.
A quarter of the nation's airmail is carried annually by airlines passing through Municipal Airport.
Earl Carroll’s racy “Sketch Book” revue at the Chicago Grand Opera is raided by police in the middle
of “Songs of the Moonbeams.” Thirty-one people, including actor William Demarest, are hauled off
on obscenity charges. By the time a judge acquitts the group, the notoriety assured a full-house-
every-night run.
Mitzi Gaynor (Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber) is born in Chicago, September 4. Her film
credits include Golden Girl, There is no Business Like Show Business, Les Girls, and in 1958, South
Ms. Frances Harrington, a practicing interior designer, gives a series of lectures to interior design
professionals that she then expands by founding the Harrington Institute of Interior Design. When
she retires in 1959, her former student Robert Marks assumes leadership of the school. He adds
many classes and creates a professional advisory board.
On Saturday nights, W9XAO airs the picture while WIBO radio broadcasts the sound of football games.
Chicago has 7,500 horse-drawn milk wagons.

Industrial Chicago is hard-hit by the Depression. Some 750,000 people are unemployed out of a
population of 3,236,913.
Almost 400,000 automobiles are registered in Chicago.
Bob Walters and Herb Eldean open Twin Anchors. Both are members of the Chicago Yacht Club.
In his nomination acceptance speech for President by the Democratic National Convention in
Chicago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt states: " I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the
American people."
Judge Henry Horner (1878-1940) is elected the first Jewish Governor of Illinois.
At 28.6°, March is the coldest month on average ever recorded in Chicago.
Babe Ruth’s alleged “Called Shot” occurs during the World Series in Wrigley Field.
African-American composer Florence Price completes her Symphony in E Minor.
In August, the city's first outdoor Art Fair is held in Grant Park.
Howard Hawks' “Scarface: The Shame of a Nation,” with contributions by ex-Chicago
newspaperman Ben Hecht, etches the link between Chicago and mobster in the movies.
Mars launches the "3 Musketeers" bar
African-American Marshall "Major" Taylor, former bicycle world speed record holder, dies
in Chicago, forgotten. He is burried in a paupers grave at the Mount Glenwood Cemetery.
Chicago artist John Flanagan (1865-1952) designs the front and backsides of the U.S. 25 cents coin.
Documentary Film Group, Doc Films, is founded at the University of Chicago.
The Chicago Historical Society opens its eight dioramas exhibiting the history of Chicago.
Arnold William Haarlow, Jr. (1913-2003), is one of the first basketball players anywhere to shoot
the ball with one hand. In the last basketball game of the season against Morgan Park High School,
he took a one-handed set shot to become the first Chicagoan to score more than 50 points in a game.
The Reverend James Cleveland is born in Chicago. In 1968, he founds the Gospel Music Workshop
Convention becoming a dominant force in gospel music. Cleveland's recordings of Peace Be Still, Lord
Remember Me, Father, I Stretch My Hands to Thee, and The Love of God are gospel standards.

Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition opens with light from the star Arcturus. The Exhibition
draws 48.8 millions of visitors before it closes November1, 1934. Its lakefront composition is
inspired by the Burnham Plan. The all-glass "House of Tomorrow" by Chicago architects
Keck & Keck draws much attention. The world's first aerial tramway offers rides at the Exposition
and Kraft’s "Miracle Whip" is introduced as the “new food triumph”. Kraft "Caramels" are also introduced.
An audience of 125,000 people see the play "Romance of the People," performed in Soldier Field.
George W. Bay opens a bakery in the Loop to sell his muffins, Bays English Muffins, with orange marmalade.
At 8:30pm on December 6, Illinois officially repeals the National Prohibition Act (aka Volstead Act.
The "Cape Cod Room" in the Drake opens with liquor license number 2.
On June 15, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Frederick Stock, premiers Froence
Price's Symphonie in E Minor. It's the first composition by an African-American woman to be played
by a major orchestra.
The "Empire Room" supper club opens in the Palmer House.
After the repeal of the 18th Amendment, 3.2 percent draft beer is introduced at Wrigley Field. Prima is
the first brand sold, followed by Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Initiated by a major gift from Julius Rosenwald, The Museum of Science and Industry opens, June 19,
to the public in the former World's Columbian Exposition Palace of Fine Arts Palace of Fine Arts in
Jackson Park.
The Illinois General Assembly enacts general sales tax of 2 per cent.
Designed by Carl Brioschi (1879-1941) and dedicated on Italian Day, Chicago's Italians donate a
Monument to Christopher Columbus at A Century of Progress, Chicago's second World's Fair. It now
stands in Grant Park, corner of South Columbus Drive and Roosevelt Road.
Barbara Schuenemann, affectionately known as the "Christmas Tree Lady," dies.
Katherine Dunham opens her first dance school, the Negro Dance Group.
The evening of June 15, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents an evening of “Negro Music and
Musicians,” featuring Roland Hayes.
The American Legion veteran's organization celebrates the Fourth of July with fireworks. It becomes
a Chicago tradition. The fireworks are so popular that in 1935 they are moved from the lakefront to
Soldier Field.
On July 6, billed as “The Game of the Century,” Comiskey Park hosts the first All-Star Baseball Game.
Kim Novak is born. She and her sister, Arlene, grow up at 1910 S. Springfield, and after high school
move to 2045 N. Sayre Avenue.
Bruna Cani opens Bruna's Restaurant on South Oakley Avenue.
Duke Ellington’s Band performs in the first Bud Billiken Parade.
With Pilgrim Baptist as his base, Thomas A. Dorsey, soon to be known as the “Father of Gospel”,
founds the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses.
The I&M Canal is officially closed and filled in within city limits.
Sally Rand is arrested for public indecency at the Chicago Theatre four times in one day.
Ruth Page choreographs La Guiablesse, based on a Martinique legend about an evil spirit, and
features Ruth Page, Katherine Dunham, Talley Beatty, and an all-black supporting cast.
Quincy Jones, one of the most prolific and successful figures in contemporary pop, is born in Chicago.
Rick Cluchey, the Beckett interpreter and playwright is born December 5.

Bank robber John Dillinger is killed outside the Biograph Theater after a show of Manhattan
African-American composer William Dawson completes his Negro Folk Symphony.
Arnold Schoenberg makes his only appearance at Orchestra Hall conducting his Transfigured Night.
On May 10, a relative humidity of 13% is recorded, the lowest to date in Chicago.
Katherine Dunham revives her company, Ballet Negre, with students from the school, the Negro Dance
Group. They appear at the Century of Progress, Chicago's World's Fair.
The Roller Derby makes its world debut at the Chicago Coliseum. The sport is invented by Leo Zeltzer,
a sports promoter for the Chicago Coliseum.
Jane Byrne, future mayor of Chicago, is born in Chicago, May 24.
On May 31, the earliest over 100º, actually 102º is recorded in Chicago, Midway Airport.
The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.
Joe Louis makes his professional boxing debut on July 4, against Jack Kracken in the Bacon Casino on
the cities south side. Louis earns $59 for knocking out Kracken. Louis goes on to win all 12 of his
professional fights this year.
A July 18-25, heat wave reaches an unofficially temperature of 109º on July 23, at Midway Airport.
Officially Chicago’s highest observed temperature is 105º as measured at the University of Chicago
on July 24.
Raymond Loewy designs the Coldspot Super Six refrigerator for Sears Roebuck & Co.
Elijah Muhammed moves the Nation of Islam headquarters to the South Side.
The first College All-Star Game, brainchild of Tribune sports editor Arch Ward, beginning a
football-season-opening tradition between the previous year’s NFL champion and a college all-star
team that will last until 1976, is held at Soldier Field.
Chicago Mayor Edward Kelly orders that scenes showing mob violence be stricken from movies and
newsreels because it is "not educational' and has a "bad effect on immature minds."
The first Billy Goat Tavern opens. It's across the Chicago Stadium, now United Center.
The Japanese Garden is opened on the Wooded Island around the 1893 replica of the Ho-o-den
Pavilion as an attraction to visitors attending the Century of Progress World's Fair. The Ho-o-den
Pavilion is destroyed by fire in 1944. The garden survives today, having been renovated in 1981,
and in 1992 officially renamed Osaka Garden to honor Chicago's Sister City.
Walter "Lottie" Zagorski, a transvestite, opens Lotties Pub in Bucktown, with a gambling operation
in the basement that featured horse racing, poker, and strippers.
The city's several park agencies are consolidated to form the Chicago Park District.
Fashion Instruction begins at the School of the Art Institute under the direction of Cornelia Stecki,
an in-house designer for Marshall Field’s whose costumes in a parade celebrating the 1933 Century
of Progress World’s Fair caught the eye of the school’s dean.
On 27 December police close the "Star and Garter" (815 W. Madison), an old burlesque house famous
for nude girlie shows. The same day police also close "1230" (1230 N. Clark)  and "The Rosal" (1251 N.
Clark), both women's cross-dressing clubs.

Katherine Kuh opens the only gallery in Chicago (540 N. Michigan) specializing in works by
Modern artists.
Some local artists form an association called “Neoterics” to designate what is fresh and new
in art, and to facilitate exhibitions.
The first Heisman Trophy is won by Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago.
On July 1, The Chicago Symphony under Eric De Lamarter opens a new municipally sponsored
series of summer orchestra concerts at a band shell in Grant Park. The free lake front series
eventually becomes the Grant Park Music Festival.
The Blackhawk Restaurant sponsors a Monday night music quiz that airs at midnicht on WGN.
The Polish Museum of America is established as the "Museum and Archives of the Polish Roman
Catholic Union in America." Miecislaus Haiman is its first curator, archivist and chief librarian.
Chicago has a total of 358 motion-picture theaters; the largest, the Uptown, seats 4,307.
Nearly 20,000 people show up at the Chicago Coliseum to witness the world premiere of the
Transcontinental Roller Derby.
Sol and Sam Polk open Central Appliance and Furniture on the West Side.
Finnie’s Ball, an annual black drag ball begins in a basement bar near 38th and Michigan. It
continues into the 1960s at the Chicago Coliseum (1653 S. Wabash).
Jacques Restaurant opens (closes 1983) and immediately becomes the place for ladies who lunch.
In its seventh week at the Selwyn Theater, the play "Tobacco Road" is shut down by Mayor Edward
Kelly for its "obscenity" and "filth." He and his wife saw it and didn't like it. The courts upheld his
In Chicago, the Illinois chapter of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration is
set up in August, headed by Increase Robinson. The Painting Division is under the direction of
Norman MacLeish; the Sculpture Division is headed by Edouard Chassing and assisted by Peterpaul
Ott. A design workshop is headed by John Walley. 
Leo Burnett opens his namesake ad agency.
Paul J. King starts the city’s first black-owned produce firm.
Keyboardist Ramsey Lewis is born in Chicago. He studies classic piano at the Chicago College of
Music and De Paul University before he has great commercial success with pop-jazz instrumentals.
Richard Hunt is born September 12. He becomes a world renowned sculptor.
The School of the Art Institute holds its first fashion show.

The nation's first blood bank is opened in Cook County Hospital.
Solo Cup Company begins producing disposable paper cups, containers and straws.
The city bans cigarette vending machines
On January 14, the Chciago Daily News reports that on a single day two eminent art
hsitorians from Germany, Ludwig Bachhofer and Ulrich Middledorf had joined the art
department of the Univeristy of Chciago.
On January 20, John J. Glessner died.
In February, when CSO conductor Frederick Stock returned from vacation, he directed the
orchestra in a performance of the tone poem "Death and Transfiguration" by Richard Strauss
in memory of John J. Glessner.
Formed as the Ravinia Festival Association, Ravinia becomes the summer residence of the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The McCook Outlaws, a motorcycle club, is organized.
The Society for Sanity in Art is founded by Josephine Hancock Logan. Its members strongly
oppose all forms of modern art, including cubism, surrealism, and abstract expressonism. The
Society gives out awards to artists who meet its standards of "sanity"; these awards include the
Logan Medal of the Arts.
Richard Wright founds the South Side Writers Group.
From July 6-17, Chicago experiences a heat wave of 12 straight days above 90°, 8 of them
above 100°.
Midway Airport records 11 days above 100°.
The Chicago Board of Trade launches soybean contracts.
Robert Johnson writes Sweet Home Chicago. It is recorded in San Antonio, TX, November 23.
Walter E. Olson opens his 22-acre theme park at Pulaski and Diversey to entertain children of
parents who were at Olson Rug and Carpet Co.
Philip Maher designed Illinois Automobile Club, 2400 S. Michigan, opens.
Shaped like a hotdog, Oscar Mayer introduces the first-ever food-themed car – the Wienermobile.

One third of all radios produced in the United States are made in Chicago.
Illinois passes the eight-hour workday law for women.
Chicago has 3,629 miles of streets and 1,370 street names.
On May 30, 10 people are killed during the Republic Steel South Chicago plant strike when a sticks
is thrown and police open fire. Ten strikers are killed by police bullets, 30 others are wounded. The
police suffered some bruises.
Josephine Hancock Logan publishes a book entitled "Sanity in Art."
An average head of beef cattle weighs 899 pounds and yields 470 pounds of meat.
Jim and Eleanor Riley open a general store next to a movie theatre in the Chatham neighborhood;
the store evolves into Riley's Trick Shop.
Up to 125,000 people are said to be at Soldier Field for an Austin-Leo High School football game.
Ivy is planted in Wrigley Field's outfield.
Kungsholm restaurant opens in the Leander McCormick mansion.
The head and shoulders of Anna Short Harrington is registered as a trademark that updates the
look of "Aunt Jemima," a pancake mix mass produced by Quaker Oats.
When Joe Louis meets Jim Braddock in the heavyweight championship fight at Comiskey Park,
June 22, both men wear trunks designed and made by Chicagoan Sammy Frager.
Kraft introduces "Macaroni & Cheese." Some 50 million boxes are purchased during WW II because
shoppers could get two boxes for one food stamp ration.
Recent immigrant to Chicago, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, establishes the New Bauhaus. It closes in 1938
and reopens as the School of Design.
As part of a suite called Primitive Rhythms, Katherine Dunham premieres Rara Tonga at the Goodman
Replacing the outfield stands of Wrigley Field, Holabird & Root, a Chicago architectural firm, add new
bleachers, arranged in a boomerang-chaped configuration.
Singer/songwriter Tom Paxton is born in Chicago.
Inspired by the radio ministry of Preston Bradley of the Peoples Church of Chicago, Irna Phillips
writes The Guiding Light. It begins as a 15-minute radio drama and later moves to television.
In August, Vocalion Records releases Robert Johnson's Sweet Home Chicago.
Washburne Culinary Institute is established.
With Mayor Edward Kelly and President Franklin Roosevelt presiding, the Outer Drive Bridge (Lake
Shore Drive Bridge) opens on October 5.
The period from November 12 to November 20 is a 9-day series of consecutive colder days, with daily
highs decline 32º during this period.
The Chicago Housing Authority is created.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the last director of the Bauhaus, arrives in Chicago with the responsibility
of directing the school of architecture for Armour Institute of Technology. In the mid-1940s, he
starts to design its new campus, named the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Al's Italian Beef starts as a street stand in Little Italy, then moves to a storefront at 1079 West Taylor.
Katherine Dunham is appointed director of ballet for the Federal Theatre, a part of the WPA that
centers dance in one company. The company was unique in its mixing of ballet, modern and jazz.
Katherine Dunham choreographs and produces her first full-length ballet, L'Ag'Ya at the Federal Theater.
A National Confectioners Association committee headed by Otto Schnering coins the national
campaign phrase: "candy is delicious food - enjoy some every day."
The first Chicago Candy Show is held in the Hotel Sherman. Eighteen-year-old Mary Jeanne Drake
is elected "Sweetest Girl."
Paul Hindemith makes his American conducting debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 
on March 3.
The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.
Hotelier Ernie Byfield opens the Pump Room inspired by the 18th c. one operating in Bath, England.
Contralto Margery Mayer Voutsas, a Senn High School graduate, is hired as feature soloist on WGN
radio as part of the new Mutual Broadcasting System, where she sings opera and classical programs.
Ms. Voutsas sings with the Chicago City Opera Company production as Nicklausse in "The Tales of
After a hobby show at the Hotel Sherman, The National Button Society is founded by Gertrude
Patterson and Otto C. Lightner in Chicago.
Marion Mahony Griffin paints a mural, Fairies, in Armstrong School.
In October, works by Chicago artists in the Federal Art Project are exhibited in the Art Institute.
Nine galleries of the Art Institute are devoted to WPA works under the title, "Art for the Public."
Gabby Harnett’s “Homer in the Gloamin” occurs during the National League pennant in Wrigley Field.
Dad’s Root Beer is named by Ely Klapman for his dad who had experimented with making high
quality root beer.

The Proviso Yards near Melrose Park, operated by the Chicago & North Western Railroad, are the
world’s largest. The Yards cover 960 acres and have a daily capacity of 4,000 cars on 59 tracks.
Ray Manzarek is born on Chicago's Polish South Side. He eventually attends St. Rita H.S., graduates
from De Paul University with a degree in Economics, attends UCLA Film School, 1962-65 and meets
Jim Morrison with whom he founds the Doors in 1965. Manzarek dies May 20, 2013.
The National Button Society holds its first show in Chicago.
Violinist Isaac Stern makes his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performing
Sibelius’s D minor violin concerto.
Edited by Ruth Berolzheimer, The American Woman's Cookbook is published by Consolidated Book
Publishers for the Culinary Arts Institute. At over 800 pages, it may be the first cookbook to use
four-color printing for its photography. By 1943, 1 million copies had been sold. Berolzheimer served
as director and editor of many cookbooks published by the Culinary Arts Institute from 1938-1949.
Katherine Dunham and Dance Company perform Tropics and Le Jazz "Hot" in the College Inn Panther
Room at the Hotel Sherman.
Zenith introduces the first all-electronic TV station.
Rudolph Weisenhorn paints a cubist inspired mural, Contemporary Chicago, in Nettlehosrt School.
Willard Motley, Peter Schenck, and Alexander Saxton found Hull-House Magazine.
Ed Paschke is born June 22.
George Cardinal Mundelein is the first Chicago Cardinal to vote in a Papal election.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is created by Chicagoan Robert L. May, a Montgomery Ward
copywriter, as a Christmas giveaway storybook for Montgomery Ward stores. It is an immediate
success. Johny Mark, May's brother-in-law and a songwriter developed the lyrics for the musical
version recorded by Gene Autry in 1949.
Henry Blommer Sr. and his brothers Aloysius and Bernard open Blommer Chocolate that begins
manufacturing its chocolate for wholesale distribution, quickly becoming the largest commercial
chocolate manufacturer in the United States.
George Cardinal Mundelein dies October 2. Many thousands pay their respects at Holy Name Cathedral. 

Motorola Company develops the world's first hand-held, two-way radio, better known as the
Jack Brickhouse begins to broadcast Cubs and White Sox games, some 5,300 games, until he
retires in 1981.
Leon Finney, Sr. from Mississippi, opens his first restaurant, Leon's BBQ, on East Garfield in
The Ramova Theatre, Bridgeport, hosts the Chicago premiere of Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator."
The Loop is whitened by a 2.2-inch snowfall on May 1-2. Midway airport receives 3.7 inches of snow.
Grossing a whopping $4,000 in its first season, the world's first Dairy Queen opens in a storefront
at 501 N. Chicago, in Joliet, IL on June 22.
Keyboardist Herbie Hancock is born in Chicago.
Chicago has 425 Kosherr butcher shops, many of them in Lawndale.
The comic strip "Invisible Scarlet O'Neil," drawn by Russell Stamm, is unveiled in the Chicago Times,
June 3, 1940.
The first Amercain Negro Exposition is held at the Chicago Coliseum, July 4 to September 2.
An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 bungalows were built in Cook County since 1910.
The Society of Contemporary American Art is created at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Theodore Karavidas opens Marie's Pizza in the Mayfair neighborhood, 4127 W. Lawrence Avenue.
Starting June 30, the Chicago Tribune syndicates Dale Messick’s "Brenda Starr" cartoon. Starr goes
national five-days after VE Day, May 1945.
Armour Institute of Technology and Lewis Institute merge as Illinois Institute of Technology.
Eleanor Roosevelt is the first first lady to speak at a convention, delivering a stirring speech to a
fractured party in Chicago.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is nominated for an unprecedented third term and says: "This is no ordinary
time. No time for weighing anything except what we can do best for the country as a whole, and that
responsibility rests on each and every one of us as individuals."
Raquel Welch is born September 5, in Chicago to Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo and Josephine
Sarah whose family origins date back to the Mayflower.
On October 24, Frederick Stock conducts the Chicago Symphony in its first performance of the
First Symphony by John Alden Carpenter, a native of Park Forest, Illinois. The Orchestra presents
the world premier of Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony in C, commissioned to celebrate the Orchestra’s
50th anniversary.
The South Side Community Arts Center opens.
Candy impresario Sol D. Leaf introduces "Rain-Blo" gumballs that came in different colors.
The mercury tops 63° at 11 a.m. on November 11, as a cold front moves in from the southwest on
wind gusts of 65 mph plunging Chicago's temperature to 16° by 7 a.m. on November 12.
For the American Negro Light Opera Association of Chicago, Katherine Dunham stages and
choreographs Tropical Pinafore, a takeoff on Gilbert and Sullivan.
Richard Wright publishes his novel, Native Son that opens to critical acclaim in New York City in
March and then in November 1941, to a standing room only crowd in Chicago's Studebaker Theater.
November brings 14.8" of snow to Chicago, a record for the month.
On Friday, December 13, Life photographer William Shrout attended a gathering spread across 13
tables, each of 13 people, of the Merchants & Manufacturers Club of Chicago.

Arturo Toscanini makes his only appearance with the Chicago Symphony.
Bela Bartok performs his Second Piano Concerto as soloist with the Chicago Symphony.
Major Lance is born in Chicago. He helps establish what becomes known as the Chicago soul sound.
The Illinois Legislature creates the Chicago Medical Center District.
Jayne Walton Rosen was the “Champagne Lady” of The Champagne Music of Lawrence Welk, the
house orchestra at the Trianon Ballroom until early 1951, attracting some 7,000 people per show.
Gene & Georgetti’s Steak House Restaurant opens in River North.
The Morton Salt Girl gets yellow clothing and hair.
Jim Stefanovic, a Macedonian, owner of Jim's Original on Maxwell Street and Halsted introduces
the Polish sausage sandwich, a type of large hot dog.
Zenith introduced the detachable "Wavemagnet" loop antenna in portable radios.
Eddie Blazonczyk Sr. is born in Chicago. Eventually he becomes a Grammy-winning polka musician.
The United States enters World War II following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7.
The Auditorium Building, closed since 1929, is taken over by the city of Chicago and used as a
servicemen's center, complete with bowling alleys!

Nelson Algren writes Never Come Morning, followed in 1949 by The Man with the Golden Arm,
and in 1951 by Chicago: City on the Make.
Mayor Edward J. Kelly bans Nelson Algren's book, Never Come Morning from the Chicago Public
Library. The ban remains in effect for decades over the massive outcry by Chicago's Polonia.
Known as the “Father of Gospel”, Thomas A. Dorsey, former bluesman and Paramount Record
agent is choir director of Pilgrim Baptist Church, and is named director of the National Baptist
Convention Choir. In 1931, Dorsey had written Precious Lord, Take My Hand, and founded the
Ebenezer Baptist Choir. Dorsey writes many other memorable songs including, Peace in the Valley.
Dorsey helps launch the careers of Mahalia Jackson and Sallie Martin.
Harrison Ford, an acrtor, is born in Chicago.
Ruth Lee Williams, 18, sings in a small nightclub called the "Stagebar" in the Garrick Building on
Randolph Street. She had learned to sing in the choir of St. Luke Baptist Church, honed her
performance skills in the touring gospel group the Sallie Martin Singers, before picking up some
vocal pointers from Billy Holliday who was appearing at another club in the Garrick Building. Big
band leader Lionel Hampton asked her to sing Sweet Georgia Brown, and asked her to tour with
his band under a new name–Dinah Washington. She quickly became know as the “Queen of the
Blues,” and then “Queen of the Jukebox.”
Curtis Mayfield is born in Chicago. He is a driving force in black music from the early 60s through
the mid 70s.
Jack DeJohnette is born August 9, in Chicago. He plays piano at age 4 and professionally age 14.
DeJohnette takes up drums as his main instrument. Credits his uncle, Roy I Wood Sr. as his
inspiration to play music. Wood is a Chicago disc jockey who later becomes vice president of the
National Network of Black Broadcasters.
Roger McGuinn (born James Joseph McGuinn III on July 13, 1942) is born in Chicago, attends Latin
School and, in 1957, he enrolls as a student at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. In 1964 he
becomes co-founder of The Byrds.
Manny’s Coffee Shop and Deli opens.
Influenced by the teaching of Mahatma Gandhi, CORE, Committee (later COngress) of Racial Equality
is founded in Chicago by an interracial group of students, Bernice Fisher, James R. Robinson, James L.
Farmer, Jr., Joe Guinn, George Hauser and Homer Jack. CORE pioneered the strategy of nonviolent
direct action, especially the tactics of sit-ins, jail-ins and freedom rides.
The Chicago Cubs install an organ at Wrigley Field and start a national tradition of organ music
at baseball games.
In November John H. Johnson launches his first magazine, Negro Digest.
A team of scientists at the University of Chicago led by Enrico Fermi create the first controlled,
self-sustaining nuclear reaction on December 2.
Foote, Cone & Belding, an advertising firm, is founded in Chicago.

In May, McKinley Morgenfield, better known as Muddy Waters, arrives in Chicago from Clarksdale,
Mississippi. He came looking for not merely a job but “to be great…I want to be known cross-country,
not like an ordinary person who just lives and dies.” At the time, jump and jive blues is the dominant
Chicago urban sound. Waters’ amplified grittier acoustic delta blues sound made him a star, and
establishes Chess Records and Chicago as the center of the postwar urban blues scene.
Robert James (Bobby) Fischer, chess prodigy, grandmaster, and eleventh World Chess Champion,
maybe the greatest chess player of all time, is born in Michael Reese Hospital on March 9. He dies
January 18, 2008 (age 64) in Reykjavik, Iceland.
In mid-May, James L. Farmer (1920-1999), a founder of CORE, leads a sit-in at Jack Spratt Coffee
House, Kimbark and 47th Street. It is the first sit-in.
The future Rev. Willie T. Barrow, native of Burton, Texas, moves to Chicago where she studies at
Moody Bible Institute. She focuses on civil rights.
As WBKB-Ch.4, W9XCB, becomes Chicago’s first commercial TV station.
P.K. Wrigley, owner of the Cubs, founds The All-American Girls Baseball League.
The first night game is played at Wrigley Field, a benefit all-star contest featuring women from the
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
On October 16, Mayor Edward J. Kelly officially opens the subway system.
Restaurateur Ric Riccardo and his partner Ike Sewell introduce and market “deep dish pizza,
Chicago Style,” at Uno’s on East Ohio Street.
A Georgia O’Keefe retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago is the first retrospective of a female
artist at the museum.
Mary T. Washington Wylie takes the IL CPA exam and becomes the first African-American female CPA
in the USA.

Saul Bellow publishes his first novel, Dangling Man.
Ivan Albright and his brother, Zsissly collaborate on the pictures used in the 1944 movie 
The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Louis Eckstein’s widow donates the 36-acre park to the Ravinia Festival Association.
Offended by the provocative pinups drawn by Alberto Vargas for Esquire, offices in the Palmolive
Building (919 N. Michigan Ave.), the U.S. Postmaster General revokes the magazine’s second-class
mailing license. The Supreme Count overturns the ruling in 1946.
The Glass Menagerie, a play in seven scenes by Tennessee Williams, premiers at the Civic Theatre
on December 26.
The Shangri-La restaurant, with tiki-bar and two zombie-drink limit, opens (closes 1968).

A Street in Bronzeville is published by Gwendolyn Brooks.
Amy and Lou's, a soul food restaurant opens at 39th and Indiana.
The first Chicago based record label, "Mercury," opens its offices at 35 East Wacker Drive, and
produces a string of classic blues, R&B, and jazz hits by the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Dinah
Washington, and Jay McShann.
About 500 Native Americans live in Chicago.
Borden's ice cream is sold for 10 cents by Wrigley Field concessionaires.
Harmonica legend Little Walter moves to Chicago from Mississippi.
The nation’s three largest steel mills are U. S. Steel’s Gary Works, South Works and Inland Steel.
Chicago becomes the world’s largest producer of steel.
Robert Walker founds the Christian Writers Institute, a correspondence school.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is created, marking the beginning of public ownership of the
city's mass-transit system.
M.S. Distributors is founded and run by Milt Salstone. By 1963 M.S. is distributing some forty-eight
Chicago Shimpo, an Albany-Park based Japanese-American newspaper is first published.
Ebony magazine is launched.
Ora Higgins takes charge of integration initiatives at Chicago based Spiegel, at the time one of the
largest mail-order business's in the world, making Spiegel instrumental in the hiring of hundreds of
female and minority employees.
Robert Reder and Jack Besser found Monogram Models Inc.
Midway Airport counts some 1,300,000 passengers.

Leonard and Phil Chess, Polish-born brothers and a woman named Evelyn, starts Aristocrat
Records. As Chess Records, the company becomes the nation's premier outlet for urban blues
and early rock‘n’roll with hits by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Howlin’ Wolf.
The nation’s first paid political telecast occurs on WBKB when Alderman Bertram Moss seeks
re-election and is interviewed by Bob Elson in a fireside chat.
Roosevelt University moves into the Auditorium Building.
In polka halls along Milwaukee Avenue and in the Southwest side, a “Chicago style” polka is very
popular. Li’l Wally (Walter Jagiello) cut his first two Chicago style polka records, Our Break Up, and
Away From Chicago. Li’l Wally eventually cut seventeen gold and four platinum records.
Central Appliance and Furniture is renamed Polk Bros.
The elegant art nouveau store fixtures of Kranz's Candy store are sold at auction.
On June 5, a fire in the LaSalle Hotel claims 61 lives and injures more than 200.
An entire dinner cost only $3.50 at the swank Kungsholm Restaurant.
The birth of his own son, David, September 19, is photographed, complete with umbilical cord, by
Wayne Miller, is published as a centerpiece in the 1955 exhibition The Family of Man.
Gladys Holcomb’s "Home Cooking" (soul food) restaurant opens in Bronzeville (closes 2001).
John Prine, a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter is born October 10, in Maywood.
With the help of Ed Sprinkle and Mike Jarmoluk, the Chicago Bears pressure the Green Bay
Packers into a 10-7 loss and capture the NFL championship.
On October 28, American Community Buildiers announced that Forest Park would be built.
Construction began October 28, 1947 and is completed late October 1949. The first three families
moved in August 30, 1948. Forest Park is the first fully planned post WWII suburb in the US. .
Arthur John (Jack) Johnson nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” first African-American world
heavyweight boxing champion and arguably the best heavyweight boxer of his generation, is
buried at Graceland Cemetery.
Argonne National Laboratory is established.

Wrigley Field hosts 46,572 people, the highest ever paid admission, on May 18, to see the first black
man, Jackie Robinson, play his first game on a Chicago field.
Avant-garde performance artist Laurie Anderson is born in Chicago. She moves from Chicago to
New York in 1967.
Vivian Carter becomes the city’s first black female disk jockey on station WGES. In 1953,
Ms. Carter co-founds VeeJay records. VeeJay records is considered the first successful
black-owned record company in the United States, predating Motown by a few years.
Wrigley Field hosts its first All-Star Baseball Game.
August records an average temperature of 80.2º, a record.
Zenith introduces the world's first subscription TV system known as PhoneVision.
The first parking meters are installed in Chicago.
Kitty Baldwin and Jody Kingrey open Baldwin-Kingrey, the first Chicago store to import furniture
from Finnish designer Alvar Aalto.
Duke Tumatoe is raised in Beverly. He becomes an American blues musician and guitarist and
is a member of REO Speedwagon.
Willard Motley publishes his first novel, Knock on Any Door. It receives wide acclaim and is
short-listed for a Pulitzer. It is made into a movie in 1949, staring Humphrey Bogart.
Minnie Riperton is born November 8 in Chicago. An angelic five-octave voice makes her one of
pop music’s most distinctive singers.
Katherine Dunham choreographs the musical play Windy City, which premiers at the Great
Northern Theater. It is said to have influenced Jerome Robbin's choreography for West Side Story.
Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantagna, actor, producer, writer, director played bass in a local band called
The Apocryphals which played with The Missing Links, who went on to form the band Chicago,
is born in Chicago November 13.
Harold Finch conducts the first performance of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Nov. 14
Fritzel’s Restaurant opens. It is home of the three-hour lunch for columnists and other Chicago

Chicago has four major television stations on the air.
The Chicago Sun-Times and WGN-TV are launched.
WGN-TV broadcasts its first big-league game on April 16, with Jack Brickhouse calling the White
Sox's 4-1 win against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
In the late 1940s, jazz deejay, Holmes “Daddy-O” Daylie, became one of the nation’s first major
African-American radio personalities on stations such as WAIT, WMAQ, and WGN. Daddy-O gets the
Ramsey Lewis Trio an audition with Chess Records.
Preston Tucker (1903-1956), Alex Tremulis and J. Gordon Lippincott and Co. design nearly
fifty-one identical Tucker automobiles in Chicago before the Tucker Company folds on March 3,
1949 amid allegations of fraud.
Left-handed guitarist, Otis Rush, born in Philadelphia, MS, April 29, 1935, moves to Chicago.
Jimmy Wilson starts to run the Woodlawn Tap, aka as Jimmy's on 55th and Woodlawn.
In the 1940s, consisting predominantly of Puerto Rican males, The Latin Kings street gang is founded
in Chicago. Known as the Almighty Latin Kings and Queen Nation, its membership quickly swells.
German-born American gymnast, Meta Elste, though 26, helps USA win first women's gymnastics
medal, a bronze, at Olympic Games in London. Ms. Elste is also three-time US Amateur Athletic
Association champion, two-time Olympian, is also three-time US Amateur Athletic Association
champion, two-time Olympian, 1974 inductee into the US Gymnastics Hall of Fame, and active in
the Lincoln Turner organization until she retires, age 51, in 1972, after winning a gold medal in
the senior ladies AA Division at the Turners National Turnfest in Milwaukee.
Robert Walker founds Christian Life magazine.
Eugene Ormandy makes his debut conducting the Chicago Symphony.
Cricket Hill, the hill at Montrose beach, is shaped from nearby Lake Shore Drive construction debris.
Northerly Island, a landfill peninsula, becomes Meigs Field airport, it exists until 2003.

Construction begins on 860-880 N. Lake Shore Drive, the world's first structurally expressive
high-rise apartment by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Their clean-lined glass-box look influence
skylines around the world.
WBKB, a Chicago television station (becomes WBBM in 1953), made many firsts, including the
first broadcast of any consequence made outside a studio - the Shriner's parade in Chicago, the
first full-length dramatic production ever telecast in "its entirety, with costumes and setting", and
the first midnight mass from Holy Name Cathedral.
University of Chicago law school graduate, Russell Baker teams up with trial lawyer, John McKenzie,
to form Baker & McKenzie. In 1987, the firm becomes the first law firm in the world to employ 1,000
attorneys. By 2004, it is the largest law firm in the world with more than 3,200 lawyers in 38 countries.
On June 14, in Room 1297 A of the Edgewater Beach Hotel, nineteen year old Ruth Ann Steinhagen
stalks and shoots former Cubs first baseman Eddie Waitkus with a .22-caliber rifle. Waitkus survives.
In 1952, novelist Bernard Malamud fictionalizes the story of Waitkus and Steinhagen in his book,
The Natural. In 1984 the novel becomes a film starring Robert Redford and Barbara Hershey.
Municipal Airport is renamed Midway, in honor of the clash near Midway Island in early June 1942
that turned around the war in the Pacific. Midway Airport claims one landing or takeoff every 2 minutes.
Jesse Owens, winner of a gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, settles in Chicago and is buried
at Oak Woods Cemetery.
Burr Tillstrom's puppets join Fran Allison on TV as Kukla, Fran and Ollie.
"This program came to you from Chicago, where ---" is the sign off of NBC's Galloway at Large,
the first "night" show in the U.S. It had a nationwide audience of three and a half million viewers.
For 11 years Clifford T. Johnson broadcasts everything that happens in his Oak Park household from
7:30 to 8:15 am as his daily show on WBBM.
The first Garrett’s popcorn store opens in the Loop.

Chicago's population peaks at 3,620,962 people, boosted by the post-war economic boom, a new
surge of immigration, and the annexation of 41.1 square miles.
Tri-State Highway opens. It is renamed in 1953 for Robert Kingery, former director of the state's
Department of Public Works and general manager of the Chicago Regional Planning Association.
Opened as the Calumet Expressway, it is renamed in 1996 for Chicago religious activist Bishop
Louis Henry Ford, founder and pastor of St. Paul Church of God in Christ in Chicago.
Chicago produces a third of the nation's steel.
Kaunch Hirabayashi opens the Nisei Lounge at Clark and Division. It is named for American-born
children of Japanese immigrants who were imprisoned during WW II. 
Zenith developed the Lazy Bones Station Selector, a control module connected via a long cable to
the TV. In 1955 Zenith brought out the first wireless remote, a light beam generating device, followed
in 1956 by the Zenith Space Commander TV Tuner based on high frequency transmission.
Ed "the Claw" Sprinkle, a defensive end for the Chicago Bears, is named the meanest man in football
in a Collier's magazine article.
Kraft produces the first processed sliced cheese.
Dominick's unveils its first large-scale supermarket (14,000 square feet) at 6900 W. North Ave.
Metron Steel is founded by Andrew Athens (Andreas Athanasoulas) and his brother, Thomas.
Robert O. Burton designs the first lunch box specifically for children, the Hopalong Cassidy lunch
box. Aladdin Industries of Chicago manufactures this immediate success. Many more designs follow.
William James "Bill" Murray, is born September 21, in Wilmette. He eventually wins an Emmy Award
for his Saturday Night Live performances.
Harold Pierce opens Harold's Chicken Shack.
Gwendolyn Brooks receives a Pulitzer Prize for Annie Allen, her second collection of poems.
Chicago passes its first “J” walking law. The first arrest is made three years later.
Walgreens introduces the nations first full self-service drug store.
November 1, Chicago's temperature hits 80º. The latest date for this high on record.
Abbott Laboratories introduces Sucaryl, 30 times sweeter than sugar.

While employed at the Weber Brothers Metal Works, George Stephen decides to combine two
spun metal domes already in production to develop a cover and bottom for his grill design
that eventually becomes the Weber Grill.
Collier’s magazine calls Chicago the “Top TV Town."
Today, vocal-group aficionados consider the Flamingos, formed in 1951, one of the, if not the,
best of their era. I Only Have Eyes For You is a national hit in 1959. Their style influenced groups
such as the Four Tops and the Temptations.
On September 25, Rafael Kubelik conducts the Chicago Symphony’s first television appearance
over WENR Chicago.
The College of Complexes, a free-speech forum is founded.
Andy's opens as a grungy hangout for Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times pressmen.
Ernest Allen opens Allen Studio of Music to teach piano and organ, and provides musicians to black
churches across the nation.
On December 16, the Chicago Bears play their crosstown rivals the Chicago Cardinals at Wrigley
Field in 2° temperature. The Cardinals win.
Run by Bernard and Rita Jacobs, WFMT, 98.7, goes on the air.
Edens Parkway, named for William G. Edens, a banker known as the pioneer of the "good roads
movement in Illinois," which culminates with the state's first highway bond issue in 1918, opens
On Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, 8.6" of snow fall.

On July 26, Adlai Stevenson accepts the Presidential nomination at the Democratic National
Convention. He looses the election to former General Dwight Eisenhower.
A.J. Liebling writes a series of savage articles about Chicago for the New Yorker Magazine that
are subsequently reprinted in a book entitled Chicago: The Second City.
Dan Edelman opens his public relations firm with three employees and one client, the Toni Home
Permanent Co., a neighbor in the Merchandise Mart. Edelman helps develop the advertising
campaign: "Which Twin has the Toni?" 
A street-corner a cappella doo-wop group, The Dells, originally known as The El-Rays, are formed
in Harvey, Illinois by Marvin Junior, Charles Barksdale, Michael McGill, Verne Allison, and Johnny
Funches. In 1960, Johnny Funches is replaced by Johnny Carter.
Christine DuBoulay Ellis and RIchard Ellis start the Ellis DuBoulay School of Ballet. It closes in 1992.
The Chicago Tribune headlines that Chicago's "steel output is higher than Britain."
Howlin’ Wolf moves from Mississippi to Chicago and begins recording with Chess Records.
Pastorelli Food Products cans fully prepared pizza sauce.
The Spaniels, a doo-wop vocal group forms in Gary, Indiana and VeeJay Records is formed to
release their material.
Richard Goldstein and Norman Ackerman found Perma Power, a firm that made the first all-transistor
wireless garage door opener that clipped on the sun visor of a car.
Congress Parkway is widened bringing the curb to the southern edge of the Auditorium Building. To
make spae for a sidewalk, several rooms and part of the theater's lobby are removed.
Chicago's American Giants, a Negro League team, disbands.
Pioneering a new use for plastics, Carl Plochman introduces yellow mustard in a yellow squeeze
Italian immigrants Gus and Ida Lazzerini acquire Club Lago on Superior and Orleans, and start
serving Tuscan food to the printers and paper salesmen in the Chicago neighborhood originally
known as Smoky Hollow (today know as River North).
The soap opera, Guiding Light, created in Chicago by Irna Phillips (1901-1973), airs on CBS TV,
30 June 1952, after 15 years of radio (starting in Chicago on January 25, 1937, on NBC Radio).

On 23 June, Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle receives its Chicago premier at Playwright’s
Theater Club, 1560 N. LaSalle. 
First as gospel singers and then as a soul-pop group, The Staple Singers have several soul and pop hits.
In his Chicago’s Left Bank, Alson J. Smith describes the city as "Florence to New York's Rome."
“Linn Burton for certain!” starts his TV career selling appliances for Polk Bros.
On July 21, Richard J. Daley becomes chairman of the Cook County Democratic Committee.
On August 3, a stolen small plane flown by a young World War II veteran pilot crashes in Wrigleyville.
Founded by Angeline DeCorah, an elder of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Susan Kelly Power, The
American Indian Center, the first urban American Indian Center in the country, opens in Uptown. It
serves more than 100 tribes.
On June 3, Florence Price, composer, dies from a stroke.
White Fence Farms is started by Robert C. Haster on the former estate of coal tycoon Stuyvesant
Peabody on the old U.S. Route 66. His son, Robert J. Haster transformed the southwest suburban
family-style restaurant into a local favorite.
In November the first issue of Hugh Hefner's Playboy appears. Inside, a 1947 photo of Marilyn
Monroe, naked, appears as the first centerfold and first "Playmate of the Month."
Kraft introduces Jet-Puffed Marshmallows.
Koko Taylor, age 18, arrives in Chicago.
Polk Bros. offers a free Christmas tree with a major purchase.
Fritz Reiner conducts his first concert as Chicago Symphony music director on November 14
DJ Herb Kent coins “dusties” for soulful oldies.

Harold Warp develops skin-packaging, known since 1956 as Jiffy-Wrap.
Ending the city's seven-year operatic drought with a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, Lyric
Theater Chicago (later known as the Lyric Opera) is launched by Carol Fox on February 5.
Andres Segovia makes his Chicago Symphony debut playing Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Guitar Concerto.
Founded in 1908 by Salvatore Ferrara of Nola, Italy, Ferrara Pan Candy Co. introduces Atomic
Fireballs. By 2003, consumers eat about 15 million Fireballs per week.
The Women’s Board of the Art Institute unveils the Art Rental and Sales Gallery, which makes original
art affordable to average citizens, and creates a new revenue stream for the museum.
Marilyn Alaimo (born 1931) takes a job at Northern Trust Co. as a bond trader, the first woman to do
so at Northern Trust, and one of the first women in the US to do so for a major bank.
Ernest Hemingway, born in Oak Park, wins the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Between June 11 and June 21, Chicago experienced eleven 90ºs days in a row establishing eight new
record highs. In total June experienced sixteen 90º plus days. 
On June 26 intense heat generated a line of severe thunderstorms that raced southeast at 60 mph,
reaching Chicago and southern Lake Michigan at about 8 a.m. The storms generated a seiche, sending
6- to 8- foot swells to the Michigan shore around 8:30 am that reflected back to the Chicago shore as
an 8- to 10- foot wave inundating areas from North Avenue to Wilmette. Eight people died, including
seven fishermen swept off the Montrose Harbor pier.
Hugh Hefner moves Playboy out of his apartment into 11 E. Superior St., across the street from
Holy Name Cathedral.
Rickie Lee Jones, a musician, is born in Chicago.
Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese box turns blue. It had been predominantly yellow since its introduction
in 1937.
Ramona Shiffer becomes the first president of the Chicago Police Crossing Guard Associates.
George Johnson borrows $250 from a bank and another $250 from a friend to launch his own company,
Johnson Products, the first hair care brand developed specifically for African American hair. Its first
product is Ultra Wave, a hair relaxer for men
Chuck Renslow opens Kris Studio (7 W. Maple St.) specializing in men’s “physique photos.”
On November 15, Maria Callas as "Lucia" performs Lucia di Lammermoor.

Richard J. Daley is sworn in as mayor on April 20. He is re-elected five more times until 1976, when
he suffers a heart attack and dies.
Chicago’s population is 3,260,962.
Almost 15% of the city’s population is foreign born.
On February 12, a fire in the SRO Barton Hotel on Madison Street claims 29 lives.
Congress Expressway opens. It is renamed in 1969 after Dwight D. Eisenhower, who signed into
law the First Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, which called for an interstate highway network to
join cities across the country.
Chicago has five miles of expressway.
Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Chicago native is murdered in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white
woman. He is buried at Burr Oak Cemetery, Alsip.
O'Hare airport opens and within a decade becomes the world's busiest airport.
Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois. On the first day of business,
proceeds total $366.12.
Nelson Algren’s Man with a Golden Arm is made into a Frank Sinatra hit. It is shot on soundstages
instead of city streets.
Between June 27 and July 23 Chicago experiences 27 consecutive days above 80°.
Chicago experiences 46 days above 90º.
July's average temperature is 81.3º, a record.  
Bill Putman Sr. (1920-1989) opens Universal Recording at the corner of Rush and Walton. Putman
changed the art of studio recording by developing the first modern recording console, the first use
of tape echo, the first isolated vocal booth, the first multiple over-dubs of a single voice, the first
8-track recording, the first in half-speed disc recording, and the first use of artificial reverb on The
Harmonicat’s hit song Peg-O-My-Heart. Songs cut here include Jackie Wilson’s Higher and Higher,
the Four Seasons, Big Girls Don’t Cry, and most famously, Chuck Berry’s Maybelline.
Sonny Boy Williams moves to Chicago and begins recording blues hits for Chess Records.
Paul Glass founds Allstate Record Distribution Co. He quickly becomes one of the largest
independent distributers in the county.
On October 3 Captain Kangaroo, with Bob Keeshan, premiers on CBS. Bob Keeshan, born June 27,
1927 in Lynbrook, N.Y., creates the children's show and bases it on "the warm relationship between
grandparents and children." 
Eugene Polley, an engineer working for Zenith invents the Flash-Matic, the first TV remote control.
At 601 feet, the Prudential Building is Chicago’s tallest skyscraper.

WNBQ, part of the NBC network, became the first TV station in the United States to transmit all
of its live programs in color.
At the urging of Franklin Park Dr. Gregory J. White, an early proponent of natural childbirth, seven
women form the La Leche League.
The Rev. Johnnie Colemon founds Christ Unity Center with 35 members and is pioneer in the New
Thought movement, which uses a metaphysical interpretation of the Bible and focuses on healing,
meditati0on and positive thought.
On April 11, Chicago experiences a relative humidity of 13%, tying the record set in 1934.
Eli Toscano and Howard Bendo found Cobra Records on Chicago's West Side. Willie Dixon is "the
artistic vision." Cobra helped launch the recording careers of Chicago blues artists Otis Rush,
Magic Sam, and Buddy Guy. The label goes out of business in 1959.
The Morton Salt Girl gets a yellow umbrella.
WTTW is the first U.S. station to televise college courses for credit.
Robert Adler, a Vienna-born physicist for Zenith, develops the Space Commander remote. It relies
on high-frequency chimes that keyed a sensor to change channels.
The first chick is hatched at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Policewomen are allowed to wear police uniforms, until then restricted to skirt and leather pumps.

Chicago Loop Synagogue is built with a magnificent east wall stained glass window by Abraham
Chess Records starts recording at 2120 S. Michigan.
Chief Records is founded by Mel London to record blues artists.
Landfill of lakefront to Hollywood Avenue is completed.
Ardco introduces the glass refrigerator door into supermarkets.
Chicago hosts the first Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival outside Lithuania.
The Impressions, a group with close vocal harmonies and a big band horn sound, form in Chicago.
In May, the Chicago Tribune prints a map showing concentric rings of destruction radiating out from
a a-bomb that destroys the city's center - "Only the stubs of buildings would be left as far north as
Division street, as far south as 16th street, as far east as the lake, and as far west as Racine avenue,"
one article forecast. Reinforcing this mind-set, about 20 anti-aircraft missile bases ring the Chicago
metro area, including installations in Jackson Park, Montrose Harbor, Arlington Heights, Homewood,
Orland Park and Gary. Whether or not they would have provided actual protection remains untested.
Ultra Sheen, a hair relaxer for African-American women is introduced by Johnson Products.
Mister Kelly's, a nightclub, opens at 1028 N. Rush. It closes in 1975.
A victim of the Eisenhower Expressway, the last Chicago, Aurora & Elgin passenger train runs.
Dorothy Fuller, as assistant fashion director at Marshall Field's, helps bring Christian Dior's
"New Look" (and his young assistant Yves Saint Laurent) to Chicago.
The metameter transmits data by telephone line to the National Weather Service office, where it
is recorded on a circular sheet.
With the purchase of Hyatt House, at Los Angeles International Airport on September 27 from
Hyatt van Dehn and Jack D. Crouch, Jay Pritzker and his younger brother Donald Pritzker get
into the hotel business. By 2012, Hyatt had some 490 properties worldwide.
Buddy Guy arrives in Chicago on a one-way train ticket.
On December 1, folksingers Win Stracke and Frank Hamilton and their friend Gertrude Soltker
found the Old Town School of Folk Music at 333 W. North Ave., with a concert featuring a bagpipe
performance and a sing-along.
On December 8, Chicago’s climatological record keeping moves to Grant Park, about 100 yards
from the lake just south of Buckingham Fountain.

Stan Musial hits his 3,000th hit in Wrigley Field.
Fifteen-year-old Daniel Barenboim makes his Orchestra Hall recital debut.
Margaret Hillis makes her subscription concert debut conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
and Chorus in Honneger’s Christmas Cantata.
Jerry Butler and The Impressions (Sam Gooden, Arthur Brooks, Richard Brooks and Curtis Mayfield)
sign with VeeJay Records on the strength of For Your Precious Love. Music critic Joe McEwen writes
in Rolling Stone, "the song can almost be considered the first soul record."
After having been a concept in Burnham’s 1909 Plan, Congress Expressway (Parkway) opens and
includes a transit line, but had lost most of its parkway amenities.
"Gold Coast," the nation's first gay leather bar, opens at 501 N. Clark.
The Blackstone Rangers, a street gang, is founded by at the St. Charles Institution for Troubled Youth
by Jeff Fort and Eugene Hairston as a community organization for black youth, 12-15 year olds, living
along Blackstone Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago.
Led by Edward "Pepalo" Perry, the Vice Lords gang is founded by several African American youths, all
from North Lawndale, while incarcerated in the Illinois State Training School for Boys in St. Charles.
African American chef-businessman Argia B. Collins develops and trademarks Mumbo Sauce.
George H. Shorney acquires Hope Publishing and soon focuses on choral music, resulting in a revival.
Fred L. Turner writes McDonald's first operations and training manual.
On October 18, Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn introduces his fire fighting invention, the Snorkel, at
a blaze in a lumber yard on Cermak Road. Quinn's Snorkel changes the way fires are fought worldwide.
Known for keeping the Mexican mural tradition alive, Francisco Mendoza (dies of Cancer, March 2012)
is born in Blue Island. He grows up in South Chicago, earns a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and lives in the Pilsen neighborhood since about 1985 where
he is an art teacher at Orozco Career Academy. His most famous mural designs cover the front of
Orozco Career Academy, 1940 W. 18th Street and the CT Blue Line "L" station mural at 1710 W. 18th
On December 1, 3 nuns and 92 children die as flames rage through Our Lady of the Angels School.

Bill Veeck becomes the principal owner of the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox win the American
League pennant. A serious believer in democracy, Veeck has no door on his office and during games,
he sits in the bleachers.
Lorraine Hansburry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, opens in New Haven, CN, then Philadelphia, then Chicago,
then on Broadway. Born on the city's South Side; Hasberry's play is partially autobiographical. Sidney
Poirtier and Ruby Dee lead the cast that included Louis Gossett, Jr. Diana Sands and Glynn Turman.
The Second City improvisational theater opens at 1842 N. Wells. It developed out of The Compass
Players, founded at the University of Chicago in 1955, by David Shepherd, Paul Sills, Elaine May,
Mike Nichols,Barbara Harris, Severen Darden, Shelley Berman, and Bernie Sahlins. Second City
alumni include, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Jim Belushi,
Betty Thomas, Bill Murray, Joan Rivers, and Alan Alda.
Chuck Berry cuts his rock’n’roll classic Johnny B. Goode and Reelin’ and Rockin at Chess Records.
Art Shay had won twenty art director awards for his photography before he took Life magazine's
“picture of the year.”
On July 4, about 1,500 Marines, backed by naval bombardment and air support, gain a beachhead
at Montrose Avenue. A Navy flotilla that includes a heavy cruiser, a frigate, numerous destroyers
and submarines waited off shore. This assault is part of a celebration marking the opening of the
St. Lawrence Seaway.
On July 6, a much more refined ceremony welcomes Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain to Chicago.
The Queen visits Chicago for 13 hours.
Polk Bros. donates a half-mile of red carpet on Queen Elizabeth's arrival at Navy Pier. Polk Bros. later
proclaims, "We treat every woman like a queen."
A group of Chicago artists, including Don Baum, Cosmo Campoli, George Cohen, Leon Golub,
Nancy Spero, H.C. Westermann, Karl Wirsum, several of whom were mentored by Vera Berdich,
form the Monster Roster. Franz Schulze coins the group's name.
Tyrone Davis moves to Chicago and over the next 30-years becomes a leading soul singer with
many hit records.
Midway Airport traffic peaks when one landing and takeoff is recorded every 51 seconds.
When Ms. Frances Harrington retires, her former student, Robert Marks takes over Harrington
Institute of Design.
In late August Chicago hosts the Pan American Games, the largest international sporting event to
be help up to that point in the US. There are many problems. The US wins an embarrassing 121 out
of 164 events.
Christine DuBoulay Ellis and Richard Ellis establish the Illinois Ballet.
Lakeshore Air and Water Show starts as a family celebration for kids in the park district day camp
program. With an $88 budget, the show features a watermelon scramble, water ballet and a Coast
Guard Air Sea Rescue demonstration.
The Prime Time, by direct marketing advertising executive and filmmaker, Herschell Gordon Lewis
(nicknamed the 'Godfather of Gore"), is the first feature film produced in Chicago since the 1910s.
Concluding their 59th season in the major leagues, the Chicago White Sox beat Cleveland to win the
American League championship, five games ahead of Cleveland. It is their first pennant since 1919.

Let There Be Light And There Was Light, a 40 feet long stained glass window designed by Abraham
Rattner and fabricated by Barillet Studio, Paris, France, is installed in Chicago Loop Synagogue.
Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan’s Schiller Building is demolished.
Pianist Van Cliburn makes his debut with the Chicago Symphony.
The first Playboy Club opens February 29, at 116 East Walton Place. The club is an instant local
success. In August Playboy reveals the existence of the club and its fame becomes international. 
The Northwest Expressway opens. It is renamed for John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Del Close arrives in Chicago and begins working at Second City.
Evelyn Echols begins a travel training program for young women from the House of the Good Shepherd.
Summit Distributors, an independent label record is founded and owned by Seymour Green and
Jack White. It distributes some nineteen record labels including Columbia's Epic and OKeh
subsidiaries, A&M, and Warner Brothers. At about the same time, Ernie and George Leaner of
United Records Distributors are owners of such wonderful labels as Mar-V-Lus, One-derful and
Margaret Vinci Heldt, owner of Margaret Vinci Coiffures on Michigan Avenue from 1950-1970, is
asked by editors of Modern Beauty Salon magazine to come up with a new hairstyle to usher in
the '60s. She is inspired by a little black fez-style cap with two beaded decorations that look like
bees - she calls it the beehive. Ratted-up with hairspray, the beehive could maintain its shape for
a week between beauty parlor appointments.
White Sox owner Bill Veeck introduces the pinball-inspired exploding scoreboard at Comisky Park. It
is quickly copied by countless other sports teams.
Jim "The Courtesy Man" Morgan, a TV personality, offers a cash prize of $3,675 to the first person
to swim from Chicago to Michigan City. In 1961, Ted Erikson wins the prize.
On the morning of August 28, Velma Murphy Hill, age 21, leads a racially diverse group onto all
white Rainbow Beach. A white mob formed a gantlet and threw stones before police arrived. The
following summer, July 8, 1961, 200 police officers protected nearly 100 activists on Rainbow Beach.
Thousands of whites looked on.
With CTA backing, the Illinois Constitution is amended to describe public transportation as "an
essential public service for which public funds may be expended."
WGN-Ch.9 airs Bozo’s Circus on September 11. Bob Bell is Bozo.
After 36 years of broadcasting farm news, WLS goes Rock & Roll.
The Chi-Lites form. Their yearning ballads, featuring falsetto vocals and close harmonies make
them the leading soul group of the early 1970s.
September 7, temperature hits 100º. The latest date for this high on record.
Chicago Skate Company reintroduces the 100 years-old concept of inline-skating with its inline
wheels directly affixed to the shoe.

McCormick Place is completed for the 34th Annual National Housewares Manufacturing Association
show in January. On the night before the show opens, the building catches fire and burns in what
is the largest fire in the city of Chicago since the Great Fire of 1871.
April 15-17 records Chicago's biggest late season snow, 6.8"
Bill Veeck sells the White Sox.
Fred L. Turner founds McDonald's Hamburger University in Elk Grove Village. It confers a Bachelor
of Hamburgerology degree.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopts the Zenith invented FM stereo multiplex system.
Frozen pork belly futures start being traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. They stop being
traded in July, 2011.
Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley invents the College of Coaches in which the team has no manager but is
run by a group of coaches who take turns serving as head coach. The idea continues through the
1962 season and is then dropped.
Ted Erikson, a 33-year-old research chemist at the Illinois Institute of Technology, sets a world open
water distance record when he swims 43 miles - the actual distance was longer because he was
pushed off course by wind and currents - from Chicago to Michigan City in 36.5 hours.
Dr. Margaret Goss Burroughs founds the DuSable Museum of African American History, the first
African-American history museum in the US.
The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.
Daniel B. Ryan Expressway opens. It is named after the president of the Cook County Board of
Commissioners who died in office that year.
Lloyd Pettit, with Joe Wilson, starts to announce Blackhawk WGN-TV play-by-play. Pettit is sole
WGN-TV announcer from 1963-1970.Pettit is WGN radio Blackhawk voice 1964-1976.
Architects Jerome Sultan and Reinhard Plaut introduce the Four-Plus-One apartment building into
Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods where land use is zoned R5. In these neighborhoods and
along the northern lakefront, the Four-Plus-One remains a popular building type in the 1960s.
By extending Lincoln Park to Hollywood Ave., the Park expands to 1,185 acres.
At the height of the bomb shelter building craze, the Chicago City Council entertains an ordinance
requiring that anyone building a shelter pay $15.00 for a permit.
With 17 people investing $10 each, the Seminary Co-op, a bookstore, opens and quickly becomes
a Hyde Park institution.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra wins its first Grammy award.

The first segment of the Dan Ryan Expressway opens from Congress Expressway (Eisenhower
Expressway) to 71st St.
Earl J.J. Pionke opens The Earl of Old Town at 1615 N. Wells.
Illinois is the first state to repaeals its anti-sodomy laws, opening the way for Chicago's Gay Pride
The Ferrara Pan Candy Co. introduces Lemonheads. By 2003, 500 million are produced annually.
Gordon and Carole Segal open their first Crate & Barrel on North Wells Street.
The rUmPuSrOom, the "Newest swank Twistery and Dinner Breakfast Spot" opens on Rush St.
In March, One-derful records is launched by George Leaner. Its first release is a song by McKinley
Mitchello called The Town I Live In, and it is a national hit on the R&B charts.
Wendella starts a rush-hour commuter service on the Chicago River between Michigan Avenue and
Northwestern Railroad Station known as a water taxi.
On August 15, James Duke is electrocuted in the basement of Cook County Jail for the murder of
a Chicago Police detective.
The Gutierrez family opens Nevo Leon Restaurant at 1515 W. 18th Street in Pilsen.
Victor Skrebneski becomes the exclusive photographer for Estee Lauder's new ad campaign, "the
Estee Lauder woman."
Phyllis Connor Reardon, age 34, a Chicago model known as Phyllis Connor, becomes the first "Estee
Lauder woman." She is discovered by Viktor Skrebneski.
O'Hare becomes Chicago's major airport and Midway Airport is considered an "aviation backwater."
Gus Giordano (1923-2008) founds Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.
The Robert Taylor Homes, a public housing development, opens.
Gene Chandler, a fixture in Chicago soul for over 30 years, produces his solo debut, a backward
glance at doo-wop style called Duke of Earl.
Polk Bros. gives a plastic lighted Santa Clause to customers who make a purchase. Santa pop up on
the porches, lawns and rooftops of nearly a quarter-million Chicago area homes.
Evelyn Echols founds the Echols International Travel & Hotel School.
Major Lance writes songs with Curtis Mayfield and signs with OKeh Records. His second OKeh single,
The Monkey Time, becomes a #2 Billboard R&B chart and a #8 pop hit in 1963.
Quirky storefront restaurant, the Bakery, is opened by Louis Szathmáry.

Botti Studio of Architectural Arts opens. The Studio traces its stained glass roots to 17th century Italy.
Marking the end of an era, the last Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railway runs January 21.
Just before 2 p.m. May 9, a fast-moving cold front sweeping south down the length of the dropped
the lakefront temperature 22 degrees, from 84° to 62°, in just 1 ½ minutes.
Mike Royko starts his daily column with the Chicago Daily News.
June 8, Marilyn Miglin opens her store at 112 East Oak Street.
Earl Calloway joins the staff of the Chicago Defender newspaper to cover the fine arts. Mr. Calloway is
a man about town who made readers of black newspapers look at the arts differently.
An 6x12 foot trailer, without a toilet or running water, called The Dog House, is opened by Dick Portillo
on North Avenue in Villa Park.
Maria Goeppert Mayer is awarded the Nobel Prize, the first woman after Marie Curie, in physics for
her work at the University of Chicago.
Leontyne Price makes her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut in Berlioz’s Les nuits d’ete and the
suite from Falla’s El amor brujo.
Ronald McDonald makes his debut and McDonald’s serves its one billionth hamburger.
Founded by Leonard and Phil Chess of Chess Records, the 1000-watt AM station WVON, the call
letters stand for Voice of the Negro, debuts with a rhythm and blues format and is the first 24-hour
radio station aimed at the black community in Chicago. It helps launch and solidify hundreds
of black artist’s careers.
On October 6, 94° is recorded - an all-time Chicago October high temperature and the latest 90° ever
recorded in Chicago. October also records 24 days of 70° plus.
Jim Dattalo opens The Fudge Pot, a fudge/chocolate shop, on Wells Street.
Formed in 1963, the Paul Butterfield Band helps spur the blues revival of the 1960s. In 1965, at the
Newport Folk Festival, after playing their own set, this band backs Bob Dylan for his controversial
premiere electric performance.
Robert Sickinger arrives in Chicago from Philadelphia to guide the theater program at Hull House
Association social services agency. Sickinger's European focused experimental theater quickly
makes his mark, nourished homegrown people like Mamet and Jacobs, and becomes acclaimed as
"Chicago theater."
Jim "The Courtesy Man" Moran posts a $15,000 challenge to swim 60 miles from Chicago's Burnham
Park Harbor to Silver Beach in St. Joseph, MI. The winner in 35 hours, is 34-year-old Egyptian army
officer, Abdel-Latif Abou-Heif. Chicagoan Ted Erikson finishes three hours later and receives $1,000.
Al Fritz, develops the Schwinn Sting-Ray. Going through some 60 different permutations, Schwinn
sells nearly 2 million of them in 5 years..
Loyola University wins the men's NCAA tournament.
The Veg-O-Matic is introduced at the International Housewares Show in Chicago by the Popeil Brothers.
Elmore James dies. James was the one Chicago bluesman perhaps most responsible for shaping the
style of slide-guitar playing that translates blues to rock.
Curtis Mayfield's Gypsy Woman becomes a Top 20s hit for the Impressions. Then his song Amen
makes it into the Top 10 and is included in the sound track of the 1963 MGM film Lilies of the Field,
starring Sidney Poitier.
Written by Curtis Mayfield and sung by Major Lance, Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um reaches #5 in the US
pop charts.

The James W. Jardine Water Purification Plant opens just north of Navy Pier. It is the largest
purification plant of its kind in the world.
Beatlemania dawns in Chicago on September 5, as the Fab Four play the International Amphitheater.
They run off 11 songs in 34 minutes for 13,000 screaming fans.
Ruth Duckworth, German-born, internationally acclaimed ceramics artist, moves to Chicago to teach
at Midway Studios, The University of Chicago. Her first exhibition in American is in 1965 at the
Renaissance Society.
The Pump Room is said to have invented adding a celery stalk to a "Bloody Mary" cocktail. A celery
stalk in a "Bloody Mary" is a nationwide feature by 1966.
The Ides Of March, a seven-piece group with horns is formed in Berwyn.
William "Billy Goat" Sianis opens his second Billy Goat Tavern at 430 N. Lower Michigan Ave.
Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson and Jim Falconer with Don Baum, Hyde Park Art Center's director float
the idea of a group show to include Art Green and Suellen Rocca and Karl Wirsum.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Socialist, Communist, labor activist, co-founder of the ACLU, dies in Moscow,
is given a state funeral in Red Square and is buried in Chicago's Waldheim Cemetery within Forest
Home Cemetery, near the Haymarket Riot Martyrs.
The Southwest Expressway opens. The next year it is renamed after Adlai E. Stevenson II,
former governor of Illinois, United Nations ambassador and two-time Democratic presidential candidate.
The opening of the Stevenson Expressway breathes new life into Midway Airport and United Airlines
starts offering two daily flights to New York.
Seiji Ozawa is named Ravinia’s first Music director.

Ten stained glass windows by Lubomyr Wandzura of Giannini & Hilgart are installed in the Chicago
Temple, The First United Methodist Church, 77 West Washington Street.
A collection of short stories by Harry Mark Petrakis, Pericles on 31st Street, is a finalist for the
National Book Award.
Michael Kutza founds the Chicago International Film Festival.
The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) is founded by Fred Anderson.
Alfonso Iannelli dies March 23.
On Sunday, April 11, four tornadoes dip down across north and west portions of Chicago, resulting
in six fatalities.
Known professionally as The Wachowskis, Lana and Lilly are film directors best known for the
Matric trilogy.  .
William Russo founds The Chicago Jazz Ensemble iat Columbia College. 
While some 50,000 fans scream incessantly, the Beatles play two concerts on August 20. After the
concert the Beatles stopped at Margie’s Candies in Bucktown for ice cream.
August 26-27 a Derecho - a widespread and long-duration windstorm associated with a line of rapidly
moving thunderstorms - forms ahead of a cold front dropping Chicago's temperature by 10º in one hour.
On October 28, pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy makes his Chicago Symphony debut.
George Solti and Mstislav Rostopovich make their first appearance in Orchestra Hall.
Michael Bloomfield, born 1944, on Chicago’s North Shore, joins the Chicago based Paul Butterfield
Band. He scores film soundtracks and plays guitar with Bob Dylan and others.
Dr.Donald F. Steiner, University of Chicago, discovers proinsulin.

A new basketball team begins playing in Chicago – the Bulls.
On February 25, the first Hairy Who Exhibition opens at the Hyde Park Art Center. "Harry Who"
is coined by Karl Wirsum after Harry Bouras, a WFMT art critic.
Spanky and Our Gang, formed by Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane in Chicago, is a key part of the late
1960s folk/pop vocal-group movement, with hits like Sunday Will Never Be The Same (1967).
Richard Speck murders eight student nurses on the Far South Side.
Kartemquin Film is founded as a cooperative turned company focusing on social issues.
Dr. Vincent J. Collins of Cook County Hospital authors Principles of Anesthesiology, the core
textbook in the field.
Electrical Apparatus magazine is moved from St. Louis to Chicago by its publishers, Elsie and Horace Barks.
Dr. Charles Huggins, Director of the Ben May Institute, University of Chicago, is awarded a Nobel Prize
for his work on prostrate cancer.
Tootsie Roll Industries moves to Chicago.
Daniel Keyes writes Flowers for Algeron, a novel that goes inside the head of Charlie Gordon, a man
with an IQ of 68 who is painfully aware of his mental limits and yearns to be smart. Keyes wins a
Hugo Award for the 1959 short story and the Nebula Award for the novel. In 1968 the novel is adapted
as the movie Charlie which stars Cliff Robertson in an Academy Award-winning performance. In 1980
the novel inspires a Broadway musical and a 2000 TV movie.
In the 1960s, George J. Dekan invents and patents the 1/100 second Athletic Performance Analyzer.
Roger Ebert calls Tom Palazzolo's film Pigeon People, a film in which he finds poetry in a
hunchbacked old woman in the Loop scattering breadcrumbs for the birds, a "masterpiece."
Magic Slim (born Morris Holt, Torrance, MI), a Chicago Blues man, records his first single, Scufflin'.
During the 1960s, there are more African-American CPA’s in Chicago than any other city in the nation.
Edna Stewart opens her soul food restaurant, Edna's, at 3175 West Madison Street, on Chicago's
West Side. Her earliest patrons include The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

January 24, the temperature hits 65º
During a short duration blizzard on February 23, 3.5" of snow fall at Midway Airport in one hour,
setting a record for heaviest rate of snowfall.
The South American, the last American passenger vessel operating on the Great Lakes, is retired.
Roger Ebert writes his first film review for the Sun-Times on April 3.
On the afternoon of April 21, 11 tornadoes touch down killing 53 people in northeast Illinois,
including 33 in Oak Lawn and 24 in the Belvidere area.
The last riding stable closes in Lincoln Park.
Elizabeth Clark "Liz" Phair, born Aprii 17, raised in Winnetka, later records under the name Girly Sound.
Don Lee, later known as Haki Madhubuti, a black poet from Detroit, starts publishing poems
and eventually forms Third World Press, the largest African-American publisher in the country.
An untitled 50-foot tall sculpture by Pablo Picasso is dedicated August 15, on the Civic Plaza;
initially controversial, it quickly becomes as much a symbol of Chicago as the Water Tower.
Studs Terkel’s Division Street: America is published.
Jack Lanigan Sr.(1927-2018) develops the Mi-Jack, a boom-crane for easing access in tight spaces. .
Dick Portillo's The Dog House is renamed Portillo's and moves to a new building in Villa Park.
On July 13, the Jackson Five cut Big Boy in the One-derful Records Building at 1827 S. Michigan
Ave. It's their first ever studio session. Four months later, another session at Steeltown Records,
in Gary, Indiana results in the January 1968 release of Big Boy. It sells some 60,000 copies.
Chicago is second to New York in air pollution.
The Coq d'Or's "Bookbinder soup" is made with tomato stock and red snapper, and served with
a petit carafe of cherry and an Asiago cheese roll.
Chicago receives federal "Model City" funds.
On August 27, a mural on the side of an abandoned building at 43rd and Langley, entitled
"The Wall of Respect", is dedicated. Gwendolyn Brooks reads a poem she wrote for the event.
The Museum of Contemporary Art opens in a former bakery at 237 E.Ontario St. The opening shows
are, Pictures to Be Read; Poetry to Be Seen. Alison Knowels' The Big Book. Allan Kaprow's Words,
and Claes Oldenburg's drawings, Projects for Monuments.
With five hit singles in 1967 and 1968, the American Breed is one of Chicago's top pop bands.
Formed in 1965, The Buckinghams, rock-with-horns sound, have five Top 20 hits.
A chapter of the National Organization for Women is organized in Chicago.
Larry Lujack (born Larry Lee Blankenurg in Quasqueton, Iowa, becomes a top 40 disc jockey on WLS.
Known as Superjock, Lawrence of Chicago, Uncle Lar, King of the Corn Belt, Lujack becomes widely
known for his darkly humorous Animal Stories and Klunk Letter of the Day. 
Over Labor Day weekend, the National Conference for New Politics is convened in Chicago. Some
two thousand young activists attend.
Riverview Park closes suddenly.
The Blackstone Rangers formed "clubs" in other cities, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Gary.
Jo Freeman and Schulamith Firestone found Westside, the first radical feminist group in Chicago.
Lorraine M. Sullivan, superintendent of CPS District 8, located in the Garfield Park and North Lawndale
communities, creates her innovative Chicago Child-Parent Center with six-mobile units, housing half-
day preschool and kindergarten programs for 40 weeks. By her death, in 2013, it is the second-oldest
federally funded early-childhood program in the country. Only Head Start is older, launched in 1965.
William Walker paints a mural he called the Wall of Respect, on a grocery-and-liquor store wall at
43rd St. and Langley Ave. Depicting great African-American achievers, it is the city's first mural. The
mural is destroyed in 1971, by a fire burns the building.
Designed as a “city within a city” by Bertrand Goldberg, Marina Towers are the world's tallest
reinforced concrete buildings and immediately become a Chicago icon.
Sidley & Austin is the new name of the law firm known since 1944 as Sidley, Austin, Brugess & Harper.
Adler & Sullivan’s Auditorium Building reopens October 31.

This year the protests, demonstrations, and agitation for social reform reach their peak. After
decades of efforts by Blacks to gain equality in civil life, that turn into riots touched off by the
murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. The result is destruction of 162 buildings by fire April 5-7 on
Chicago's West Side and the National Guard being called out.
Dr. Hassan Najafi leads the 30-person team that performs Chicago's first successful heart
Alyce Marie-Therese Hamm (born 1930) dresses Miss America, Debra Dene Barnes.
Gwendolyn Brooks is named poet laureate of Illinois.
Initially formatted as a coffeehouse by Lenin "Doc" Pellegrino, Kingston Mines opens in a former
machine shop on Lincoln Avenue. 
The Democratic National Convention of August 26-29 causes battles between protestors and police.
Police again confronted protestors October 8-11. As the protests escalate, Mayor Richard J. Daley
calls in troops. About 11,900 Chicago police officers, 7,500 Army soldiers and 7,500 Illinois National
Guardsmen are deployed. Hundreds are arrested, and 119 police officers and 100 demonstrators
are injured. Sen. Abraham Ribicoff of Connecticut, in a speech nominating George McGovern, states
"with George McGovern as president of the United States, we wouldn't have Gestapo tactics in
the streets of Chicago." Hubert Humphrey's supporters retain control of the convention. The vice
president is nominated on the first ballot.
Flaming cheese at tableside, or Saganaki, is invented in the Greek Town restaurant, The Parthenon.
WHPK, the University of Chicago radio station, ten watts upgraded to 100 in 1985, starts
broadcasting to Hyde Park, Woodlawn, Kenwood, and much of the south side.
The Dells have a top-40 hit with Stay in My Corner.
Funded by the Kennedy Foundation and the Chicago Park District, the first Special Olympics Games
are held July 20 at Soldier Field with about 1,000 athletes from the United States and Canada.
McDonald adds Big Mac to its menu.
The Gangster Disciples, a street gang, is formed on the South-side of Chicago in the late 1960s when
Larry Hoover, leader of the High Supreme Gangsters, and David Barksdale, leader of the Black
Disciples join forces.
Three sisters, Wanda, Sheila and Jeanette Hutchinson form The Emotions, a gospel turned soul group.
Founded March 1962, One-derful records dissolves. Its influence continues.
Chris Ryan, is one of several owners who open Mother's, a bar, on Rush and Division..
The high-profile closing of Chicago gay bar the Trip led to a legal challenge that went all the to the
Illinois Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the bar.
Bobby Rush co-founds the Illinois Black Panther party.
The Commission on Chicago Landmarks is founded.

The John Hancock building opens. Designed by SOM, it stands 1,127 feet. Ray Heckla, the original
engineer responsible for the residential floors, 44 to 92, and his family move into a 2-bedroom
apartment, becoming the John Hancock Centers first residents.
On January 14, the Apollo 8 spacemen, Frank Borman, James Lowell Jr., and William Anders, get a
tickertape parade through the Loop. Borman was born in Gary, IN., and the Borman Expressway is
named after him.
Daniel Barenboim makes his first Chicago Symphony appearance as a pianist performing Bartok's
First Piano Concerto (20 February).
The Goodman Theatre, after 38 years of student productions, returns to its status as a professional
resident company with its inaugural production of Soldiers, by Rolf Hochhut.
Pierre Boulez makes his debut conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Christo wraps the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Alyce Marie-Therese Hamm (born 1930) dresses Miss Illinois, Judith Ford, who goes on to become
Miss America.
Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a radical group, holds its last convention with all
participating groups present in Chicago.
On April 15, the first production model Mustang is sold by the Johnson Ford dealership on Cicero Ave.
in Chicago to Gail Wise, a 22-year old elementary school teacher. This is two days before Lee Iacocca
unveils it at the New York World's Fair.
Bellwood native Eugene Cernan and fellow Apollo 10 crew members Thomas Stafford and their families
are welcomed on June 29, by tens of thousands of people during a parade that ended at Proviso East
High School in Maywood. Their mission in May was a crucial dry run for the Apollo 11 moonwalk.
Cernan would be the last person to set foot on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
Polly Kelly organizes the first Sheffield Garden Walk.
The MCA exhibits Chicago Imagists in an exhibition entitled "Don Baum Sez 'Chicago Needs Famous
The Chicago Board of Trade introduces silver futures contracts, its first non-grain product.
Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU) is founded. The organization serves as an umbrella
for numerous groups who work to bring awareness and opportunities to women.
Chicago based Hyatt opens its first oversees hotel, the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong.
The Dells have a top-40 hit with Oh, What a Night.
Evolving from collective jazz experiments in Chicago in the early and mid-1960s,
The Art Ensemble of Chicago is arguably the most innovative jazz group to emerge in Chicago.
The Chicago group, Earth, Wind & Fire, is formed and changes the sound of black pop in the 1970s.
Sir George Solti directs his first concert as the Chicago Symphony’s eighth music director
(27 November), beginning a 22-year tenure.
R. Kelly is born on Chicago’s South Side.
McDonald’s “Billion Served” sign changes to “Five Billion Served.”
Steve Toushin opens the Bijou Theatre.

The band formerly called Chicago Transit Authority, now known as Chicago after pressure was
applied by the city, scores a first hit with Smile. Chicago goes on to 20 Top 10 hits and 15
platinum or multiplatinum albums and sell more than 100 million records.
Ernie (Mr. Cub) Banks hits his 500th home run in Wrigley Field.
Ruth Page establishes the Ruth Page Foundation and School of Dance, thus continuing to stress
and create American themes for dance.
Patricia Condon becomes the director of Special Olympics Illinois. A year later she takes over as
supervisor of special recreation programs for the Chicago Park District.
Chicago hosts its first gay pride parade to mark the anniversary of the first night of the NYC Stonewall
events. It starts at Bughouse Square and goes down MIchigan Ave. to the Civic Center.
Chicago is founded as a programming guide for classical radio station WFMT.
Aaron Copland conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in his Appalachian Spring.
Chicago experiences a relative humidity of 13%, tying a record set in 1934 and 1956.
WBEZ joined National Public Radio as a charter member.
Barbara Proctor founds her own ad agency.
The Red Star Inn restaurant closes.
Without a city parade permit, about 100-150 people attended the first gay pride march..
Mary Steedman Bacon Anderson, born in Chicago, January 1, 1948, is the first woman jockey to
win 100 races.
Dawn Clark Netsch serves on the convention that drafts Illinois' Constitution.
Kroger leaves Chicago, selling its stores to Dominick's.
The original "Svengoolie," Jerry G. Bishop (born Jerry Ghan, 1936-2013) hosts Screaming Yellow
Theatre, a horror-film show on WFLD. It airs until 1973.
After allowing an ordinance to expire, Chicago allows women as bartenders for the first time.
Starting August 17, Soul Train, sponsored by Sear, Roebuck & Co., airs 5-days per week on WCIU-TV,
Channel 26. The creation of Don Cornelius (1936-2012), born on the South Side, graduated from
DuSable High School, a music tastemaker, fashion leader, smooth talker and business innovator and
national icon, the show is nationally syndicated in 1971 and moves to Hollywood.
Oakton Community College opens with 832 students in four factory buildings at Nagle Avenue and
Oakton Street in Morton Grove. Raymond Hartstein is its founding chairman.
Powell’s Bookstore opens in Hyde Park, 1501 E. 57th St.

The Chicago Stock Yards close, after years of decline.
McCormick Place Convention Center opens as the largest in the world.
Grease, a new musical by locals Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, based on their experiences at
William H. Taft High School, opens February 11, in the Kingston Mines Theater, 2356 N. Lincoln
(now a hospital parking garage). A sanitized version is presented as a film in 1978.
On Aril 8, a relative humidity of 13% is recorded, tying the record set in 1934 and 1956.
A young conductor from Cincinnati named James Levin makes his Ravinia Festival debut on
June 24, taking over the Mahler Resurrection Symphony on a week' notice at the season-opening
gala. Levin so impresses everyone that he is named Ravinia music director the following year.
The Chicago Symphony goes on its first European tour.
McDonbald's Hamburger University opens a training center in Tokyo one month after opening of
the first McDonald's restaurant in Tokyo.
Plochman's Mustard squeeze barrel is awarded a trademark.
Alligator Records is formed by Bruce Iglauer to record the single Hound Dog Taylor and the House
La Fontanella Restaurant opens on South Oakley Ave.
Faces, a disco club, opens: membership is $500.00. It closes in 1989.
The Chicago Reader begins publishing.
Johnson Products becomes the first African American owned company to be listed on the American
Stock Exchange and its President George Johnson becomes the first African American to serve on
the board of directors of Commonwealth Edison.
David Hernandez self-publishes his first book Despertando: wake up (50 cents). It is also the first
poetry collection published by a Chicago Latino.
Chicago records its wettest year on record, 46.09" of precipitation.
Rich Melman and partner from Lettuce Entertain You open their first restaurant, R.J. Grunts, in
Lincoln Park where they create the first salad bar ever documented.
The Chicago Bears move to Soldier Field after having played at Wrigley Field the 50 previous
seasons (1921-1970).
Women are elected to the city council for the first time.
Jesse Jackson founds Operation PUSH (People United to Save (Serve, a later alternate) Humanity).
William Ferris and his partner, John Vorrasi, found the William Ferris Chorale.
541 S. Wabash Ave. becomes home to Weir Harold’s, an adult bookstore, a massage parlor, and
more. The city shut down the store in 1975.
Shale Baskin (1927-2012) opens his first men's clothing store in the new Woodfield Mall calling it
Mark Shale, using his first name and his brother's, and spent months on its design and layout
perfecting his version of visual merchandising.

Duck Variations by David Mamet is the first in a series of plays by the Chicago playwright to be
produced in Chicago and then New York.
On January 19, to celebrate Stop and Shop's 100th anniversary Irv Kupcinet and Mayor
Richard J. Daley, cut the ribbon to celebrate "Stop and Shop Day in Chicago.
Richard Nickel, one of the great American architectural photographers, dies while photographing
the demolition of the Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan Chicago Stock Exchange Building.
Mike Royko, Chicago Daily News daily columnist, wins a Pulitzer Prize.
Jean Allard is the first woman partner, Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal.
Singer/song writer Steve Goodman, is mostly remembers as author of Arlo Guthrie’s 1972 hit,
The City of New Orleans, a contemporary train song.
Robert Williams moves from New York to Chicago and founds US Studio with a group of friends.
Buddy Guy opens the Checkerboard Lounge at 423 E. 43rd Street in Bronzeville. It quickly
becomes the place to see and hear such greats as B.B. King, Magic Slim, Howlin' Wolf, Junior
Wells, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones.
Sue Gin opens Cafe Bernard, a French restaurant, on North Halsted Street.
William Walker paints the All of Mankind mural on the front of the Strangers Home Missionary
Baptist Church, 617 W. Evergreen.
When construction is completed at 1,136 feet (346 meters), the Standard Oil Building (since 2001,
known as the Aon Center) is Chicago's tallest building and the world's tallest building clad in marble.
In July, Rev. Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH purchases former Temple K.A.M., 930 E. 50th Street.
Dawn Clark Netsch is elected to the state Senate, defeating a Democratic machine candidate.
Betty and Bob Sanders host a mid-day mix of news and information talk on WBBM-AM.
Chuck Renslow and Dom Orejudos open Man’s Country Baths, a gay bathhouse.
Henry Darger moves into a nursing home and his landlords, Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner discover
his art.
Howlin' Wolf receives an honorary doctorate from Columbia College, Chicago.
The Dominick's at 6009 N. Broadway is open 24-hours.
On December 8, a Boeing 737, United Flight 553 en route from Washington D.C. to Chicago's
Midway Airport crashes into 3722 W. 70th Place killing two residents and 45 passengers and crew.

On May 3, a crane hoists the final beam, a 2,500-pound white beam carrying 12,000 signatures,
including that of then-Mayor Richard J. Daley, from the street to the top of the Sears Tower. At
1,468 feet, 110 stories, the Sears Tower is declared the tallest building in the world, a title it
holds until 1996 when the Petronis Towers open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Terry Savage is the first woman member of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange.
Robert Williams and friends open Chicago's first after-hours juice bar in a commercial space at
116 S. Clinton Avenue.The building burns down and US Studio moves to 1400 S. Michigan Avenue.
Betsy Plank, the "mother" of public relations, is elected the first female president of the Public
Relations Society of America. She is also the first woman to be elected president of the Publicity
Club of Chicago.
The Magic Lantern Society receives an $8,000 NEA grant to become the Film Center under the wing
of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Johnson Publishing launches Fashion Fair, a prestige brand of cosmetics designed for African-Americans.
Jim Croce's Bad, Bad Leroy Brown, become a number one pop hit in July. Both Jim Croce and Leroy
Brown are regulars at Burwood Tap, 724 W. Wrightwood
Alyce Marie-Therese Hamm (born 1930) dresses Miss USA, Amanda Jones.
Chicago Filmmakers is founded.
Pete Special and Larry "Big Twist" Nolan form Big Twist & the Mellow Fellows. It is said that John
Belushi modeled his Blues Brothers band in part on Big Twist & the Mellow Fellows.
The John Hancock Center apartments are converted to Condominiums.
McDonald adds the Quarter Pounder to its menu.
Lynn Hauldren, The Empire Carpet Guy, creates his TV ad character and a lasting impression of
a phone number: "5-8-8, 2-300, Empire!" with his jingle. Hauldren also sang with the a capella
group The Fabulous 40s.
George Allen Jordan, an elder at Christian Tabernacle Church writes Jesus Can Work It Out and
records the first version in 1974 with the Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir.
Motorola's Martin Cooper shares U.S. Patent No. 3,906,166, filed October 17, with several others
for a Radio Telephone System that is developed by Motorola into the mobile phone.
Maria Tallchief becomes director of the Chicago Lyric Opera Ballet.
Lea Wagner becomes one of the first women to officiate in the USA Volleyball Nationals.
Chef Jean Banchet opens Le Francais in Wheeling. It quickly becomes an international dining location.
Dick Locher, Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist becomes staff cartoonist of the Chicago Tribune.
The Old Wicker Park Committee, a neighborhood preservation group, forms to lobby for national
and local historic designation.
Irna Phillips dies 22 December. She is credited with creating Guiding Light, the longest running
soap opera in TV history, 1952-2009. She also created, among others, with Another World
(1964-1999), As the World Turns (1956-ongoing), Days of our Lives (1965-ongoing).
Chicago records 864 people killed this year.

Marc Chagall’s outdoor mosaic is unveiled at First National Plaza.
Saul Bellow wins a Pulitzer Prize.
Larry Edward’s Biograph Theater programs art-house movies for the first time.
Phyllis Apelbaum is the first woman to obtain an Illinois Commerce Commission license to operate
a messanger service.
Barbara Proctor is named Chicago Arvertising Woman of the Year by the Woman's Advertising Club.
The Rev. Johnnie Colemaon establishes her own denomination, the Universal Foundation
for Better Living, which has 20,000 members across the country. By 2000 the church has
a 100 acres campus at 119th street and Ashland Avenue.
Chicago Today is the first of the city’s “big four” newspaper to stop publication.
David Mamet's play Sexual Perversion in Chicago premiers.
The Regional Transportation Act is signed into law. By a slim margin, voters approve creation of
the Regional Transportation Authority, with taxing powers. Chicago plurality overcomes widespread
opposition to RTA in suburbs.
Kenneth H. Richardt organizes the Railroad Day celebration in West Chicago.
John Mulvany founds The Museum of Contemporary Photogrpahy(MoCP) at Columbia College
with the restriction that works be by Americans only and no photograph be from before 1959.
Minnie Riperton's single, Lovin' You becomes a national success. It had been on her 1973 gold
album, Perfect Angel. As a teen Minnie Riperton sings lead vocal with the Germs, a Chicago based
girl group. She sings back-up for various established artists while at Chess Records and sings lead
for the Chicago based funky rock soul group Rotary Connection
Lyric Opera Center for American Artists opens.
Columbia College is fully accredited.
WBMX’s La Donna Tittle is the number one midday DJ in Chicago.
Chicago records 970 people killed this year.

David Mamet’s American Buffalo opens.
Facets Multi-Media founded.
About 10,000 Native Americans live in Chicago.
The Chicago Board of Trade begins trading U.S. Treasury futures contracts.
Little Jim's is the first gay bar to open on Halsted, corner of Cornelia. 
Under the leadership of Nicholas Rudall, Court Theater turns pro.
In December, Bill Veeck saves the White Sox from moving to Seattle by organizing investors to
keep the team in Chicago.
Byron Kouris and Michael Payne open Byron's Hot Dogs at 1017 W. Irving Park Road.
Joan Beck is the first woman Op-Ed columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
Thomaz Klutznick (1939-2019), a visionary developer who as chairman and chief executive officer of
Urban Investment and Development Company, develops the verticasal mixed-use Water Tower Place.
Elijah Muhammad, Nation of Islam leader, dies and is buried at Mount Glenwood Memory Gardens,
Chicago, a programing guide for WFMT changes its name to Chicago Magazine. Allen Kelson is editor.
Roger Ebert is awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, the first ever awarded for film criticism.
Eliot Wald, a producer at WTTW-Ch.11, Thea Flaum executive producer, pairs Roger Ebert and
Gene Siskel on a television show about movies called Opening at a Theatre Near You
Japanese Emperor Hirohito and his wife visit Chicago on October 7.
The Chicago area experiences one of its greatest changes in weather during a Thanksgiving weekend.
Heavy snow combined with lightning and thunder Wednesday evening, grinding travel to a halt and
leaving 8" of snow on the ground Thanksgiving Day. Two days later the snow is gone as temperatures
rise into the 60s. The mild air brings strong thunderstorms and heavy rain.

Mayor Richard J. Daley suffers a heart attack and dies.
Saul Bellow receives the Nobel Prize for literature.
A flash fire and smoke kill 23 residents of the Wincrest Nursing Home on January 30.
To commemorate the U.S. Bicentennial, Chicago's Fourth of July fireworks are held on the fourth,
a day traditionally reserved for the American Legion veteran's fireworks.
California artist, Larry Cuba spends several months in the University of Illinois at Chicago Electronic
Visualization Laboratory using its computer to create a computer model of the Death Star that is used
in the Rebel Alliance briefing room scene in the 1977 "Star Wars" film.
Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association is led by Louis K. Quarels Lawson, the first
black woman to head a savings and loan institution. Dr. Rita Simo, a Julliard-Trained classical pianist,
founds People's Music School to offer free group classes and private lessons to children and adults,
regardless of their financial resources.
National Tea phases out its 160 Chicago stores, selling 55 to A&P.
Jeff Fort, leader of the Black P. Stone Nation, is released from prison and announces that he has
converted to Islam. He moves to Milwaukee.
Ravinia’s sculpture collection is inaugurated by a gift of "Music for A While" from Trustee Richard
Hunt, an internationally acclaimed Chicago sculptor.
Roberta Lieberman of the Zolla-Lieberman Gallery initiates the move into the loft district, well west
of Michigan Avenue. Other galleries quickly follow.
Ed Hoy's Creative Craftsman gift shop in Naperville morfs into the third-largest stained glass supplier
in the Midwest.
Harvard Business School calls Barbara Proctor "the first woman in the United States to open an agency
specializing in advertising to the black community."
Proctor and Gardner is dubbed the first black-owned ad agency in the nation.
Botti Studio of Architectural Arts moves from Chicago to Evanston.
Gordon A. Sinclair opens his namesake restaurant Gordon (closes 1999).
Adapting the idea of William John Bauer, The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District begins
construction on the $3 billion Deep Tunnel and Reservoir project. The completion of the 109.4 mile
underground system is scheduled for 2007.
For 43 days, starting 28 December, Chicago experiences its longest streak of days below 32º.

Motorola Company begins field tests of its experimental radiotelephone, today known as a
cell-phone or handy.
Because of snow, Ward Christiansen couldn't get to work on January 27, so he called his friend
Randy Suess and began working on the first Bulletin Board System, BBS, which allowed users
to post messages or share computer codes - via modem.
On May 8, the Sex Pistols played at Le Mere Vipere, Chicago's first punck disco, 2132 N. Halsted.. 
Esther R. Rothstein becomes the first woman president of the Chicago Bar Association.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) is founded by Lou Conte, artistic director until his
retirement in 2000.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs the world premiere of Sir Michael Tippett's Fourth
Symphony, a CSO commission, under Sir George Solti.
The Chicago Beer Society is founded as a nonprofit educational association dedicated to the
appreciation of beer.
WLUP-FM 97.9, "The Loop," is launched and quickly becomes the nexus of rock music and irreverent
Frankie Knuckles takes a job at the Warehouse (formerly the Bowery). Here Knuckels soon develops
a sound that becomes known as house music, a rawer brand of 70s disco that would go on to
influence dance music around the world. “We created our own thing in Chicago, because we did
it for ourselves.” Knuckles said. The Warehouse closes in 1982.
Founded in 1847 in Poughkeepsie, NY, Smith Brothers cough drops is acquired by Chicago-based
F&F Foods.
Bleacher Bums, a play written by members of Organic Theatre Company, from an idea by Joe
Mantegna, becomes a 2002 made-for-TV-movie.
Carole Kamin Bellows becomes the first female president of the Illinois Bar Association.
After a school board member took issue with nudity in Maurice Sendak's picture book In the Night
Kitchen, it was removed from the library of Pennoyer Elementary School in Norridge.
Organized by Don Baum, a selection from Henry Darger's In the Realm of the Unreal is first shown
at the Hyde Park Art Center. Darger's work is quickly acclaimed internationally.
Some 4,200 runners participate in Chicago first marathon, named the Mayor Daley Marathon.
Three people were sent to the hospital with powder burn when the starter's cannon misfired.

Bally Manufacturing Co. creates a new industry with the introduction of Space Invaders followed
by Pac-Man in 1980.
With the headline, "So Long Chicago," The Chicago Daily News suspends publication on March 4.
The Hubbard Street Dance Company gives its first public performance at noon, July 7, before a
small audience in the theater of the Chicago Public Library (now the Chicago Cultural Center).
Ann C. Marcou and Mimi Kaplan found Y-Me.
Center for New Television is founded.
Scott Chisholm, owner of Andy's, starts Jazz at Five. It becomes popular.
Chicago Jazz Festival is held on Labor Day. It is the culmination of a festival memorializing Duke
Ellington in 1974, another memorializing John Coltrane in 1978, and a festival organized by the
Jazz Institute of Chicago.
Olson Rug Company closes its park, "Olson Falls".
Devereux Bowly, Jr., writes The Poorhouse: Subsidized Housing in Chicago, 1895-1976 (Southern
Illinois University Press). It quickly becomes a landmark publication on the subject.
Jack Roche, of Burr Ridge, is man in the first Metamucil ad.
McDonald’s 25 billionth hamburger is served.
Rich Uchwat opens Zanies, a stand-up comedy club, on Wells Street.
Lorna Donley forms the all-girl punk band DA!
Marilyn Miglin introduces her first fragrance, Pheromone.
Diablo Cody is born Brook Busey-Maurio in Lemont on June 14.
Crain’s Chicago Business newspaper is founded.
Jeff Fort moves from Milwaukee to Chicago and changes the name of his gang, the Black P Stone
Rangers, to El Rukin ("the foundation" in Arabic). The gang is also known as Circle Seven El Rukin
Moorish Temple of America and the Moorish Science Temple, El Rukin tribe.
Wax Trax is founded by Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher on Lincoln Avenue, a couple of doors down
from the old Biograph Theater. Instantly it's the coolest place to hang out.
Chicagoan Harold Ramis writes his first screenplay, National Lampoon's Animal House that launches
John Belushi to movie stardom. Ramis writes several more screenplays and co-stars in films, too.
Siskel and Ebert's WTTW-Ch.11 show is renamed Sneak Preview and syndicated on PBS.
"Twinkie defense" is coined when an attorney for the suspect in a double murder in San Francisco
claims his client's junk food consumption is partly the blame.
Gus Giordano edits Anthology of American Jazz Dance, the first book on this American dance form.
Jerry Manos (1941-2012) is one of the first vendors to sell peanuts outside Wrigley Field.
For 100 days, starting 26 November, Chicago experiences its longest streak of days with snow cover,
resulting in Chicago's most snowy winter with 89.7" recorded.
More than 90% of Lake Michigan is ice covered.

On January 14, Chicago experiences its greatest snow depth ever, 29".
Hair Trigger, an undergraduate literary magazine published by the students of Columbia College,
wins first prize for undergraduate literature magazines from the coordinating Council of Literary
Rob Hecko and Bill Gillmore open B.L.U.E.S. in April. The venue features blues every night, seven
days a week, 365 days a year.
Libby Adler Mages co-produces John R. Powers’ iconic Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect
Up? at the Forum Theater in Summit.
Styx, formed in Chicago in 1963, is named in a Gallup Poll, the most popular rock band among
American fans aged 13 to 18.
George Hendry and Pat Coakley start a parade of childre, later called The Wee Folks of Washtenaw
& Talman Parade, aka the South Side Irish Parade.
On Disco Demolition Night, July 12, 80,000 people showed up at Comiskey Park to watch their
vinyl burn.
Le Bastille, 21 W. Superior, opens as the city's first wine bar.
Larry Acciari, Eric Larson, and Suzanne Shelton open Neo on July 25, replacing a disco called "Hoots."
With 82% of the votes cast, Democrat Jane Byrne (born Margaret Jane Burke, May 24, 1933) is
elected the city's first female mayor. She defeats Republican candidate Wallace Johnson.
The Loop, a radio station, scored its highest ratings in the summer with a 7.3 share that placed it
third among all stations.
First National Bank of Chicago launches Cash Station, ATMs.
Gloria Jean and Ed Kvetko open their first Gloria Jean's Coffees in north suburban Long Grove.
Pope John Paul II visits Chicago. Celebrates mass in Grant Park.
Philip Johnson is the first Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
International Mister Leather (IML), an international conference and contest of leathermen is organized
out of the 1970s "Mr. Gold Coast" bar contest held at Chicago's Gold Coast leather bar, owned by
Chuck Renslow and his partner Dom Orejudos.
Harry Kempf and his brother Guenther organize the first Oktoberfest in Lincoln Square. The first one
was called "German-American Fest."
The National Restaurant Association relocates from Chicago to Washington D.C. Its annual Restaurant
Show remains in Chicago.
Wicker Park receives national historic designation, which qualifies homeowners for low-interest
loans and grants. Reinvestment begins in many of the area's historic mansions.
The Donohue Building (711 S. Dearborn St.) is the first of the city's factory lofts to undergo
conversion into a residential condominium.

Since January 17, the city’s official temperature is measured at O’Hare International Airport.
In May, Chicago stages its first International Art Exposition at Navy Pier.
John Denver opens Poplar Creek Music Theatre in Hoffman Estates on June 6.
Who Chicago? a major art exhibit of Chicago Imagists, opens in London.
On March 12, a Chicago jury finds John Wayne Gacy, Jr. guilty of the murder of 33 men and boys.
The film, Blues Brothers is released.
Doris Christopher founds The Pampered Chef, a kitchen tools direct sales company.
Clarence R. McLean and Roy Wilkes patent a noise suppressor for commercial use.
Luis Barragán is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
Raymond Hartstein adds two new campuses to Oakton Community College, one in Des Plains and
another in Skokie.
Maria Tallchief, her sister, Marjorie and Maria's husband, Buzz Paschen found Chicago City Ballet.
Mayor Jane Byrne launches Taste of Chicago on North Michigan Avenue.
Bon Appetit magazine declares Chef Jean Banchet's Le Francais "America's Best Restaurant."
William “Les” Brown starts The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
Official census drops city's population below 3 million: Hispanic share rises to 26 pecent.
Chicago's firefighters strike for first time.
Larry Jordan, a teacher in the Chicgo Public School system, with the help of Essee Kupcinet,
Evelyn Glieberman and others, founds and opens the Chicago Academy of the Arts in September.
Paul H. Stepan (1943-) volunteers to fund raise for Richard M. Daley's first run for state's attorney.
City allows women to serve as rank-and-file firefighters.
Judith Baar Topinka wins her first public office to Illinois House of Representatives.
Pen collectors start their own convention, The Chicago Pen Show.
Ambria (French) restaurant opens (closes 2007).

Drehobl Brothers Art Glass Co. fabricate and install the "Twelve Tribes of Israel" windows designed
by Archie Rand for Anshe Emet Synagogue.
Joan Baratta is the first woman to becomes senior vice president and group executive, Harris Bank.
Dan Goodwin, 25, dressed as Spiderman on May 25, is arrested after scaling the 110 story Sears
Tower in 7 1/2 hours.
On Veterans Day, Dan Goodwin climbs the John Hancock Center for the purpose of calling attention 
to the inability to rescue people trapped in the upper floors of skyscrapers.
Chicago Magazine introduces the Nelson Algren Award, a short story contest.
William Wrigley announces the sale of the Cubs and Wrigley Field to the Tribune Co. for $20.5 million.
Administrative assistant Ardis Krainik succeeds her boss, Carol Fox, deposed Lyric Opera of Chicago
co-founder, as general manager of the company. Within one season the Krainik led team rescue the
company from bankruptcy.
Pat Foley becomes the play-by-play for the Blackhawks.
Rosamond Campbell founds the Dulcimer Society of Northern Illinois.
Chicago City Day School is founded.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) introduces Eurodollar futures.
On March 14, a fire in the Royal Beach Apartment Hotel kills 19 residents.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) permanently moors a buoy in Lake
Michigan about 50 miles east-southeast to archive the lake water temperature.
Styx record an album entitled Paradise Theatre at Pumpkin Studios in Oak Lawn and release it
January 18, 1981. It becomes Triple platinum, Billboard #1 hit album.
Walgreens pharmacy departments are connected via satellite, letting customers refill prescriptions at
any Walgreens.
Chicagoan and Lake Michigan open water swimmer, Jon Erikson, son of Ted Erikson, becomes the
first person to swim the English Channel three times nonstop.
The Cardinal Sins, a book full of scandal, intrigue, violence and sex is published by Rev. Andrew Greeley.
James Stirling is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
The first 21 MacArthur Foundation fellowships are announced in June.
Bill Veeck sells the White Sox to Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn.
After discovering punk rock at a Ramones show, Al Jourgensen moves to Chicago and forms Ministry.
Bill Granger, Chicago Sun-Times journalist, wins the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of
America for his 1980 book, Public Murders.
Independent record label Touch and Go is founded in Chicago by Dave Simson and Corey Rusk.
Dorothy Fuller organizes "Chicago Is...," the first promotion of Chicago's fashion designers.
Dan Edelman's PR firm introduces the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, a free customer hot line, the first
of its kind. It fields 100,000 calls a year.
Touch & Go has a reputation for releasing adventurous noise rock by the likes of the Butthole
Surfers, Big Black and the Jesus Lizards.
Bob Zajdel, the Victory Auto Wreckers guy, starts his one-ad career.

Bluesman Willie Dixon and his daughter, Shirli Dixon-Nelson launch the Blues Heaven Foundation
to support budding blues artists. In 1997, the Foundation moves into the former Chess Records
offices, 2120 S. Michigan Avenue.
Kingston Mines moves to Halsted Street.
Earl J.J. Pionke closes The Earl of Old Town at 1615 N. Wells.
Fred Anderson, a Sun Ra band member, opens the Velvet Lounge, named not for a fabric, but for
the sound of the owner's tenor sax.
Chicago's schools are closed in the wake of a record-breaking cold the previous day, January 10,
when the mercury dropped to 26º below zero. At 11 am on January 11, the tempoerature reaches
zero for the first time in two days .
Steve Albini, an independent-rock renaissance man, forms Big Black, a hard core band of
unconventional racket.
Tom Verhey opens Pops for Champagne in March in a former grocery store redesigned by John
Frankie Knuckles begins to play at the Riverside Club, which becomes the Powerhouse in 1983.
Vince Lawrence starts the group Z-Factor and records "(I Like To Do It In) Fast Cars," released
by Mitchbal Records.
Driehaus Capital Management LLC is founded by Richard H. Driehaus as an independent boutique
investment adviser.
Ken Harrelson joins the White Sox as its radio voice. He becomes the full-time voice in 1990.
The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) introduces the first options on futures contract and completes
a 23-story annex to its original building.
Four blocks of Evergreen Avenue in Bucktown are designated Nelson Algren Avenue to
commemorate the writers living and working here from 1959-1975.
Kevin Roche is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate..
Siskel and Ebert sign with Tribune Entertainment and rename their show, At the Movies.
Chicago bans handguns (the law is overturned in 2010).
A&P closes the last of its Chicago stores.
Yoshi’s Café (chef Yoshi Katsumara and wife Nobuko) opens on North Halsted and Aldine, in Lakeview.
On Christmas day the temperature hits 64º and Chicago receives 0.47" of rain, contributing to the
city's rainiest December totaling 8.56". 

Harold Washington becomes Chicago's first black mayor.
Eleventh Dream Day, an alternative band of wide influence, is formed by Janet Beveridge Bean
and Rick Rizzo.
Lois Weisberg is named director of the Office of Special Events. She holds that position until 1987.
Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is founded.
Elaine Gonzalz starts Chocolate Artistry, a chocolate consulting firm. She also published a cookbook
with the same name.
Sue Gin launches Flying Food Group with a single catering kitchen at Midway Airport and one airline
customer - Midway Airlines.
Elynne Chaplik Aleskow becomes the first woman television manager in the US when she founds
WYCC-TV, CHannel 20.
The Daley Plaza skating rink opens.
Stop and SHop's Loop location closes.
Gam pong go wings, better know as spicy Asian wings, now a Korean-Chinese-American eating
sensation, were invented by Hsing-Tseng Kao in his Peking Mandarin Restaurant on Lawrence
Avenue and a sweet chilli-flecked sauce was added by Nai Tiao at his nearby Great Sea Restaurant,
both in Albany Park. Nai Tiao also added the lollipop handle by pushing all the down on the bone to
form a handle.
Frankie Knuckles' remix of "Let No Man Put Asunder" by First Choice is released on Salsoul Records.
Robert Williams opens a new club called the Muzic Box in the former R2 Underground space at 326
N. Lower Michigan.
On March 16, fire engulfs the Paxton Hotel on North LaSalle Street, resulting in more than 20 deaths.
In March, Fermilab installs the last of 774 superconducting magnets in an accelerator. Named
Tevatron, in July scientists accelerate protons to world-record energy levels.
Test marketed at the first Taste of Chicago in 1979, to see if customers outside Eli's Place for Steak
restaurant would like it, Eli’s Cheesecake Company starts national distribution.
The Center for Black Music Research (CBMR), the only organization of its kind in the US, is founded
by Samuel A. Floyd, Jr. at Columbia College to collect, preserve and disseminate information about
the common roots and parallel histories of black music in all parts of the world.
I.M. Pei is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
MacDonald's Hamburg University training facility moves to Oak Brook with attendees from more
than 120 countries. The facility can provide simultaneous translation in more than 28 languages.
Steve Stone starts analyzing Cubs and White Sox baseball.
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation is established to benefit historic preservation, architectural and
landscape design and conserving open space. The Foundation also supports the performing and
visual arts and poverty initiatives.
Brittany Heyworth "Brit" Marling is born in Chicago August 7. She goes on to make co-write, co-produce
and act in films, Another Earth (2011), Arbitrage (2012), and The East (2012).
In the face of a funding crisis, legislators amend the RTA Act, creating three service boards,
including the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban bus. The RTA's
primary responsibility becomes the financial and budget oversight of CTA, Metra and Pace, and
regional transit planning issues.
Thirty-nine four-letter, 10-letter and 12-letter expletives are used by Cubs Manager Lee Elia's in his
three-minute, 448-word tirade against booing fans. This may be a major league record for managers.
Chicago records its wettest year on record, 49.35" of precipitation.
Becky Bush is crowned Miss Chicago.
Claudio Abbado, the Chicago Symphony’s principal guest conductor from1982 to 1985, directs a
partially staged version of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck.
The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless host the first national conference on homelessness.
Chicago records its coldest December average temperature of 14.3°.

Journalist John Callaway launches Chicago Tonight on WTTW, which becomes the longest-running
daily local show in American television history before it ends in 1999.
On 2 January, Oprah Winfrey takes over as host of WLS-TV, AM Chicago.
David Mamet wins both the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award for his play
Glengary Glen Ross.
Dr. June Singer helps create the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago.
Lee Collins begins his "Disco Madness" broadcast on WHPK.
Farley "Funkin" Keith releases his first twelve inch record "Funkin With The Drums" on House Records.
Chicago hosts its first Blues Fest.
Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd co-write and, with Bill Murray, co-star in Ghostbusters
Walgreen’s celebrates the opening of its 1,000th store.
Ed Hoy, a stained glass supplier, becomes a wholesaler and produces a 176-page catalog featuring
tools, chemicals, pattern books, glass, jewels, glass cutters and hot and fused glass supplies.
Consumers line up to buy Motorola’s first cellular phone, the DynaTAC 8000X. Affectionately called
“the brick,” it weighs 2 pounds, offers half-hour of talk for every recharging and sells for $3,995.
Marc Smith inaugurates a poetry reading series at Chicago jazz club, Get Me High Lounge. It quickly
develops into the Poetry Slam.
Morningstar, a financial-data firm, is founded by Joe Mansueto from his one-bedroom Chicago
apartment. The name Morningstar is taken from the last sentence in Walden, a book by Henry David
Thoreau, "the sun is but a morning star."
The City of Chicago ends its Police Department Film Review Section, a film censorship board.
Judith Baar Topinka wins election to Illinois Senate.
Block 37 is razed resulting in 2.85 empty acres along State Street.
Richard Meier is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
Steve Jones, breaks the world record with 2:08:05 in the Chicago Marathon.
Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's dies.
Chester Novell Turner and Shirley L. Jones write, produce, direct and act in Black Devil Doll from Hell,
a Chicago horror film shot on VHS tape on Chicago's South and West Sides. It is self-distributed to
video rental stores.
Mike Wittkowski wins the Illinois Lotto $40 million jackpot with the numbers 2-3-10-26-30-43. It's the
single largest lottery prize in the U.S. history.
The Artful Dodger, a legendary tavern, opens in Bucktown – closes in 2005.
CTA extends train service to O'Hare.
Sixteen Candles is filmed in Skokie,Highland Park and other locations on the North Shore.
With Spiaggia, Tony Mantuano introduces Northern Italian cuisine to Chicago.
In November, Ruth and her husband Leonard Horwich donate the 29-foot high Jean Dubuffet sculpture
Monument with a Standing Beast, in front of the Thompson Center.
On December 8, Captain Kangaroo, with Bob Keeshan, signs off the air. It had been the
longest-running nationally broadcast children's show of its day.
Marshall Field sells the Sun-Times to Rupert Murdoch and changes Chicago journalism for ever.

On January 20, Chicago records its lowest temperature on record, -27° at O'Hare.
Helmut Jahn’s State of Illinois Center (now Thompson Center) opens.
Joe Sedelmaier, a Chicago ad film producer, contributes the “Where’s the Beef” TV spot for Wendy’s.
Fermilab achieves the first collisions of protons.
Jeff McCourt founds Windy City Times, one of the most successful and influential gay newspapers in
the US.
The Steans Institute for Young Artists is Ravinia’s professional studies program for young artists,
and is one of the world’s most sought-after summer study programs.