| Compiled and maintained by Rolf Achilles 1673 The
French explorer Louis Jolliet and missionary Jesuit priest Jacque Marquette visits the Grand Village 1676French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle, visits the "Portage de Checagou,"
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.
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.
1683French 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. 1696Jesuite 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.
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
1782The 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.
1792Another 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.
1795The Treaty of Greenville establishes the land that is today Chicago as being on US soil. 1796 Eulalia Pointe du Sable is born in October, the first recorded birth in
Chicago. 1800DuSable 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.
water at a rate of 10¢ to 25¢ a barrel.
1804John and Eleanor (Lytle McKillip) Kinzie purchase land and a house from Jean Baptiste Point du
Henry Harrison of the Indian Territory appoints John Kinzie a justice of the peace. 1805Ellen Marion Kinzie is born to John and Eleanor Kinzie. Ellen is believed
to be the first Caucasian born in Chicago.
1808The American Fur Company, founded by John Jacob Astor in New York in 1808, is
the first big business to be established in Chicago.
1810Helen Hadduck is the first child born in Fort Dearborn.
Later she marries John DeKoven.
1812The 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. 1817Working for the American Fur Company, Jean-Baptiste Beaubien moves from
Detroit to Chicago.
1818Illinois becomes a state with boundaries redrawn to ensure that the entire canal route is within
1822Congress makes the first appropriation granting land for
the construction of the Illinois & Michigan Canal to replace the Chicago Portage.
1825The Erie Canal opens. 1827 Samuel Miller opens the first tavern in Chicago, Miller House.
1828Chicago 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. 1829The 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, near Wolf's Point.
1830 U.S. Government surveyors plot the proposed Illinois & Michigan Canal
with two towns, Chicago
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 city's population stands at about 100. 1831Adding 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 store.The Illinois General Assembly creates Cook County with
Chicago the county seat. Chicago has 12 houses. 1832 Michael Diversey, an immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine, arrives in Chicago.The first bridge is built across the Chicago River. Tavern owner Samuel
Miller pays for it.
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. 1833August 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.Land speculation increases. The first Catholic parish in Chicago 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.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.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. 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 schooner.
1834Reverend Jeremiah Porter organizes Chicago's first Presbyterian Church.
opens the village's first public school.The Chicago Lyceum is founded.Chicago has a population of about 1,800.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.
1835Chicago’s first Court House is erected at the northeast corner of Clark and Randolph streets.Chicago's harbor receives 250 ships.Chicago has a population of about 3,265.
1836Construction of the Illinois & Michigan Canal begins
in an Irish settlement called Canalport, now
the Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport. 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.Chicago's harbor receives 1,427 sailing ships and 39 steamships.
1837The census counts 4,066 people. 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
B. Ogden is elected the city’s first mayor on May 2.Chicago buys 100 acres of canal land for use as a city cemetery. The Panic of 1837 stops canal construction. leaves many
destitute, but does not bankrupt the city. The first medical school in Chicago 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
(1819-1901) becomes Queen of England. 1838 Congress had appropriates almost $200,000.00 for harbor improvements resulting
in the shoreline
moving east some 720 feet between 1833 and 1839. 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 & Lill.Newberry & Dole operate a 3-story elevator on the north side of the Chicago River.
1840The 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. 1841Several 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.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 MichiganAvenue. 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. Washington Square, later known as Bughouse Square and home to orators of all stripes, is established.
1843The Roman Catholic Diocese of Chicago is established.The city holds its first St. Patrick's Day parade. 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.
1844Chicago 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.
The largest meatpacker in Chicago, Gurdon Hubbard, is slaughtering some
300-400 hogs per day.The
first Catholic school opens (for boys).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. 1845 Called School No.1, or Miltimore's Folly, the first permanent
school is built at 12-24 Madison. Chicago passes its first blue law, closing "tippling houses" on Sundays.Jacob Gauch's Brewery opens on Indiana Street.
1846Kehilath 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. 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 sellsSwedish products.The St. Andrew Society, a charitable non-profit, is founded.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.
There are 177 manufacturing concerns in Chicago, employing
1,400 persons, 10 percent
of the city’s population.
1847 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.
Stephen A. Douglas, known as "The Little Giant,"
moves to Chicago.The
Chicago and Rock Island Railroad is chartered.
The American Medical Association is founded in Chicago. The Rice Theater opens on Randolph Street.
1848The population of Chicago reaches 20,243.
The Potato Famine in Ireland officially
begins the "Irish Diaspora." The "Revolution" fails in Germany. Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany, installs landmark stained glass windows into Cathedrals in
Regensburg, Germany. These windows set an international style trend.The "Pioneer" locomotive arrives in Chicago.
The city's first railroad, the Chicago and
Galena Union Railroad, begins operating along 10 miles
of track completed to the Des Plaines River.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 first boatload of goods arrives through the I&M
Canal, followed by a flood of grain.
To regulate this grain trade, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) is created in 1848. The first telegraph is built between Chicago and New York
City. 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.
Reed opens Chicago’s first soda fountain. 1849The Aurora Branch Railroad is established.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 US with articles on beauty, health, etiquette
for Joesph Pulitzer's New York World.
In March, 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 .
The first opera presented in Chicago, Bellini’s
La Sonnambula, is performed in Rice Theater
(July30). 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.
The census counts 5,094
Germans living in Chicago, 17% of the city's population.
The 1850 census counts 323 African Americans in Chicago.
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. 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.
1851Northwestern 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.Edited by Georg Schneider, the Illinois Staats-Zeitung, a German language newspaper, becomes a daily. The Public Water Board is organized to handle recurring cholera outbreaks.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
Central Railroad is chartered and is the first U.S. railroad to receive a public land grant.
1852Old 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.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.The first through train from the east enters Chicago over the Michigan Southern & Northern Indian RR.The Illinois Central builds a breakwater in return for
shoreline property. A century of land-filling operations follow. Chicago corn buyers establish the official weight of a bushel of corn at 56 pounds.
Frank Parmelee and
Company begins to provide passengers with safe, affordable livery
transportation in omnibuses or covered wagons, operated by neatly groomed,
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.
Chicago & Rock Island Railroad becomes the first line to cross the Mississippi River.Conrad Seipp enters the brewing trade.The first Polk Street Bridge is built using the old Clark
Street Bridge. Lakeview
is promoted as a pleasant summer retreat away from the city's disease and heat.
1855Chicago has 675 “liquor establishments” – 625 owned
by Germans and Irish, 50 by "Americans." On 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.
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." 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 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
Historical Society is founded. Fort Dearborn is demolished. Nelson Morris (born Moritz Beissinger, 1839), age 17, moves from New York to Chicago and
starts his own meatpacking
co. in 1859.
iron bridge at Rush Street is built..The first wooden pavement is laid on Wells Street.Chicago lays its first sewer.The first train runs from Chicago to Hyde Park.The Illinois Central Railroad opens its line from Chicago to New Orleans.
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.
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). 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.Ebner B. Ward opens Chicago's first steel mill, North Chicago Rolling Mill, on the North Branch of the Chicago River.The first African American family builds its own home where Plymouth Court
is today. The
McVicker’s Theater opens at 25 West Madison Street. 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.
1858John 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.
Lehman Brewery is established.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.
1859The 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
first public drinking fountain is installed at the northeast corner of the public square.
1860The 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
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.
1861Potter 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.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
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 came to Chicago again in 1863, 1864and 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.
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
1864George 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
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 music.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.
1865The 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.
1866St. 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.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
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.
of Illinois is founded in Urbana. Chicago’s first YMCA, Farwell Hall, opens. 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.
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. 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.
1868The first river tunnel in the United States is completed under the Chicago
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.
1869The 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 markers.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
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.
Loop Synagogue is built with a magnificent east wall stained glass window by Abraham Ratner.
Dr. John H. Rauch formally suggests
the formation of the Chicago Park District.
1870St. Ignatius College, later Loyola University, is founded. 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 brickyards employ some 1,100 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 gunpoint.Chicago has sixty-eight bookstores, one for every 4,396
inhabitants."Dry goods" is listed
as the city's number one Jewish occupation.Chicago has 17 candy businesses.
German made lager beer becomes Chicago’s favorite drink.The first hydraulic elevator is installed by C.W. Baldwin
in the store and warehouse of Burley and Company
on West Lake Street. On October 15, Chicago’s “official” climatological record
keeping begins at 181 W. Washington.
La Salle Street tunnel under the Chicago River is completed.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.
While not yet finished,
the Nixon Building, northeast corner of Monroe and LaSalle Streets, designed
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
Chicago has 10 synagogues for an estiamted Jewish population of 4,000.
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 Romanesque. 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. 1872James
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,
an architectural practice in Chicago specializing in breweries, other industrial plants and motion
picture facilities.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 Solennelle; Beethoven’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.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.
law prohibits the city's bridges from remaining open longer than 10 minutes during the morning,
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.
1873An 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.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.
1874Not 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 president. Chicago
boasts one saloon for every 26 men.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.
1875Lake 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.
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
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.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.
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. 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.
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 Scotchman, 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. Chicago’s warmest December on record
has an average temperature of 43.4° contributing to an average winter temperature of 37.2°.
1878The 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
other on lines furnished by Alexander Graham Bell.Keeley Brewing Company is established.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 Lee Barnett, an attorney, publishes the city's first black
newspaper. His wife is Ida B. Wells.
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.
1879The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts is organized. Its core art collection
is acquired at a sheriff salefrom 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. 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.
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.
1880George 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
Fred. W. Wolf Company of Chicago obtains the patent rights to the Linde
Ice Machine, introduced
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.
call Chicago home.Field & Leiter
do $25 million in sales.
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.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.
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.
1882Chicago'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.
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.
1883On 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
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
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 lease a meat market in Chicago. Within
five-years the Oscar Mayer Company on Sedgwick
Street becomes a successful meatpacking business.
1884The 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. Named
Augustana Hospital, a 15-patient facility is founded by the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church at the corner of Cleveland and Lincoln Avenue.
1885Joseph E. Flanagan and William C. Biedenweg, a German trained
craftsman, establish Flanagan &
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
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 LaSalleStreet. 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.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.
1886On 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 day.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.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.
1887January 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
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.
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. 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.
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
1889Chicago 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.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,
Tool Works. Gibsons 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
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.
1890Adler & Sullivan design the magnificent Temple K. A. M. at Indiana and 33rd
Street. In 1922, the
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 Rivers.
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
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
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 Chciago until 1939, the American Brewers Review focuses on local politics and its effect on the industry. in 1939. 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.
1892The 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 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
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
foundry to make cast utensils. 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.
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
powder line, chewing gum. By 1895 Wrigley is in the chewing
1893The 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
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.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,
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
Exposition.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.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)
8 is the official opening of the Art Institute of Chicago.
1894The 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.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.
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 asthe Chinese takeout container. 1895Chicago 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 forabout $150.00, half a working-man’s annual wage.
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 2.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 states.
1896On 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.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 inChicago 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 andthe 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.
1897Albert 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
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
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.
1898In 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 longestAnnual freshwater sailing race in the world.
Herman Joseph Berghoff from Dortmund, Germany arrived in the US in 1870.
By 1887, he is,
his three brothers, brewing Berghoff Beer in Fort Wayne, IN. His sales are so impressive
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.
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
1899Giannini & 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.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
"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 in Old Town with access from the Germania
1900Chicago'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. 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
the Amalgamated Glass Workers International Association (A.G.W.I.A.) is organized in Chicago. 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
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
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.
1901Queen 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 1910Fingerprints
at the scene convict Thomas Jennings of murder after he had burglarized a house in
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 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Thomas' invitation, Richard Strauss, becomes the first-ever Chicago Symphony Orchestra guest conductor
on subscription concerts.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 Blackstone. The A.C. Frost Company creates Ravinia as an upscale amusement park to lure riders
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
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.
immigrant, Jens Andreas Paaschen, starts the Paaschen Airbrush Co.
1905The 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. 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.
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
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 itis 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
Piano Concerto. The Majestic Theatre Building
(Shubert from 1945-2005, now LaSalle Bank Theatre) opens
and hosts Chicago’s first public pay phone.
1907Cubs win their first World Series. They win again in 1908. Albert Abraham Michelson, a physicist at the University of Chicago, is
the first American to win
a Nobel Prize.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 Logan&Bryan. 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 Chicagofilm setting for on and off-screen action. Essanay Movie Studios, founded by George K. Spoor and
Max Aronson (a.k.a. Broncho Billy, the
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. 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.
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
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 occurrences.
1909Chicago 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
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"
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. 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, BanatSwabian 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.The 1910 census notes that Poles make up 16 percent of Chicago's immigrant population. 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
1911Chicago 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
(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
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!
1912Harriet 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.
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
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.
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 Michiganwith 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
1913October 31, Frederick Stock, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's
second music director, conducts
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 Orchestra.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.
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.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
On November 3, under the new law, spearheaded by Dwight Perkins, the residents
of Cook County
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.
1915Barney Balaban (born in the Maxwell Street neighborhood) and Sam Katz open their
on Central Park Avenue
in Chicago, followed by the Riviera in 1918. Balaban & Katz would createseveral 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.
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
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
1916Carl 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 a3,500 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 ConanDoyle'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
Shoreand 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 Bismark
Hotel becomes Hotel Randolph, and Kaiserhof the
1917Wallace 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.
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
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-
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.
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.The Union Stockyards of Chicago are forced to grant an
eight-hour day and forty-hour week, wages
and overtime is paid.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.
Lloyd Wright, a son of the famous architect, invents Lincoln Logs in Oak Park.
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.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
1919Frank 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 suffrage.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,
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.
1920Chicago supports some fifty manufacturers of stained glass
becomes effective January 16, the day before the Volstead Act becomes law.
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 today.
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
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. 1921World 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
1923The Thompson submachine gun becomes a business tool for the first time in the hands
of the South
Side Saltis- McErlane
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.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
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
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.
1924The 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 attemptedto 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
in Chicago. The Illinois Brick Company, Chicago’s largest brick
manufacturer, produces more than 700 millioncommon
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, whichbecomes 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
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 inthe 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 Northwestern.
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,
country’s first gay-rights organization. Publishing two issues of its newsletter, Friendship
it was short lived. Northerly
Island is considered for an airport.
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
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 Chicago 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 ChicagoWhite 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 Chicagotoday as Italian Beef sandwiches. Edna Ferber receives a Pulitzer Prize for novel, So Big,
about Dutch immigrants in Chicago and
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.
1926Downtown 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
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
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 House.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.
1927Chicago has 350 movie and vaudeville houses. The McVicker’s Theatre, 25 W. Madison (demolished in 1984), introduces Chicago
to movies with
temporarily breaks racial barriers by leading a band in the Loop's BlackhawkRestaurant. 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 entire9th 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 JohnnyWeissmuller 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 aboard.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.
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.
Hess makes her Orchestra Hall debut on November 25.
1928Three graduates of the Architecture School of Armour Institute, Loebl,
Schlossman and Demuth,
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 masterof 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
1929The 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.
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
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
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 homeof 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.
1930The 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
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 Romangoddess of
grain and harvest, designed by Chicago sculptor John Storrs,
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,
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,
brass by acclaimed German composer Paul Hindemith; the piece had been commissioned by Chicago-born art patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge
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 ChicagoThe 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
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 Street.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 firstplanetarium 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.
1931Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced
to 11 years in prison. Sufferingfrom 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
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 StudebakerTheater. 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 disbands.The Chicago Daily News sells WMAQ to NBC.A quarter of the nation's airmail is carried annually by airlines passing through
Earl Carroll’s racy “Sketch Book” revue at the Chicago Grand Opera is
raided by police in the middle
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 Pacific.
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.
1932Industrial Chicago is hard-hit by the Depression. Some 750,000 people
are unemployed out of a
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" barAfrican-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.
1933Chicago'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.
by a major gift from Julius Rosenwald, The Museum of Science and Industry opens, June
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 becomesa 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.
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.
1934Bank robber John Dillinger is killed outside the Biograph
Theater after a show of Manhattan Melodrama.
African-American composer William Dawson
completes his Negro Folk Symphony. Arnold
Schoenberg makes his only appearance at Orchestra Hall conducting his Transfigured Night.
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.
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.
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-starteam 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.
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 famousfor 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.
1935Katherine Kuh opens the only gallery in Chicago (540 N. Michigan) specializing
in works by
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 sponsoredseries of summer orchestra concerts at a band shell in Grant
Park. The free lake front series
becomes the Grant Park Music Festival.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
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
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
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 opinion.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.
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.
Formed as the Ravinia Festival Association, Ravinia becomes the summer residence
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.
1937One 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.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 Theater.Replacing the outfield stands of Wrigley Field, Holabird & Root, a Chicago architectural firm,
add new bleachers, arranged in a boomerang-chaped
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
during this period.The
Chicago Housing Authority is created.
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 Drakeis
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 Hoffmann." 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
“Homer in the Gloamin” occurs during the National League pennant in Wrigley Field.
Beer is named by Ely Klapman for his dad who had experimented with making high quality root beer.
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.
1940Motorola Company develops the world's first hand-held, two-way radio,
better known as the
begins to broadcast Cubs and White Sox games, some 5,300 games, until he
retires in 1981.
Chicago has 425 kosher butcher shops.
Leon Finney, Sr. from Mississippi, opens his first restaurant, Leon's
BBQ, on East Garfield in Bronzeville.
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.
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
by 7 a.m. on November 12.For the American Negro Light Opera Association of
Chicago, Katherine Dunham stages and choreographsTropical Pinafore, a takeoff on Gilbert and Sullivan. Richard Wright publishes his novel, Native Son that opens to critical acclaim in New York
City inMarch 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.
1941Arturo 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.Zenith introduced the detachable "Wavemagnet" loop antenna in
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
1942Nelson 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 hebecomes 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
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.
1943In 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 first 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.
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).
1945A Street in Bronzeville is published by Gwendolyn Brooks. 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 labels. 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.
1946Leonard and Phil Chess, Polish-born brothers and a woman
named Evelyn, starts AristocratRecords. 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 verypopular. 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 c. 2003).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. 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.
1947Wrigley 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.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
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 luminati.
1948Chicago 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
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
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
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.
1949Construction begins on 860-880 N. Lake Shore Drive, the world's first structurally
expressivehigh-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, thefirst full-length dramatic production ever telecast in "its entirety, with costumes and setting", andthe 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
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.
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.
population peaks at 3,620,962 people, boosted by the post-war economic boom, a newsurge 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.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.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.
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
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, opensOn Christmas Eve to Christmas
Day, 8.6" of snow fall.
1952On July 26, Adlai Stevenson accepts the Presidential nomination at the Democratic
NationalConvention. 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 HomePermanent
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. 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-transistorwireless 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 barrel. 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 originallyknown 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).
1953On 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
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 suburbanfamily-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.
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
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.
1955Richard 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.
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.
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 soundstagesinstead of city streets. Between
June 27 and July 23 Chicago experiences 27 consecutive days above
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
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
1956WNBQ, 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,
the La Leche League.
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,
and positive thought.
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.
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
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.
1958Stan 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
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
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 Street.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.
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.
"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.
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.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 CoastGuard 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
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
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 M-Pa. 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
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. 1961McCormick 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,
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 soleWGN-TV announcer from 1963-1970.Pettit is WGN radio Blackhawk
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.
1962 The first segment of the Dan Ryan Expressway opens from Congress Expressway (Eisenhower
Expressway) to 71st St. 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,
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.
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
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 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
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
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.
1964The 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
The Pump Room is said to have invented adding a celery stalk to a "Bloody Mary" cocktail. A celery stalk
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.
1965Ten 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.
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.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
1966A 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
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.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'.
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.
1967January 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.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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
1968This 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
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
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.
1969The 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
First Piano Concerto (20 February). The Goodman Theatre, after 38 years of student productions, returns to its status as a professional
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 Artists.'"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.”
opens the Bijou Theatre.
1970 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
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.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.
Bookstore opens in Hyde Park, 1501 E. 57th St.
1971The 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
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 Rockers.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
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.
1972Duck Variations by David Mamet is the first in
a series of plays by the Chicago playwright to beproduced in Chicago and then New York. 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
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.
1973 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 Chciago'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. WrightwoodAlyce 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.
1974Marc 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. 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
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 Collegewith
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.
1975David 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
Nation of Islam leader, dies and is buried at Mount Glenwood Memory Gardens, Glenwood.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.
1976Mayor 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
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. 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.
1977Motorola 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.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 radio.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
Founded in 1847 in Poughkeepsie, NY, Smith Brothers cough drops is acquired by Chicago-based
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.
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.
1978 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.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
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.
1979On 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 Magazines.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.
1980Since 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
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
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).
1981Drehobl 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
1982Bluesman 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
Kingston Mines moves to Halsted Street.
Fred Anderson, a Sun Ra band member, opens the Velvet Lounge, named not for a fabric, but for
the sound of the owner's
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
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 Nelson.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".
1983Harold 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
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.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
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. NamedTevatron, 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
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.
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
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°.
1984Journalist 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
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
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
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
December 8, Captain Kangaroo, with Bob Keeshan, signs off the air. It had been the longest-running nationally broadcast children's show of
Field sells the Sun-Times to Rupert Murdoch and changes Chicago journalism for ever.
1985On 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.
hosts its first Gospel Fest.
With Don Cornelius as its host until 1993, Soul Train is syndicated by Tribune Entertainment
International, its subsidiary labels, and Trax Records are two of the main sources locally and
to the world for the House Music sound of Chciago.
Chip E releases the seminal
"Jack Trax EP" to city-wide acclaim, which launches him to startdom.
Studs Terkel's The Good War wins a
Serving homeless women, Deborah's Place opens.
Al Piemonte, of the Melrose Park Ford dealership, as TV auto pitchman,
puts the focus on promises
of best price and best selection.
Hans Hollein is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
Blanche Artis Lewis founds
Opera Factory. Opera Factory presents the American premier of Jose
Serrano's Los de Aragon and Amadeo Vives' Bohemios. Arun Sampanthavivat opens his namesake restaurant, Arun’s, to quick acclaim for the most
elegant Thai eating
in the US. Café
Ba-Ba-Reeba, Spanish tapas-style by Richard Melman, opens in Lincoln Park.The Wabash Street bridge over the Chicago River is named The Irv Kupcinet
Bridge by unanimous approval
of the City Council on December 23.
1986The Chicago Bears win the Super Bowl (NFL Championship).On April 20, the Bulls' Michael Jordan scones 63 points against the Boston Celtics. The Bulls loose, 135-131. In a record smashing, two-hour live television special,
Geraldo Rivera entered Al Capone's alleged
vault, fires a submachine gun, detonates dynamite, sings Chicago, and finds a few empty bottles.
Lifelong Chicagoan, Larry Heinemann
wins critical applause with his novel PAC’s Story.Zeleke Gessesse opens the Wild Hare. Instantly it becomes the Midwest's reggae music center.
first syndicated show airs, September 8. The first 20 women firefighters join the Chicago Fire Department.Russ Tutterow is named artistic director of Chicago Dramatists.Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert join Buena Vista Television,
a division of The Walt Disney Co. and change the name of their show to Siskel & Ebert at the Movies. The
two are the most powerful film critics in the world.Chester Novell Turner writes, produces, and directs Tales from the Quadead Zone, a Chicago
horror film shot
on VHS tape on Chicago's South and West Sides. It is self-distributed to video rental stores. Joanie Pallatto and Bradley Parker-Sparrow
release their first CD, Whisper Not on their Southport record label.Gottfried
Bõhm is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.Rolling
Rock Beer is introduced to Chicago by Hugh Haller of Local Option, a Lincoln Park tavern.
Theater reopens.The Uptown Poetry Slam starts at the Green Mill Lounge.
Charles H. Kerr Company,
a socialist publishing house, celebrates its 100th anniversary.Lake Shore Drive's S-curve is straightened.Jean Joho opens Everest, a restaurant. It immediately becomes a bastion
of haute French taste.
1987Raya Dunayevskaya dies in Chicago. Dunayevskaya arrived in Chicago in the 1920s after having
served for two
years as Trotsky’s secretary in Mexico. She wrote the
first English translation of Marx’s 1844 manuscripts and developed a critique of the totalitarian tendencies of Marxist philosophy know as Marxist humanism. David Hernandez is commissioned to write a poem commemorating the city’s 150th anniversary.Poetry moves into a rent-free nook in the Newberry
blessing of Mayor Harold Washington, Dorothy Fuller founds the Apparel Industry Board. Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor, dies in
office of a heart attack.
Charlie Trotter opens a fine dining namesake restaurant
in a former home on Armitage Avenue
that becomes a five-star destination restaurant for diners from around the world.Chicago City Ballet closes.Roscoe's is the first LGBT bar on Halsted to have floor
to ceiling windows open to the street.Jim Corno makes Sports Vision the first 24/7 regional operation in the country.Kenzo Tange is the Pritzker
Architecture Prize Laureate.
Using maps and a
research team from the Newberry Library, Helen Hornbeck Tanner publishesAtlas of Great Lake Indian History. The epic work documents the
displacement of Indian
communities from 1640 to 1871, due to disease, destruction of their culture by white settlers
and duplicity.Paul Freeman founds the Chicago Sinfonietta..Larry Lujack's final WLS broadcast takes place on August
a renowned chocolate specialist, is voted best cooking instructor by her peers in a Chicago Tribune poll, and she is among the first to lead chocolate
tours of Mexico. Annoyance
Theatre, formerly Metaform, is founded by Mick Napier and opens with Splatter Theatre in Cabaret Metro. On October 19, Starbucks opens its first store outside
Seattle at 111 W. Jackson. Chicago born leggy dance diva, Jody Watley is awarded Best New Artist Grammy for her slamming
dance-pop solo debut, Looking for a New Love and
Don’t You Want Me. The Mexican Fine Arts Museum opens in Pilsen.The Museum of Broadcast Communications opens. Rick Bayless opens Frontera Grill and changes the way we think of tacos.A reborn Sieben's becomes Chicago's first brewpub.
1988Lights on 33 feet high towers are installed by Osborn Engineering
of Cleveland, Ohio, and the first Cubs home night game is played at Wrigley Field. Big Monster Toys is founded as a direct descendent of Marvin Glass & Associates, one of the
toy-designers of the 1950s and 60s. Lookingglass Theatre Company is formed. Its first production
is Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found
Factory performs the world premier of The Magic Cup with music by Chicago composer
the Rev. Edward J. McKenna and libretto by the Rev. Andrew Greeley, based
on Greeley's novel.Goose Island Brew Pub opens.Oscar Niemeyer and Gordon
Bunshaft are the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates.On June 20, O'Hare recorded its first ever over 100º with 104º. On June 25, temperatures reached 105° by the lake, 104° at Midway Airport and 103°
at O’Hare. The
B1 bomber makes its debut as 1.5 million people attend Chicago’s Air and Water Show.
1989Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, is elected mayor.Lois Weisberg is named commissioner of Cultural Affairs.Chris and Mike Schuba open Schubas Tavern in a former Schlitz
Brewery owned "ied house." Paul H. Stepan organizes the fundraising campaign for Daley's successful mayoral race. In less than five months he raises a staggering $6.5 million from lawyers,
developers and businessmen.A record 30.98" barometric pressure is recorded on February 16.
Nine art galleries perish April 15, in a fire that leveled nearly an entire block of
historic buildings in
the River North gallery district.Alyce Marie-Therese Hamm (born 1930) dresses Miss France, Peggy Zlotkowski.
James Ginsburg founds
Cedille Records, a for-profit classical music recording company featuring Chicago area musicians. It is the first Chicago-based record label to do so. Chicago records .5 inches of snow on May 6.On May 7, Mayor Richard M. Daley and Gov. James Thompson help break ground for the new Comiskey Park.
General Director Ardis Krainik sacks tenor
Luciano Pavarotti for canceling 26 of his 41 scheduled
appearances with her Lyric Opera of Chicago within nine years. Billy Corgan forms The Smashing Pumpkins in Chicago.
With less than $1,000 in hand, Tony Brummel
launches Victory, a highly successful independent
record label. Around the Coyote forms under the direction of Frenchman Jim Happy-Delpech.Frank Gehry is the Pritzker Architecture
Prize Laureate.Chicago Festival Ballet, aka Von Heidecke's Chicago Festival
Ballet is founded.Sylvester "Syl" Lulinski is voted into the American Cribbage Congress, ACC, Hall of Fame.River North Chicago Dance Company is founded.From October 18 to 20, Chicago officially records 6.3"
of snow, though warm ground and above-freezing temperatures limit accumulation to 1-2".Ben Hollis and WTTW-Ch.11 producer John Davies create Wild Chicago.
At the time, there is nothing like it on TV. It is an immediate hit.
Rich Bayless opens Topolobampo, a few tables inside his Frontera Grill restaurant, and instantly
introduces the white-tablecloth
experience to Mexican eating.Chicago experiences the least days without measurable snow in a year, 164.
1990Cher opens the World Music Theatre in Tinley Park (now Tweeter Center).
leads the Chicago Symphony in the world premiere of John Corigliano's
Symphony no.1, commissioned for the
The Shelter nightclub opens in March. It is the dominat club for most of the next decade.
School of Ballet is founded in Naperville, Joliet and Chicago.
Aldo Rossi is the
Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. Rialto's Tap, a legendary gay club in Chicago's Loop, closes. It was known for playing House Music
to its African-American clientele.Stuart Dybek publishes "The Coast of Chicago," a quickly acclaimed collection of short
stories.Suzanne Flandreau establishes The Center for Black Music
Research (CBMR) Library and Archives.
Dawn Clark Netsch defeats Republican Sue Suter for state comptroller.
At 311 S. Wacker architects Kohn Pederson Fox, build the world’s
tallest concrete framed building.
Tortoise, an inventive Chicago music collective
1991The Chicago Bulls, with the help of Michael Jordan, win the National Basketball Association
championship for the first
new Comiskey Park baseball stadium (now known as U.S. Cellular
Field) opens on the South Side.Gallery 37 art programs starts.Holly Agra founds First Lady Cruises. Its main client, the Chicago Architecture Foundation.Jazz Dance World Congress (JDWC) is founded by Gus Giordano.
Neil Funk becomes
the Bulls radio and TV play-by-play man.The supreme funk parlor, Red Dog Nightclub opens. The Music Box, a club, closes.After working in Hong Kong at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer moves to Chicago and
opens The French
Pastry School at City Colleges of Chicago with the mission to bring excellence and quality to the pastry industry through hands-on educational
opportunities.Robert Venturi is the
Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.Robert S. Boone founds Young Chicago Authors (YCA).Lindy and Edwin Bergman give the bulk of their modern art
collection, including works by Picasso, Ernst, Magritte, Miro, Dali and Cornell to the Art Institute of Chicago. Corner Bakery Cafe is founded as an offshoot Maggiano's Little Italy.Wicker Park is granted landmark status by the Chicago City
Council, 12 years after it received
national designation.Daniel Barenboim is appointed new music director of the Chicago Symphony. The 101st season opens three weeks late, on October 1, because of a labor
Speck, who murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966, dies in prison on December 5, a day short of his 50th birthday.
In March, Chicago’s climatological
record keeping moves to Meigs Field.The Chicago Bulls win another NBA Championship. Willie Dixon, Chicago Blues legend, born Vicksburg, MS, July 1, 1915,
dies Jan 29, age 76.Iconic
DJ, Ron Hardy, of the Music Box, dies March 2.The Goodman Theater wins a Regional Theater Tony Award.On May 25, Chicago experiences its latest freeze. It is the start of a
very cool summer.Ed
Farmer becomes announcer for the White Sox.Chicago born Mary Ann McMorrow is the first female judge to be elected to the state
Supreme Court.Walgreens opens its first drive-thru pharmacy.Chicago native Curtis Jones produces his first track "Coffee Pot
(It's Time for the Percolator)" as Cajmere on Clubhouse Recods.The world's first inverted roller coaster opens at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee under the name Batman: The Ride.Assault weapons are banned in Chicago.Madusa's closes in June.Alvaro Siza is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
WKQX-FM hires Carla
Leonardo as its on air personality when it shifts from an adult-contemporary to an alternative rock format.Polk Bros. close their five remaining stores.WSCR, or The Score, an all-sports radio format, begins
broadcasting on the frequency of former WPNT (AM 820).Video
game, Mortal Kombat is created by Ed Boon for Midway (today called NetherRealm).With the rupture of a utility tunnel beneath the Kinzei
Street Bridge on the North Branch of the Chicago River, basements and underground facilities throughout the Loop are flooded with an estimated 250 million US gallons of water.
1993The Beanie Babies' "Squealer the pig" is born
on April 23, followed two days later by "Legs the frog", and "Chocolate the moose" on April 27, in Oakbrook, Illinois.
Rob Miller, Eric Babcock found Bloodshot Records, an independent record label.Fort Sheridan is decommissioned, allowing for redevelopment
of the site. Columbia
College’s Hair Trigger receives the Gold Crown award from the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association.
The Chicago Bulls win their third NBA Championship.
The series of three championships is coined “Three Peat.” The AIA Guide to Chicago Architecture is published.The CTA rail system opens the Orange Line to Midway Airport.Chicago gets its second all-sports radio station when WLUP-AM1000,
once home to pro-labor and Christian programming, changes to WMVP.Mayor Daley launches Chicago's Graffiti Blasters initiative.Fumihiko Maki is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.Josh Squire, a Northwestern University students and bicycle
fanatic, starts Bike Chicago, a cycle rental company.The
International Mister Bootblack Competition is added to the International Mister Leather program.Red Orchid Theatre opens with Jack Gelber's The Connection.
are constructed as part of North Michigan Avenue’s streetscape improvement project with plantings designed by Douglas Hoerr.Midway Airport records the city's wettest year on record,
1994 When Bump N’ Grind hits No.1 on February 19, South Sider R. Kelly affirms that he has become the dominant rhythm and blues performer of the
Planet begins to track the local and international punk scene.John Wayne Gacy is executed May 10, at Stateville Penitentiary, Joliet. Ana Castillo writes her acclaimed book, My Father was
a Toltec. Lee
Godie, the city’s most famous outsider artist, dies. Christian
de Portzamparc is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
The United Center opens.Tom MacDonald and Janan open Webster's Wine Bar in the former Robert Henry Adams Fine Art gallery.Del Close collaborates with Kim Howard Johnson and Charna
Halpern on his book, Truth in Comedy: The Manual for Improvisation.Chicago hosts the World Cup. Cedille Records, founded by James Ginsburg in 1989, is transformed into a not-for-profit record
label under the
umbrella of The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation.Alyce Marie-Therese Hamm is the recipient of the Designer of the Year Award by the Apparel Industry
Foundation. Kartemquin Films releases Hoop Dreams.
Christoph Eschenbach is named Ravinia’s
music director, a post he holds until 2003.Chicago experiences the most days without measurable snow in one year, 290. 1995
Fermilab sets world record for number of high-energy proton-antiproton
Pier reopens after an extended restoration.The top quark, an elusive subatomic particle, is discovered at Fermilab.Micahel Jordan, in a two-word news release saying simply,
"I'm back, announces, on March 18, his return to the Chicago Bulls after an 893-day retirement.Bettina Richards moves Thrill Jockey Records from New York to Chicago.Tadao Ando is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.Navy Pier opens its 148-foot Ferris Wheel in honor of the
original Wheel at the 1893 World's Fair. On July 13, Chicago hits a sweltering 104º.Mayor Daley assumes authority over city's public schools.Andrew Athens, Greek-American
philanthropist, is elected the founding president of the World Council of Hellenes.Lake Michigan reaches a temperature of 81.3º
at the NOAA buoy on August 13, an official high.Doug Zell and Emily Mange, his wife, found Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago.Seymoure H. Perskey offers the Society of Architectural
Historians, based in Philadelphia, the James Charnley House, 1365 N. Astor St. They accept and move.Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Upfront columnist for Chicago
Magazine, Henry Hansen, dies. On October 26, Daniel Barenboim conducts the Chicago Symphony in Shulamit Ran's Pulitzer Prize-winning symphony. Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago
Symphony join with trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe, a jazz quartet, and African drummers for a concert version of Lokumbe's
Kroch's and Brentano's,
once the largest privately-owned bookstore chain in the US, closes.
1996 The Chicago Bulls win their fourth NBA Championship. On the summer solstice, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a 24-hour preview
of its new building
designed by Berlin architect Josef Paul Kleihaus on the site of the former U.S. NationalGuard Armory at 220 E. Chicago Avenue.Pat Hughes becomes the play-by-play voice for the Cubs.Red Orchid Theatre becomes an Equity Theatre house.Raphael Moneo is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. Lisel Mueller wins the Pulitzer Prize for poetry with Alive Together.The City closes its last municipal incinerator. Claudia Cassidy, fabled 1940s to 1970s Chicago Tribune
theater, dance and music critic dies.Cardinal Joseph Bernardine of the Chicago Archdiocese dies, November 14, age 68.Chicago's City Council bans the sale of spray paint.In June Chicago countts 90 homicides.Another attempt to revitalize State Street is announced.The CHA is taken over by a federal agency. Chicago starts to demolish its CHA high rises.In August Chicago counts 85 homicides..A storefront home for the Leather Archives and Museum opens.
It quickly outgrows its space.
For a cooling unit
at 400 S. Franklin, Exelon Thermal Technologies builds the world's largest
reinforced cast-in-place ice tank, measuring 110x100x40 feet high.In October Chicago counts 80 homicides.
1997 The Chicago City Council approves a resolution absolving Mrs. O’Leary’s cow of all
blame for the
Great Chicago Fire. Juice,
a 24-year old Chicago MC performs against up-and-coming Detroit rapper Eminem at
Scribblejam, the annual Midwestern hip-hop festival. Juice
wins the battle, but Eminem wins fame.The Chicago Bulls win the NBA Championship, again. Janet Jagan (Rosenberg) is elected president of Guyana. Born in Chicago in 1920, she marries Cheddi Jagan in 1943, who, in 1992, is elected president
of free Guyana.Sverre Fehn is the Pritzker Architecture
Prize Laureate.Roosevelt Road is extended east of Michigan Ave., across the Illinois Central tracks.For $8 million, the Field Museum buys fossils for a T-Rex
Score, talking sports radio, moves to AM 1160, becoming 24-hour. The Chicago Board of Trade completes its 60,000 square-foot trading floor
to house its financial and
100 of Chicago's public schools are placed on academic probation.Orchestra Hall is renovated and on Oct.4, Daniel Barenboim leads the Chicago Symphony in the opening night of the renamed Symphony Center.Eugene Polley and Robert Adler, both of Zenith, share an
Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts for their contribution to Zenith's introduction of the wireless remote.Studs Terkel retires from WFMT radio after 45 years.Mayor Richard M. Daley officially recognizes Boystown as
Chicago's gay district.The
redevelopment of former Glenview Naval Air Station begins.
Paul Kahan puts Contemporary American food on the map when he opens Blackbird.
1998 Two great Chicago sports announcers die, Harry Caray (1914-1998) and Jack
Brickhouse (1916-1998). The Chicago Police Department names its first female deputy superintendent, Jeanne Clark.
After 35-years in business, The Busy Bee
Restaurant, 1546 North Damen Ave., closes.
The Chicago Bulls win another NBA Championship.Steppenwolf Theatre Company wins a National Medal of the Arts.The Art of Chocolate (Chronicle Books) is written
by Elaine Gonzalez.Renzo Piano is the Pritzker Architecture
Prize Laureate.Ed Hoy (1920-2013), a stained glass supplier, opens a 75,000-square-foot warehouse in Warrenville. His firm, Ed Hoy's International, is one of the largest stained
glass suppliers in the US.The Fire Museum of Greater Chicago acquires a building at 5218 S. Western Ave.Jim Corno helps bring the Cubs to Fox Sports Net, marking
the team's initial venture into cable.Sammy Sosa of the Cubs becomes the 4th player in Major League Baseball history to reach 60-home runs in one season.Apolinar P. Gonzalez and a few friends found the Northern Illinois Tejano
Cultural Society in Aurora. Its function is to promote and preserve the language, culture, traditions, family values and positive contributions of Mexican immigrants from the Southwest.Sue Berry, Donna Kirchman and Bill Davenport open Davenport's,
a cabaret at 1383 N. Milwaukee.
In their first season, the Chicago Fire soccer team wins MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup.
Bc meson, the last of the quark-antiquark pairs know to
exist are discovered at Fermilab.
1999The Chicago Shakespeare Theater opens at Navy Pier. It is designed by
VOA Associates. Mayor
Daley announces Millennium Park and a bandshell designed by Frank Gehry. Bear's great Walter Payton (1954–1999) dies at age 45.The death of Walter Payton is memorialized with a "34"
in the south-facing windows of the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Building by Chris Gillott, an electrician in the building.Wendella's rush-hour commuter service between Michigan
Avenue and Northwestern Railroad Station is known as RiverBus.Neo of the Matrix film series is named for neo, the bar 2350 N. Clark.Norman Foster is the Pritzker
Architecture Prize Laureate. Khalid Khannouchi sets a world speed record, 2:05.42, in the Chicago Marathon. Daniel Barenboim conducts the world premiere of Pierre
Boulez’s Notations VII for Orchestra, a Chicago Symphony Orchestra commission.The Cubs move nearly half of their games off WGN-TV to Fox Sports Chicago on cable.Walgreens.com is launched, giving consumers the option
to meet their health care needs at home. James Taylor, a singer-songwriter, performs with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum opens in Lincoln Park.Gene Siskel, age 53, dies.Led by Joseph W. Bean, the Leather Archives and Museum
moves into its own permanent building.Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa becomes the first player in Major League Baseball history to reach 60 homers twice.Chicago's City News Bureau closes.Twinkies are placed in the nation's millennium time capsule.Mayor Richard M. Daley and the City of Chicago invite two
people from every country on the globe to Chicago for a New Year's Eve dinner celebrating the new millennium. Three hundred eighty-six people accept and join 1000 Chicagoans for dinner and fireworks at McCormick Place.
2000Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows opens at Navy Pier. It is estimated
that some 3.5 million
visit the Museum in its first year. The new Goodman Theater opens at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn Streets. It is designed
by the Toronto, Canada based firm of Kuwabara Payne McKenna
Barbara McDonald becomes the Chicago Police Department’s
director of administrative services,
the city’s highest ranking Police Department woman.
Rem Koolhaas is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
Fermilab's Tevatron is featured
in Dan Brown's novel Angel & Demons, the prequel to The Da
Vinci Code (2003).
The Score, all-sports
radio, lads at AM 670, the former all-news WMAQ.
Dr. Shutsung Liao is named the first director of the University of Chicago's Tang Center for Chinese
Medicine Research. Renowned
tenor Placido Domingo, joined by Daniel Barenboim, performs his first American solo recital. In the 2000 census, German descent ranks number one among
those claiming European heritage.The Chicago Fire wins another U.S. Open Cup.27870 runners finish the Chicago Marathon with an average finish time of 4:21:46.Fanning the international interest in dinosaurs, The Field
Museum unveils Sue, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The first evidence of the direct observation of a tau neutrino, a neutral subatomic particle, is
made at Fermilab.
2001The Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass opens
at Navy Pier. Amy
Schroeder begins publishing Venus Zine in Chicago.The 1.5 (2.4km), tri-oval Chicagoland Speedway opens in Joliet.Richard H. Driehaus, helped by Skip Grisham, initiates
the Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence.Victory Gardens Theater wins the Regional Theatre Tony Award.With a time of 2:18:47, Catherine Ndereba breaks the women's
world's marathon record in Chicago while 28390 runners finish the Chicago Marathon with an average finish time of 4:19:28.Boeing moves its headquarters to Chicago.Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron are the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates.Kevin Coval founds Louder Than a Bomb in collaboration
with Chicago Youth Authors (YCA).The city establishes a Motor Row Landmark District along South Michigan that includes 55 buildings.Named for a Simpsons character, Fall Out Boys, a pop punk band, is formed in Wilmette. The band consists of vocalist/guitarist Patrick Stump,
bassist Peter Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley.In October, Brian Posen creates Sketchfest, a venue to showcase the city's besketch
comedy troupes, and provide a venue free of financial burden. Rosamond Campbell, a dulcimer player, writes an instructional book, Playing
Dulcimer in the Chord-Melody Style (Mel Bay Publications). WTTW originates Check, Please, a show about the frantic Chicago
restaurant scene. The show is hosted by Alpana Singh whose opening lines have become famous: "Hi, I'm Alpana Singh, This is the show where regular people from all over Chicago recommend
and review their favorite restaurants. Here's how the show works: Every week we have three guests, each recommends his or her favorite stops, then the other two go check and see what they think."
Lincoln: The Man, a statue by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Lincoln Park is awarded City of Chicago landmark status on December 12.
The first Sketchfest opens January 2002 and rund for seven weeks. It's a success.
It is renamed: Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.
It takes 13 days, 12 hours, 16 minutes for Chicagoan
Steve Fossett to circumnavigate the globe solo in a balloon.Eli Lilly pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly endows Poetry magazine with more than $100 million.Brooklyn restaurant owner Christopher Sell introduces the
deep-fried Twinkie, now a staple at county fairs.Glenn
Murcutt is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.The City of Chicago purchases Block 37 for $32,500.000.Judith Baar Topinka becomes the first woman to chair the
Illinois Republican Party.Chicagoan Mary Ann McMorrow is the first female chief justice of the state Supreme Court.The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) IPO, is the first
U.S. exchange to go public.French advertising giant, JCDecaux wins the CTA Bus Shelter with advertising competition. Called Street Furniture, Robert A.M. Stern, an American architect
and Driehaus Prize winner, is selected to design them.With
a time of 2:17:18, Paula Radcliff breaks the women's world's marathon record and sets a course record in Chicago while 31093 runners finish the Chicago
Marathon with an average finish time of 4:19:51.Michael
Polsky, founder and CEO of Invenergy, donates $7million endowment to the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
2003The Smith Museum opens its new Victorian and Louis Comfort
Tiffany galleries. Audrey
Niffenegger’s first novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is published. It quickly becomes a
New York Times Best Seller and won the Exclusive Books
Boeke Prize and a British Book Award.On April 1, philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus founds the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in the formerSamuel Mayo Nickerson residence, starting a five-year restoration
effort to preserve the structure and its magnificent interiors. It opens to the public in 2008.Twenty-one people are killed on February 17, in a stampede after a pepper
spray is used to break upa fight at the crowded E2 nightclub on the city's Near South Side.Léon Krier of Luxembourg is the first Driehaus Architecture Prize
Chicago's small downtown airport, is shut down by Mayor Richard M. Daley.Jørn Utzon is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
Bruce and Stephanie
Tharp's design, the Cubby, a coat hook, wins a best-of-the-year award from Interior Design magazine. The Cubby never makes it past
the prototype phase.The
Chicago Fire wins the U.S. Open Cup, again.Chicago city and area garbage collectors go on strike October 1. The strike lasts 9 days.The first Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market is held in
Slim & the Teardrops win the Blues Music Award for Blues Band of the Year 2003.Intelligentsia Coffee pioneers the direct-trade coffee
model with their DT relationship, ensuring both the quality of the coffee beans and the quality of life conditions for the communities that farm
Poetry Association becomes the Poetry Foundation. It establishes and begins a series of initiatives, including awards for a first book of poetry,
humor in poetry and a Children's Poet Laureate, given to a poet who writes for children. Avec Restaurant opens in the West Loop.
2004July 16, Millennium Park is officially completed and open
to the public.Piet
Oudolf, Dutch master gardener, designs Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, his first creation in the US. Chicago police officers are equipped with Segways to cover
greater distance than on foot. Barack Obama is elected to the U.S. Senate by the largest margin in the history of Illinois.On April 20, over 30 twisters rake northern and central
Illinois and Indiana during the late afternoon and early evening. One tornado hits Utica, IL. killing eight.Board Chair J.B. Pritzker and President Sam Harris persuades
Rick Hirschhaut to become the first executive director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie. Days after his death, East-West Tollway is renamed after Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the US.
The tollway passes
just south of his childhood home in Dixon.Demetri Porphyrios of Greece
is the Driehaus Architecture Prize Laureate.After a
fire at its Roscoe Village location, Doug Sohn opens Hot Doug's at 3324 N. California and quickly becomes a Chicago culinary hot dog institution.With the formation of CSN, which the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls
and Blackhawks own jointly with Comcast, Jim Corno makes sure they all work together to develop a network that has high ratings and profits for everyone.Zaha Hadid is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.The Dells are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Comcast, on October 1, along with Chicago's sports teams,
create Comcast SportsNet Chicago on cable.Helen C. Doria is named Millennium Park's first executive director.After 53 years as principal trumpet, Adolph Herseth retires from the Chicago
after a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, Dorothy Stang Adult High School (DSAHS) is founded by a small group of educators and community activists to
meet the needs of Latinos, ages 25 and older, who want to continue their education. Ninety-eight % of DSAHS students graduate.
2005Ball Horticultural Co. is awarded patents for a Verbena
plant named Balazgagic, a Nemesia
plant named Balartublue, and Double Impatiens named
James introduces the first Twike, a three-wheeled vehicle that runs on both human power
and an electric motor, to Chicago. It is a curiosity.Quinian
Terry of the United Kingdom is the Driehaus Architecture Prize Laureate.After 10 years in nearby Evanston, Kendall College moves
its Culinary School to Chicago and becomes the largest professional school in the city.Thom Mayne is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.The Regional Planning Act is signed into law. The Regional
Planning Board (later to become the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning) is formed. Ray
Nordstrand (1932-2005), president and general manager of WFMT, dies.Chicago's first Lollapalooza is in Grant Park. Jimmy Buffet and his entourage play Wrigley Field, the
first show at the legendary baseball stadium – ever. The Chicago White Sox win the World Series, their first in 88 years.Chicago experiences its most ever over 80º F days in one year, 103!On November 23, a Metra train slams into several vehicles caught in a traffic jam on a busy road
in Elmwood Park,
starting a chain reaction that injures at least 10 people.
Grant Achatz opens Alinea and immediately becomes an international foodie destination.
2006 The city's cultural identity takes another serious hit when Berghoff,
an iconic Loop Restaurant,
closes February 28. The warmest May 28-30 period in 135 years of official weather observation is recorded. Chicago born singer Lou Rawls dies at age 72.An expansion adds 1,790 bleachers seats of Wrigley Field.
The work is done by HOK
Sports+venue+events of Kansas City, MO, with historic preservation consultants, Vinci-Hamp Architects of Chicago.On April 26, the City Council votes to ban the sale of
foie gas.Hot Doug's
restaurant continues to serve its foie gras wurst and is fined by the city. The fine is posted in the restaurant's window for all to see.
The 100th anniversary
of Sox over Cubs in the 1906 World Series, results in a score of Sox 4 - Cubs 2.Paulo Mendes da Rocha is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) launches electronic ag
Baar Topinka becomes the first woman to win state GOP governor nomination. She and her running mate, Joe Birkett, lose the general election to incumbent
Gov. Rod Blagojevich.The
CTA's Pink Line begins service.Allan Greenberg of South africa is the
Driehaus Architecture Prize Laureate. GrugHub is launched by Mike Evans and Matt Maloney. By
2011 GrubHub has some 14,000 restaurants and 250,000 menus listed making it a standout in its industry.Elaine Gonzalez is inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame.
“Agora,” an installation of 106 metal sculptures
by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz,
opens November 16.
The Chicago Fire wins another U.S. Open Cup.
Hyde Park cultural leaders convene with the Hyde Park Jazz
Society to create an annual event.
The Bs matter-antimatter oscillations Sigmab baryon is made at Fermilab.
Obama announces his run for President of the United States. Chicago is selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the United States Bid city for the 2016
Olympic Games.August 8m the Chicago Independent Radio Project, affectionatly
known as CHIRP, held its first public meeting. Eventually CHIRP plans to start broadcasting at 107.1 FM. Sunday October 7, 2007, the Chicago Marathon ended in chaos
and commotion when temperatures reach the city's all time record of 88ºF (31ºC) two hours after the race starts. Several runners faint or vomited because of the exceptional heat, and when the
water stations started running out of
water the organizers found it necessary to shut the race down 3½ hours after it started.
Patrick Ivuti of
Kenya wins in 2:11:11.Richard Rogers is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.Diablo Cody wins her first Oascar for the screenplay, "Juno," a comedy.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange
(CME) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) merge, called CME Group. The discovery of Cascade-b baryon is made at Fermilab.Hugh Hefner has 20,000 copies of the first Playboy reprinted.Julie and Jeff Jenkins founds Midnight Circus.Jaquelin T. Robertson of the United States is the
Driehaus Architecture Prize Laureate.An Illinois auditor general report calls for better coordination
and oversight of service boards by RTA.Andrew Barber creates Fake Shore Drive, a website devoted to Chicago rap.Under Steve Hannah, The Onion, a satirical weekly newspaper,
consolidates editorial and business operations in Chicago.The inaugural Hyde Park Jazz Festival is held in September, with the University of Chicago as founder and lead sponsor. Almost 5,000 fans enjoy 12-hours of free,
Center on Halsted opens in Lakeview as a silver LEED-certified facility serving the city's LGBT community. Originally called the Northwest Tollway, it is renamed in honor of Jane Addams, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a founder of Hull House, America's first settlement
house where social workers lived with immigrants and the poor.The Chicago Bears reach the Super Bowl but lose to the Colts.
2008The World Premier of Toyota Motor Corporation's personal
mobility concept vehicle i-REAL, and itsconceptual collaboration with Chicago, fashion designers Agga B., Anna Fong, Melissa Serpico, and
Lidia Wachowska is launched.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater wins a Regional Tony Award.
The discovery of Omegab
baryon is made at Fermilab.
Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk of the
United States is the Driehaus Architecture Prize Laureate.
Jean Nouvel is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
Fruchter and Mike Kolar found Closed Sessions, a hip-hop record label and management company. On June 3, Barack Obama wins the Democratic Party’s
presidential nomination, becoming the first major party African American candidate for president.William Slavin self-publishes a 256-page manuscript, The Golden Age
of Ballet Instruction in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, 1927-1962.Barack Obama is the first Chicagoan elected president. He holds his national victory rally in Grant Park.Katie Lorenz is crowned Miss Chicago and goes
on to be crowned Miss Illinois.In the face of "doomsday" fare hike warnings, legislators increase the RTA sales tax in Cook and collar counties, and increase Chicago's real estate property
transfer tax. RTA's powers are broadened. Chicago records its wettest year on record, 50.86".
2009Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States.
1, The Beethoven Project Trio, Sang Mee Lee, violin, Wendy Warner, Cello and George Lepauw, piano presented the world premier of Beethoven's newly
discovered Piano Trio
in E Flat Major, Hess
47, in the newly restored John B. Murphy Auditorium.
April 16, WYCC-TV transmitting from the John Hancock Center switches to
all-digital broadcasting, becoming Chicago's first TV station to stop broadcasting in an analog signal.In May, the Leather Archives and Museum announces that International Mister
Leather would be
placed in a trust to benefit the museum.
Peter Zumthor is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
program director of WFMT from 1953-1996, dies July 2. Nettlehorst School is the first elementary school to participate in the Gay Pride Day Parade.The discovery of single top quark production is made at Fermilab.
Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil of Egypt is the Driehaus Architecture Prize Laureate.Brad Keywell, co-founder of Lightbank and Groupon, Chairman
of Illinois Innovation Council, founds Chicago Ideas Week.
Koko Taylor, born Cora Walton, 28 September 1928, dies age 80 in Chicago, June 4.The Chicago Reader, an alternative weekly tabloid,
is sold to Atalaya Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund. The Reader distributes about 120,000 copies per week.On October 27, while going through bankruptcy, WGN's parent
company, Tribune Co., sells the Cubs to the Ricketts family for $845 million.Bela Gandhi launches Smart Dating Academy.
The first store
opens in Block 37 on November 21.Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is impeached and tossed out of office.With 42,887 minutes out of a possible 80,626, Chicago experiences the
cloudiest June, July
and August in 115 years.
2010Alinea (opened 2005) is acclaimed the finest restaurant in the Americas and the 7th best in
the world.January 3, the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World, an
international labor union) moved its GHQ offices to 2117 W. Irving Park Road. Also known as the Wobblies, the IWW had reached its peak in 1923 with a self-claimed membership of 100,000.Chicago speedskater Shani Davis wins the gold medal in
the 1,000 meter skate in Vancouver, British Columbia, making him the first person to win twice in the event at the Winter Olympics.
The junction between the Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate
290) and the Kennedy and Ryan
Expressways (Interstate 90/94) in downtown Chicago known as the Circle Interchange is ranked number 1 on the Federal Highway Administration list of
most congested truck bottleneck in the nation.
Rafael Manzano Martos is the Driehaus Architecture Prize
Laureate.GO TO 2040 is adopted by leaders across the region. It's
the first comprehensive plan for northeastern Illinois since the Burnham Plan (1909).Kazuyo
Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa are the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates.Neal Sabin of Weigel Broadcasting, a family owned group
of stations, launches ME-TV, digital subchannels for each of its TV stations and programs, becoming the largest diginet in the US. Number 2 is the Kennedy Expressway junction with the Edens
Expressway (Interstate 94).On May 26, Lee DeWyz of Mt. Prospect, is named the new American Idol.Defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-3 in Game 6 overtime,
the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup.Between July 2 and 29 Chicago experiences 29 consecutive days above 80°.Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (1936-2011) is honored
with a Grammy award for the best traditional blues album for Joined at the Hip. Smith played drums and harmonica with Muddy Waters.Worker-made, worker-owned, and worker-operated cooperative
that roasts, packages, and distributes fair-trade coffee, Cafe Chicago, is founded by the Latino Union of Chicago at the Albany Park Workers' Center.The Chicago History Museum
is inducted into the Chicago Lesbian and Gay Hall of Fame.A record 38,131 runners competed in the Chicago Marathon and a record 36,159 finished.
Made of a synthetic substance called Skating in the Sky, a 50x20 foot ice skating rink opens on
the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center.Judy Baar Topinka wins bid for Illinois comptroller, becoming
the first woman to win election to two statewide executive offices.Alinea, headed by
chef Grant Achatz, and L20, until recently headed by chef Laurent Gras, are bothawarded three stars in the Michelin Guide Chicago 2010.Listed as the world's 52nd-oldest person, Evelyn Margaret
Ralson of Evanston, born October 17,
1899, dies December 29. 2011Overnight of February 1- 2, Chicago is slowed by the third most powerful
winter storm in its
recorded history. Complete with thundersnow, the storm closes Lake Shore Drive overnight with
some 900 cars stranded, 1,300 flights are cancelled at
O'Hare and Midway, all public schools areclosed as well as colleges and universities and countless offices. The storm is blamed for at least a dozen deaths.
On February 17, an early morning low of 47º F
surpasses the highest low of 42º F set in 1890 and a high of 58º F at Midway surpasses the high of 56º F set in 1981.
On February 22, with 55.2% of the vote, Rahm Emanuel becomes Mayor elect,
taking office in May.With
28.6" of snowfall recorded in February, Chicago surpasses its previous record of 27.8" set in 1896.Robert A.M. Stern of the United states is the Driehaus Architecture Prize
Eduardo Souto de Moura is the Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.
2010 census shows 60 of the city's 77 neighborhoods decreased population resulting in acitywide loss of some 200,000 people.Mei-Ann Chen becomes music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta.
Lookingglass Theatre wins
a Regional Theatre Tony Award. Dick Locher ends his 32 years of drawing the Dick Tracy comic strip for the Chicago Tribune on
Sunday, March 13. On Monday, March 14, Mike Curtis and
Joe Staton continue the strip.Andy Karzas, host of WFMT's From the Recording Horn, weekly since 1976, dies.On April 18, Chicago receives .6" of snow, a record
for the date. Grant Achatz's Alinea is rated the 6th finest restaurant in the worldChicago
experiences its least sunny April ever with 7671 minutes of sunshine out of a total of 24025 minutes possible. This is 32 % while the average
is 53 % and the old record of least sun set April 1953, stood at 34%.Robert W. Finzel dies. He designs backdrops, murals and props for Chicago's major institutions,including the gold horns that have since 1991 hung above
the State Street store of Marshall Fields(now Macy's) and the Heart at the Museum of Science and Industry.
On May 1 Chicago's gas prices average $4.352 per gallon, a national high.
By May 3, some stations
are selling gas for $5.05 per gallon.On May 25, after 25 years of recording her daytime show here, Oprah Winfrey bids adieu to Chicago.
of Xib, a heavy relative of the neutron is made at Fermilab.
Vonda Urban, age 92, dies. She was a famous mambo, rumba and cha-cha instructor
at the Aragon
from 1954 on. In the 1960s she became a Theosophist.Cinespace Chicago Film Studios launches in North Lawndale in May.