Category: Chicago History

FREE LIVE Virtual Tour of Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition

FREE LIVE Virtual Tour of Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
Since we are all still working to limit the effects of this pandemic as much as possible, I wanted to let everyone know about something that I personally am doing this Friday that everyone can take part in. I have been running free walking tours through my non-profit “Friends of The White City” since 2014... Read more »

1918 “Spanish Flu” Vs. 2020 CoVid-19, a Chicago Comparison

1918 “Spanish Flu” Vs. 2020 CoVid-19, a Chicago Comparison
Since I love Chicago history so much and we can learn so much about our current and future condition from studying the past, I thought it would be interesting to do a comparison of the 1918 worldwide influenza pandemic and our current CoVid-19 pandemic through the Chicago looking glass. To be fair, a true side... Read more »

Help Pass Illinois HB4210 A Win for Public Information Access and Historic Research

Help Pass Illinois HB4210 A Win for Public Information Access and Historic Research
As Illinois taxpayers, we have become accustomed to the term “proposed legislation” translating to “how much more is this going to cost us?”   That is not the case here. I have been doing historical research professionally for about 15 years now and many times that research sends me to Cook County Coroner’s inquest records.  It... Read more »
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A 19th Century Chicago Horror Show – The Electric Light Bug

A 19th Century Chicago Horror Show – The Electric Light Bug
Alright, I am not squeamish by any stretch of the imagination but when I came across this little historic gem I have to admit it took a little while to get it out of my head. I was browsing through some nineteenth-century newspapers recently, as us history geeks like to do on occasion, and almost... Read more »

The Day a Woman Rode on top of a Ferris Wheel Gondola at the 1893 World's Fair

The Day a Woman Rode on top of a Ferris Wheel Gondola at the 1893 World's Fair
I never run out of things to write about when dealing with the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  The Fair took place from May 1, 1893, through October 30, 1893, and changed the way the world looked at Chicago and vice versa. The date was Monday, October 9, 1893.  It was “Chicago Day” at... Read more »

Old Chicago: A Man, A Monkey, and an Amusement Park

Old Chicago: A Man, A Monkey, and an Amusement Park
Once upon a time, in Bolingbrook, Illinois, stood a very fun place, at least in the eyes of a nine-year-old kid from Cicero. Its founder was Californian Robert Brindle and the 500,000 square-foot building with almost 9,000 parking spaces stood roughly at the southwest corner of where IL Rt. 53 met I-55. The concept was... Read more »
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Illinois was First State to Ratify the 13th Amendment Abolishing Slavery 154 years ago today

Illinois was First State to Ratify the 13th Amendment Abolishing Slavery 154 years ago today
It seems fitting that Illinois would be the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution since Illinois’ adopted son, Abraham Lincoln, would become known as the Great Emancipator on January 1, 1863, by the executive order known as the Emancipation Proclamation. The 13th Amendment states: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as... Read more »

Three 9/11 September 11th Tributes / Memorials in Chicago

Three 9/11 September 11th Tributes / Memorials in Chicago
In honor of the lives lost 17 years ago, I thought it would be interesting to post an article on where you can find tributes or memorials in Chicago.  It is hard to believe that if you are a high school senior you would not have any memory of that day.  I did find three... Read more »

The Devil in the White City, Dr. H.H. Holmes, linked to Celebration of Flag Day

The Devil in the White City, Dr. H.H. Holmes, linked to Celebration of Flag Day
Much has been written about Dr. Herman Webster Mudgett and his murderous escapades in Chicago while using the alias Dr. H.H. Holmes.  Thanks to Erik Larson’s best-selling book and many other books and shows, the murderous con-man will be forever linked to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. What many don’t know is that... Read more »
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Otto Funk - The Great Chicago Library Book Thief

Otto Funk - The Great Chicago Library Book Thief
This story was a long time in the making and realistically too long for a blog post so I am including the link to the full story here. As a book lover myself, I was drawn to the story of Otto Funk, the most prolific book thief in Chicago history.  As most great stories, I... Read more »