Category: Chicago History

George Francis Train said Chicago would burn -- The Chicago Burn in 1871, predicted by a questionable character in American History

George Francis Train said Chicago would burn --   The Chicago Burn in 1871, predicted by a questionable character in American History
  “This,” (Train) said, “is the last public address that will be delivered within these walls! A terrible calamity is impending over the city of Chicago! More I cannot say! More I dare not utter!” George Francis Train (March 24, 1829 – January 5, 1904) is a name that is mostly forgotten today, but during his... Read more »

Fake News from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Fake News from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
On the evening of October 08, 1871, the city of Chicago burned.  It was at the time the worst fire to strike a city.  Today, it still holds that ranking.  If this were January 12, 1871, Chicago would be on its way to a recovery nobody thought possible on that horrible night in October.  Over... Read more »

Burned but not broken: Chicago rebuilds after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Burned but not broken: Chicago rebuilds after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871
It is November 18, 1871, and Chicago and its population are in still in shock. Their city is gone. Rebuilding and aid have been on the way to Chicago’s distressed citizens, both from homegrown efforts, lead by the Chicago Relief and Aid Society and from generous donations from other US cities and even from overseas.... Read more »
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City of Chicago Destroys Town of Singapore --- Aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

It is November 15, 1871 and you are one of the lucky ones who survived the horror of the Chicago Fire that destroyed two-thirds of the city.  Your wooden shanty on the south-side was vaporized by the firestorm or your pleasant north-side home was reduced to ashes once the fire jumped the north branch of... Read more »

Chicago's Father Augustus Tolton -- from slave to saint?

Chicago's Father Augustus Tolton --  from slave to saint?
Dedicated to James, who prays fervently for Father Augustus Tolton to be elevated to Sainthood      “Notice James,” my friend, Michelle,  said.  I looked over to see a dignified man, standing straight and tall, who was lost in prayer, his lips moving silently.  I noticed that after Mass, James went to a portrait of... Read more »

The Federal Writers' Project looks at Aurora, Illinois

The Federal Writers' Project looks at Aurora, Illinois
  At the depths of the Great Depression, in 1935,  the Federal Writers Project, under the Works Progress Administration, employed over 6000 writers, artists, and photographers.  They recorded and documented many aspects of American life during a time of extreme financial distress, natural disasters and a looming war in Europe.  Many believe the most lasting contribution of the Writers... Read more »
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The Federal Writers' Project Looks at the Old Chicago Post Office

The Federal Writers' Project Looks at the Old Chicago Post Office
      At the depths of the Great Depression, in 1935,  the Federal Writers Project, under the Works Progress Administration, employed over 6000 writers, artists, and photographers.  They recorded and documented many aspects of American life during a time of extreme financial distress, natural disasters and a looming war in Europe.  Many believe the most lasting contribution... Read more »

302 Answered Questions about Perking

302 Answered Questions about Perking
Perking. It used to invoke emotions that were not as savage as twerking, but had its place in every American home at one time. I am talking about the coffee pot.  A type that perks.  With a little glass dome on the top that you can see the coffee erupt into and then drop and... Read more »

All I want for Christmas is a Dibs Chair

All I want for Christmas is a Dibs Chair
With the first couple of snowfalls in Chicago I am reminded of a tradition called “Dibs”, which probably goes back to when Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was a pup. Even back then, when you shoveled out a spot for your horse or your horse and carriage,  you put out a piece of furniture to block another... Read more »
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People in Lustron metal houses should only throw magnets

Thumbnail image for 'People in  Lustron metal houses should only throw magnets'
World War II was over, and millions of returning GI’s were anxious to settle down and start families, only they wanted an immediate bite of the American Dream Pie, so they wanted a house and a white picket fence and a car in the car-port, instead of crammed in city living, which had been the... Read more »