March is Chicago History Month

26 02 2013

March is Chicago History Month

The City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837.
AKA : “Chi-town,” “Windy City,” “City of the Big Shoulders,” and “Second City.”
Chicago is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Illinois, and the third most populous city in the United States, with approximately 2.8 million residents.

March has been designated as Chicago History Month by Harold Lee Rush, creator of Chicago History Month. In recognition and celebration of  CHM, all Chicago is invited to participate, in whatever form and fashion chosen. Schools, churches, community and social organizations, senior, youth groups and individuals are urged to have events and/or create displays that highlight some aspect of Chicago’s rich history and people. 

Please feel free to comment – To Recognize and Celebrate Chicago History Month!

For more information and/or to offer suggestions/resources:

night sky

March is Chicago History Month

Post your favorite Chicago Story in celebration of Chicago History Month


Chicago Firsts

26 02 2013

First Ferris wheel

The world’s first Ferris wheel was created for Chicago’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. Pictured is the Ferris wheel at the city’s Navy Pier.


Des Plaines, Ill., became home to the nation’s first McDonald’s franchise on April 15, 1955.


Ike Sewell and Richard Novaretti are credited with coming up with the world’s first artery-clogging, delicious deep dish pizza in Chicago at their Pizzeria Uno in 1943

— chef Rudy Malnati likely had something to do with the invention as well


Chicago has long been the world’s capital of pinball manufacturing. Raymond Maloney, later of Bally
Manufacturing Company, is credited with inventing “Ballyhoo,” the pinball machine that spurred on the games’ popularity, in the 1930s.


The game of softball is said to have originated in Chicago in 1887. The pictured monument in Bronzeville commemorates the feat.



26 02 2013

dusable 2“For the most part, historians claim that it was 1764, when Point du Sable was shipwrecked near New Orleans, with his childhood friend Jacques Clemorgan, on their journey to carve out a new life. Having lost his free papers in the wreck, he occupied a precarious position in the colonial South, before heading North with Clemorgan, and their newfound comrade Choctaw, for a land free of slavery.
Mentored by Pontiac, a French ally and visionary leader of several Great Lakes tribes, Point du Sable was instrumental in negotiating and preserving peace among the Miami, Illinois, and Bodéwadmi peoples during the turbulent times that followed Pontiac’s War. His joint ventures with Clemorgan proved very lucrative, producing outposts in New Orleans, Peoria, and eventually Chicago, where Point du Sable intended to settle permanently with his wife Kittiwaha (Catherine).
His tenure was interrupted by the onset of the American Revolution. Point du Sable’s land was occupied, and he became a political prisoner, spending the final two years of the American Revolutionary War under British arrest for refusing to allow his settlement to be used as a military outpost by either side of the conflict. After the War, he established his most famous settlement, at a historic regional crossroads, where the Eschikagou River met a freshwater sea.
From roughly 1780 to 1800, Point du Sable maintained a massive settlement that became the center of commerce and communication in the region, before selling his property and moving to St. Charles, where he remained until his death in 1818.dusable stamp
…The struggles for inclusion, and the preservation of history endured by Chicago’s black community, yielded in 1936, the founding of DuSable High School. In 1968, the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art was renamed as the DuSable Museum of African-American History. And in 1986, the State of Illinois included the DuSable homesite, ‘Pioneer Court’ in the National Registry of Historic Places. By 1987, the US Postal Service featured a portrait of Point du Sable on the 10th stamp in their Black Heritage Series, and the city’s prominent black mayor, Harold Washington, led the dedication of DuSable Park. Washington was one of a long list of eminent DuSable HS alumni that included Nat ‘King’ Cole, Ebony Magazine founder John H. Johnson, legendary comedian Redd Foxx and Soul Train creator Don Cornelius.
… In 2006, the Chicago City Council officially adjusted Point du Sable’s status from “Father” to “Founder” of Chicago. And in 2009, a new monument, donated by a Haitian family spearheading the DuSable Heritage Association, was dedicated at Pioneer Court. One year later, in a compromise solution to the controversy surrounding a proposed renaming of the city’s famous Lake Shore Drive, the Michigan Avenue Bridge was renamed the DuSable Bridge.
A leader at the forefront of the efforts was activist, scholar and artist, Dr. Margaret Burroughs (1915-2010). In her fight to preserve and promote black legacies, she founded what would become the DuSable Museum of African American History with her husband Charles, in the parlor of their home.”

Chicago Firsts

28 02 2012

Chicago Firsts

The nation’s first skyscraper, the 10-story, steel-framed Home Insurance Building, was built in 1884 at LaSalle and Adams streets and demolished in 1931.
When residents were threatened by waterborne illnesses from sewage flowing into Lake Michigan, they reversed the Chicago River in 1900 to make it flow toward the Mississippi.
Start of the “Historic Route 66” which begins at Grant Park on Adams Street in the front of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Chicago was the birthplace of:
the refrigerated rail car (Swift)
mail-order retailing (Sears and Montgomery Ward)
the car radio (Motorola)
the TV remote control (Zenith)

The first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, ushering in the Atomic Age, took place at the University of Chicago in 1942. The spot is marked by a Henry Moore sculpture on Ellis Avenue between 56th and 57th streets.
The 1,450-foot Sears Tower, completed in 1974, is the tallest building in North America and the third tallest in the world.

Freedom Day Demonstration, 1963

12 03 2011

Freedom Day Demonstration, Chicago 1963


Margaret Haley and Chicago Teachers History

12 03 2011

Margaret Haley and Chicago Teachers history


Catholic Chicago – School

12 03 2011

Featuring interviews with Chicagoans, this video explores the experience of growing up Catholic, with a focus on memories of Chicago Catholic schools