Archive for the ‘History’ Category

The Krakatoa Eruption

Aug
26

Krakatoa_eruption_lithograph (1)

On August 26, 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa began to erupt. It spewed enough dust and gas to affect weather worldwide for the next several years. Over 35,000 people died as a result. By the following day, two thirds …

Frank Lloyd Murder

Aug
12

taliesin_wreckOn August 15, 1914, Frank Lloyd Wright’s mistress and her children were murdered in Wright’s love nest, Taliesin. The butler did it with fire, an axe, and acid.

The influential Prairie School architect fell in love with his Oak …

Good For What Ails You

Aug
05

Old Time Heroin

On August 10, 1897 chemist Felix Hoffmann developed a stable form of acetylsalicylic acid. Studies investigated the efficacy of the chemical that could be used for pain relief, as an anti-inflammatory agent and to reduce fever. It was released in …

Getting Everleighed: Then and Now

Jul
29

Everleigh_Club_-_Hallway_to_Entrance_02The Everleigh name evokes quality titillation in Chicago. The Everleigh Sisters opened their high-end brothel in February 1900; Miss Exotic World Michelle L’amour opened the burlesque salon the Everleigh Social Club in November 2010. Vice rarely appears as refined as …

The Independent District of Streeterville

Jul
08

George Wellington -Cap- Streeter“Cap” Streeter’s steamboat Reutan ran into a sandbar 450 feet off of Chicago’s near north shore on July 10, 1886. Turning misfortune into opportunity, he claimed the area as the independent United States District of Lake Michigan. He filled the …

Alice: Born on the 4th of July

Jul
01

TeaInstead of lighting fireworks this 4th of July, why not follow the rabbit hole down Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? On July 4, 1862, Lewis Carroll first told the tale.

Lewis Carroll was the pen name of Charles Lutwidge …

Chanute’s Gliders

Jun
17

Chanute-Herring1896BiplaneGlider_1_P2On June 22, 1896, Octave Chanute went to Miller Junction, IN, to pursue his dream of heavier-than-air flying machines. The civil engineer had designed the Chicago Stock Yards, the Kansas City Stock Yards and the first bridge to cross the …

War… On Drugs

Jun
03

Chinese_officers_tear_down_the_British_flag_on_the_arrowChina’s Imperial Commissioner Lin Zexu seized 20,000 chests of opium from foreign traders. On June 3, 1839, the twenty-three day process of the destruction of the opium at Humen commenced. It was reduced to poisonous slurry and drained into the …

The Riot of Spring

May
27

Russian Ballets At Paris In 1913At the end of the Belle Époque, art produced a riot. The confluence of music and dance at the premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring caused an incensed audience to throw fists at each other and objects at …

H.H. Holmes Hanged!

May
13

Dr._Henry_Howard_Holmes_(Herman_Webster_Mudgett)Acknowledged as America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes was hanged on May 7, 1896. He lured men, women and children from the World’s Fair to his “murder castle” in Englewood. A fraud and a liar, it is difficult to ascertain …