Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Getting Everleighed: Then and Now


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


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


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


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


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


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!


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 …

A Night in the Haymarket


Haymarket Anarchy

On the evening of the first Tuesday in May 1886, 180 officers of the Chicago police department marched into a crowd double that size made up of anarchists, striking laborers, and the merely curious. The crowd had gathered earlier that …

Mecca Flat Blues


MeccaGot the Mecca flat blues and somebody’s goin’ to pay.

Harper’s Magazine called Bronzeville’s Mecca Flats building “The Strangest Place in Chicago.” With a history stretching back to the 1893 World’s Fair, it inspired a 1920s blues classic and poet …

The White City Then and Now


Postcard 1Due to a host of scheduling issues, it took months for me to finally go to The White City Then and Now tour at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. There was only one tour per month. I was …