Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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 …

The Columbian Exposition Exhibition Gift Shop


TicketLike any good tourist trap, the Field Museum’s exhibit “Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair” culminates in the gift shop. It is an apt finale. A subtext of commerce runs through the show.

The theme is not …

Exhibition Accomodations


WitFairThe Field Museum (1400 S Lake Shore Drive) is Opening the Vaults to the Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair. It will display rare and unseen items from its collection from October 25, 2013 through September 7, 2014. Several hotel …

Siam: The Queen and The White City


banners_2039d294dc0714cea9109712709f7784The Chicago History Museum celebrates the 120th anniversary of Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition with Siam: The Queen and the White City. The exhibition honors Queen Savang Vadhana and her contributions in organizing her country’s displays for the fair’s Woman’s …