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Chicago History | History

History | Chicago History

Funky town: Chicago nightclubs in the 1970s – in pictures

Before a career photographing the likes of Oprah and Steve Jobs for major US publications, the late Michael Abramson headed to Chicago’s South Side and documented the wild parties of the funk and disco era

History | Chicago History

Photos from the Great Chicago Fire

The Great Chicago Fire erupted on Oct. 8, 1871, and burned a large portion of the city until the fire died out on Oct. 10, 1871. It killed hundreds of people and destroyed a huge swath of the central business district, which was mainly m

History | Chicago History

The Chicago Fire

The whole Midwest was parched, caught in the thrall of a mighty drought. Chicago, with its preponderance of wooden buildings, inadequate fire codes and inferior firefighting equipment, was a conflagration waiting to happen. On this Sunday evening, it did.

History | Chicago History

Letter of Recommendation: The Thorne Miniature Rooms in Chicago

Model rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago can make an adult feel like a child again.

    History | Chicago History

    How Chicago's Neighborhoods Got Their Names | Mental Floss

    It's often said that "Chicago is a city of neighborhoods." Where do the names for all these neighborhoods come from?

      History | Chicago History

      Statue Stories has David Schwimmer, Steve Carell, others giving voice to Chicago

      It would almost be enough to have your cellphone ring and the identifying text say there's an incoming call from "Abraham Lincoln," or "Benito Juarez," or "Cloud Gate." That's a screenshot worth saving.

      History | Chicago History

      Rare Eastland disaster photos discovered in Chicago Tribune basement

      The photographs capture the aftermath of one of Chicago's worst disasters: rows of sheet-covered bodies inside a temporary morgue, two women crying while clutching a baby in a blanket, a Coast Guard crew hauling a woman out of the river, the Eastland flop

      History | Chicago History

      The last remains of old Chicago

      Ever wish you lived in Chicago in the '20s, '60s, '80s? Traces of old Chicago remain, from gambling dens to red light districts to payphones.

      History | Chicago History

      The Storyteller from Albany Park, Chicago

      On Friday nights we went to the Terminal theater. It seemed like 5,000 teenagers were there. After the movie, we'd go to Purity deli for kishkes and cherry Cokes.

      History | Chicago History

      Unsung urban planning hero Edward Brennan made it easy to find your way around Chicago

      Unsung urban planning hero Edward Brennan tamed a chaotic 19th-century street-numbering system.

      History | Chicago History

      Curious City looks at the history of Chicago’s ‘Dunning’ poor farm and asylum

      In both life and death, the people who ended up at the notorious asylum and poor farm were some of Chicago’s least fortunate residents.

      History | Chicago History

      Lake Michigan’s Shipwrecks From Above

      Around 6,000 ships have met their end in the five Great Lakes.

      History | Chicago History

      McDonald's: 60 years, billions served

      Sixty years ago, on April 15, 1955, a 52-year-old former piano player and salesman from Oak Park opened a hamburger stand in Des Plaines. His name was Ray Kroc, and what's today known around the world as McDonald's was off and running.

      History | Chicago History

      First known film clips emerge of 1915 Eastland disaster

      For years, Ted Wachholz had all the evidence he needed to believe that film footage of the 1915 SS Eastland disaster on the Chicago River existed, except maybe for the film itself.

      History | Chicago History

      The last remains of old Chicago

      Ever wish you lived in Chicago in the '20s, '60s, '80s? Traces of old Chicago remain, from gambling dens to red light districts to payphones.

      History | Chicago History

      It's Good To Be A Gangster: 10 Chicago Haunts Where the Mafia Hung Out

      There are fewer reminders left that Chicago was once a rough and tumble town where gangsters like Al Capone once roamed, as new development has forced the demolition of several haunts. But there...

      History | Chicago History

      Chicago's Gangster Past, Minus the Romance - CityLab

      A collection of photographs from the Chicago Tribune archives rejects spectacle in favor of brutal, messy truth.

      History | Chicago History

      Check Out This Map Of Settlement Patterns In Chicago In 1950

      The settlement patterns are from 1950, but the map wasn't printed then. Can you spot the clues?

      History | Chicago History

      See Chicago's Past Through These Classic Magazine Ads From 1959

      What can a magazine ad tell you about Chicago in 1959? Let's take a ride on the Chicagoist Wayback Machine to a time when phone numbers were as long as hashtags.

      History | Chicago History

      1949: Chicago by Stanley Kubrick

      Steel, lingerie, trains, poverty. A "city of extremes."

      History | Chicago History

      Ghost signs in Chicago: advertisements from the past

      Chicago photographer Debbie Mercer captures faded ghost signs hiding in plain sight on Chicago buildings.

      History | Chicago History

      The Great Chicago Fire happened 143 years ago tomorrow

      The Great Chicago Fire blazed through Chicago 143 years ago. This timeline explains what started the fire and how it was able to spread so quickly.

      History | Chicago History

      Filmmaker Seeks to Show a Softer Side of Capone

      Richard Larsen is producing a film showcasing Al Capone's major contribution to the jazz world, he said.

      History | Chicago History

      Rarely-Seen Photos Spotlight The 1970s Social Scene Of South Side Chicago

      To say it was a different time is putting it lightly. In the 1970s on Chicago's South Side, revelers in their finest packed into nightclubs, dancing the night away to the soulful music of the era while knocking back a drink or three at now-extinct...

      History | Chicago History

      Memories of Chicago's Extinct Businesses Kept Alive on Facebook Page

      Pete Kastanes runs the page, and about 20 others, that highlight city spots that have come and gone.

      History | Chicago History

      Here's how Chicago looked on 9/11

      Here is a glimpse of the view from the Chicago area on that fateful day, September 11, 2001.

      History | Chicago History

      51 Vintage Postcards from the Windy City

      As Chicago continues to break its record for tourism year-after-year, the city has set an ambitious goal of attracting 55 million visitors to the Windy City annually by 2020....

      History | Chicago History

      RC Cola and Chicago: How the Underdog Soft Drink Came to Dominate The Second City Pizzerias

      RC Cola was the bronze medalist in the Cola Wars. How did the brand that fought for the scraps of market share end up in Chicago pizzerias?

      History | Chicago History

      Vintage photographs of Chicago "L" trains and buses

      Take a ride back in time on the green and cream CTA buses, trains, trolleys and horses from Chicago's public transportation past.

      History | Chicago History

      Chicago photos of Martin Luther King Jr. added to Smithsonian

      He was a young priest with a camera when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Chicago in the 1960s, but now his images of racial tumult and civil rights marches are housed in the Smithsonian.

      History | Chicago History

      A shot of history: Ingredients of the Chicago speakeasy

      The faux speakeasy is popping up everywhere these days, but what made the original Prohibition saloon work?

      History | Chicago History

      Lost WWII love letters delivered to intended recipient

      After almost 70 years, the letters written by a World War II sailor made the final leg of a mysterious journey Wednesday when they were turned over to Dorothy Bartos Carlberg, their intended recipient.

      History | Chicago History

      Life in Chicago during World War II (Gallery)

      Over seven decades ago, Chicagoans had to come to grips with a cold, hard fact: The country was at war. Women by the droves went to work in defense plants and Chicago soon led the nation in war production. Consumer goods were scarce and rationed, so many

      History | Chicago History

      WWII love letters finally arrive in Chicago

      Entrusting deep feelings to a flimsy envelope and an 8-cent stamp is an act of faith. But that's exactly what A.L. Fragakis did in 1945 when he was in the Navy and mailed two letters to his sweetheart back home in Chicago.

      History | Chicago History

      25 Vintage Photos of Chicago

      Chicago invented the skyscraper, has hosted two World's Fairs, and boasts its own kind of formidable pizza. Despite being one of the most populous cities in the country, it hasn't all been all clear skies and Green River soda. Chicago survived one of the

      History | Chicago History

      The Evolution Of Lake Shore Drive and Grant Park

      Back in the 1920s the vast land between Soldier Field and the Chicago River resembled Lollapalooza after a rain-soaked, three-day mosh.

      History | Chicago History

      Inside the Pink Palace of the Edgewater Beach Apartments

      The Roaring 20s grandeur meets contemporary simplicity at the Edgewater Beach Apartments.

      History | Chicago History

      99 years ago, 844 died in the Eastland disaster on the Chicago River

      It was 99 years ago today, on July 24, 1915, where more than 2,500 people piled onto the Eastland on the Chicago River at the dock between LaSalle and Clark streets. They were to be the first group of an estimated 7,000 people to be transported to Western

      History | Chicago History

      John Dillinger Was Killed 80 Years Ago Tuesday

      The first man to be named “Public Enemy No. 1” by the FBI, was gunned down outside the Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934.

      History | Chicago History

      The history of Millennium Park in a 3 minute video

      The site of Millennium Park has been a parking garage, a rail yard, and now an architectural destination. Learn how the park evolved over a century.

      History | Chicago History

      Logan Square's Historic Photo Exhibit Finds Roots of Rapid Change

      The photos show a neighborhood in flux and will be displayed after being compiled for a decade.

      History | Chicago History

      See Mid-Century Chicago in 20 Vintage Postcards

      A collection of linen postcards from 1930 to 1945 shows Chicago not exactly as it was, but as a visitor would want to remember it.

      History | Chicago History

      Flashback: Chicago's violent taxi wars

      Hopefully the current dispute between licensed cabbies and UberX drivers over the right to pick up passengers at O'Hare and Midway will remain a battle of emails, because Chicago's earlier cab wars...

      History | Chicago History

      Chicagoist Flashback: Memorial Day Massacre of 1937

      74 years ago today, police opened fire on a group of striking steelworkers and their families on the Southeast side. Ten were killed in the

      History | Chicago History

      How Chicago Invented the Suburbs

      In a Q&A, author Elaine Lewinnek tells how Chicago developed in the wake of the Great Fire—and the way its growth influenced ideas on geography, racial divisions, and everything else that makes an American city what it is.

        History | Chicago History

        Jackpot! Chicago's hold on pinball industry and artistry

        Here’s why the city’s hold on pinball industry and artistry continued through the game’s heyday.

          History | Chicago History

          Hovercars and Tele-Ovens: Scenes of Chicago in Vintage British Newsreels

          A look back at the city's good ideas (ski jumping at Soldier Field, animatronic dinosaurs) and bad ones (like the scooter nuns), through the lens of British Pathé.

            History | Chicago History

            Logan Square Pothole Reveals Chicago's Streetcar History

            A Logan Square resident spotted old streetcar track exposed by a pothole on Kedzie Avenue.

              History | Chicago History

              Chicago's long-forgotten zoo

              A video profile of a West Side zoo comes together with help from a historian and the ghost of an urban bear.

                History | Chicago History

                Vintage: The Drake Hotel -- Chicago Tribune

                Situated at the top of the Magnificent Mile, The Drake Hotel was built in 1920 by architect Benjamin Marshall and instantly became synonymous with high-society, luxury and opulence. Visiting royalty, heads-of-state and even well-known gangsters have staye

                  History | Chicago History

                  Not always just a baseball field, Wrigley Field was home to the Chicago Bears from 1921-1970

                  Not always just a baseball field, Wrigley Field was home to the Chicago Bears from 1921-1970. Use #Wrigley100 to share your Wrigley Field memories with us.

                    History | Chicago History

                    What Chicago Baseball Was Like in 1914

                    100 years ago, Wrigley Field—er, Weeghman Park—was not exactly the same place you'd sip an Old Style today.

                        History | Chicago History

                        An oral history of the Green Mill

                        The Green Mill has more stories than any tavern in town. Here are a few from the past three decades.

                          History | Chicago History

                          'The Breakfast Club' Detention Was 30 Years Ago Today

                          On March 24, 1984 five (fictional) teenagers walked through the doors of Shermer High and walked out enlightened individuals.

                              History | Chicago History

                              History For Sale At Museum Of Science And Industry

                              The museum is now selling photographs from the 1893 World's Fair and more.

                                History | Chicago History

                                Vintage Chicago Film Found at Estate Sale Shows 1940s-era City

                                "It turned out to be pretty cool," said the man who worked to digitally restore the film.

                                  History | Chicago History

                                  Why Does Chicago Dye the River Green for St. Patrick’s Day?

                                  Fifty years ago, before it was just for fun, the dye was part of a brilliant scheme to catch people illegally dumping waste.

                                      History | Chicago History

                                      Chicago: From trading post to global city

                                      A gallery of images chronicling Chicago's transformation from small trading post to global city.

                                        History | Chicago History

                                        A fresh look at Freedom Wall

                                        What’s behind an outdoor list that includes these names: Harriet Tubman, Rush Limbaugh, Frank Zappa and an empty line? The artist explains and then invites you to rewrite that list — twenty years later.

                                          History | Chicago History

                                          Check out Chicago-area sites named to National Register of Historic Places

                                          (AP) — More than two dozen Illinois buildings and downtown districts have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Here's a list of the Chicago-area spots.

                                            History | Chicago History

                                            Native numbers: How many Chicagoans were born in the city?

                                            How many Chicagoans were born in the city? A tough question, but census stats lend clues to the depth of residents’ local roots.

                                              History | Chicago History

                                              Theatre Historical Society preserves history of movie palaces

                                              Tucked in offices above the glowing bulbs of the York Theatre's art deco-style marquee in Elmhurst, a tiny association works to document the history of movie palaces that once stood as focal points...

                                                History | Chicago History

                                                A Brief History Of Terrible Chicago Mascots

                                                The Chicago Cubs unveiled their new mascot yesterday to little acclaim. That's what happens when you create a mascot that looks like a nightmarish, perverted furry and lends itself to horrible Photoshop alterations. But Clark the Cub is just the lates

                                                  History | Chicago History

                                                  Gulp! How Chicago gobbled its neighbors

                                                  Our animated map shows how Chicago grew from lakeside outpost to booming metropolis over the course of a century.