#ChicagoHistory

Miscellaneous | Chicagoey Stuff

Questions from the Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour - Chicago Detours

Answering questions that stump the guides on the Historic Chicago Walking Bar Tour. Topics range from speakeasies, to conspiracy theories, and more as we answer your best Bar Tour questions!

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

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

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.

Miscellaneous | Other Stuff

The last remains of old Chicago

Sometimes we get those nostalgic pangs for a seedier, grittier, neon-lit, noir Chicago. Thankfully, there are some last remaining traces of the bygone era of smoke-filled bars, coin-operated communication, gambling parlors and porno video stores. Here's where to find them.

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

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

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.

Miscellaneous | Other Stuff

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 o

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...

Books | Chicago Readers

Printers Row Lit Fest celebrates 30th birthday

What a difference three decades make. The first Printers Row book fair, in 1985, featured about 40 booksellers and attracted a reported 6,500 attendees to what once had been a somewhat dicey neighborhood. Considering the crowds in recent years, the 2014 P

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