History

Charles Elmé Francatelli, Queen Victoria's chef.

Victorian Cooking with Francatelli

The chef who takes an interest in Skerrett on Victoria, Francatelli was a real-life cook who worked in the hottest restaurants and published several cookbooks, making him one of the first celebrity chefs. Baked sheep's head or bullock heart, anyone?
Emma Green, Anne Hastings, and Mary Phinney of Mercy Street. (Courtesy of Erik Heinila/PBS and Antony Platt/PBS)

Enlarging the Historical Framework: Pamela D. Toler's Look at the Amazing Women of the Civil War

The author of Heroines of Mercy Street discusses the determination and accomplishments of female Civil War nurses, the importance of writing about women in history, and her broad historical interests.
(Library of Congress)

DuSable to Obama: Chicago's Black Metropolis

DuSable to Obama: Chicago's Black Metropolis airs Thursday, February 16 at 8:00 pm. Explore web-exclusive content here.
Various forms of transit in 1904 at State and Madison Streets, with two cable car trains. (Courtesy of Chicago Transit Authority)

Buried History: Chicago’s Forgotten Cable Cars

Chicago had the largest cable car system in the world, in terms of riders and equipment. The city's adoption of the new transit system sparked a nationwide boom in cable cars--but it lasted for less than 25 years.
Unidentified Black Soldier with Cannons. (Library of Congress)

African Americans in Chicago During the Civil War

During the Civil War, many freed slaves moved to Chicago, swelling the black population from around 600 at the beginning of the decade to 3,691 in 1870. A black professional class began to emerge while new churches and communities were built. 

The Six Wives of Henry VIII and the Actresses Who Portray Them

The new series Secrets of the Six Wives explores the lives of Henry VIII's spouses. How do the actresses compare with the real women they portray? And do the people portraying the same figures on Wolf Hall hold up?
Dave Kloke with his working replica of the Leviathan locomotive, which pulled Lincoln's funeral car on a tour from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois.

Lincoln's Funeral Train

In advance of the premiere of the second season of PBS's original Civil War drama Mercy Street and of the airing of a documentary about Lincoln's assassination, revisit the story of a man who built a working replica of the funeral train that carried Lincoln's body from Washington, D.C. to Springfield, Illinois. 
The first location of the Chicago Public Library, in a recommissioned water tank.

Out of the Ashes: The Birth of the Chicago Public Library

The Chicago Public Library was founded in the wake of the Great Chicago Fire with an inventory of books donated from England and other countries. 
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