Ernie Banks' 500th Home Run

On May 12, 1970, Ernie Banks swung his way into Major League Baseball history with his 500th home run. The historic moment came in the second inning when Banks faced Atlanta Braves pitcher, Pat Jarvis, and launched one into left center field.

Blackhawks Lose the Stanley Cup

The Chicago Blackhawks entered the 1971 battle for the Stanley Cup after a six-year absence from the finals. The team had been consistently strong that season and fans held their breath in hopeful anticipation of again securing the trophy. 

The Montreal Canadiens put up quite a fight and the two teams entered a seventh game showdown. At first it seemed as though Game Seven would be an easy win for the Blackhawks, as they held a 2-0 lead  into the second period. Unfortunately, the Canadiens snuck up from behind and won the Cup.

Bears Win Super Bowl XX

If you were around in 1985, chances are you were glued to your television set during the Bears near-perfect championship season. And if the game itself didn’t draw you in, there were plenty of other reasons to love the Bears. A little ditty called “The Super Bowl Shuffle” featured Chicago’s favorite cast of characters: the appropriately nicknamed defensive tackle, William “The Refrigerator” Perry; the “Punky QB” Jim McMahon; and everybody’s favorite running back, “Sweetness” Walter Payton.

Bears Play their Last Game at Wrigley Field

The Chicago Bears played their final game at Wrigley Field in 1970, bringing to an end their nearly 50-year relationship with the stadium. The Bears began playing at Wrigley back in 1921 when the team was still the Chicago Staleys and the field was called Cubs Park.

Mayor Richard J. Daley (1955-1976)

In the 1970s, Chicago had a mayor. He had been mayor since the ’50s and he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Richard J. Daley brought a stunning endurance to a political office that had seen 47 mayors in the 118 years before him. That’s an average of 2.5 years per mayor. Daley would remain mayor until his death in 1976, a record of 21 years that stood until his son, Richard M. Daley, became mayor, besting his father by one year. 

Mayor Michael Bilandic (1976-1979)

In 1976, the question of who would succeed Mayor Richard J. Daley after his sudden death became contentious. Alderman Wilson Frost from the 21st Ward on the South Side and an African-American, was the president pro tempore of the City Council. Frost’s reading of the city’s charter suggested he was then mayor.

Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson first visited Chicago from South Carolina when he was a teen. Despite the segregation of the city, he found the vibrant life of 1950s Bronzeville inspiring and empowering, freer that his life in Greenville. When he finished college at North Carolina A&T State University, he came north to study at Chicago Theological Seminary. There he connected with Chicago’s growing civil rights movement and eventually became a trusted member of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s inner circle.

Mayor Jane Byrne (1979-1983)

In the mayoral election of ’79, Jane Byrne effectively used the slow-to-respond city snowplows during the blizzard to paint incumbent Mayor Michael Bilandic as out of his element. She became the city’s first female mayor in that year.

Mayor Harold Washington (1983-1987)

Harold Washington, an African-American politician, built a coalition of blacks, Latinos, liberals, and the city’s disenfranchised to beat incumbent Mayor Jane Byrne and Richard M. Daley in the mayoral election of 1983. Washington’s time in office was one of great energy for the city’s black population and for neighborhood empowerment.

Chicago's First Gay Liberation March

Taking its cue from the revolutionary events at Stonewall in New York City a year earlier, the LGBT community in Chicago held its first annual Gay Liberation March in June of 1970. This march (which came to be known as the PRIDE Parade) encouraged people to fight homophobia, to come out and raise awareness of the issues and injustices facing the community.


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