Playlist History


Eliza Scarlet in season 2 of Miss Scarlet and the Duke

Chicago's Early Female Detectives, Real-Life Analogues to Miss Scarlet

Eliza Scarlet of Miss Scarlet and the Duke may be fictional, but she does have a few real-life historical analogues of trailblazing female detectives and forensics experts, including in Chicago. 
An aerial view of the Elijah Lovejoy Monument in Alton, Illinois

On This Day in Illinois History: Alton Abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy Killed By Mob

On November 7, 1837, an abolitionist named Elijah Parish Lovejoy was killed by a pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois.

A drawing of Elijah LovejoyElijah Lovejoy

The Eternal Silence sculpture, pictured here in 1977. The black-and-white image shows a hooded sculpture set against a slab of black granite. Image: ST-40001541-0009, Chicago Sun-Times collection, Chicago History Museum

The Eerie Legend of Graceland Cemetery’s “Eternal Silence” Statue

An eerie sculpture near the grave of an early Chicago settler at Graceland Cemetery comes with a spooky legend. 
Runners making their way through the Chicago Marathon course in 1992. Image: ST-10002838-0014, Chicago Sun-Times collection, Chicago History Museum

A Brief History of Marathons in Chicago

Ahead of this weekend's Chicago Marathon, take a brief look at the history of long-distance running in Chicago, including the story of how a swing bridge interrupted the very first marathon in the city. 
The January 6th Hearings PBS NewsHour

How to Watch the Next January 6th Committee Hearing

The House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol is holding its next public hearing on September 28, and PBS NewsHour is again offering live coverage. Find ways to watch here.
Upton Sinclair pictured as an adult; year unknown.

Celebrate Upton Sinclair’s Birthday with 7 Looks at the Impact of His Work

Writer and muckraker Upton Sinclair was born on this day 144 years ago. He was a prolific writer and political activist whose most notable work, The Jungle, had a transformative impact on the meatpacking industry in Chicago and nationwide. 
Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip and Mayor Richard J. Daley in Chicago on the royal couple's 1959 visit

Revisiting Queen Elizabeth II's Sole Visit to Chicago

In honor of Queen Elizabeth II, revisit the festivities (and some dental drama) of her lone trip to Chicago, in 1959, as part of a tour of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canada. 
A soldier standing with a phony armored vehicle

The Top-Secret Army Unit of Artists Who Deceived German Troops in World War II

An ongoing exhibition at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie tells the story of how a unit of artists, engineers, and other soldiers deceived German troops using inflatable tanks, weaponry, phony radio calls, and other artistic effects.
Children enjoying a Shoot the Chutes ride at Riverview in Chicago in 1965. Photo: ST-90004584-0041, Chicago Sun-Times collection, Chicago History Museum

Revisiting Some of Chicago's Lost Amusement Parks

Geoffrey Baer takes a tour of some lost amusement parks that entertained Chicagoans, including his father, who loved Riverview, and himself—he was fond of the Kiddieland in Skokie. Do you have any fond memories of another park?
The January 6th Hearings PBS NewsHour

How to Watch the January 6 Hearings

Watch PBS NewsHour's live coverage of public hearings laying out lawmakers' findings from a nearly yearlong investigation into the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, which begin on Thursday, June 9.
Gottfried Pilsener

How Czechs Have Shaped Chicago's History

At the turn of the twentieth century, Chicago had the third-largest Czech population in the world, behind only Prague and Vienna. Czechs were deeply involved in the labor movement, politics, and more, as the producers of a new documentary on Czechs in Chicago explain. 
Jane Byrne raising her finger while speaking at a mayoral forum

A Q&A with the Producer of a New Jane Byrne 'Chicago Stories'

Jane Byrne was the first woman to be elected Mayor of Chicago and the first woman to lead a mayor U.S. city. A new Chicago Stories documentary follow's Byrne's rise to power and tenure as mayor. 
(L-R) Likely Naomi Pollard; John and Amanda Pollard; Luther Pollard. Images: Courtesy Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society

The Extraordinary Achievements of the First Black Residents of Rogers Park

The Pollard family contained the NFL's first Black head coach, the first Black licensend nurse in Illinois, a producer of silent films, the first Black woman graduate of Northwestern University, a Civil War veteran, and the winner of an Olympic medal.
Sidney Poitier as Walter Lee Younger in the original 1959 stage production of Lorraine Hansberry's 'A Raisin in the Sun.' Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Friedman-Abeles, New York

From the Archive: Sidney Poitier

The trailblazing actor and director Sidney Poitier, star of A Raisin in the SunThe Defiant Ones, and other films, has died at the age of 94. Listen to two interviews with him conducted decades apart by Studs Terkel.

Test Your Knowledge of This Year’s Local News with Our 2021 News Quiz

Did we all hope 2021 would be a calmer news year than 2020? Probably. Was it? Most definitely not. Test your knowledge of Chicago’s top news stories –– from the essential stories, to the bizarre ones –– with our year-in-review news quiz.
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