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History

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.
Film set for a silent western featuring Gilbert M. Anderson, known as Broncho Billy, at Essanay Film Studios in Chicago, Illinois, circa 1910. Image: Chicago History Museum; ICHi-016886

Geoffrey Baer's Favorite Uses of Chicago in Film

Chicago has become a major hub for film and television production in the past decade, but the city has been an important part of the film industry almost since the birth of movies. Here are some of Geoffrey Baer's favorite uses of Chicago in films.
"Pupils of this school" Carlisle Indian Training School, 1885. Image: Courtesy of Repository: National Archives and Records Administration

'Home from School' Tells One Story of Indian Boarding Schools in Order to Heal

The new documentary Home from School tells the story of the Northern Arapaho's efforts to repatriate the remains of three children who died at an assimilationist boarding school more than a century ago. “This film talks about closing those cycles [of generational trauma]," says an associate producer.
Cherokee Nation citizen James Greg Bilby as Sequoyah in 'Searching for Sequoyah.' Photo: Karl W. Schmidt

Searching for the "Enigmatic Hero" of the Cherokee Language, Sequoyah

A new documentary explores the legacy and mysterious life of Sequoyah, who created the Cherokee writing system despite being illiterate in any other language. The team behind the film discusses its importance to them as Native scholars and filmmakers. 
William Walker's "Wall of Daydreaming and Man's Inhumanity to Man" at the corner of 47th and Calumet in Chicago. Photo: Lee Bey

Tracing Muhammad Ali's Memory in Chicago - A Photo Essay

Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville and attained global fame, but Chicago played an important role in the boxing legend’s life. Discover some of the locations that marked Ali's remarkable life during his time in Chicago.
Muhammad Ali sitting in the back of a convertible waving to a crowd during the Bud Billiken Day Parade at 39th Street and Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, Illinois on August 9, 1969. Photo: ST-40001287-0032, Chicago Sun-Times collection, Chicago History Museum

Chicago, Chicago, That Boxing Town

Three of the most famous world heavyweight champions—most famous athletes in general—have lived in and had some of their most formative experiences and bouts in Chicago, a city that has also always been a stepping stone for amateur boxers.
After a shocking loss of the Heavyweight title to Leon Spinks, with swollen eyes Muhammad Ali faces the press conference after the fight. Las Vegas, NV. February 15, 1978. Photo: Courtesy Michael Gaffney

Chicago's Significance to the "Greatest of All Time" - An Interview with Ali's Biographer Jonathan Eig

"Muhammad Ali lived here for some of the most important years of his career," says his biographer Jonathan Eig. "Chicago was really where he began to find a national stage and to realize that he could be special." Plus, he had his "racial awakening" here. 
Photo of US Olympic team sprinters (from left) Jesse Owens, Ralph Metcalfe and Frank Wykoff on the deck of the S.S. Manhattan before they sailed for Germany to compete in the 1936 Olympics. Photo: Public domain/Wikimedia Commons

The Olympic Athlete Who Became a Powerful Chicago Politician

Ralph Metcalfe was once known as the "world's fastest human" and raced alongside Jesse Owens at the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics before becoming an influential Chicago politician who eventually bucked Richard J. Daley and the powerful Democratic machine.
The August 27, 1959 opening day ceremonies of the 1959 Pan-American Games in Soldier Field. Photo: Chicago History Museum

When Chicago Hosted Olympics-Style Games — And Why They Have Been Forgotten

Chicago celebrates its World's Fairs on the city flag, and the failed bid for the 2016 Olympics is well-remembered. Why have the 1959 Pan-American Games hosted by the city been forgotten?
John Gregg and Robert Allerton in Hamburg, 1932. Photo: Courtesy University of Illinois Archives

The Prominent Queer Couple Who Lived as Father and Son

Robert Allerton, once called the "richest bachelor in Chicago," lived with a man 26 years younger than him for the last four decades of his life before legally adopting him. His life with John Gregg reveals a sense of the early twentieth century and complicates ideas of couplehood.
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