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Geoffrey Baer riding a 6000-series CTA car from 1959 on the Purple Line

A Sneak Peek at Geoffrey Baer's Upcoming Special

Geoffrey Baer and a production crew have been riding the rails filming his next special, Chicago by L, and we caught a behind-the-scenes look at the program on a train car built in 1959. Watch Geoffrey speak with the show's producer and a CTA employee. 
An antiwar march in Chicago before the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Photo: David Wilson/Wikimedia Commons

The 1969 Clash Between the Counterculture and the Establishment in a Chicago Courtroom

The Chicago Eight conspiracy trial pitted the counterculture of the late 1960s against the government and the establishment in an era-defining battle that featured everything from Allen Ginsberg engaging in a Hindu chant to the judge ordering a defendant to be bound and gagged.
Country Music writer and producer Dayton Duncan; producer Julie Dunfey; and director and producer Ken Burns. Photo: Evan Barlow

An Interview with the Writer and Producer of Ken Burns's 'Country Music'

“Country music is a different way to look at who we are as people and what our shared history is," says Dayton Duncan, the writer and producer of Ken Burns's upcoming eight-part Country Music documentary series. "It is uniquely American in its origin."
The WLS National Barn Dance Cast, October, 1944. Image: Courtesy Lee Cannon/Flickr

When Chicago Was a Center of Country Music

Chicago is well-known for music: electric blues, gospel, jazz, house. For a couple decades, it was also home to one of the United States' most popular country music radio shows, a program that launched the careers of stars and may have inspired the Grand Ole Opry.
Fans congregate outside Wrigley Field before World Series Game 3 in 2016. Photo: Arturo Pardavila III via Wikimedia Commons

How Chicago's Ballparks Reflect the American City (For Better or Worse)

Wrigley Field is beloved; Guaranteed Rate Field was essentially outdated within a year of construction. The Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger, who wrote a book on American ballparks, discusses the two parks and how they reflect larger trends in American urbanism. 
Violence against a black man during the 1919 Chicago race riot. Photo: Chicago History Museum / The Jun Fujita negatives collection

The Horrific Violence and Continuing Legacy of Chicago's 1919 Race Riot

“1919 represents a moment in time that is not that distant in the past in which you can see the violence of white supremacy enacted all across the country,” says a historian. And its effects still resonate today, in housing and the relationship between police and black communities.
Henry Gerber

The Chicagoan Who Founded the Earliest Gay Rights Group in America

The Society for Human Rights, founded by Chicago postal worker Henry Gerber, didn’t last long, but its legacy inspired various groups in the decades to come. Gerber's Old Town home where he was arrested in 1925 was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2015.
Valerie Taylor and Pearl Hart. Images: Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame

Chicago's Outspoken Lesbian Power Couple

Pearl Hart spent much of her career as a lawyer defending people from the infringement of their rights, from Communists caught up in the Red Scare to lesbians and gay people. Her late-in-life partner Valerie Taylor advocated for LGBT rights through her writing, speaking, and novels.
Early twentieth century, openly gay pianist Tony Jackson. Photo: From the William Russell Jazz Collection, courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection

The Openly Gay Pianist Who Dazzled Chicago in the Early Twentieth Century

Jelly Roll Morton, the self-proclaimed "inventor of jazz," didn't praise many people besides himself, but he made an exception for Tony Jackson: "Tony was considered among all who knew him the greatest single-handed entertainer in the world.” And Jackson was openly gay at a time when that was incredibly rare.
A sculptural panel of Aries by Eugene and Gwen Lux depicting Aries that originally decorated the facade of the McGraw-Hill Building and is now located in the Shops at North Bridge

The Complicated History of One of Michigan Avenue's Most Unusual Buildings

The exterior of the McGraw-Hill Building on Michigan Avenue may look the same as it did when it was built in the twenties, but it underwent a controversial "façade-ectomy" after a battle between developers and preservationists – and it features sculptural panels by a neglected female artist.
The Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., for Frontline's Supreme Revenge. Photo: REUTERS/Molly Riley

The 'Worrisome' Politicization of the Supreme Court

The latest Frontline documentary from Michael Kirk, Supreme Revenge, covers the history of increasingly contentious Supreme Court nomination battles over the past few decades. "The tree that has grown is truly misshapen and very, very worrisome,” Kirk says about the Court today.
Workers leave the Pullman Palace Car Works, 1893. This picture appeared in a promotional booklet celebrating the labor policies of George Pullman.

The 125th Anniversary of One of America's Biggest Strikes

Pullman was supposed to be an idyllic worker's town. But the restrictions and deprivations imposed by the wealthy George Pullman on his workers eventually led to one of the biggest labor actions in American history: the Pullman strike, which began 125 years ago. 
A Pulitzer Prize medal

Chicago's Pulitzer Prize Winners in Journalism

Over the 102 years that the Pulitzer Prize has been awarded, four distinct Chicago newspapers have won, for a total of 47 Prizes. Explore the journalism winners, from someone who received a Prize posthumously to the only person to receive two Pulitzers at a Chicago paper.
The 1963 boycott and march against segregation in Chicago Public Schools. Photo: Kartemquin Films

Chicago's Forgotten Civil Rights Demonstration Against Segregated Schools

In 1963, some 225,000 students, or 47%, were absent from Chicago Public Schools in a boycott protesting segregation, the culmination of several years of protests against the school board's failure to address the needs of black students – including one in which a young Bernie Sanders was arrested.
The White Rabbits at work on the World’s Columbian Exposition. Photo in the public domain

Chicago's Unsung, Pioneering Women

Even prominent female groundbreakers are rarely recognized – there are approximately 40 figurative statues of men in Chicago but only two of women – so what about equally important pioneers who have been forgotten, from activists to literary figures to businesswomen?
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