History

Photo: Warren Perlstein, courtesy American Indian Center

"We're Still Here": Chicago's Native American Community

After their removal from the region around Chicago in the early nineteenth century, Native Americans began returning to the city in the 1950s under the federal government's ill-planned relocation policy. Chicago has the oldest urban Indian center, and the third largest urban population of Native Americans.
A train of 4000-series cars stops at Clark/Division in April 1943 on an official "inspection trip," showing guests progress on the subway's construction months before its completion and official opening in October. Photo: CTA

A Chance to Ride (or See) a Historic CTA Train Car

In celebration of the opening of Chicago's first subway transit line 75 years ago, the CTA is sending out two vintage train cars that ran from 1923 to 1973 and are the same model of car that was among the first to run on the State Street subway line.
Bughouse Square with Eve Ewing and Studs Terkel

A New Podcast Bringing Studs Terkel into the 21st Century

Bughouse Square with Eve Ewing takes interviews between the legendary Studs Terkel and people such as James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry and pairs them with contemporary conversations and musings on the same themes from Studs's kindred spirit Eve Ewing. 
A demonstration for German Day in 1931 in front of the Field Museum. Photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1990-073-12

Fascism in Chicago

From the feted arrival of an Italian Fascist in Chicago during the Century of Progress World's Fair (commemorated with the renaming of a street and a monument donated by Mussolini) to the infamous controversy where neo-Nazis tried to march in Skokie, learn about fascist flare-ups in Chicago.
The Bahá’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois, north of Chicago. Photo: Courtesy of the US Bahá’í National Center

What the Bahá’i Temple Reveals About the Bahá’i Faith

The Bahá’i House of Worship on the lakefront north of Chicago is sometimes called the "silent teacher" for the way that it illustrates principles of the faith, many of which are incorporated into the striking, innovative, ornate design, which took 50 years to realize.
The Eastland Disaster on the Chicago River

Chicago's Deadliest Disaster

One hundred and three years ago, on July 24, 1915, more than 800 people lost their lives in Chicago's deadliest tragedy, when a top-heavy boat rolled onto its side in the Chicago River only twenty feet from the shore. Watch an archival Chicago Stories episode about the Eastland Disaster.
Nelson Mandela

Remembering Nelson Mandela on His Centennial

Look back on the life and legacy of the revered human rights icon and first democratically elected president of South Africa with a biographical portrait from Frontline, special reports from PBS NewsHour, and an archival segment on Mandela from Chicago Tonight.
Tom Burrell in the 1980s

How Tom Burrell Convinced Corporations That "Black People Are Not Dark-Skinned White People"

In 1961, Tom Burrell became the first African American to work in a Chicago advertising agency – in the mailroom. Within a decade, he had started his own agency, which became a pioneer of targeted advertising, incorporating black culture and positive images of black people into commercials.
The 2014 Special Olympics. Photo: John Huet

"The World Will Never Be the Same After This": 50 Years of the Special Olympics

The first Special Olympics were held 50 years ago in Chicago, thanks in part to the championing efforts of a Kennedy. A celebration of the Special Olympics will be held on their anniversary here in July.
Chicago's Union Stock Yards in 1947

When Chicago Was 'Hog Butcher to the World'

A square mile of the city just upstream from downtown devoted to turning livestock into products that saw 18 million animals in a year at its peak: the Union Stock Yards are almost unimaginable now, but they once epitomized Chicago, and gave us the assembly line and refrigerated rail cars.
The Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem (Actually Chicago) Globetrotters

The name is deceiving: they're not from Harlem, and they definitely didn't travel the globe at first. The Harlem Globetrotters were founded in Chicago by five high school stars and a short Jewish man, and originally played in small town gyms outside the city.
Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy during the McClellan Senate hearings circa May 1957. Photo: Howard Jones for Look Magazine / John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

50 Years After the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

50 years ago today, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in the midst of the 1968 presidential campaign. Explore his unrealized potential in a 1969 Studs Terkel interview. "There was this great strength to him, a decency and simplicity and a willingness to listen and a willingness to learn."
Women detainees at Angel Island. Photo: California Historical Society

The Chinese Exclusion Act and Chicago

With the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which banned all Chinese immigration and naturalization, many Chinese immigrants began moving eastward to towns like Chicago, where they slowly cemented a presence despite the demographic restrictions of the Act. 
Chicago's Grant Park

How 13 Chicago Parks Got Their Names

Who are some of the more prominent parks in the "City in a Garden" named after, and why? From Humboldt Park to Horner Park to Sherman Park, learn about the history of Chicago's 8,800 acres of parkland and the origins of some of the parks' names.
Tom Wolfe

Era-Defining Journalist and Novelist Tom Wolfe Has Died

Tom Wolfe, who wrote The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities and gave us the terms "'Me' decade" and "radical chic," died yesterday at the age of 88. Watch him discuss his trademark white suit and the similarities between counterculture and evangelicalism in this archival interview.
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