Playlist History


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.
Un(re)solved from Frontline

What Investigations of Cold Cases from the Civil Rights Era Can Offer

Under the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Act, the federal government has investigated more than 150 race-related cold cases. A new podcast and multiplatform project from Frontline examines its success, and what truth and justice look like in decades-old cases. 
Muhammad Ali talks with the press after winning back the Heavyweight Championship for an unprecedented third time by beating Leon Spinks at the Super Dome in New Orleans, LA. September 15, 1978. Photo: Courtesy of Michael Gaffney

Ken Burns Takes on Muhammad Ali

Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon take on "the greatest of all time" in their upcoming four-part documentary, examining the three-time heavyweight champion who was also a lightning rod for controversy around activism, pacifism, religion, and race.
The Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist, in downtown Chicago

The Varied Lives and Architecture of Chicago's Christian Science Churches

You can find stately Christian Science churches tucked away in neighborhoods as well as downtown, although most now serve other purposes, whether re-developed as residential spaces or concert halls or as a worship space for another denomination.
Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells' Lessons for Today

The writer and producer of a new WTTW documentary about the groundbreaking civil rights activist, journalist, and suffragist discusses Wells' relevance today, at a moment when Wells is becoming more and more recognized for her work.
Bill Veeck with Jim McKay on Wide World of Sports in 1964. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Man Who Shaped Both the Cubs and the Sox

Bill Veeck was behind the ivy at Wrigley Field plus Harry Caray singing during the seventh inning stretch, names on uniforms, and the exploding scoreboard with the White Sox. He brought the Sox and Cleveland to the World Series, and always boosted the attendance of lagging teams. 
Emily Taft Douglas. Image: Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

The Woman Who Beat Her Husband to Congress

When Emily Taft Douglas won a statewide election to become Illinois's fourth woman in Congress, her husband Paul had already lost a run for Senate and wouldn't win until four years later. Emily also marched with Dr. King, appeared on Broadway, and wrote books.
Quinn Chapel A.M.E. in Chicago. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Thshriver

The Importance of Some of Chicago's Notable Black Churches

Black churches in Chicago have played host to speakers from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Frederick Douglass to Barack Obama while supporting civil rights and social justice, as well as their own spiritual communities.
The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song. Image: McGee Media

The Significance of the Black Church Throughout America's History

"We need to realize how intertwined the Black church is with the birth of other institutions," says a Chicago theologian. "It’s like a human being: it has incredible beauty, brokenness, blessedness, all of that mixed together."
PBS NewsHour's coverage of The Second Impeachment of President Trump

PBS's Coverage of the Second Impeachment of Donald Trump

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump in the Senate begins February 9. Here are all the ways you can watch PBS NewsHour's special live coverage. 
Harold Washington on WTTW's 'Callaway Interviews' in 1980

Mayor Harold Washington Through the Years, in His Own Words

Harold Washington was a frequent guest on WTTW over the course of his political career. Hear him discuss his upbringing, his coalitional politics, the Council Wars when he was mayor of Chicago, and more in archival interviews ranging from 1968 through 1984.
The Trump Impeachment Trial coverage by PBS NewsHour

PBS's Coverage of Donald Trump's Second Impeachment

Find all the ways you can watch the House's impeachment trial, either over-the-air or digitally, here. 
Juliette Kinzie

Unpacking the Complicated Legacy of One of Chicago’s ‘Forgotten Founders’

When it comes to Chicago’s early history, people like William Ogden or Cyrus McCormick and their families are often brought up as the city’s founders. But, according to one expert, one of Chicago’s “forgotten founders" is the writer and historian Juliette Kinzie.
Guy Lombardo promoting Lanzi Candy's Cashew Nut and Rice Crunch. Photo: Courtesy Michael Lahey

Recovering a Beloved Chicago Candy and the Story of the Family Business Behind It

Lanzi Candy's Cashew Nut and Rice Crunch was once sold internationally and on American Airlines, all while made out of a small family-owned factory in Chicago. A documentary follows the business's story and a quest to recreate its most popular treat.
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