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Abner Mikva in a crowd. Photo: Courtesy Mikva Family

How Abner Mikva Inspired People to Believe in Government's Power for Good

Daniel Hautzinger

Attending college on the G.I. Bill changed Abner Mikva's life. As a congressman, judge, and mentor to Barack Obama, Elena Kagan, and numerous young people, Mikva tried to show that government could be a force for good in people's lives. 
A postcard of Chicago's Old Main Post Office, from 1941. Image: Curt Teich postcard/Wikimedia Commons

Chicago's Postal History and the Meltdown That Led to Reforms

Daniel Hautzinger

A huge backlog of mail in Chicago in 1966 caused long delays and led to bipartisan reforms of the postal service. Chicago's role was unsurprising, given that it was an important part of the national postal system, which had also contributed to the city's growth. 
The Illinois State Capitol building. Photo: Erica Gunderson

A Short History of Corruption in Illinois

Daniel Hautzinger

Stories of corruption amongst politicians in Illinois and Chicago could fill a book—and they have. As federal investigations close in on some of the state's most powerful people, revisit the last half century or so of corruption in the city and state. 
Camp TV

WTTW Is Bringing Chicago's Summertime Activities To Your Home

Daniel Hautzinger

Summer in Chicago is typically fully of fun activities from dancing to movies to concerts to summer camps held in the parks of the city. This year, WTTW is partnering with the Chicago Park District and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to bring those activities to you in your home.

A Virtual Celebration of Juneteenth with Historical Institutions Across the Country

Daniel Hautzinger

Six Black museums and historical institutions across the country are hosting a virtual event featuring cultural performances and scholars to celebrate Juneteenth, which marks the freeing of slaves in Texas two and a half years late, after the Emancipation Proclamation.
Graduation 2020: For Chicago. By Chicago

A Virtual Graduation Ceremony for Chicago's High School Seniors

Daniel Hautzinger

High school seniors may not be able to receive their diplomas in-person this year, but Chicago is hosting a virtual graduation ceremony featuring a commencement address by Oprah Winfrey and hosted by Hamilton star Miguel Cervantes. 
Mayor Lightfoot at the Shedd Aquarium in 'Stay Home. Hit Play.'

Mayor Lightfoot Will Bring Chicago's Cultural Gems to Students with WTTW

Daniel Hautzinger

Families and students may not be able to visit Chicago's cultural institutions in person right now, but in a new weekly series they can go behind the scences of places like the Shedd Aquarium and National Museum of Mexican Art with Mayor Lori Lightfoot. 
The Poetry Foundation library in Chicago. Photo: Sam Grant

The Chicago Magazine That Has Helped Define Poetry for the Past Century

Daniel Hautzinger

Poetry magazine has published most major poets of the last century and given many of them early breaks, from T.S. Eliot to Gwendolyn Brooks, Ocean Vuong, and Danez Smith. "Chicago," excerpts from Claudia Rankine's Citizen, and "anyone lived in a pretty how town" were first published in its pages. 
Workers on the Sanitary and Ship Canal excavate and load rock onto hoppers on September 20, 1894. Photographer unknown. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District for 10 That Changed America

Chicago's Historical Ingenuity in the Face of Disease

Daniel Hautzinger

Waterborne diseases like cholera periodically devastated Chicago in the nineteenth century. The attempt to beat them inspired three of the most ambitious engineering feats the country has seen.
DJ Ayana Contreras at the AESOP DJ Booth at the 95th St. Red Line Station

Soundtrack Your Commute With These Playlists from the 95th Station DJ Booth

Daniel Hautzinger

Commuters at the 95th Red Line Station pay their fares to an unusual soundtrack: music from a DJ booth. Called AESOP, the booth is a public art installation by Theaster Gates meant to enliven commutes. Two of the booth's DJs share some of their favorite tracks to spin. 
Monteverde's Sarah Grueneberg, seen her with her 2017 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes, is up for Outstanding Chef

Chicago's James Beard Award Semifinalists

Daniel Hautzinger

The semifinalists for the James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the food industry, have been announced, and, as usual, Chicago is well-represented on the list. Find all the Chicago semifinalists here, as well as times they have been featured by WTTW.
A slice of Imani's Original bean pie, with a cream cheese-frosted slice in the background

A Chicago Baker of the Humble Bean Pie

Daniel Hautzinger

Imani Muhammad bakes pies with an unexpected filling: navy beans. Bean pie is a dessert important to African American Muslims, but it’s hard to find, even in Chicago, which houses the headquarters of the Nation of Islam.
A detail of the bas relief adorning the facade of the National Cambodian Heritage Museum & Killing Fields Memorial. Photo: Courtesy National Cambodian Heritage Museum

Healing and Connecting Across Generations at the National Cambodian Heritage Museum

Daniel Hautzinger

At Chicago's National Cambodian Heritage Museum, which is unique in the United States, exhibits and a memorial help honor victims of the Cambodian genocide and educate younger generations, while cultural classes help those generations connect across a traumatic divide.
Maggie Daley Park in Chicago

A Decade in Review

Daniel Hautzinger

As we approach a new year and a new decade, take a look back at what was yet to come in 2010, from changes in Chicago's built environment and restaurant industry to tech innovations and other developments.
The CTA Holiday Train. Photo: CTA

The CTA Holiday Fleet is Here

Daniel Hautzinger

Don't miss your chance to ride on the bus or train in the CTA's Holiday Fleet, which brings Santa around the city over the next month. 
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