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Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the Chicago skyline in Millennium Park. Photo: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

How Millennium Park Became "America's Most Dazzling Urban Park"

Daniel Hautzinger

Millennium Park, which opened fifteen years ago today, was supposed to be just another pleasant, dull park that would cover up railroad tracks. But the commissioning of internationally known artists and architects transformed it into an ever-popular, unique cultural destination.
Cows Come Home on the Magnificent Mile. Photo: LaCour Images, courtesy of The Magnificent Mile Association

Cows Parade Once Again Through Downtown Chicago

Daniel Hautzinger

Twenty years ago, "Cows on Parade" generated boundless enthusiasm, extraordinary tourism, millions of dollars, innumerable imitation exhibitions, and endless bovine puns. Now some of the original cows are returning to the public eye to celebrate the twentieth anniversary. 
Henry Gerber

The Chicagoan Who Founded the Earliest Gay Rights Group in America

Meredith Francis

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

Daniel Hautzinger

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.
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

Daniel Hautzinger

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.
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

Daniel Hautzinger

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

Daniel Hautzinger

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

Daniel Hautzinger

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.
A James Beard Award

Chicago's 2019 James Beard Award Finalists

Daniel Hautzinger

This year's finalists for the James Beard Awards, often called the Oscars of Food, have been announced. As usual, Chicago has its fair share of nominees: fourteen, in eight distinct categories, plus two more for cookbooks. Find the list, plus reviews, interviews, and recipes from the finalists here.
A laser pie from Brown Sugar Bakery in Chicago's Chatham/Grand Crossing

Representing Her Community Through Baking: Stephanie Hart's Southern Desserts at Brown Sugar Bakery

Daniel Hautzinger

Stephanie Hart, a semifinalist for the national James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker, conjures up childhood memories with her luscious cakes at Brown Sugar Bakery – and she's trying to use her success as a prominent African American bakery to revitalize neighborhoods.
Jane Byrne at a 1979 WTTW mayoral forum

Chicago's First (And Only) Female Mayor

Daniel Hautzinger

As Chicago prepares to elect its first female African American mayor, take a look back at Jane Byrne, the first woman to break the mayoral glass ceiling, standing up to the powerful Democratic machine in the process and winning in Chicago's biggest political upset.
Alderman Leon Despres in the Chicago City Council chamber

The Only Alderman Who Stood Up to Richard J. Daley

Daniel Hautzinger

“[Leon] Despres has been told to shut up – in one form or another – more than any grown man in Chicago," Mike Royko once wrote. "Throughout his career, he has been in the forefront of just about every decent, worthwhile effort to improve life in this city."
A Pullman porter. Source: Library of Congress

How Pullman Porters Laid Groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement

Daniel Hautzinger

While serving as a porter on a Pullman Palace car was one of the better jobs available to African American men, it still had its indignities. Frustrated that they did not share in the gains of their white colleagues, the porters formed the first successful black union in the country. 
Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke's Beginnings in Chicago

Daniel Hautzinger

The "King of Soul" grew up in Bronzeville and cut his teeth performing in churches and on streets in the city, striving to be the next Nat "King" Cole, who had attended the same high school as Cooke. 
Etta Moten Barnett singing "My Forgotten Man" in "Gold Diggers of 1933"

The Many Pioneering Lives of Etta Moten Barnett

Daniel Hautzinger

She went from being a young mother from Texas to becoming one of the first black women to appear onscreen not as a stereotype and the first to sing at the White House. Gershwin wanted her for Porgy and Bess – and later she became a liasion to Africa and a Chicago cultural patron.
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