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Chicago History

A Look Back at an Important House Music DJ as the Chicago House Music Festival Hits

Daniel Hautzinger

Chicago native Steve "Silk" Hurley helped bring the Chicago-born genre of dance music known as house to the UK. House music's history is increasingly being recognized, with a landmark and the Chicago House Music Festival.

As Chicago Prepares for the NASCAR Race, Take a Look Back at This Old Wooden Race Track in Maywood

Meredith Francis

The upcoming NASCAR race in downtown Chicago might feel like a brand-new experience for much of the city, but it’s certainly not the first time the Chicago area has hosted an auto race.

The 150th Birthday of the Chicago Mayor Who Was Killed by a Bullet Meant for FDR

Daniel Hautzinger

One hundred and fifty years ago today, the future mayor of Chicago Anton Cermak was born in an area of Austria-Hungary that is now part of the Czech Republic. The above photo of him with Franklin Delano Roosevelt was taken in 1932, a year before Cermak’s death as a result of his relationship with Roosevelt. FDR won the nomination to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate against Herbert Hoover at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that year.

11 (Give or Take) Beautiful and Notable Chicago Parks

Geoffrey Baer

Chicago's motto is "city in a garden," and there are plenty of beautiful, notable parks with some fascinating history to live up to that ideal, as Geoffrey Baer explores.

Food, Nostalgia, and Drama: Here are the 10 Playlist Stories You Read the Most in 2022

Meredith Francis

The most-read stories of the year on Playlist cover food, drama, and history with a dash of nostalgia mixed in. Revisit those stories.

Photo of the Week: A 1943 Marshall Field’s Christmas Window Display

Meredith Francis

Take a look back at a Marshall Field's Christmas window display from 1943, and discover the history of the displays. 

The Eerie Legend of Graceland Cemetery’s “Eternal Silence” Statue

Meredith Francis

An eerie sculpture near the grave of an early Chicago settler at Graceland Cemetery comes with a spooky legend. 

How Czechs Have Shaped Chicago's History

Daniel Hautzinger

At the turn of the twentieth century, Chicago had the third-largest Czech population in the world, behind only Prague and Vienna. Czechs were deeply involved in the labor movement, politics, and more, as the producers of a new documentary on Czechs in Chicago explain. 

A Q&A with the Producer of a New Jane Byrne 'Chicago Stories'

Meredith Francis

Jane Byrne was the first woman to be elected Mayor of Chicago and the first woman to lead a mayor U.S. city. A new Chicago Stories documentary follow's Byrne's rise to power and tenure as mayor. 

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

Meredith Francis

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.

“Chicago, I Love You!” Margaret Burroughs’ Creative Legacy in Chicago

Meredith Francis

Margaret Burroughs, an influential Chicago artist, poet, and teacher, established two of the city's important cultural institutions: the South Side Community Arts Center and the DuSable Museum of African American History.

Rudy Lozano's Multigenerational Legacy and the Growing Power of Chicago's Latino Community

Daniel Hautzinger

Rudy Lozano sought more political power for Latinos in Chicago, and although his life was cut short, his legacy lives on in his friends and family members who continue his political campaigns and activism. 

Chicago's 1966 Division Street Riot

Daniel Hautzinger

While it has been overshadowed by other unrest of the late '60s in Chicago, the Division Street riot was an important point in the history of Chicago's Puerto Rican community, drawing attention to issues faced by the community. 

The Novelist Nella Larsen's Life Between Worlds

Daniel Hautzinger

Nella Larsen existed in disparate worlds, never quite finding her place: born to a Danish mother and West Indian father in a Chicago vice district, she eventually became a part of the Harlem Renaissance and Black professional class, producing a neglected classic novel. 

Chicago's Starring Role in the Creation of Baseball's Negro Leagues, 100 Years Ago

Daniel Hautzinger

Chicago looms large in the creation of baseball's Negro Leagues, for reasons both positive and negative. One influential player-manager spearheaded the creation of the Negro National League 100 years ago; another helped solidify the sport's color line decades earlier.
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