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The Illinois Governor Who Headed a Landmark Commission on America – and Had a Tragic Fall from Grace

Daniel Hautzinger

Otto Kerner gave his name to a report that called for enormous changes in American society to address racial disparities, but his reputation for integrity suffered when he became the first (not the last) Illinois governor convicted of a crime.

The Oldest Restaurant in Illinois – Where Even the Furniture Was Once for Sale

Lisa Futterman

Long Grove, Illinois is home to the state's oldest restaurant, The Village Tavern. What was once a watering hole 177 years ago is now a charming spot steeped in history.

A 'Call the Midwife' Cookbook Explores the Food—and History—of a "Totally Bonkers Period"

Daniel Hautzinger

“It’s a totally bonkers period,” says Annie Gray, a food historian and the author of a new cookbook focusing on British food from 1956-1970, the era of Call the Midwife. But the food "tells us so much about social attitudes" and more, she says.  

Nine Chicago Women Who Found Success in Food Before the Age of the Celebrity Chef

Daniel Hautzinger

Even today there is a huge disparity in the number of women head chefs, but achieving success in the food industry earlier on was even less common. Meet some of the women who influenced Chicago and America's attitudes towards food. 

A Brief History of Marathons in Chicago

Meredith Francis

Ahead of this weekend's Chicago Marathon, take a brief look at the history of long-distance running in Chicago, including the story of how a swing bridge interrupted the very first marathon in the city. 

Revisiting the Great Chicago Fire 149 Years Later

Meredith Francis

The Great Chicago Fire: A Chicago Stories Special reveals new details with recreations and animation that bring the fire to life. Executive producer Dan Protess and producer and writer Peter Marks talked about their approach to telling the old story in a new way.

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. 

"One of the Greatest Events in the History of Medicine": The Defeat of Polio

Daniel Hautzinger

DuPage county, outside Chicago, took part in Jonas Salk's polio vaccine trials in 1954, a successful nationwide experiment that led to the virtual end of a terrifying disease and was called "one of the greatest events in the history of medicine." 

How Chicago’s Pride Parade Grew from a Small March to a Big Event

Meredith Francis

Chicago's Pride Parade didn't start as a parade at all. It was originally a small march to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. But a protest against anti-gay activist Anita Bryant in 1977 helped the parade become what it is today.

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.

The Atomic Age's Beginnings on a Squash Court in Chicago

Daniel Hautzinger

75 years ago on December 2, scientists at the University of Chicago inaugurated the nuclear era by engineering the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction. Learn about the origins of nuclear power and the upsides and downsides of its future.

Modern Midwifery: A Conversation with a Midwife-in-Training

Daniel Hautzinger

Many people probably assume midwives are a thing of the past. A midwife-in-training at the Yale School of Nursing shows otherwise, explaining the various roles midwives play today and surveying the recent history of midwifery.

World War I in Works of Art

Daniel Hautzinger

April 6 marked the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War I. The dance film Young Men dramatizes the effect of that war on the soldiers who fought in it. Explore other works of art that have grappled with the Great War.

The Brontë Family and the Actors Who Portray Them

Daniel Hautzinger

To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters, which aired Sunday, explores the lives of the authors of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey. Do the actors in the film look like the people that they play?

The Fascinating Characters of Irish Chicago

Daniel Hautzinger

Explore some historic figures of Irish Chicago on this St. Patrick's Day. Beyond green beer and parades, there's a lot more to learn about. 
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