Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26, 1927 -- Buckingham Fountain Is Dedicated



August 26, 1927 – John Philip Sousa conducts “Stars and Stripes Forever” on a terrace east of the new Buckingham Fountain as the fountain is dedicated before 50,000 Chicagoans.  And “As though responding to the direction of the bandmaster and the magic of his baton, the fountain began to glow with misty blue lights circling each of the three tiers.  A moment later the rush of water started.  For half an hour the lights were played on the 134 jets, through which 5,500 gallons of water were poured each minute, and all the various lighting effects were displayed.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, August 27, 1927]  Walter B. Smith, a friend of Kate Buckingham, the woman who donated the fountain to the city in memory of her brother, Clarence, makes an address explaining the donation for Buckingham, who is present among the guests in the grandstand.  Michael Igoe, a member of the U. S. House of Representatives and a commissioner of the South Park Board, accepts the $700,000 fountain on behalf of the city.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 25, 1972 -- Illinois Central Merger Upheld



August 25, 1972 – Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackman refuses to block the merger of the Illinois Central Railroad and the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad.  The Missouri Pacific Railroad had claimed that the proposed merger would create a near-monopoly that would cripple it.  The merger, which had occurred on August 10 gives the new Illinois Central Gulf Railroad control of 13,532 miles of track.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24, 1920 -- Lorado Taft's "Fountain of Time" Completed


August 24, 1920 – The full-sized plaster model of Lorado Taft’s “The Fountain of Time” is completed after years of work and stands at the head of the Midway Plaisance, west of Cottage Grove Avenue.  The sculptural piece is described as comprising “ . . . scores of figures, arising from mystery, moving through life, and vanishing in mystery.  Some are dancing, some proceed sorrowfully, some are Galahads, some are satyrs.  Towering over all is Mr. Taft’s conception of Father Time.  The huge, weird figure dominates the movement of the pushing mob it faces.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, August 25, 1920]


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 23, 1914 -- Masonic Temple Jumper



August 23, 1914 – Henry Korthagen, an unemployed painter, pays the 25-cent admission to the observatory of the Masonic Temple Building on State Street, crawls through a window to the northwest corner of the building and then jumps.  His body strikes the crowded sidewalk on State Street at noon on a Saturday.  A dentist on the twelfth floor of the building, Dr. A. Jay Blakie, sees the body fly past his window, with a black derby hat following 20 feet behind.  “From my position above,” Blakie says, “the sidewalk looked like the surface of water after a stone has been thrown in.  A circle of humanity just eddied back from the crumpled object in the middle of it.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, August 24, 1914]  Korthagen had visited the Painters and Decorators District Council at 300 West Madison Street earlier, seeking to pay back dues and gain reinstatement to the union.  Those at the union headquarters describe him as cheerful at the time.  The observatory at the Masonic Temple is pictured above, all the way up there at the top of the building.

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 1969 -- Council Committee Approves Illinois Center Plan




August 22, 1969 – The City Council Buildings and Zoning Committee unanimously approves the guidelines for the development of the Illinois Central land and air rights south of the Chicago River and east of Michigan Avenue, asking for a change so that advertising signs will be banned in the area.  Louis, Hill, the Commissioner of Development and Planning, says that developers will provide streets, utilities, a fire station, a dock wall along the river, a six-acre park, a school, and a subway and station to serve the area.  The approval follows four days after the Chicago Plan Commission approves the same plan.   The area approved for the new development is shown in the photo above.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21, 1976 -- Cabbies Byrned over Uniforms



August 21, 1976 – The Chicago Tribune reports that nearly 100 cab drivers demonstrate at the Civic Center, protesting a ruling by the city commissioner of consumer affairs, Jane Byrne, that they must wear uniforms.  The ruling, due to take effect on September 7, causes anger among the cabbies who say that over the preceding year three drivers have been killed, seven shot, one has his throat cut, and another suffers amputation of a leg as a result of a robbery.  Uniforms will just make them a more recognizable target when they are away from their cabs, they say.  One driver says that he has to drive 16 to 18 hours a day to make a living, and that there is not enough money to buy and maintain a uniform.  Jane Guthrie, a driver for three years, says, “How can the city tell self-employed persons to wear uniforms . . . If your cab breaks down in a bad neighborhood it’s bad enough getting out without having to wear a uniform which advertises that you’re stranded and have money on you from driving.”  [Chicago Tribune, August 21, 1976]