Monday, June 20, 2016

June 20, 1947 -- Shovel Day for the New Meigs Field

June 20, 1947 – Representatives of the city, state, and federal governments participate in ceremonies as silver plated shovels move the first earth on Northerly Island, and “Chicago’s 25 year old dream of a lake front airport attained the beginning of reality.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 21, 1947]  Merrill C. Meigs, the chairman of the Chicago Aero Commission, acts as the master of ceremonies, saying “. . . when it is finished downtown Chicago will be only seven minutes away for the air traveller as compared with 45 minutes in most other large cities.”  Chicago Commissioner of Public Works Oscar Hewitt said, “Chicago can be the magnetic center of the whole of the valley of the Mississippi and the air crossroads of the globe.  I am willing to go on record as saying that travel and transport by air will go further in extending Chicagoland than any element in the growth of the area to date.”

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