|Chicagoans Wait to Buy Tickets for the New Subway on October 16, 1943|
October 16, 1943 – At 10:48 a. m. a ribbon is cut at State and Madison and Chicago’s first subway, first proposed in the Chicago Plan of 1909, opens for business. The ceremony begins with a parade that takes an hour to pass the reviewing stand on State Street. As Mayor Kelly gets ready to cut the ribbon, Subway Commissioner Philip Harrington, says, “I am proud to inform you and the people of Chicago on behalf of the engineering staff of the department of subways and its contractors, that Chicago’s first subway is complete, ready for operation. I can assure you of the thoroness [sic] and durability of this structure and the safety of its equipment. This subway compares more than favorably with any of the other undergrounds in the country.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 17, 1943] This first phase of the city’s comprehensive subway system starts at Armitage and Clybourn Avenues on the north and extends to a point between Sixteenth and Seventeenth Streets under State Street.