Thursday, November 17, 2016

November 17, 1965 -- Five Year Attendance Figures for McCormick Place Announced

November 17, 1965 – McCormick Place celebrates its fifth birthday as the building’s general manager, Edward J. Lee, announces that 17,013,515 people have been through the facility since it first opened its doors.  Events open to the public account for 41.8 per cent of the attendance while commercial, industrial, trade and professional shows account for 32.3 per cent.  The exhibition hall’s Arie Crown Theater did not open until the spring of 1961, but it still drew 2,174,510 people. The largest attendance for any one event in the hall was for the Billy Graham Greater Chicago Crusade in 1962, which drew 44,840 people.  Also notable was the first stockholders’ meeting ever held outside of New York City for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in April of 1961.  On that occasion 18,458 stockholders attended the annual event, and each of them was served lunch.  It would be only 14 months before two-thirds of the great convention hall on the lake would be destroyed in less than 45 minutes in a devastating fire.

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