December 31, 1943 – A year ends, one that began with President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill meeting in Casablanca and, midway through, marks the surrender of the German army in North Africa to the British and Americans. Even in the darkest hours of the war Chicago begins to look toward to what will come afterward. On this day the Chicago Daily Tribune makes that clear in an editorial, stating, “If Chicago wants to avoid being by-passed by the great air transport companies of the post-war age, it will have to see that they get the terminal facilities they need.” The editorial board sees neither airport currently in existence as practical. The place we know today as Midway is “nine miles from the heart of the city and accessible only thru the most densely populated sections.” Douglas Field, today’s O”Hare, “would be 19 miles from the loop.” What is the alternative? The editorial favors something that has been talked about for a decade or more – an airport on the city’s lakefront. “An airport built in this area on made ground,” the editorial states, “would be free of obstacles such as usually surround municipal airports, could be readily expanded to any size needed to accommodate great, new planes, and would be only a few minutes’ drive from the heart of the city.” The editorial continues, “The present outer breakwater runs from the vicinity of South Water street almost continuously to the Shedd aquarium at the foot of Twelfth street. Extending land outward from this breakwater would provide ample room for an airport and would give airplanes plenty of space to gain altitude, even in a westward takeoff, before reaching tall buildings. It would in no way interfere with navigation, and would be less than a five minute ride to the loop over a short causeway.” The editorial even makes reference to the fact that the Wolverine and the Sable, Navy aircraft carriers steaming along the lakefront, have taken meteorological surveys of the area north of Thirty-First Street and have found that it is “usually free of smoke and has wind velocity and ceiling suitable for a large airport.” Imagine what the city’s lakefront would look like today if the clamor for this kind of new airport had gained a large enough audience to see it actually built. Above, the early 1940's photo of Northerly Island -- later Meigs Field and now Northerly Island again -- gives some idea of what an airport facility much larger than this would have done to the lakefront.