Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1, 1932 -- Century of Progress Hall of Science Dedicated

June 1, 1932 – The city celebrates World’s Fair Day as it looks forward to the Century of Progress World’s Fair, still a year away.  The Chicago Daily Tribune reports, “Factory whistles and bells were sounded at noon, to be supplanted in the afternoon by the first demonstration of the 25 chime carillon on the tower of the hall of science.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 2, 1932] The culmination of the day is the dedication of the Hall of Science, held on the south end of the terrace that is formed by the two wings of the building as it extends to the east.  More than 1,500 people attend.  The president of the Century of Progress, Rufus C. Dawes, uses the dedication of the hall to speak of the appropriateness of the fair’s theme.  “This is especially appropriate,” Dawes says, “because this period [the preceding one hundred years] represents also the great period of development of the physical sciences and their application to the services of man.”  Dr. Frank B. Jewett, the vice-president of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company also speaks, his remarks underscoring the mission of the Hall of Science.  Jewett says that science, more than any other aspect of society, has influenced life over the past century, but “we have lagged egregiously in the development of our understanding and exercise of the social factors which these new things have introduced into human living … No amount of such understanding can even remotely touch the elements of human greed, avarice and misuse of public trust, but real understanding of the underlying forces will greatly simplify the solution of many problems.” The above photo shows the dedication of the Hall.

June 1, 1912 – Daniel Burnham dies in Heidelberg, Germany at the age of 66 while traveling with his wife, his son, Hubert, his daughter, Mrs. A. B. Wells and her husband. At the final concert of the North Shore festival the orchestra plays the funeral march from Die Göterdämmerung while the A Cappella choir of Northwestern University offers a song of praise. U. S. President William Howard Taft offers these thoughts, “Mr. Burnham was one of the foremost architects of the world, but he had more than mere professional skill. He had breadth of view as to artistic subjects that permitted him to lead in every movement for the education of the public in art or the development of art in every branch of our busy life.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 2, 1912] The Chicago we know today and other cities throughout the country and the world would be far different places, were it not for the genius of Burnham, who did more than anyone to create the concept of urban planning. "Make big plans," he wrote, "aim high in hope and work, knowing that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die."

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