Sunday, July 9, 2017

July 9, 1974 -- First Woman Driver for the C.T.A.

July 9, 1974 – For the first time a woman sits behind the wheel of a Chicago Transit Authority bus as Ms. Mary Wallace pilots the State Street bus on the 36A route, starting at the C.T.A. garage at Seventy-Seventh and Vincennes Avenue.  Ms. Wallace says that the training took her 15 days during which time she says “it rained a lot.”  She added further that she applied for the job and was “in it for the money.”  [Chicago Tribune, July 10, 1974] Ms. Wallace is pictured in the photo above with former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

July 9, 1934 – Eleanor Roosevelt has a full schedule of events as she visits Chicago for two days. At 9:30 a.m. the wife of President Franklin Roosevelt holds a press conference in the NBC studios at the Merchandise Mart.  At 10:15 a.m. she visits the Simmons exhibit at the Century of Progress and participates in a commercial broadcast for the company, the proceeds of which will be donated to charity.  At noon the First Lady takes lunch with the president of the fair and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Rufus C. Dawes, after which she requests to see the fair without any escort.  At 5:30 Mrs. Roosevelt is the guest at a reception given by the Women’s Trade Union League at 530 South Ashland Avenue.  Unbelievably, she arrives in Chicago on the night of July 8 from Madison, Indiana with no official escort.  She and two female companions make the 265-mile drive, taking turns at the wheel of a “low slung, sand colored automobile,” their arrival at the Blackstone Hotel “heralded by no fanfare, their path was cleared by no police escort and no committee of notables was waiting to greet them.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 9, 1934]

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