Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September 12, 1915 -- Hydroplane Record Set Off Grant Park

September 12, 1915 – James A. Pugh takes his 40-foot hydroplane Disturber IV and skims it across the lakefront at over 60 miles per hour.  Off the Grant Park shore Pugh makes six runs over a half-mile stretch of the lake.  According to the Chicago Daily Tribune, “Distruber IV’s twenty-four cylinder 1,800 horse power Dusenberg motors ran as smoothly as the movement of a Swiss watch.  The roar of the heavy exhausts could be heard on Michigan avenue and brought thousands of spectators, who lined the shore of Grant park and watched the spectacular flights of ‘Dynamite Jim’ and his two mechanics.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, September 13, 1915] In the above photo Disturber IV is launched in the Chicago River in July of 1914.

September 12, 1973 – The Hyatt Regency, the first new major downtown hotel in Chicago in more than 20 years, is topped out as Mayor Richard J. Daley attends the ceremonies on Wacker Drive.  Hoisted into place at the top of the new hotel is a piece of limestone, signed by Mayor Daley and Jay Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Corporation, that has been salvaged from an old Illinois Central Railroad warehouse that stood on the site for over a hundred years, a structure that served as a shelter for thousands of Chicago citizens who were trapped in the Chicago Fire of 1871.  The hotel also stands on the spot where Captain Nathan Heald, the commander of Fort Dearborn, ordered the fort’s whiskey supply dumped in the water on August 13, 1812, an action that may have been the chief provocation for the attack that two days later led to the death of 63 soldiers and settlers.  [Chicago Tribune, September 13, 1973]

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