Saturday, February 3, 2018

February 3, 1882 -- LaSalle Street Overrun with "Scarlet Women"

February 3, 1882 – A Chicago Daily Tribune editorial puts forth fears that the “disgusting and shameless practices” of the Levee district [Chicago Daily Tribune, February 2, 1882] are beginning to spill over into the center of the city and “unless attacked now in their incipiency will soon become so firmly rooted that extermination will be next to an impossibility.”  The editorial spends the most time lamenting the movement of prostitutes (“the vilest, lowest and most revolting of the scarlet women, the dregs of the demi-monde”) who have moved westward from south State Street in the Levee, making “La Salle Street nearly as bad as State street at its worst.”  Lodging on the east side of Clark Street between Madison and Monroe and on the west side of Clark between Monroe and Adams the women come into the night “… from their dingy, foul-smelling rooms, and with their hideous features concealed beneath a mask of paint, their shrunken forms rounded by the arts of the costumer and hidden under an outward show of rich clothing, haunt the shadowy side of the street, soliciting the patronage of every man they meet.”  The editorial introduces a reporter who walks twice around the square bordered by La Salle, Madison, Clark and Monroe Streets, most of the way within a hundred yards of City Hall.  On his first pass he is solicited by nine women; the second trip around the block brings offers from another four.  “It is hard to conceive of women becoming so lost to decency as to flaunt their immodesty and immorality in the faces of the public,” the paper cries, “but they make no bones about it and keep it up.”  The editorial concludes, “Something should be done … It is especially bad to have this depravity exhibited in La Salle street, for the reason that it is a street much used by passengers for the suburban trains on the Rock Island Road, and it is not pleasant for a gentleman with a lady companion to have to pass through and listen to all the filth that he will encounter and hear on his way.”

February 2, 1954 – Here is something Daniel Burnham and William H. Bennett did not have in mind when they completed the Chicago Plan of 1909 for the Commercial Club of Chicago.  On this date in 1954 the Cook County Board approves plans to build a rocket storage depot on a 20-acre plot that would be set aside as part of a 600-acre forest preserve purchase on the western edge of Busse Woods.  The 20 acres of farmland are located south of Higgins Road and west of Salt Creek.  The general superintendent of the forest preserve system, Charles G. Sauers, says that there is only one farmhouse in the area, and that it will be vacated since U. S. Air Force requirements dictate that there must be no human habitation within 2,100 feet of the proposed depot.  Colonel Harry Woodbury of the Army Corps of Engineers says that there is little danger of an explosion at the site since the rockets will not receive fuses until they are brought to O’Hare.

February 2, 2011 -- It's hard to believe that it has been seven years already! On this day in 2011 Chicagoans were watching the end of the world as it unfolded. Beginning during rush hour the evening before, a brutal winter storm brings70 m.p.h winds to the lakefront, along with thunder, lightning, and massive waves. Some snow drifts reach ten feet. Schools are cancelled for the first time in 12 years, and Lake Shore Drive is completely shut down with at least 900 cars and buses stuck there overnight and hundreds of motorists and bus riders afraid to abandon their vehicles in near white-out conditions. In excess of 19 inches of snow fall from late January 31 through February 2, the third largest storm in the city's recorded weather history.

No comments: