March 24, 1923 – The Vice-President of the Illinois Central Railroad, C. N. Kittle, says that the road is considering improving railroad property between Randolph Street and the Chicago River, east of Michigan Avenue with hotels and skyscrapers. Kittle says, “… it is our plan to improve it with office buildings, hotels and other structures, similar to the development over the New York Central tracks in New York, where the Biltmore and Ambassador hotels have been built over the tracks.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, March 25, 1923] Attorney Walter L. Fisher, counsel for the City Railway Terminal Commission, says, “This territory will serve as a commercial outlet to the loop for years to come. With the transportation which will be afforded by the Illinois Central railroad it should prove amazingly popular following electrification of the road.” Change takes time. It would be another half-century or more before this “amazingly popular” area that is today known as Illinois Center would see its first high rise building. The black and white photo shows the area as it looked in the 1920's. The photo below that shows Illinois Center (almost impossible to believe it's the same place) today.
March 24, 2014 – A C.T.A. train operator falls asleep at the controls as her train approaches the end of the line at O’Hare International Airport just before 3:00 a.m., and the train crashes through a barrier designed to stop trains at the end of the line and continues to travel up an escalator. More than 30 people are hurt, and Blue Line service to the airport is halted for over a day as authorities try to determine the cause of the accident. C.T.A. President Forrest Clayppol says, “We run a half a million train trips a year. So when something like this happens, we want to work closely with our engineers and theirs (the National Transportation and Safety Board) to get to the very bottom of this as fast as we can.”
March 24, 1949 -- Satchel Paige, at the age of 43, starts his first game of the 1949 season as the Cleveland Indians, with Lou Boudreau as a player-manager, meet the Chicago Cubs in a spring training game in Los Angeles. After a 1948 season that saw the oldest man ever to play major league baseball in contention for post-season honors, the 1949 season would be a disappointment as Paige would go 4-7 even though he managed a 3.04 earned run average. Bill Veeck would give Paige an unconditional release at the conclusion of the season, but he would play four more years and be named to the American League All-Star team in 1952 and 1953.