April 15, 1913 – The South Park Commission decides to initiate its plans to improve the lake front from Grant Park to Jackson Park after the Illinois Supreme Court refuses to consider a case protesting a contract between the commission and the Illinois Central Railroad signed during the previous summer, an agreement giving the city riparian rights in exchange for larger terminal facilities for the railroad. The improvement program is an ambitious one, beginning with the demolition of the Illinois Central station at Park Row, approximately where Roosevelt Road runs today. New boulevards are planned, along with additional bathing beaches, a lengthy lagoon, and the construction of the Field Museum. Ground was broken for the museum on July 26, 1915. The railroad terminal remained standing until it was razed in 1974. Most importantly, another step was taken toward recognizing the significance of the city’s lakefront … and taking action to ensure its importance for the future. The above photo shows the Field Museum a decade or so later with Soldier Field rising to the south as the land east of the Illinois Central Railroad tracks begins the transformation into public park land.
April 15, 1962 -- A tough day for fire fighters as three separate blazes put three firemen in the hospital. The first blaze takes place at Grand Avenue and Tripp in a garage where Tastee Freez trucks are serviced and housed. Twenty-six vehicles are destroyed, and more than 100 firemen are affected by fumes from the refrigerants in the burning ice cream trucks. Damage to the trucks is estimated at $400,000 with damage to the building placed at about $50,000. Meanwhile, a four-alarm fire at the Tivoli Hotel at 6318 Maryland Avenue injures six people while 20 more are carried down ladders to safety. Fire Marshal Raymond J. Daley says that the fire apparently started in a fourth floor corridor and spread through the upper stories of the building. Fire fighters also work four hours on a stubborn fire in an auto parts store and a bar at 4416 and 4418 Madison Street.
April 15, 1975 -- The White Sox lose to the Texas Rangers in the Chicago team's home opener, but it takes 13 innings for it to happen. At the end of the long game Sox manager Chuck Tanner is livid, aiming his anger at first base umpire Art Frantz, who gave the home run signal to Ranger hitter Tom Grieve in a play that Tanner felt clearly showed fan interference. He is backed up by Sox left fielder Buddy Bradford, who didn't help his case with Frantz much on the play by reaching down and picking up the ball instead of treating it as if the play were still alive. The two teams were locked in a 5 to 5 tie at the end of the ninth and battled into the top of the thirteenth when Dave Nelson singled for the Rangers. After Jim Sundberg struck out, Joe Levito drove in Nelson with a single for the go-ahead run. The Sox would finish the 1975 season second-to-last in the American League West with a record of 75 wins and 86 losses.