Thursday, April 26, 2018

April 26, 1954 -- C. T. A. Agrees to Remove Van Buren Street Connector

April 26, 1954 – As the plan moves forward to extend Wacker Drive south in order to join with the new Congress Street expressway, The Chicago Transit Authority board on this date agrees to remove and relocate the elevated structure in Van Buren Street between Wells Street and the river.  The decision awaits approval by the city which must compensate the C.T.A. for the $387,000 it will cost to complete the project.  This junction, known as “Tower 8,” was placed in service on October 3, 1897 to connect the Metropolitan West Side Elevated to the Loop Elevated.  It consisted of a T-shaped junction with a short three-block connector along Van Buren and Market Street, which is now Wacker Drive.  The top photo shows Tower 8 as it appeared before its removal.  The contemporary picture below it shows Van Buren Street at ground level, looking in the same direction, with the elevated removed.  The angled support at the top of the picture is the only evidence of the fact that the elevated ever ran west on Van Buren.

April 26, 1951 – General Douglas MacArthur lays a wreath at the memorial tablet of the Bataan-Corregidor Bridge at State Street, “speaking to weeping mothers concerning their sons who perished in the death march on Bataan”.  [Chicago Daily Tribune, April 27, 1951] MacArthur says, “These men were mine … I shall always hold them inviolate in my heart.  Since they fell, I have shared with their mothers and families the sorrow of their passing.”  An estimated 25,000 people watch the ceremonies as 30 men “who had been liberated by the general’s return to the Philippine islands stood at salute as he passed.”  MacArthur’s visit comes as part of a nationwide tour that follows President Truman’s relieving him of his command of United States forces in Korea on April 11.  Police officer John Kliss, serving out of the Marquette station, a former marine sergeant captured in the Philippines, says, “Mac was one of the swellest officers I ever had.”  Mrs. Frances Lovering, the mother of Corporal Fred Lovering, who died in a Manila prison camp says “with jaw firm … ‘It’s not a good thing to have politics mixed up with military affairs, and I’m behind the general.’”

April 26, 1925 -- The biggest crowd ever to see a baseball game in the city goes home disappointed as 44,000 fans watch the White Sox lose by forfeit, 9-0, to Cleveland. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Sox down, 7-2, third baseman Willie Kamm comes to bat and grounds into a routine shortstop-to-first play to end the game. At least that is what 8,000 fans think who rush onto the field. Except . . . the Cleveland first basemen, a recent University of Michigan graduate named Ray Knode, can't find first base to complete the play. As the Chicago Daily Tribune writer James Crusinberry describes the play, ". . . evidently Mr. Knode failed to learn while at Michigan just exactly where the bag is located at the first corner. After catching the ball, and with thousands of fans rushing upon the field, he began hunting the bag. He stabbed with one foot here and with another foot there and then rolled in the earth and frantically searched for the bag. He couldn't find it and by that time Willie Kamm had crossed it and there was nothing left for Umpire Billy Evans, stationed at that corner, to do but pronounce Mr. Kamm safe." Despite the fact that there are 135 policeman on the field, order can not be restored. In the throng the umpires can't even locate one another. Finally, the head umpire, Clarence Rowland, declares the game, which the Sox undoubtedly would have lost anyway, a forfeit. A significant number of fans leaving the ballpark that afternoon probably never even knew that was the final result.

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