Monday, June 18, 2018

June 18, 1949 -- Syphilis Campaign Begins with 40 Planes

June 18, 1949 – Chicagoans get an eye-full and an ear-full as 40 Air Force planes buzz the city for 30 minutes at noon to open a public information campaign aimed at an estimated 76,000 people with syphilis in the city.  There are fireworks over Grant Park and skywriters spelling out “K.O.V.D.” over the Loop.  The Junior Association of Commerce in association with the Chicago Health Department and the Federal Public Health Service sponsors this kick-off of a 45-day campaign to “K.O.V.D.” – “Knock Out Venereal Disease.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 19, 1949] This is the local contribution to a national effort that will begin on June 30 and will include “billboards, signs, posters, and car cards” to “urge everyone to find out about syphilis and to obtain treatment, if necessary.”  Dr. Herman N. Bundesen, the President of the Board of Health, says, “We want every person in Chicago to know that untreated syphilis is dangerous … With an estimated 75,000 infected persons in the city, no one should take a chance.  Treatment has been reduced from 18 months to 8 days during the last six years, and a one day treatment looks promising. Untreated, the disease may lead to blindness, insanity, and death.”

June 18, 1968 – Executives from the International Business Machines Corporation announce plans to build the city’s third highest office building, rising 52 stories on the north side of the Chicago River between State Street and Wabash Avenue.  Architects involved in the project will include the offices of Mies van der Rohe and C. F. Murphy Associates.   I.B.M. vice-president H. W. Miller, Jr. says that the structure will be the largest office building that the company has ever constructed, and that the firm will occupy half of the building with an estimated 8,000 people working there when it is completed.  The company opened its first office in the city in 1916 with a dozen employees.  The new mid-century modern structure will bring some 4,500 I.B.M. employees scattered around the city in over a dozen locations into one location on the north side of the Chicago River.

June 18, 1931 – Here is a parade I bet you wish you could have seen . . . stretching down Michigan Avenue and State Street for more than two miles, with Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden and the United States Assistant Secretary of Agriculture R. W. Dunlap on the reviewing stand, the parade seeks “to convince the public that meat prices are the lowest in years.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, June 19, 1931]  That’s right . . . It’s a Meat Parade!  There are “100 cowboys, 14 bands, several hundred farm boys and girls of Four-H clubs, 500 butchers with cleavers from the stockyards, floats designating various carcasses and cuts of dressed meat and comparative prices with a year ago, trucks of hogs, sheep and beef on the hoof and at the rear a drove of sheep ambling along the boulevard and into the loop”.  One of the truckloads of steers carries a banner proclaiming “Chicago buys more than $500,000,000 worth of live stock annually.”  A placard accompanying a float composed of a giant hot dog informs spectators that 5,000,000,000 hot dogs were consumed during 1930.  The Tribune photo above shows the drove of sheep being herded past the Michigan Avenue entrance to the Art Institute.

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