Friday, March 1, 2019

March 1, 1951 -- Prudential Answers Question: Why Chicago?
March 1, 1951 -- Speaking before a gathering of city business people at the Palmer House, Carrol M. Shanks, the president of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, gives the thinking behind the firm’s decision to locate its home office on Randolph Street. Six factors, Shanks says, contribute to the selection:  industry, farming, transportation, natural resources, industrial and agricultural wealth, and stability of the people.  “The farms of the nine mid-American states combined account for more than one-third of the total cash receipts from farm marketings in the United States,” Shanks says. [Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1951] He goes on to say that 80 percent of the iron ore used in the manufacture of steel comes from the area and that much of the steel is made in the region as well.  At an earlier press conference Charles Murphy of the architectural firm of Naess and Murphy, outlines the perameters of the project, one that with its 800,000 square feet of usable space, will be the third-largest office building in the city.  The tower will stand on 400 caissons extending 100 feet to bedrock and will require 30,000 tons of steel.  Shanks, buoyant after the architect’s presentation, says at the Palmer House, “Mid-America is the arsenal and the breadbasket of the nation.  Without it the United States would be helplessly, hopelessly crippled.”  The photo shows the Prudential building under construction with the Illinois Central railroad tracks running through what today is Millennium Park.

March 1, 1959 – Mrs. Dorothy Wrigley Rich Chauncey, the newly married daughter of Philip K. Wrigley, says “the only thing marring her happiness was her father’s ire at her elopement and marriage.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1959] “I have the utmost respect and love for my parents,” the new bride says. “The last thing I want to do or ever intended to do was hurt them.  We both feel badly about the way they apparently feel.  But I’m sure time will heal all of this.”  On February 28 Wrigley Rich Chauncey eloped to Albuquerque, New Mexico with Chauncey “a white haired grandfather,” a Phoenix, Arizona radio station executive, and “man-about-town who first arrived in that city on a freight car.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, March 1, 1959] Under Arizona law the new bride’s divorce decree from a previous marriage is still not final, but the elopement and marriage in Albuquerque avoids the technicality.  The perturbed father of the bride says, “I thought I had an understanding with my daughter that she would wait for the year after the divorce before getting married again.  We expected that she probably would go back east with her children this summer and see her old friends.  I know she has been feeling marooned out here.”  Reached at his suite in the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix and asked about reports that he might disinherit the new Mrs. Chauncey, Wrigley says, “That’s a little strong.  Let’s say she will not be considered an active member of the family.”

March 1, 1971 – Piper’s Alley, the big tourist draw in Old Town, is evacuated as fire is discovered in the loft of the Playwright’s Center, a four-story building that forms the west end of the U-shaped commercial center.  Two thousand spectators watch from the streets, and a hundred diners are evacuated from That Steak Joynt at 1610 Wells Street as a precaution.  Fire fighters say that every one of the 15 shops that make up the alley will suffer some smoke or water damage.  Fortunately the glass blower at the entrance to the alley remains unscathed.

March 1, 1872 -- The stockholders of the former Chicago White Stockings Baseball Club meet at Brewster's Hat Store on State Street near Twentieth Street to hear a report on how the earnings from the previous year will be divided among the players. The books for the club were lost in the Great Fire of 1871, which also brought about the demise of the club as the city struggled to rebuild. The White Stockings played their first professional game on April 29, 1870, beating the Louisville Unions, 47-1. Their name played off the popularity of the first successful professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The White Stockings were in contention throughout that 1871 season, and in September were tied for first with the Philadelphia Athletics. Then in October the fire destroyed the team's ballpark, clubhouse and uniforms. In borrowed uniforms the team finished the season just two games out of first place. A new White Stockings team with no connection to the first one was formed in 1874, and that team was the progenitor of today's Chicago Cubs.

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