Tuesday, July 2, 2019

July 2, 1974 -- Mounted Patrol Unit Goes on First Assignment

July 2, 1974 – For the first time in 25 years mounted policemen go on patrol, making the rounds of Grant Park, Lincoln Park and Washington Park as bystanders greet the new patrols with positive reviews.  “The idea,” reports the Chicago Tribune, “is to have highly mobile and highly visible policemen on duty in the parks.”   According to the official website of the Chicago Police Department, the Mounted Patrol Unit currently maintains 32 geldings, chosen “for uniformity in appearance, size and temperament.”  All mounted officers must undergo a 14-week training program with only half of the officers who begin the program making the cut.  Mounted personnel include one lieutenant, four sergeants and 27 mounted patrol officers with the unit’s stables and training facility located within the South Shore Cultural Center grounds at 7059 south Shore Drive. According to the C.P.D. website, benefits of the horseback patrol include, “visibility for an officer to see over crowds of situations as well as for increased perception of police presence when a person can see an officer in a crowd.  They provide mobility, many times allowing an officer to get to a scene faster and more efficiently than on foot or in a vehicle.  They are Ambassadors of Good Will and encourage approachability by members of the public, since many people love animals or are curious about horses.”   Mounted officers are particularly effective in crowd management with one officer on horseback equaling the presence of ten officers on foot.  The above photo presents the first graduating class of mounted officers in 1974.

July 2, 1894 –A United States Marshal reads an injunction to 2,000 strikers in Blue Island, an order restraining them from interfering with the operation of the Rock Island and 20 other railroads after which the assembled men “howled defiance at the Marshal and his deputies and promptly violated the injunction by throwing a box car across the tracks and stopping all traffic for the night.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 2, 1894] The injunction comes over a month after 3,000 workers go on strike at the Pullman Palace Car Company on Chicago’s South Side.  By the end of June, the strike had spread to 27 states, forcing the United States Attorney General to issue the order, which is read in Blue Island on this night. The local and state police forces are outmanned, and call for help from the federal government as stranded railroad passengers are refused food and water by local merchants.  President Grover Cleveland is forced to order federal troops from Fort Sheridan to restore order and clear the way for mail, passengers and inter-state freight to begin rolling again.

July 2, 1890:  Charles L. Hutchinson returns fro Europe, bringing with him a treasure trove of paintings destined ultimately to find their way to the Art Institute.  A year earlier Hutchinson, while in Florence, saw the collection of Prince Anatoly Nikolaievich Demidoff, a Russian industrialist and diplomat who had died shortly before.  It was Hutchinson’s original intention to make arrangements to have the prince’s collection displayed in Chicago and then returned to Florence, but upon arriving he discovered that Demidoff’s widow was looking to sell the paintings.  Hutchinson quickly arranged to meet Martin Ryerson, a wealthy Chicago steel tycoon, in Paris, and the two men get to work contacting money men back home, including Marshall Field and Phllip Armour.  For $200,000 the Chicago syndicate got thirteen paintings that Hutchinson describes in this way, “The collection is indeed superb.  It would be a worthy addition to the Louvre itself.  The names of the artists include Rembrandt, Hobbema, Van Ostade, Van Dyke, Johann Steen, Terburg, Teniers, Adrian Van der Velde, William Van der Velde, and Rubens.  With the exception of the Rembrandt there is nowhere in America anything to compare with these examples of the old Dutch artists.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, July 3, 1890]  Jan Steen’s groovy “The Family Concert” of 1666 was part of the collection, given to the museum by Hutchinson in 1891.

July 2, 1952 – The final section of the $22,000,000 Edens expressway is opened to traffic.  The last section of the highway connects the highway north of Lake-Cook Road to Skokie Road in Highland Park.  The completed expressway is named after William G. Edens, a Chicago banker who was the sponsor of the state’s first highway bond issue 34 years earlier.  The above photo, taken in 1952, shows the beginning of the new highway passing over Cicero Avenue.

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