Monday, August 5, 2019

August 5, 1967 -- Andrew Wyeth Painting Stolen ... Lost for Two Decades
August 5, 1967 – A thief nabs an Andrew Wyeth painting, “Artist’s Studio,” from the Sears-Vincent Price Gallery at 140 East Ontario Street and vanishes.  Although a dozen patrons are inside the gallery when the painting disappears, no one sees the thief, who escapes with the 50-pound painting and its driftwood frame at 2:00 p.m.   At least ten galleries are located within the general area and the director of the gallery, Harold Patton, says, “People are always walking around with paintings in this area.”  The painting was completed in 1966 and had hung in the gallery since Sears opened the showroom. In the Fall of 2000 the painting, depicting the artists’ studio in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, turned up at Christie’s Auction House in New York.  Its value had grown from $30,000 at the time of the theft to more than $500,000 by the time it re-surfaced.   

Leo Noble Burnett
August 5, 1935 –The announcement is made that a new advertising agency, known as the Burnett Company, Inc. with offices at 360 North Michigan Avenue, has been formed.  The founder, Leo Noble Burnett, was born in St. Johns, Michigan where he resided until his graduation from the University of Michigan in 1914. He came to Illinois, working briefly as a reporter for the Peoria Journal before moving on to edit the company magazine for the Cadillac Motor Car Company.  Burnett served a stint in the United States Navy during World War I before becoming vice-president of the Lafayette Motor Company and later, vice-president of the Homer McKee Advertising Agency in Indianapolis.  In 1930 he joined Erwin, Wasey and Company where he oversaw the account of the Minnesota Canning Company, a marketer of Niblets and Green Giant canned vegetables.  On August 1, 1935 Burnett resigned and four days later began the new firm with three accounts: Minnesota Canning, Hoover, and Realsilk Hosiery.  The motto of the new agency became “Reach for the Stars.”  AdAge said of the man, “Although a short, somewhat stout man with little physical charisma or pretense, Burnett became a central figure in the Chicago advertising scene as his agency grew competitive with the major New York shops. In 1953, the Leo Burnett Company moved onto the list of the top 10 American agencies with billings of $46.4 million.  The following year it won Philip Morris Cos.’ Marlboro account; Burnett took a personal role in repositioning the brand from a women’s cigarette to a men’s with the introduction of the ‘Marlboro Man’ campaign.”  Burnett died at his home in Lake Zurich on June 7, 1971 after putting in a full day at the office.  In 1999 Advertising Age named him as the third most important advertising person of the century.  The same publication named the agency’s Marlboro Man, Jolly Green Giant, Pillsbury Doughboy and Tony the Tiger among the top ten advertising icons of the century.  No other agency in the country had more than one in the list.

August 5, 1912 – As the new National Progressive Party with Theodore Roosevelt at its head is at the beginning of its rise, suffragettes parade through Chicago in recognition of the fact that the new party will carry a plank in its platform that advocates giving women the right to vote.  According to the Chicago Daily Tribune, “A crowd of many hundreds, flaunting banners and headed by a band, formed in front of the Art Institute and marched to the Coliseum.  It included women of every age and many stations in life.  There were gray haired grandmothers and young girls still with their schooling unfinished; mothers of families and old maids.” [Chicago Daily Tribune, August 5, 1912] So many women showed up for the parade that it was difficult to get the march organized.  At one point the main group of marchers was asked to move back about six feet.  Mrs. Catherine Waugh McCulloch, responding to the request, said, “What!  Retreat?  We never retreat!”  A squad of mounted police leads the procession, followed by a marching band, the band followed by a group of young women from the University of Chicago. The lead automobile carried Miss Jane Addams, Mrs. H. M. Wilmarth and Mrs. Isabella Blaney, a delegate from California.  Other cars follow, but the most impressive portion of the procession is made up of the ranks of women, many of whom have never been in a public march before.  One Methodist deaconess, Miss Estella Manley, says, “We are progressives and believe in suffrage because we see the necessity of a progressive movement in our work against the traffic in women.  No one realizes how ineffective a law can be and how much a community is in need of progressive lawmakers until one has done some uplift work in a community.”

August 5, 1970:  With 200 police officers gathered from seven other suburbs on hand, Highland Park’s Ravinia Park gives its stage to Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band.  The Chicago Tribune describes the scene as a mob consisting of “20,000 clapping screaming youths listening to the Full Tilt Boogie band . . . Highland Park Police Chief Michael Bonamarte waiting for a riot.”  [Chicago Tribune, August 6, 1970]  “In her satin hooker clothes,” Tribune music critic Linda Winer writes, “no less than a full fall of purple feathers sitting atop her tangled hair, foot stamping, bottom waving, Southern Comfort swigging Miss Joplin could almost convince you to just watch her sing all night.”  Eight days after the concert at Ravinia Joplin gives her final public concert at Harvard Stadium.  On October 4, in the middle of recording her album Pearl, she fails to show up at the studio, and at the age of 27 she is found, dead of an overdose at Hollywood’s Landmark Hotel.

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