Tuesday, October 15, 2019

October 15, 1968 -- General Maxwell Taylor Defends Vietnam Policy

General Maxwell Taylor
October 15, 1968 – The former Ambassador to Vietnam, General Maxwell Taylor, delivers s speech to 1,500 people at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in which he strongly defends the United States involvement in that country. Taylor observes that “the increase in manpower and airpower since last February has produced a change in the war in our favor.”  [Chicago Tribune, October 15, 1968]. Acting as a special consultant to President Lyndon Johnson, Taylor comes to the city at the invitation of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations as part of a country-wide tour he is making.  As pickets protest his presence outside the hotel, Taylor expresses dismay over demonstrations of United States participation in the Vietnam war, saying, “I regret them because of the effect they will have abroad, not among our friends but our enemies.  The hope that there is a division among us will stiffen our enemies.  He does not speculate on how many troops the United States will eventually send overseas beyond the 140,000 soldiers currently in Vietnam.  Taylor says that bombing of North Vietnam will be helpful in convincing Hanoi that “little by little, they are paying an increasing price for continuing the war.”

October 15, 1937 – Thirty miniature rooms created by Mrs. James Ward Thorne go on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. The rooms look at French and English interior design from the time between Henry VIII and Louis XII to the present.  Eleanor Jewett, reporting for the Chicago Daily Tribune observes, "Each little room is a gem.  The colors are fascinating; the details are fascinating; the different periods of interior decorating illustrated are fascinating. To tell the truth, standing before each room in turn is to become much like a bird bewitched by a snake, the fascination that grips you is dangerous; mind and body you are swallowed up momentarily in the charm of each exhibit.” According to Curbed Chicago, Thorne employed more than 30 craftsmen to bring about her ideas … between 1932 and 1940 the team turned out 99 miniature rooms, 62 of which were gifted to the Art Institute.  The detailing of the rooms is exquisite.  Crystal chandeliers are made out of crystal. Paintings on the walls are commissioned works of original art, in postage stamp-sized frames.  There are even two bronze sculptures designed by John Storrs, the sculptor responsible for the statue of Ceres at the top of the Chicago Board of Trade.  The photo above shows one of the miniature rooms, a French library of the Louis XV period.

October 15, 2006 – A crowd of 300 lines Wacker Drive between Dearborn and State Streets to witness the filming of a commercial for Allstate Insurance, a production that reprises the scene from The Hunter, filmed in 1979. Hollywood director Phil Joanou films scenes in the city for three days – a car chase that begins under the elevated tracks at Lake Street, winds around Wacker Drive, up Dearborn Street, and onto the circular driveway of the parking garage at Marina City.  The commercial ends with a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass plunging off the tower and into the Chicago River, a catapult that is staged twice.   You can catch the commercial here

Charles L. Hutchinson
October 15, 1924 – Chicago learns that Charles L. Hutchinson, who died on October 7, has rewarded the Art Institute of Chicago, for which he served as president, handsomely in his will.  After providing $300,000 to his wife, Frances, he gives the museum the paintings that hang in the Hutchinson home at 222 East Walton Place.  Other stipulations in the will provide gifts to Hull House, the Cliff Dwellers’ Club, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital, Michael Reese Hospital, and Lombard College.  Hutchinson was born into wealth as his father brought the family to Chicago in 1856 and made a fortune as a grain merchant, in meatpacking, and as one of the founders of the Corn Exchange National Bank.  Charles Hutchinson followed his father into banking and grain speculation.  The Newberry Library’s introduction to the collection of Hutchinson’s papers states, “Because he was a man of wide interests with a strong sense of civic duty, Hutchinson’s activities were not confined to finance but ranged over many aspects of Chicago life. Though his greatest enthusiasm was for art and the establishment and growth of the Art Institute, Hutchinson was president, board member, trustee and/or supporter of perhaps as many as seventy organizations and social institutions, orphanages, hospitals and schools. Among his numerous involvements, he served as president of the Chicago Board of Trade, director and chairman of the Fine Arts Committee of the World’s Columbian Exposition, trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, president of the Chicago Orphan Asylum, president of St. Paul’s Universalist Church, vice-president of the Egypt Exploration Fund, president of the American Federation of the Arts, and treasurer of the Cliff Dwellers, of the Municipal Art League, and of the Chicago Sanitary District. Also, at the founding of the University of Chicago, in 1890 he was named a trustee of the new institution where he served as treasurer until his death.”

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