Friday, October 4, 2019

October 4, 1918 -- Flu Prompts City to Issue Warnings
October 4, 1918 – The Chicago Health Commissioner announces that any church building that is found to be poorly ventilated during Sunday services on the following day will be closed.  The action is taken “to put all Chicago on active guard against the epidemic of influenza and pneumonia.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 5, 1918]  Similar prohibitions have been issued to schools, theaters, restaurants, streetcar and elevated lines.  Police officials have been issued an order to “instruct all members of their command to visit all public places … where people congregate and request the proprietors to urge their patrons to aid in the work of mutual protection … also instruct your officers that when they see a person on the street or any other place sneezing or coughing without placing a handkerchief to his mouth, to ask him in a courteous manner to do so, explaining why the use of the handkerchief for that purpose is imperative.”  Although the epidemic has not yet impacted the city as much as it has downstate, there are still 916 cases reported in the preceding 24 hours with 81 deaths.  The entire Chicagoland area is on alert.  In Highland Park, for example, 56 women make a house-to-house search in automobiles to locate cases that have not received attention, finding 667 cases during their rounds.  Wilmette orders all schools, churches and theaters to be closed as town officials suggest that it may be necessary to call out the Illinois National Guard to patrol streets for a day or two “to aid in keeping the children on their own premises and prevent  the running about of those with colds and coughs.”  In the world-wide influenza outbreak of 1918 and 1919 more than one fifth of the world’s population contracted what was known as the “Spanish flu.”  More than 21,000,000 people died, including 600,000 in the United States with 8,500 Chicago residents losing their lives to the illness.  Between the start of Chicago’s epidemic on September 21 and the removal of restrictions on November 16, the city experienced 38,000 cases of influenza and 13,000 cases of pneumonia.  

October 4, 1909 – A good night’s sleep is a difficult thing to come by if you’re staying in a hotel along the lakefront, according to a report in the Chicago Daily Tribune on this date.  An investigation by the paper finds “engines puffing, wheezing, snorting, exhausting, and making every other kind of noise that a locomotive is capable of” just across Michigan Avenue. “Whistles were tooting, bells were ringing, and cars were bumping together with a crash that would awaken the soundest sleeper.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, October 4, 1909]  A reporter, who is keeping an eye on the railroad action along the lakefront from the Art Institute at Monroe Street to a point near where Congress Street runs today, encounters a clerk at one of the Michigan Avenue hotels, who says, “Many a night has some guest of the house who couldn’t sleep come down to the office and kept me company.  Guests who come here for the first time make a loud kick against the engines, and I don’t blame them … It is almost impossible for a nervous person to get any sleep between 2 and 7 o’clock.  Between those hours the engines are constantly pushing back and forth, and there isn’t one person in twenty who can sleep through the noises that come from the yard.”  The above photo shows the railroad tracks east of Michigan Avenue at Monroe Street.   

October 4, 1982 – For the second time in four years, city planners recommend landmark status for the original Sears State Street store, finding that the structure, “adds to the State Street mall’s inviting pedestrian circulation.” [Chicago Tribune, October 5, 1982] The store, originally built for Levi Z. Leiter, an early Chicago merchant, was originally recommended for landmark status in 1979, but attorneys for Sears opposed the landmark designation for the building.  It is unknown how Sears will greet the new recommendation for the 1891 building.  William McClenahan, the director of the city’s Landmarks Commission, says that the building is “an important landmark in the city and an effort to have it so designated is worth another try.”  On January 14,1997 the store finally received landmark status and rightfully so.  As the city’s website on landmarks states, “Renowned as one of the nation’s most important early examples of skeletal-frame commercial architecture, this building is discussed in every major history of American architecture.”

October 4, 1969 – At the conclusion of a march sponsored by the Students for a Democratic Society from Grant Park to the Federal Building and back in which 350 protestors demand the immediate withdrawal of all troops in Vietnam, two protestors, armed with guns, knives, and swords, are arrested in Old Town.  The cache is discovered in a camper from which the two men from California apparently are selling weapons to be used between October 8 and 11 at protests planned by the Weatherman faction of the S.D.S.  The occupants of the truck, Dennis Sleeth and Daniel Brucher, both from California, are arrested after police find a 20-gauge shotgun, 25 rounds of ammunition, a 22-caliber pistol with 58 rounds, five Samurai swords and 13 knives in sheaths.  At the same time the subversive unit of the police department raids the S.D.S. national headquarters at 1608 Madison Street and arrests Caroline Tanner of Pennsylvania for her involvement in the beating of four policemen in front of the Federal Building on September 24.

No comments: