Monday, May 18, 2020

May 18, 1893 -- Susan B. Anthony at the Women's Congress
May 18, 1893 – Susan B. Anthony appears on this day at the World’s Congress of Representative Women, a week-long convention in which 150,000 attendees came to World’s Congress Auxiliary Building, today’s Art Institute of Chicago, to listen to speeches by nearly 500 women, at 81 different meetings.  Of the 100 congresses that were held during the run of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, this would be the most heavily attended.  The Women’s Congress was arranged under the supervision of Bertha HonorĂ© Palmer, and of all the speakers who appeared, Susan B. Anthony, now in her seventies but still delivering at least 100 speeches a year, was the most popular.  The Chicago Daily Tribune describes her appearance thusly, “The way she whisked along the corridors in her flight from meeting to meeting, the untiring energy with which she made opening addresses and closing speeches, receiving between times numberless congratulations and hand-shakings, was nothing short of miraculous.  And wherever she went the sense of woman’s suffrage screamed.  Indeed, all other subjects sank into insignificance beside this burning one.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, May 19, 1893] 

May 18, 1967 – Officials of Chicago Helicopter Airways, Inc. predict that the helicopter line may be hauling a million passengers annually within a few years. The chairman of the company, John S. Gleason, Jr., says that preliminary plans have begun for developing a downtown heliport in Grant Park or on adjacent Illinois Central air rights. Gleason is encouraged by reports that a projection of 300 flights a day operating out of a revamped Midway Airport could result in the shuttling of a million passengers a year between Midway, O’Hare and the Loop. He is also optimistic about a third major airport being built in the lake. Optimism is the engine that turns the rotors, right? Even if the craft never gets off the ground, the noise sure gets your attention.

May 18, 1952 – The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that another pair of old mansions will be reduced to rubble so that a 17-story rental apartment building can be built at 1538 and 1540 State Parkway.  Completion of the new building, designed by Shaw, Metz and Dolio is scheduled for 1953. The apartment building will have space for 60 families and indoor parking for 36 cars.  All units will be at least five rooms with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.  A unique feature of the new building is that it will be constructed in the shape of a cross with only one apartment occupying each arm of the cross, allowing for wider views and better cross ventilation.  Scheduled for demolition is the home at 1538 North State Parkway, built by William H. Bush in 1887 on land that he purchased from Hobart Chatfield-Taylor, a Chicago author who owned all of the land extending from that lot to Lincoln Park.  Today's 1540 North State Parkway is pictured above.  

May 18, 1886 – The Schiller Monument in Lincoln Park is unveiled on a Saturday afternoon before 7,000 people, including members of 60 separate German societies and lodges of the city.  Mayor Carter Harrison and William Rapp, editor of the Staats-Zeitung, make speeches appropriate to the occasion.  The Chicago statue is recast from a model of the original sculpture that stands in Marbach, the birthplace of Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller.  The original sculptor was Ernst Rau.  According to the Chicago Park District a large number of German immigrants held a meeting in Turner Hall, after spending several years raising money for the monument, and subsequently placed a cornerstone and foundation for the work in Lincoln Park.  William Pelargus, a sculptor from Stuttgard, was hired to recast the original Marbach monument, and a Lake View stone cutter was given the commission to create the granite base.  The Laing and Son Granite Company repaired the monument in 1959 and installed a bronze plaque on the base.  It still stands in its original location. The top photo shows the original monument in Marbach.  Below that is the memorial as it looked in the early 1900's.  It is not much changed today, as can be seen in the final photo.  

May 18, 1878 – The cornerstone is placed for the First Regiment’s armory on Jackson Street between Wabash and Michigan Avenues, celebrated in “one of the finest military parades and reviews that has taken place in this city for years.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, May 15, 1878] The first meeting to organize a National Guard regiment in Chicago took place on August 28, 1874 with the militia funded through private donations.  George M. Pullman contributed the first $500 with 22 of the city’s leading citizens contributing $100 apiece.  The first drill hall was established at 112 Lake Street.  In February of 1875 the First Regiment assembled as demonstrations swept the downtown area.  The six companies of the regiment were credited with saving the city from almost certain rioting as the men encamped in the armory.  The members of the regiment, still without a suitable place to call home, played an instrumental role in putting down the disturbances that came in July of 1877 during the rioting that occurred during the railroad strike, stationing cannons on the Twelfth and Sixteenth Street bridges.  Finally, the First Regiment dedicated its new armory on the site of the old Trinity Church on October 29, 1878.  The armory remained open until 1900 when a new armory was begun farther south on Michigan Avenue.  The above photo shows the armory as it stood on Jackson next to the Leiland Hotel.

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