Monday, September 28, 2020

September 28, 1943 -- Marshall Field III Gets Richer

September 28, 1943 – Marshall Field III grows a tad richer as on this day he comes into an inheritance of between 70 and 75 million dollars (in excess of one billion dollars in today’s dollars).  Almost immediately, Representative John E. Rankin, a Republican from Mississippi, assails him as “the Chicago playboy” who “is using millions of dollars, inherited free of taxes, to smear members of congress and stir up race trouble throughout the country.”  [Chicago Daily Tribune, September 29, 1943]. “I have tried for months,” says Rankin, “to reach that estate through a bill which I have prepared and introduced, but have failed to get results.  It is not only escaping taxation entirely, but just think of the purpose for which it is being used.  It is being used to finance the publication and distribution of PM, that uptown edition of the Communist Daily Worker … This money is being used to finance this publication that is continually attacking and attempting to smear the members of congress of the United States and stirring up race trouble throughout the land, and is today encouraging the Negroes of Washington to storm the house restaurant in this capital.”  PM was a liberal newspaper published in New York City from June 1940 to June 1948.  Theodor Geisel, Dr. Seuss, published more than 400 cartoons on the paper’s editorial page.  At various times, writers included Erskine Caldwell, McGeorge Bundy, Heywood Hale Broun, James Thurber, Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway, Malcolm Cowley, Tip O’Neill and Ben Hecht.  The paper’s run ended when Marshall Field III made the decision to support publication of the Chicago Sun, ending his silent partnership with PM.

September 28, 1924 – In a day that was “replete with fervent pulpit oratory, congratulations, stately music and solemn ritual” [Chicago Daily Tribune, September 28, 1924] the Chicago Temple at Clark and Washington Streets is dedicated. Even though there are three services at the new church, throngs outside are still so great that two outdoor services are held in the morning and afternoon.  The president of the Temple’s board of trustees reads a letter from President Calvin Coolidge in which he writes, “I join heartily in the hope which moved its founders, that it may be the means of expanding and increasing the effectiveness of the great spiritual work to which it is devoted.  Unique in many ways as an ecclesiastical type of architecture, it will bring together the spiritual and lay activities of the church, giving from each a helpful inspiration to the other.”  The congregation is one of the oldest in Chicago, beginning in an 1834 building on the north side of the river.  In 1838 that building was floated across the river and rolled on logs to a location on the southeast corner of Washington and Clark, the same plot on which the First United Methodist Church of Chicago stands today.

September 28, 1920 –Here is a sad day in Chicago history … 180 barrels of "High Life" beer are poured into the Chicago River. It is the last part of a cargo from the ship Mineral City which was seized by government officials as it entered the city from Kenosha over a year earlier. The seized ship is shown above.  

September 28, 1911 – After Mayor Carter Harrison ventures forth with his brother, William Preston Harrison, and walks from the north side of the city as far south as Harrison Street “under the cover of darkness … to learn how his people conducted themselves,” [Chicago Daily Tribune, September 29, 1911] he informs his police chief, James McWeeny, that he has found State Street “rotten … a cheap imitation of a Midway show”.  In the letter to McWeeny he directs the chief to clean up the street, saying, “One of the last acts of my administration before leaving office in 1905 was to give orders looking to the cleaning up of the old time levee.  Today State street, south of Van Buren, while not so vile as it used to be, is a cheap imitation of a Midway show.  At 408 State street they advertise the ‘grizzly bear’ dance.  They have also suggestive pictures of women in costume.  They have a barker in front and regular Midway music.  This character of show has no place in a city.”

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