Chicago History

Take a deep dive into Chicago’s storied history. In “This Week in History,” we revisit articles from the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News archives.

The Nazi invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939 marked the beginning of World War II. Here’s how Chicagoans reacted to the news.
Jackson died in 1972, but her legacy lives on. The longtime Chicago resident is said to have influenced the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech after she performed at the March on Washington in 1963.
A prominent physician and advocate for Chicago’s Mexican American community, Prieto worked hard to make health care available to the city’s Spanish-speaking residents. He died Aug. 21, 2001.
Long live the King — Elvis Presley’s unexpected death on Aug. 16, 1977 led to an outpouring of love from Chicagoans.
The Chicago publisher became one of the most prominent voices in the city as his magazines celebrating the Black community, Ebony and Jet, reached untold heights. Here’s how he did it.
On Aug. 5, 1964, authorities located the murdered bodies of James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner — three Freedom Summer workers in Meridian, Miss. — in a shallow grave in nearby Philadelphia, Miss. Here’s how the Chicago Daily News covered the tragedy.
The famed aviator, born this week on July 24, 1897, visited Chicago on July 19, 1928. Here’s how the Windy City welcomed her.
On July 21, 1919, a Goodyear blimp ferrying people between Comiskey Park and the White City Amusement Park caught fire and crashed. Here’s how the Chicago Daily News covered it.
The Chicago native, born July 10, 1939, found early success as a gospel singer in her family’s band. So what was a gospel singer doing playing the Vic?
John Augustus Tolton, who died this week on July 9, 1897, became the first Black priest ordained by the Catholic Church in 1886.
Less than a year after the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969, the group Gay Liberation won recognition as a campus organization at the University of Chicago.
While studying at the University of Chicago in 1935, Dunham, born this week on June 22, 1909, won a fellowship to research native dances in Haiti and the West Indies.
On June 17, 1972, five men broke into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
On June 5, 1968, presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot in a California hotel. The Chicago Daily News published after the shooting but before the senator’s death. Here’s a look at that coverage.
Songwriter extraordinaire Oscar Brown Jr., who died this week on May 29, 2005, brought his first Broadway show – “Kicks & Co.” – to Chicago for its world premiere. Here’s how it went.
The fair, known formally as “A Century of Progress International Exposition,” welcomed visitors for the first time on May 27, 1933. Here’s a look at that day.
On May 18, 1978, a group of about 100 Chicago Latinos protested in the post office’s unfair hiring practices. Here’s how it turned out.
Mayor William “Big Bill” Thompson, born this week, happened to be out of town when the S.S. Eastland sank in the Chicago River in 1915. Here’s a look at how he handled the tragedy.
The Illinois Black Panther Party held a “Free Huey Newton” rally in Chicago on May 1, 1969. Here’s how and why it went down.
The FBI spied on both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, who was born this week. But the surveillance didn’t end after the civil rights leader’s death.
The famous Chicago lawyer, who was born this week, delivered a stunning 12-hour closing argument during the Leopold and Loeb trial of 1924 that helped spare the two accused men from the death penalty.
This week marks Mayor Harold Washington’s 100th birthday and the 39th anniversary of his 1983 mayoral victory. Here’s how his campaign fared in the days leading up to Election Day.
The quirkiest and least lethal Chicago disaster, 30 years ago today, is not forgotten.