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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.

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This week in history: Benito Juarez HS opens

The first public high school in Chicago dedicated to serving bilingual students opened Sept. 16, 1977.

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This week in history: Emmett Till’s murderers charged as body laid to rest

The 14-year-old Black boy from Chicago who was murdered by two white men in Misissippi was buried in Burr Oak Cemetery on the same day his murderers were charged.

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This week in history: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks at National Conference of New Politics

Dr. King earned a standing ovation after he gave the keynote address at the National Conference of New Politics in Chicago in 1967.

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This week in history: Chicago’s women strike

On Aug. 26, 1970, thousands of supporters attended rallies at the Civic Center in the afternoon and Grant Park in the evening, according to city newspapers.

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New ‘Candyman’ director Nia DaCosta promises a version with ‘a lot more of the Black experience’

This reimagining of the 1992 Chicago horror classic touches on police brutality, gentrification, cultural appropriation and other pressing local issues.

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This week in history: The Beatles rock out at Comiskey Park

Fans exploded with excitement as The Beatles took to the stage at Comiskey Park on Aug. 20, 1965. Here’s a look back at that unforgettable concert.

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This week in history: Chicago Daily News reporter goes undercover in the Nation of Islam

In 1962, Chicago Daily News reporter Ben Holman went undercover and joined the Nation of Islam to report on what really went on at meetings. Here’s a look at what he wrote.

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This week in history: Atomic bomb destroys Hiroshima

On Aug. 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Here’s a look at coverage from that day.

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This week in history: Violence escalates in 1919 Chicago race riots

The murder of 17-year-old Black boy and the refusal of white police officers to arrest the man responsible for his death sparked what became known as the 1919 Chicago race riots. Here’s a look at coverage the day after the boy’s death.

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This week in history: Neil Armstrong steps on the moon

On July 20, 1969, Chicagoans watched as Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon. Here’s a look at the coverage from the momentous event.

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This week in history: Mayor’s murderer hanged

On July 13, 1894, the man who shot Chicago mayor Carter Harrison faced death for his crime.

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This week in history: Queen Elizabeth II visits Chicago

While on their way to Canada via the St. Lawrence Seaway, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip stopped for a visit to Chicago.

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This week in history: A raid at a gay bar

On June 28, 1969, a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City kicked off the gay rights movement. Here’s a look at what police raids on gay bars looked like in the Chicago area.

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Unveiling of Ida B. Wells Monument in Bronzeville met with ‘joy, excitement, appreciation and humbleness’

The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells-Barnett Monument was unveiled Wednesday.

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This week in history: Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus train crash stuns Chicago

On June 22, 1918, an empty train slammed into a group of train cars belonging to the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus in northwest Indiana. Today, it’s considered one of the worst train crashes in U.S. history.

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EXPLORE: Past tornadoes and their damage around Chicago

The deadliest tornado hit on April 21, 1967, traveling through Oak Lawn and the South Side of Chicago, killing 33 and injuring 500.

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‘The Chi’ Season 4, Episode 5 recap: What looked like a dream was really a prophecy

So that’s why Kevin was looking for a way out.

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Juneteenth celebrations: What to do, where to go in Chicago and beyond

Parades, music, museums, block parties, tours and yoga classes across Chicago and in the suburbs are some of the highlights of the annual celebration of freedom.

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This week in history: Ella Fitzgerald makes her Chicago debut

The jazz singer, who died this week on June 15, 1996, appeared for the first time on Chicago stages on Sept. 23, 1939.

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South Side Community Art Center celebrates 80th anniversary as home for Black creatives

The Bronzeville-based venue is a longtime space for Black creatives to showcase their work when other spaces overtly and covertly told them no. 

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Chicago’s Alligator Records celebrates 50th anniversary in ‘home of the blues’

The Edgewater-based record label has a roster of blues legends including Koko Taylor, Lil’ Ed Williams, Shemekia Copeland and former CTA bus driver Toronzo Cannon, among many others.

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Chicago historian Sherry Williams inspiring people to find their roots, tell their stories

Williams founded the Bronzeville Historical Society. She is being honored with the MOSAIC Award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance in the category of Outstanding Community Leader.

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This week in history: Frank Lloyd Wright’s love life goes public

The famed architect, born June 8, 1867, first made headlines in 1910 not for his work but for his marital affairs.

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Urban historian Shermann ‘Dilla’ Thomas to host Bronzeville tours Juneteenth weekend

His popular social media videos have covered subjects including the history of the Moo & Oink Meat Company and Chicago’s violent taxicab wars of the 1920s.

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This week in history: Bears score Gale Sayers

During the 1964 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears had three first-round draft picks. Gale Sayers, born this week, became their first pick and signed with the team.

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This week in history: Catching Bobby Franks’ killers

It took a little over a week for Chicago police to identify Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb as Bobby Franks’ killers. Here’s a look at how the investigation played out in the papers.

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This week in history: Brown v. Board of Education fight continues in Chicago 9 years after landmark ruling

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision on Brown vs. Board of Education, declaring the "separate but equal" segregation policy unconstitutional. In Chicago, activists kept fighting even after the decision.

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This week in history: Pullman workers seize the day

On May 11, 1894, 2,000 Pullman workers walked off the job, kicking off a three-month-long strike that halted railroad transportation in the United States.

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This week in history: H.H. Holmes’ last day on earth

On May 7, 1896, Chicago serial killer H.H. Holmes was hanged in Philadelphia for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel. Here’s how he spent his final hours.

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This week in history: Muddy Waters plays Mister Kelly’s

The blues legend, who died April 30, 1983, recorded a live album in June 1971 at Mister Kelly’s in Chicago. A Chicago Sun-Times reporter wrote a profile of Waters at the time of the recording.

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This week in history: Car Barn Bandits executed, bringing reign of terror to end

For four months in 1903, the Car Barn Bandits, a group of four Chicago men, murdered eight people and stole about $2,400. They were finally caught in November and hanged the following April.

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This week in history: Plot to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body foiled

In 1876, Abraham Lincoln’s body sat in an unguarded tomb in a cemetery about two miles outside of Springfield. That year, two Chicago counterfeiters hatched a plot to steal it.