A Chicago Timeline
Created by Rolf Achilles


1673: The French explorer Louis Joliet and missionary priest Jacque Marquette visit the Grand Village of the Illinois tribe near Starved Rock. Marquette spends the following winter camped at what is today Damen Avenue at the Chicago River's South Branch.

1682: French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle, visits the "Portage de Checagou," a Potawatomi word meaning "wild onion," or "garlic" or "skunkgrass." Scientifically this plant is known as Allium tricoccum.

For almost one hundred years there is no known mention of Chicago.

1779: Colonel Arent Schuyler De Peyster, British commandant at Michilimackinac, now known as Mackinac Island, mentions “Eschikagou” while describing Jean Baptiste Du Sable.

1782: The French speaking, Caribbean born, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable builds the first trading post near the mouth of the Chicago River. In 1796 Eulalia Pointe du Sable is born, the first recorded birth in Chicago. In 1785 another French fur trader, Jean Lalime, purchases du Sable's trading post and in 1800 sells it to John Kinzie. By 1800, the Potawatomi replace the Illini in the Chicago area.

1803: Fort Dearborn, named for General Henry Dearborn, secretary of war under Thomas Jefferson, is erected where today the North Michigan Avenue Bridge meets Wacker Drive. The Fort stands at a point of entry into the Louisiana Purchase. Water is taken from the Chicago River and private wells. Peddlers sell water at a rate of 10¢ to 25¢ a barrel.

1810: Helen Hadduck is the first child born in Fort Dearborn. Later she marries John DeKoven.

1812: The War of 1812 heightens tensions in the frontier. Fort Dearborn is burned and rebuilt. With the Indian Boundary Treaty in 1816, a canal corridor from Chicago to the Illinois River is planned.

1827: Samuel Miller opens the first tavern in Chicago, Miller House.

1828: Chicago becomes part of a federal land grant of 284,000 acres to Illinois. The land will be sold to raise funds for the Illinois-Michigan Canal.

1829: The Potawatomi tribe signs a treaty with the U.S. government that cedes some 5 million acres to the U.S. James Kinzie and Archibald Caldwell open Wolf Tavern, Chicago’s second bar.

1830: U.S. Government surveyors plot the proposed Illinois & Michigan Canal with two towns, Chicago and Ottawa. Land speculators follow the advice, "buy by the acre, sell by the foot."

1833: August 12, Chicago is organized as a town with its southern limits at Madison Street. The southern limits were extended to Jackson Street on November 6. Land speculation increases. The first Catholic parish in Chicago is organized and builds St. Mary Church, considered by many to be the first balloon-frame structure in the world built from pre-sawn boards and machine made nails. After an uprising under Chief Black Hawk, a treaty is signed with the Potawatomies that relocates them to Iowa. The first lumber shipment arrives in Chicago from Michigan and an industry is born. The city’s first newspaper, the Chicago Weekly Democrat, is founded by New Yorker and Jacksonian Democrat John Calhoun after he brought type and a press from the East on a lake schooner.

1834: Reverend Jeremiah Porter organizes Chicago's first Presbyterian Church, and Eliza Chappel opens the village's first public school.

1835: Chicago's first Court House is erected at the northeast corner of Clark and Randolph streets.

1836: Construction of the Illinois & Michigan Canal begins in an Irish settlement called Canalport, now the Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport. Chicago's oldest surviving structure, the Henry B. Clark House, 1855 S. Indiana, is built (In the Norwood Park neighborhood, the Noble-Seymore-Crippen House, 5622-24 N. Newark, dates from 1833).

1837: The census counts 4,066 people. March 4, Chicago is incorporated as a city. William B. Ogden is elected the city's first mayor. The Panic of 1837 stops canal construction but does not bankrupt the city. The first medical school in Chicago is chartered and named after Dr. Benjamin Rush, a physician who signed the Declaration of Independence. Victoria (1819-1901) becomes Queen of England.

1842: Construction is completed on Chicago's first water works at the corner of Lake Street and Michigan Avenue. The water intake is located about 150 feet into Lake Michigan and the water mains are made of cedar. The business center of Chicago, until about 1860, is on Clark Street, in the first three blocks south of the river. This business district is brought about largely by the construction of the Clark Street Bridge in 1840.

1844: Chicago has more than 10,000 inhabitants. John M. van Osdel (1811-92) opens the city's first professional architect's office. The largest meat packer in Chicago, Gurdon Hubbard, is slaughtering some 300-400 hogs per day.

1846: Kehilath Anshe Ma'ariv (Congregation of the Men of the West) is founded. St. Patrick's, the second Catholic parish, is founded. St. Xavier Academy, a school for young women, is opened by the Sisters of Mercy. There are 177 manufacturing concerns in Chicago, employing in all 1,400 persons, 10 percent of the city's population.

1847: Cyrus H. McCormick opens a factory in Chicago and builds 500 reapers. By 1871 production stands at 10,000 reapers annually, increasing to 250,000 annually by 1900. The American Medical Association is founded in Chicago. The Rice Theater opens on Randolph Street.

1848: The population of Chicago reaches 20,243. The Potato Famine in Ireland officially begins the Irish Diaspora. The "Revolution" fails in Germany. Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany installs landmark stained glass windows into the Cathedral in Cologne, and Regensburg, Germany. The city's first railroad, the Chicago and Galena Union Railroad, begins operating along 10 miles of track. The first boatload of goods arrives through the I&M Canal, followed by a flood of grain. To regulate this trade, the Chicago Board of Trade is created. Some streets in Chicago’s business center receives their first paving, wooden planks. The city’s first cattle yards open at Bull’s Head, where Madison Street meets Ashland and Ogden Avenues.

1850: The first opera presented in Chicago, Bellini's "La Sonnambula," is performed in Rice Theater (30 July). The night after the first performance,the theater burns to the ground, making the city’s first opera season the shortest in city history. Chicago's first symphony orchestra, the Philharmonic Society, is formed (24 October). The orchestra disbands 18 years later. The Chicago Gas Light & Coke Company is formed. It erects the first gas works in Chicago at a cost of $105,000. and turns on gas for the first time in September. Gas costs $3.50 a thousand feet. In 1871 the price is $3.00 a thousand and remains so until 1883, when it is reduced to $1.25. Chicago has six daily, 14 weekly and four monthly newspapers.

1851: Northwestern University is organized at the Clark Street Methodist Church. The Illinois State Legislature grants the city a charter to build and operate its own water works system.

1852:





1853:
Stained Glass WindowOld St. Patrick Church is started. It is finished in 1856. The stained glass windows installed in 1912 and later are by Thomas O'Shaughnessy. Chicago corn buyers establish the official weight of a bushel of corn at 56 pounds.


Frank Parmelee and Company begins to provide passengers with safe, affordable, livery transportation in omnibuses or covered wagons, operated by neatly groomed, trustworthy and helpful drivers between hotels and railroad stations.

1855: Chicago has 675 "liquor establishments" – 625 owned by Germans and Irish, 50 by "Americans." When Chicago's Mayor Levi Boone signed a temperance edict which forbade the drinking of beer on Sunday as "un-American," while consuming whiskey was fine, the German immigrants reacted with the Lager Bier Riots. On May 22, the Norwood Tornado struck around 4:30 P.M., killing 3 and injuring 6. It is one of the Chicago area’s oldest recorded severe weather events. The Chicago Theological Seminary is organized; so is the Chicago Phrenological Society.

1856: The Episcopal Cathedral of St. James is built. The church is rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1871 and over the next four decades receives very fine English stained glass windows.

1857: Stained Glass WindowGuided by Rev. Arnold Damen, Holy Family Church is built. Magnificently restored, its circular stained glass windows, made by an unknown Chicago studio, survive as the oldest locally produced stained glass windows. Solomon A. Smith is one of the original incorporators and the first President of the Merchants' Savings, Loan and Trust Company (later the Continental Illinois Bank and Trust Company, eventually merging with the Bank of America). The Chicago Historical Society is founded. At a cost of $7,000.00 a mausoleum is built for Ira Couch (builder of the city's first grand hotel, the Tremont House) in Chicago City Cemetery, known as Lincoln Park since 1866. The McVicker’s Theater opens at 25 West Madison Street. Mathias Klein, a trained locksmith-blacksmith from Germany working in Skokie, produced the first pair of pliers (it may have been 1861) made in the United States.

1858: John Hoerber opens Chicago's first brewpub.

1859: The city's first horse-powered street railway line begins operating on State Street.

1860: The census counts 112,172 people in Chicago. Chicago has 32 breweries. The city is the center of the world's largest railroad network. The opportunity to work attracts many immigrants to Chicago. Chicago hosts its first political convention when the newly organized Republican Party comes to town and nominates Abraham Lincoln as president. Lucius Olmsted and Lyman Baird formed the real estate firm of L.D. Olmsted & Co. After Olmsted’s death in 1862, age 35, is renamed Baird & Warner.

1863: The Chesbrough plan is adopted to construct intake cribs and deep tunnels two miles off the shore of Lake Michigan to avoid shoreline pollution, and better serve Chicago’s growing population. In 1867, the "Two-Mile" crib and tunnel are successfully put into operation.

1864: George A. Misch and his brother Adolph learned the stained glass trade in Germany and open their shop in Chicago with an emphasis on houses of worship. By 1873 the firm employs 30 men and is equipped with a 15-horsepower steam engine, which greatly simplifies the cutting at angles of glass. Botti/Panzironi Studios is founded in New York. The firm continues under this name until 1950. Known as Botti Studio of Architectural Arts, it continues to operate in Evanston.

1865: The Civil War ends. Marshall Field and Levi Leiter establish a dry-goods store that evolves into Marshall Field & Co. Crosby's Opera House opens. It is destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871, but rebuilt by 1873 to house touring companies. The nation's first steel railroad rails are rolled in Chicago. While drilling for oil the Chicago Rock Oil Co. gushed water, resulting in Artesian Street. On Christmas Day, the Union Stock Yards open on Chicago's south side.

1866: St. Michael's Church in Old Town is built. It is rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1892 this church serves the largest German national parish in Chicago. A fine set of windows by Franz Mayer of Munich is installed in 1912.

1867: The Chicago Academy of Music, the city's first important conservatory, is organized. It changes its name to the Chicago Musical College in 1872, and becomes part of Roosevelt University in 1954. The University of Illinois founded in Urbana. The Academy of Design is founded in Chicago. In 1882 it changes its name to the Art Institute of Chicago. The nation's first temperature controlled train, the Thunderbolt Express, rushes fresh fruit from southern Illinois to Chicago. George Pullman hires his first black porter (by the 1920s, some 12,000 porters were serving more than 100,000 passengers a night).

1868: The first river tunnel in the United States is completed under the Chicago River. The Chicago Terra Cotta Company, the first permanent terra cotta works in the United States, is established. Lincoln Park zoo opens with a gift of two swans from New York City's Central Park.

1869: The new north pumping station (now the Chicago Avenue Station) and Water Tower are constructed to regulate the water pumped into the city. Both survive the Great Fire of 1871, and remain city markers. Philip Henrici opens Chicago's first coffeehouse. The first lodge of the Knights of Pythias in Chicago is Welcome Lodge No.1. The Illinois State Legislature introduces a bill to permit the Chicago Elevated Railway to construct single elevated tracks over each side of various streets throughout Chicago. No action is taken.

1870: St. Ignatius College, later Loyola University, is founded. In the spring, the J.L. Fulton & Co. puts the city’s first bituminous asphaltic concrete (asphalt) pavement at the intersection of Clark and Monroe Streets. The Sturgis & Buckingham grain elevator, near the mouth of the Chicago River, holds more than 3 million bushels at one time. Twenty brickyards employ some 1,100 people in Chicago. German made lager beer becomes Chicago's favorite drink. On October 15, Chicago’s "official" climatological record keeping begins.

1871: After a very dry summer with more than 30 neighborhood fires, The Great Chicago Fire on October 8-9 kills over 300 people, destroys 17,450 structures, and devastates some 2.7 square miles including the downtown and North Side. More than 90,000 people are left homeless. While not yet finished, the Nixon Building, northeast corner of Monroe and LaSalle Streets, and designed by Otto H. Matz, is the first fire-proof building built in the city. It was damaged so little by the fire that it was opened one week after the Great Fire and is occupied at once by leading architects and business men. The push to rebuild helps Chicago survive the national economic Panic of 1873. The American Express Company building, on the south side of Monroe near State Street, has a façade designed by H.H. Richardson in his ideal American style. Aaron Montgomery Ward invents the mail order catalogue. Wells Fargo of San Francisco opens its first Chicago office. The infant mortality rate in Chicago among children five years and younger is 70.7%. Chicago has more than 50 miles of wood-paved street. (The technique was developed by Samuel Nicholson of Boston).

1872: James Renwick, the foremost American architect of his day, designs Second Presbyterian Church at Michigan Avenue and 19th Street. The interior of the church burns in 1900 and is redesigned by Howard Van Doren Shaw, who saves superb windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and installs windows by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Healy & Millet. The Apollo Club, known today as the Apollo Chorus, is founded to bring cultural life back to the burned city by Silas G. Pratt and George P. Upton, the Chicago Tribune's first music critic. Over the years, the Apollo Chorus has given the Chicago premiers of such works at Bach’s Mass in B Minor and St. Matthew Passion; Elgar's The Light of Life, Caractacus, and Apostles; Berlioz's La damnation de Faust, Te Deum and long-lost Messe Solennelle; Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, and the U.S. premier of Weber/Berlioz's Le Freyschütz at the Ravinia Festival.

1873: An Exposition Building is erected on the lakefront intended for an annual exposition of industrial products of Illinois and adjoining states. Among the principal promoters and contributors are Cyrus H. McCormick, Potter Palmer and R.T. Crane. The building is taken down in 1892 to make room for the new Art Institute. John Jones, a wealthy African-American, is elected a Cook County commissioner. He is the first black person to hold elective office in the state of Illinois. The Palmer House re-opens. Since the opening the hotel's kitchen's have never been closed, even for a day.

1874: Not able to move Chicago's Catholic politicians to action, the mostly Protestant Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded in Evanston with Frances E. Willard as the first president. Chicago boasts one saloon for every 26 men. Cedar block paving of streets becomes common.

1875: Lake Shore Drive opens as a Lincoln Park carriage drive. The remains of the Old Post Office Building is fitted up by John H. Haverly into the New Adelphi, the largest theater erected, in Chicago.

1876: The Western Sand Blast Manufacturing Co. begins to specialize in sandblasted, chipped, etched, and beveled ornamental glass. The firm does work for Adler & Sullivan in the 1880s and Edgar Miller in the 1920s. Victoria, Queen of England since 1837, becomes Empress of India. Chicago White Stockings baseball team is one of eight charter members of the National League. A.G. Spalding is the first manager, pitches the first National League shutout game, and White Stockings go on to win the first National League championship.

1877: Theodore Tomas gives a series of summer night concerts in the Exposition Building on the Lake front.

1878: The single-hole ticket punch is invented in Chicago. By June, the Chicago Telephonic Exchange has 267 corporate and private subscribers talking to each other on lines furnished by Alexander Graham Bell.

1879: The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts is organized. Its core art collection is acquired at sheriffs sale from the bankrupt Academy of Design. In 1882 the Academy of Fine Arts changes its name to the Art Institute of Chicago, a school of art and design, and a collection of objects of art. The Quaker Oats Company is founded in Chicago. Harry and Max Hart, Joseph Schaffner, and Marcus Marx introduce men’s clothing in sizes Small, Medium, and Large. The firm of Hart Schaffner and Marx introduces national advertising for men’s clothing, and the selection of material through swatches of cloth. Colonel Mapleson gives his first season of Italian opera in Chicago in the New Adelphi Theater. Edward B. Butler (1853-1928) moves to Chicago and founds Butler Brothers which becomes the largest wholesale business in the world.

1880:
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George L. Healy and Louis J. Millet begin their very influential partnership, Healy & Millet. The firm's stained glass and decorating skill are associated with some of the most important structures built in Chicago after the Great Fire. Louis Millet is associated with the Art Institute of Chicago from 1886-1918. George Pullman hires architect Solon Beman to design the town and railroad car factories of Pullman, near Lake Calumet.

1881: Aurora is the first city in Illinois to light streets electrically. Eastern European Jews first arrive in large numbers and the Russian Refugee Aid Committee is established to find shelter and employment for the immigrants. Several other organizations are soon set up to aid the poor. The Chicago Literary Club is organized.

1882: Ghosts, Henrik Ibsen's banned-everywhere-in-Europe play, has its world's premier in Chicago. John H. Haverly opens a new New Adelphi theater, with Robson and Crane in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." In 1885 the theater changes its name to the Columbia. Asphalt becomes an accepted street surface. Bicycling is allowed in Lincoln Park. Frederick W. Wolf of Munich, Germany installs the first refrigeration machine, an ice maker, in the United States into the Wacker & Birk Brewing Co. of Chicago. Chicago has a population of 580,693 people and 3,759 saloons, one for every 149 men, women and children. In the 16th and 17th ward, at the lower end of Milwaukee Avenue, there was a liquor license for every dozen drinkers. At 10-stories, the Montauk Building is the tallest in Chicago.

1883: Several major railroads sponsor The General Time Convention in the Grand Pacific Hotel, corner of La Salle and Jackson. The resulting "Day of Two Noons," November 18, completes the plan proposed by William F. Allen, to established four equal time zones across the country, each one hour ahead of the zone to its west. On that Sunday the Allegheny Observatory at the University of Pittsburgh transmitted a telegraph signal when it was exactly noon on the 90th meridian. Railroad clocks throughout the United States were then reset on the hour according to time zone. All railroad clocks in each zone were then synchronized to strike the hour simultaneously. Oscar R. Mayer and his brothers lease a meat market in Chicago and within five-years the Oscar Mayer Company on Sedgwick Street becomes a successful meat packing business.

1884: The Home Insurance Building, the first building with an iron and steel frame in the world, is designed and built in Chicago, corner of La Salle and Adams, by William Le Baron Jenny. Also in Chicago, Levant M. Richardson invents the ball-bearing wheel that makes possible the modern roller skate.

1885:
Stained Glass WindowsJoseph E. Flanagan and William C. Biedenweg, a German trained craftsman, establish Flanagan & Biedenweg Co. By 1900 the firm is the largest of the Chicago producers of stained glass windows for residential and ecclesiastic use. The firm is active until 1953. By the mid-1880s, several German producers of stained glass windows have opened offices and made local arrangements to sell and install stained glass windows in Chicago and vicinity. A typhoid epidemic kills a thousand people. R.R. Donnelley secures its first contract to print telephone directories for the Chicago Telephone Co. The Chicago Opera Festival Association constructs an auditorium in the Exposition Building seating 10,000 people. It holds a successful season of opera at popular prices. Swift & Co. uses 450,000 tons of ice every year for shipping meat.

1886: On May 4 striking workers meet to hear speeches in Haymarket Square. As the meeting ends, 170 police arrive, a bomb is thrown, seven police are killed, eight anarchist leaders are arrested, four eventually hanged. The following year a day of commemoration is set on May first, May Day. Some 5,000 cases of typhoid are reported in Chicago.

1887: The world's first softball game is played on Thanksgiving Day in the Farragut Boat Club on the South Side of Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago opens in its first building designed by Burnham & Root at Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street. The Newberry Library is founded as a free public reference library. Its present building, designed by Henry Ives Cobb, opens to the public in 1893. Between 1887 to 1894, the cable car lines operating on the streets of Chicago expand to become the largest cable car system in the world with 86 miles of track, eleven power plants, and over 1,500 cars. The cable cars run until 1906.

1888: Linden Glass Company is founded. The firm manufactures windows for George Pullman, Frank Lloyd Wright and others until 1934. More than forty synagogues are scattered throughout the Near West Side Maxwell Street Area. Until the first skyscrapers were built in the mid-1880s, only Chicago's Loop was paved, the rest of the sprawling city still had mostly dirt streets and sidewalks of wood. The Northwest Terra Cotta Company is founded. By 1927 it had become the largest terra cotta manufacturer in the United States with main factory at 2525 North Clybourn.

1889: Chicago annexes 120 surrounding square miles by popular referendum, including towns and villages such as Jefferson, Lake View, Lake, Hyde Park, and part of Cicero, resulting in the census of 1890 declaring Chicago the official "second city" of the United States with a population of 1, 098,576. Adler & Sullivan complete the Auditorium Building. Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr found Hull House and introduce the first children's playground to the United States. The Chicago stained glass and decorating firm of Healy & Millet exhibits at the great Paris World's Fair where their entire exhibition of "American glass" is purchased for installation in the national Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France. Byron Laflin Smith, son of Solomon A. Smith, founds The Northern Trust Company, and in 1912, Illinois Tool Works. In their plant at 16th and State Arthur and Charles Libby develop a technique for canning corned beef.

1890: Adler & Sullivan design the magnificent Temple K. A. M. at Indiana and 33rd Street. In 1922 the building becomes the present Pilgrim Baptist Church. Sara Hallowell, secretary of the art department of the Interstate Industrial Exposition introduced Impressionist art to Chicago and through Chicago the nation. On display were six Monets, four Pissaros and one Degas, all borrowed from the avant-garde French dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. Mickey Finn, a Chicago bartender, invents an infamous drink. Ernest Kimball opens Kimball's, the country's first cafeteria. It is the inspiration for many similar eateries offering "cheap fare with self-service." The lavish Tearoom at Marshall Field's opens offering lady shoppers a place to rest and refresh.

1891:
Theodore Thomas founds the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). U.S. premier by CSO of Dvorak's Violin Concerto. Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, Chicago's oldest African-American congregation and second oldest Methodist church, is designed by African-American architect Henry F. Starbuck. Its tin clad interior and stained glass windows are unique reminders of its origin. Possibly 1,700 Chicagoans die of typhoid. Brick paving of streets becomes common.

1892: The University of Chicago, funded by John D. Rockefeller, opens its doors. Amos Alonzo Stagg, the nation's first tenured professor of physical culture, begins football practice on a playing area called Marshall's Field, later renamed Stagg Field. Milton Florsheim and his father, Sigmund, start the Florsheim Shoe Co. and promptly revolutionize the men's footwear industry by selling under the manufacturer's name, not the retailer's. The Illinois Pure Aluminum Co. is founded in Lemont, Illinois. In 1897 the company adds a foundry to make cast utensils. On June 6, Chicago's first "L" route begins operation between Congress and 39th Street. By May 1893, the elevated serves the World's Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park. In September, soap manufacturer, William Wrigley, Jr. adds a new premium to his slow selling Lotta baking powder line, chewing gum. By 1895 Wrigley is in the chewing gum business.

1893: Historical Photo of Ferris WheelThe World's Columbian Exposition opens. The central attraction of the Exposition is a great wheel devised by George Ferris. Its axle is the largest forged piece of steel ever made, 33” diameter, 45 feet long. The wheel, 260 feet in diameter, each of its 36 cars carries up to 60 people, 2180 people per turn. A ride costs 50 cents, lasts two turns, 20 minutes. Sophie Hayden, the nation’s first college-trained woman architect, designs the Women’s Building. The “Brownie” is invented by the Palmer House chef to use as a dessert in box lunches at the Woman's Building. Photographer Eadweard Muybridge projects motion pictures on his Zoopraxiscope to a live audience at the World's Columbian Exposition, two years before the Lumiere Brothers are credited with beginning the formal history of movies in Paris. A chapel designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany wins several gold medals and introduces the world to "Favril" glass. Farida Mazar Spyropolous, a.k.a. Little Egypt, a hootchy kootchy dancer, finds fame on the Midway. America's first model electric kitchen is exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition. The Ludvik Players perform Gazdina Roba, the first documented professional dramatic performance in the Czech language in the United States, in Thalia Hall, Pilsen. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the first African-American member of the American College of Surgeons, performs the first successful heart surgery. Two Austrian immigrants bring their frankfurter sausage recipe from Vienna to the World's Fair and start a taste sensation that becomes the Vienna Beef empire. F.W. Rueckheim invents Cracker Jacks. R.R. Donnelley prints the innovative Art Nouveau books and posters of Chicago publishers Stone & Kimball. Charles T. Lucklow opens the Globe Laundry Co., the city's first commercial laundry. Chicago has about two thousand miles of roads, many paved.

1894: The United States Golf Association is co-organized by the Chicago Golf Club. The two bronze lions are installed at the main entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago. In the 1890s, asphalt and brick paving of Chicago streets became the norm. (The paving of Chicago streets started with grading from 1835-44, followed by planking, 1844-55, and cedar blocks in 1874. Asphalt became common in 1882 and bricks in 1891). The Union Elevated Railroad Company is organized to construct what was officially known as the Union Loop, referred to commonly as "the Loop". Ellen Gates Starr of Hull House collaborates with the Women's Club to found the Chicago Public School Art Society. Comedian Jack Benny is born in Chicago on the 14 of February as Benny Kubelsky (dies 26 December 1974).

1895: Chicago becomes the nation's bicycle capital with the help of Ignatz Schwinn, a German mechanic, and Adolph Arnold, a Chicago meat packer who provided capital. A top-of-the-line Schwinn sells for about $150.00, half a working-man’s annual wage. "Colonel" William Nicholas Selig, a magician interested in projection develops a film projection system, the Polyscope, in Chicago. Francisco Terrace, the first subsidized housing in Chicago, was a 40-unit "model tenement" designed in 1895 by Frank Lloyd Wright. A classic in the history of low-income housing, the building stood at 255 North Francisco Terrace (it was demolished in 1974). About 276 firms manufacture furniture in Chicago. Chicago claims the world’s largest picture sign with an ad for Wilson Whiskey at the corner of Madison and Wabash.

1896:
William Jennings Bryan persuades the Democratic Convention at Chicago to endorse silver as monetary standard. He is nominated for President. William Selig builds the world’s first movie studio. Opening in 1897, it produced The Tramp and the Dog in Rogers Park. It’s the first narrative film made in Chicago.

1897: Albert G. Spalding makes Chicago the center of the sports industry. LouisComfort Tiffany and Co. of New York install the largest stained glass dome they ever fabricated in the Chicago Public Library (now Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center). William Hall Sherwood, a celebrated concert pianist and teacher, founds Sherwood Conservatory. Rumors accuse Adolph L. Luetgert, a German sausage maker with a factory at 601-629 Diversey (corner Hermitage, became a condominium in 1999), of killing his wife, Louise, by stuffing her into a grinding machine. Police recovered wedding rings and human bone fragments from the factory. While awaiting trial in jail, Luetgert received 2,385 female visitor; 33 proposed marriage. He dies within a year of receiving a sentence of life in prison. On October 27, the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society is founded. The first renowned clock is installed by Marshall Field's November 26, at the corner of State and Washington. The current clock is from 1907 and the design of Pierce Anderson of D.H. Burnham & Co., Chicago. The Chicago Gas Light & Coke Company is merged into the People’s Gas Light & Coke Company in August.

1898: In April the first electrically-powered run is made over the entire "L" system. Five days later, the first 20 electric "L" cars are placed in service. The Chicago Telephone Company has 8,000 outlets in use, all of them dial phones. The Chicago Produce Exchange, founded 1874, becomes the Butter and Egg Board which evolves into the Mercantile Exchange in 1919. Spanish-American War. Herman Joseph Berghoff from Dortmund, Germany arrived in the US in 1870. By 1887 he is, with his three brothers, brewing Berghoff Beer in Fort Wayne, IN. His sales are so impressive at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition that he decides to open a café in Chicago. The Berghoff Café opens its doors on the 15 of April on the southeast corner of State and Adams. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Berghoff received liquor license number 1 and sold the first legal beer in Chicago. National Biscuit Company (later renamed Nabisco) opens corporate offices in the world’s first skyscraper, the Home Insurance Building.

1899:
Giannini & Hilgart is founded and executes Prairie School style windows for Frank Lloyd Wright and others. Czar Nicholas II donates the funds for Louis Sullivan to design and build Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

1900: Chicago's population count of 1,698,575 includes more Irish, Germans, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Dutch, Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, Croatians,Lithuanians, and Greeks than any other city in the U.S. The Public School census reports that every second child entering first grade in Chicago has one or both parents who speak German at home. Opening of the Sanitary & Ship Canal turns the Chicago River around and helps start the clean-up of the lakefront and the river. More earth and rock were moved during the construction of the Sanitary & Ship Canal than the Panama Canal. In August, the Amalgamated Glass Workers International Association (A.G.W.I.A.) is organized in Chicago. By 1900 Chicago is also the manufacturing center of the nation's printed materials, cardboard boxes, live action films, farm machinery, furniture, roller skates, bicycles, and automobiles. By 1900 Chicago has built the longest cable and street car lines in the world. On any given day in 1900, Chicago's streets are filled with some 10,000 horses and the automobile is seen as a breath of fresh air. Frank L. Baum and William Denslow complete The Wizard of Oz. Theodore Dreiser’s book, Sister Carrie violates conventional morality and is not sought by the public. Chicago’s stockyards have expanded to 475 acres. Frank Lloyd Wright and others invent the Prairie Style. About 1900, ice cream parlor owner Deacon Garwood begins serving sundaes on Sundays. About 1900, Shrimp de Jonghe is introduced by Belgian immigrant Henri de Jonghe in the de Jonghe Hotel and Restaurant located on Monroe just off State Street.

1901: Queen Victorian of England, empress of India (since 1876), dies. In March, the first “official” Chicago Auto Show opens with about 65 cars on 58,000 square feet of the Chicago Coliseum, 15th Street and Wabash. Admission is 50 cents. There are about 15,000 cars in the USA. In a letter written to the Chicago Record Herald, Edward Paul Brennan suggests that the city use State and Madison streets as the dividing lines on which the numbering of streets could be based. He also suggested the odd/even numbering system. The city adopts his suggestions. The Jewel Tea Company begins as a private merchant selling tea, then coffee, baking powder and extracts. The White Sox win the American League Pennant. Walt Disney is born in Chicago on December 5.

1902: The American Automobile Association (AAA) is formed in Chicago. On June 10, Americus F. Callahan of Chicago is awarded patent number 701,839 for the "outlook" or window envelope. By the 1930s the glassine window envelope had become a standard business tool. On November 26, the site of Leroy Payne's livery stable is purchased as the future home of the Chicago Orchestra. An ambitious fund-raising effort brings in 8,000 individual contributions, raising a total of $750,000.

1903: Max Guler, a Munich, Germany trained china and glass painter, L. Hoczchuh, and Dennis S. Shanahan, found Munich Studio. Henry J. Niethart and Joseph E. Vogel found Temple Art Glass Co. The Church Glass & Decorating Co. of New York installs the Ivanhoe window, designed by E. P. Sperry of New York, in Bartlett Memorial Gymnasium, The University of Chicago. James L. Kraft moves to Chicago from Ontario, Canada, and starts selling cheese. In 1916 Kraft patents a method for making pasteurized process cheese and promptly sells six million pounds to the U.S. military during World War I. The city grants a new franchise for a larger underground tunnel, containing an electric railroad, to the Illinois Tunnel Company, which had bought the tunnel property from Illinois Telephone and Telegraph. The locomotives ran on 240 DC flowing through wires seven feet overhead. More than a million tons of freight were hauled through the tunnels in 1933. December 30, the Iroquois Theatre, north side of Randolph, between State and Dearborn Streets (since 1924, site of the Oriental Theatre, today the Ford Center for the Performing Arts) designed in 1902 by Chicago architect Benjamin H. Marshall (patterned after the Opera Comique in Paris), burns. Out of an audience of about 1900 people, 602 died. This is twice the number that died in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. As a result of this fire, fire alarms, push bar fitted outward-opening exit doors that remain unlocked from the inside, fireproof scenery and equipment, and steel stage curtains are implemented nationwide. Chicago coldest winter on record is the three-month meteorological winter period from Dec. 1, 1903 to Feb. 29, 1904, with its average temperature of 18.3 degrees.

1904: One of the most influential buildings of the 20th century, Unity Temple in Oak Park, is created by Frank Lloyd Wright. Riverview Park opens near Belmont at Western Avenue. The A.C. Frost Company creates Ravinia as an upscale amusement park to lure riders to the fledgling Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad. Theodore Roosevelt is nominated for President by the Republican National Convention in Chicago. For lack of interest, the great Ferris wheel of 1893 is destroyed in St. Louis after the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition. On December 14, Theodore Thomas opens the doors of the new 2,566-seat Orchestra Hall, designed by Daniel Burnham with a Grand Dedicatory Concert. Ten days later, Thomas conducts the Chicago Orchestra for the last time, succumbing to pneumonia on January 4, 1905. The University of Chicago Laboratory School is founded by John Dewey, a pioneer educator.

1905: The Chicago Defender is founded by Robert S. Abbott and rapidly becomes the most popular black newspaper in the United States. Performing in a cabaret at 2700 S. State, the Pekin Theater Company is the city's first black theater company. While lunching on spaghetti at Madam Galli's (18 E. Illinois), Chicago attorney Paul P. Harris first discusses what would become the Rotary Club. Frederick Stock succeeds Theodore Thomas as music director of the Chicago Orchestra, serving until his death in 1942.

1906: Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle, a bitter denunciation of the Chicago meat packing industry. Sponsored by Chicagoan Charles R. Crane, Alphonse Mucha, a highly acclaimed Czech painter, lectures in the fall term at the Art Institute. Marshall Field dies, leaving an estate of some $120 million. The Illinois State Highway Commission is organized. In October the first tenants move into the new Marshall Apartments at the northwest corner of Cedar Street and Lake Shore Drive. The nine-story building contains eight apartments of 4,000 square feet each. Rent is an unprecedented $4,200 per year. Even before the land on which it is built had been purchased, every apartment had been spoken for. The Chicago Cubs win 116 games this season and the National League pennant. Camille Saint-Saens makes his only appearance with the Chicago Orchestra as soloist in his Second Piano Concerto.

1907: Cubs win their first World Series. They win again in 1908. Albert Abraham Michelson, a physicist at the University of Chicago, is the first American to win a Nobel Prize. Edward Elgar conducts the Chicago Orchestra for the first time in his Enigma Variations, In the South, and the first Pomp and Circumstance March. When Garfield Park Conservatory opens, designed by Jens Jensen and Schmidt, Garden & Martin, it is the nation's largest garden under glass. Chicago has 116 licensed theaters, 320 in 1908, 606 in 1913. The Green Mill, a jazz bar then known as Pop Morse's Roadhouse, becomes important as a Chicago film setting for on and off-screen action. Essanay Movie Studios, founded by George K. Spoor and Max Aronson (a.k.a. Broncho Billy, the first movie cowboy) opens on West Argyle Street and quickly becomes a force in filmmaking, with Gloria Swanson, Wallace Beery, and Charlie Chaplin as its brightest stars. Essanay closes its doors in 1917, as movie making shifted to California. A set of 16 teddy bear cartoon postcards is available free with ten sides from Cracker Jacks boxes through Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein, the Chicago based manufacturer of Cracker Jacks. The Cliff Dweller's Club is founded.

1908: The Montgomery Ward Warehouse, a 717-foot long masterpiece of concrete construction, by Richard E. Schmidt, is completed along the North Branch of the Chicago River. It takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to go the 73 miles from Evanston to Milwaukee on the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric Railway. Chicago’s first public school exclusively for children with disabilities, Spalding High School, opens. In Chicago, Victor Samuel Johnson establishes the Mantle Lamp Company of America, which began marketing the Aladdin Lamp. The lamp quickly became the most popular kerosene mantle lamp in America and, for a time, the world.

1909: Chicago architects Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett unveil their Plan of Chicago. It is radical and many aspects are implemented. Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, the quintessential Prairie School style building, is completed in Hyde Park. The ten-hour workday law is passed for women. Chicago has 470 motion picture houses, one for every 5,350 people. The Art Institute of Chicago board founds Friends of American Art, a women’s Myrtle Walgreen invents the drugstore lunch counter when she starts serving hot meals in her husband's first drug store. Californian Glenn Curtis flies a quarter-mile in forty seconds at the Hawthorne Racetrack in Cicero. Composer Sergei Rachmaninov makes the first of several quest appearances as conductor and soloist with the Chicago Orchestra. The Art Institute of Chicago board founds Friends of American Art, a women’s auxiliary.

1910: On October 24, the Everleigh Club at 2131 S. Dearborn is closed. In 1912, the Levee district is closed, officially ending organized prostitution in Chicago. Walter Brookins is the first person to makes several passes over the city and lakefront in an airplane. Chicago Opera Ballet, the first ballet company in America, is organized. The Marx Brothers, at the time known as "The Four Nightingales," move to Chicago and live briefly at 4649 S. Calumet Avenue and then for 12 years in their own house at 4512 W. Grand Avenue. 12,926 passenger automobiles and 58,000 horse-drawn vehicles are registered in Chicago. A group of North Shore residents purchase Ravinia Park in Highland Park and Found the Ravinia Company under the leadership of the philanthropist Louis Eckstein.

1911: Harriet Monroe founds Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. Chicago hosts the first ever International Aviation Meet in Grant Park. (America's first air competition had been January 10, 1910 in Los Angeles, followed by meets in Boston and New York.) Edward E. Ayer, a Chicago businessman, presents the Newberry Library his superb collection (some 49,000 volumes) of historical source material relating chiefly to the discovery, exploration and colonization of North America and to the native races of North America, the Hawaiian Islands and the Philippine Island. After its gala opening Ravinia becomes primarily a summer venue for classical music. John C. Shaffer and John G. Shedd launch a bus company replacing horses used on the route to the State Street Marshall Field store. It was incorporated as the Chicago Motor Transfer Company, later becoming the Chicago Motor Coach Company owned by John Hertz. Eventually Chicago Motor Coach becomes part of the Chicago Transit Authority. Chicago produces more men’s suits than any other city in the nation. Chicago experiences its largest 24-hour temperature plunge. Around 4 p.m. on November 11 the city’s temperature peaked at 74 degrees — a record for the date. Just 20 hours later, on November 12, the mercury had plunged to13 degrees — a drop of 61 degrees!

1912: Bernard Carsten starts Progressive Windshield Co. and develops bullet resistant automobile windshields which sell briskly in the 1920s. Chinatown is built by the On Leon tong. Maxwell Street becomes an official open-air market about six blocks long with a ten-cents-per-day fee for pushcarts. Until the late 1950s, the markets flourish. Chlorination of Chicago’s water begins on the city's southwest side. Known today as the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association (since 1942), The Greater Central Association is formed by business and residential community leaders to provide unity and vision for the area. Prizes are added to each box of Cracker Jack. Ravinia Park in Highland Park is bankrolled by Louis Eckstein. Aida opens a series of lavishly cast summer operas. Within two-years Ravinia earns a reputation as America's summer opera capital, presenting such vocal legends as Lucrezia Bori, Edward Johnson, Giovanni Martinelli, Claudia Muzio, Rosa Raisa, and Tito Schipa. The series is brought down by the Depression in 1932. Ellen and Maurice Browne open The Chicago Little Theatre in the Fine Arts Building with a production of The Trojan Women. Between 1908 and 1912, when it closed this branch of its mail order business, Sear, Roebuck and Co. sold some 3,500 automobiles.

1913: October 31, Frederick Stock, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's second music director, conducts the Orchestra in the American premier of Arnold Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra. Arthur Andersen founds the Chicago-based public accounting firm. On the urging of the Juvenile Protection Association, the city council takes actions on July 30 restricting entertainers to perform on the stage, outlaws the wearing of tights and ends public dancing. The Drake Hotel brings suit and the in 1916; the Illinois Supreme Court declared the city ordinance unconstitutional. As the Post-Impressionist Exhibition, the controversial Armory Show of New York comes to Chicago. Alice B. Clement, police star 3428, becomes Chicago’s first female detective.

1914: Margaret Anderson founds The Little Review, a literary magazine. Arthur Jerome Eddy's book, Cubists and Post Impressionists is published. By early August, Europe is at war. Weegham Park (designed by Chicago architect, Zachary Taylor Davis), called Wrigley Field since the mid-1920s, is built and opens. In 1915 Weegham purchases the Cubs from the Taft family of Cincinnati. The Chicago Cubs start to play in Weegham Field in 1916. Later, Wrigley Field is the first baseball facility to have an organist, concession stands, a center field television camera, and to allow fans to keep balls hit into the stands. Charles Pajeau, a tombstone manufacturer, invents Tinkertoys in Evanston. Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo, become part of the logo of Cracker Jack. Helen Keller is the featured guest at a gathering of the North End Club.

1915: Barney Balaban (born in the Maxwell Street neighborhood) and Sam Katz open their first theater on Central Park Avenue in Chicago, followed by the Riviera in 1918. Balaban & Katz would create several other Chicago theaters before their style would become a national phenomenon. Charlie Chaplin shoots "His New Job" at Chicago's Essanay Studios. While working for Essanay, Chaplin became the highest paid actor in the world, $1,250 per week, and lives in the penthouse of the Brewster Building, 2800 N. Pine Grove. The steamer Eastland capsizes in the Chicago River, 812 drown. Start of 5-year conversion of Lake Shore carriage drive through Lincoln Park to auto roadway. Marshall Field's opens their famous Candy Kitchens. The Chicago Orchestra presents the world premiere of Frederick Stock’s Festival Prologue, composed to celebrate the Orchestra's 25th anniversary. The Renaissance Society is founded at the University of Chicago to present groundbreaking exhibitions, including Fernand Leger and Alexander Calder (1936); Jacob Lawrence (1944); Paul Klee (1945); Diego Rivera (1949); Hans Haacke (1978); Kara Walker (1997); Kerry James Marshall (1998).

1916: Historical Aerial View of the end of the pierCarl Sandburg publishes his Chicago Poems. Supported on 20,000 Oregon timber pilings, Navy Pier opens to the public on June 25. At the time, the largest structure of its kind in the world, the pier is 3,040 feet long and 292 feet wide with a 3,500 seat Concert Hall at its extreme east end. Samuel Insull buys the Chicago and Milwaukee Electric Railway and reorganizes it into the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad. In 1919, Loop to Milwaukee service is introduced. January 25, 1963, at 10 p.m., locomotive 455 pulls into the yard to end run of Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad. 54,000 automobiles are registered in the city. Rue Carpenter, Alice Roullier and others found the Arts Club of Chicago. Roullier heads the exhibitions committee from 1918 to 1941 resulting in many artist first for Chicago. There is immediate uproar when the Sower, a seven foot tall male nude statue sculpted by Albin Polasek is placed on the front steps of the Art Institute of Chicago. It is quickly removed.

1917: Wallace Rice designs the flag of Chicago. It has two stars representing The Great Chicago Fire and the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The Century of Progress star was added in 1933 and the Fort Dearborn star in 1939. The two blue bars represent the two branches of the Chicago River. The center bar of white is the West Side; the narrower white bars are the North and South Sides. In a Chicago Tribune essay, H.L. Mencken calls Chicago "the most civilized city in the world" and stood as "the most thoroughly American of cities." November 23, Jascha Heifetz makes his debut with the Chicago Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto

1918: Illinois celebrates its centennial. Construction of state-wide system of hard roads approved by voters. The Union Stockyards of Chicago are forced to grant an eight hour day and forty hour week, wage increases and pay for overtime. John Lloyd Wright, a son of the famous architect, invents Lincoln Logs in Oak Park. Sergei Prokofiev presents two American premiers with the Chicago Orchestra, conducting his Scythian Suite and performing as soloist in his First Piano Concerto. Ernest Poole wins the first ever Pulitzer Prize awarded for fiction for the novel, His Family. September 5, 1918, the tradition of playing The Star-Spangled Banner at big league baseball games is started in Comiskey Park, during the 7th inning of Game 1 of the Cubs-Red Sox World Series. The patriotic touch underscored America’s entry into World War 1, which had shortened the season.

1919: Frank J. Drehobl, a glass-cutter for Flanagan & Biedenweg, with his brother Joseph, founds Drehobl Bros. Art Glass Co. The firm is still in business. Known as the Black Sox Scandal, eight members of the Chicago White Sox are paid cash to lose the World Series. The Communist Party of the United States is founded in Chicago. Illinois ratifies 18th Amendment, prohibiting liquor and also the 19th Amendment, granting woman's suffrage. The Associated Negro Press (ANP) is founded by Claude A. Barnett. Trumpeter-bandleader Joe "King" Oliver moves to Chicago, continuing a migration of New Orleans musicians to the bigger, more prosperous city of the north.

1920: Chicago supports some fifty manufacturers of stained glass windows. The African-American population of Chicago reaches 109,000 and will continue to grow to 250,000 by 1930. In 1920, the Washington Park area had 38,076 residents, 15 percent of them African-American; in 1930, 92 percent of the Washington Park population of 44,016 was African-American. A Black Metropolis, also known as Bronzeville, thrives around 35th Street and State Street where the clubs were home to Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton. About 1,200 Mexicans live in Chicago. Woman's suffrage is established. Prohibition becomes effective 16 January, the day before the Volstead Act becomes law. Groucho Marx marries his first wife, Ruth Johnson, in a Cook County judge's chambers. 90,000 passenger automobiles are registered in Chicago. Frederick Stock conducts the American premiere of Gustav Holst’s The Planets. The first Fannie May candy store opens at 11 N. LaSalle Street (the chain closes and reopens in 2004).

1921: World Premier of Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges with the Chicago Opera Company. U.S. premier of Mahler's Symphony No. 7 and world premier of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the 1920s, landfill from Addison Street to Lawrence Avenue alters the lakefront and enlarges Lincoln Park. The Chicago Theatre opens, the first downtown theater built for Balaban & Katz on State Street (26 October). Opening day fare includes a feature film starring Norma Talmage, a stage show starring Buster Keaton and a small concert with the theater’s Wurlitzer organ as star. Wrigley Field becomes the home of the Chicago Bears (until 1970). Merriel Abbott's newly formed dance school in downtown Chicago taught such soon-to-be stars as Ginger Rogers and June Taylor (later the June Taylor Dancers)

1922: The Chicago Tribune announces a worldwide competition to design a new office tower which ushers in the modern skyscraper. Chicago architect Francis Barry Byrne designs St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Kimbark at 55th Street and considered to be the first Modern church in the U.S. F. X. Zettler of Munich, Germany, provides the windows. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, gives two lectures in Orchestra Hall. Louis Armstrong moves to Chicago at the invitation of Joe "King" Oliver, and after a brief sojourn to New York returns to Chicago to establish himself as the first great soloist in jazz. The Karzas Brothers open the palatial Trianon at 63rd and Cottage Grove Avenue. It opens with a major social gala and continued a "no jazz" policy through the 1920s. Chas. F. Lorenzen & Co., 521-523 W. Monroe St. claims to be "America's Largest Tile Jobbers." Ivar "Pop" Coulson creates The Malted Milk Shake at a Walgreen's soda fountain. Per year Chicago distributes some 446 million pounds of butter, more butter than any other city in the nation. On Arbor Day, Joy Morton, of salt fame plants 17 trees, then another 130,000 in the spring, on his estate in Lisle, creating the Morton Arboretum. Morton’s father, Julius Sterling Morton had founded Arbor Day in Nebraska, in 1872.

1923: The Thompson submachine gun becomes a business tool for the first time in the hands of the South Side Saltis-McErlane gang. In his film, Safety First, comedian Harold Lloyd hangs from the Wrigley Building clock. The first issue of the Chicago Literary Times appears March 1. March 12, Chicago records its all-time low air pressure, 28.70 inches. Chicago has 9 butter making plants; 1,052 commercial bread baking facilities; 38 pickle & jelly factories; 43 sausage plants; 32 commercial ice cream makers. Willa Cather is awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, One of Ours. Lucien Harper, editor-in-chief of the Chicago Defender, starts the Bud Billiken children's page in the Defender. The Club Aluminum Utensil Co. is organized in Chicago. The marketing innovation on which Club builds its business is a form of selling called the party plan. Laben Deardorff designs and starts manufacturing the Deardorff camera. When the U.S. Postal Service issued a photography stamp in 1978, the Deardorff camera was on it. By the time L.F. Dearborn & Sons Photographic Equipment went out of business in 1988, some 10,000 cameras had been made. Highly prized by photographers and collectors, many are still in use.

1924: The Johnson-Reed Act establishes immigration quotas. There are approximately 20,000 illegal retail liquor outlets in Chicago. New speed limits are set for Chicago: top of 20 miles per hour in sparsely settled areas, 10 or 13 in the city, less in turns. South Water Street Market is moved to a new 70-acres site at Ashland and 31st Street to make way for the world's first double decking roadway, Wacker Drive. Clarence Darrow successfully defends Richard A. Loeb and Nathan F. Leopold, who had attempt to create a "perfect" crime in the murder 14-year old Bobby Franks. The Ford Motor Company opens a plant on Torrence Ave. to assemble Model T's. The Federal Trade Commission abolishes the "Pittsburgh plus" steel pricing system that allows steel to be produced in Gary, Indiana, for 20% less. Union painters receive $1.50 per hour, making them among the highest paid industrial workers in Chicago. The Illinois Brick Company, Chicago's largest brick manufacturer, produces more than 700 million common bricks for the building boom that is underway in the city. Jules Stein starts booking bands out of the Chicago office of Music Corporation of America, which becomes Universal Pictures. Sears Roebuck goes on the air April 10 and 11 with WES (World’s Economy Store) to test farm radio broadcasts. The station officially airs as WLS (World’s Largest Store), AM 890. On April 19, WLS radio airs the nation's first National Barn Dance program (billed as the Saturday Night Barn Dance), a four hour extravaganza of music, comedy and down-home entertainment. One year later, Nashville's Grand O'le Opry starts. Sears sells WLS in 1928 to ABC (The Agricultural Broadcasting Company) a holding company set up by Prairie Farmer Magazine. October 9 is the official opening day of Municipal Grant Stadium (named Soldier Field in 1925); the first event a track meet featuring 1,000 Chicago Policemen which reportedly drew a crowd of 90,000. On November 22, the first football game played in the Stadium is Notre Dame over Northwestern. Harry Houdini gives a lecture demonstration entitled "Can the Dead Speak to the Living?"

1925: MacLean-Fogg starts producing the lock nut. It prevents the loosening of bolted joints. WGN Radio is granted the exclusive rights to broadcast the Scopes evolution trial in Dayton, TN., the first trial ever on radio, and Judge John T. Raulston alters the layout of the courtroom to allow the microphone to pick up all remarks. The Bethesda Baptist Church at 53rd and South Michigan is totally destroyed by bombing. Over 75,000 people attend Chicago's first rodeo, held in Grant Park stadium. Chicago has 14,956 hospital beds. 300,000 passenger vehicles and 18,000 horse-drawn vehicles are registered in Chicago. Scala Packing produces packs and distributes roasted beef, know everywhere around Chicago today as Italian Beef sandwiches. Edna Ferber receives a Pulitzer Prize for novel, So Big, about Dutch immigrants in Chicago and suburban South Holland. Maurice Needham starts his namesake ad agency in Chicago.

1926: The Goodman Theater opens, designed by Howard Van Doren Shaw. It quickly becomes one of the most important theater venues in the United States. Earl "Little Hymie" Weiss is gunned down on the steps of Holy Name Cathedral. Soldier Field hosts the First Eucharistic Congress of the Roman Catholic Church held in the United States. Coffee Tycoon Fred McLaughlin is granted the Blackhawk’s franchise by the National Hockey league for $12,000. Milk Duds are developed by Milton J. Hoolway. By the mid-1920s most of Chicago's neighborhood streets are paved with bricked, cement, or asphalt and the bustle of automobiles begins its reign.

1927: Chicago has 350 movie and vaudeville houses. The McVicker’s Theatre, 25 W. Madison (demolished in 1984), introduces Chicago to the movies with sound. Louis Armstrong temporarily breaks racial barriers by leading a band in the Loop's Blackhawk Restaurant. The Blackhawk Restaurant on Wabash Avenue becomes one of the first restaurants in the country to offer a big band for dancing at dinner. A police drug raid nets some 2,000 ounces of morphine and cocaine, and more than 300 pounds of smoking opium, all of the fines grade. "Make the World a Better Place to Die In," is the slogan of the tenth annual convention of the National Selected Morticians held in Chicago, October 4. Charles Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic in 33 hours. On 19 March, WLS radio becomes the first radio station in the U.S. to broadcast Beethoven’s entire 9th Symphony (about 77 minutes). Myra Hess makes her Orchestra Hall debut on November 25. The world heavyweight boxing championship match between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, forever known as "The Long Count" is staged at Soldier Field on September 23, before a crowd of 104,000. Dempsey knocks Tunney down but goes to the wrong corner, losing five seconds before the referee begins counting; Tunney rises at the count of 9 and goes on to defeat Dempsey.

1928: Three graduates of the Architecture School of Armour Institute, Loebl, Schlossman and Demuth, design Temple Sholom, 3480 N. Lake Shore Drive. Over the years an important collection of stained glass windows has been installed, including designs by Karel Appel and Leon Golub. In his only Chicago Symphony Orchestra appearance, Maurice Ravel conducts concerts including his Sheherazade, Daphnis and Chloe, and La valse. Journalists Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur write The Front Page. Richard Hess, incorporates Ace Stores with his store at 5830 N. Clark Street as the flagship. By 1949 there are 133 Ace Hardware stores in seven states. Television arrives in Chicago when WCFL (W Chicago Federation of Labor) uses its visual station, W9XAA to broadcast the head and shoulders of E.N. Nichols. Leslie Townes Hope, decides to go solo as Bob Hope, moves to Chicago. He finally becomes master of ceremonies at the Stratford Theater. Chicago’s Swift & Co. launches Peter Pan brand of peanut butter using a process to keep the oil from separating developed by Joseph Rosenfield (Rosenfield starts his own brand, Skippy, in 1933). Heath Confectionery introduces "English Toffee."

1929: The Merchandise Mart opens. At 97 acres of floor-space, it's the world's largest building. Milton Berle performs on a closed-circuit telecast in Chicago for the American Television Corporation. NBC wires its studio in the Merchandise Mart for television. On St. Valentine's Day, seven members of Bugs Moran's North Side gang are killed in a garage at 2122 North Clark Street. The John Storrs designed statue Ceres, Roman goddess of grain, is placed atop the Board of Trade Building. Obligatory school year raised from six to eight months in Illinois. The 3,500 seat, Art Deco style Civic Opera House, built by Samuel Insull, becomes the new home of the Chicago Civic Opera. Thirty-one years old Robert Maynard Hutchins, dean of the Yale University Law School, becomes the president of the University of Chicago.

1930: The pin-ball machine began as the Whoopee Game and sold briskly under the name Ballyhoo which in turn gave its name to the Bally Manufacturing Co. Brothers, Paul V. and Joseph E. Galvin begin to produce the first practical and affordable auto radio and decide on the brand name, Motorola. Television station W9XAO airs its first drama, "The Makers of Dreams," starring Irene Walker. On October 13, The Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiers Concert Music for piano, two harps, and brass by acclaimed German composer Paul Hindemith; the piece had been commissioned by Chicago-born art patroness Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge (1864-1953). Former School of the Art Institute student, Grant Wood, paints American Gothic. Mars introduces the Snickers Bar. Antoinette and Francois, cookbook authors and teachers, open the Antoinette Pope School of Fancy Cookery. About 20,000 Mexicans live in Chicago.

1931: Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Suffering from tertiary syphilis, he is paroled in 1939 and dies of pneumonia in Florida in 1947, age 48. The Chicago Historical Society moves into a 105,219 square foot Georgian Revival building designed by Graham Anderson Probst & White along Clark Street at North Avenue. Ferde Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite is premiered by Paul Whiteman Orchestra at the Studebaker Theater. Earl Carroll's racy "Sketch Book" revue at the Chicago Grand Opera is raided by police in the middle of "Songs of the Moonbeams". Thirty-one people, including actor William Demarest, were hauled off on obscenity charges. By the time a judge acquitted the group, the notoriety assured a full-house-every-night run. On Saturday nights, W9XAO airs the picture while WIBO radio broadcasts the sound of football games.

1932: Industrial Chicago is hard-hit by the Depression. Some 750,000 people are unemployed out of a population of 3,236,913. Almost 400,000 automobiles are registered in Chicago. Franklin Delano Roosevelt is nominated for President by Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Judge Henry Horner (1878-1940) is elected the first Jewish Governor of Illinois. Babe Ruth's alleged "Called Shot" occurs during the World Series in Wrigley Field. African-American composer Florence Price completes her Symphony in E Minor. Howard Hawks' "Scarface: The Shame of a Nation," with contributions by ex-Chicago newspaperman Ben Hecht, etches the link between Chicago and mobsters in the movies. Documentary Film Group, Doc Films, is founded at the University of Chicago. The Chicago Historical Society opens its eight dioramas exhibiting the history of Chicago. Arnold William Haarlow, Jr. (1913-2003), is one of the first basketball players anywhere to shoot the ball with one hand. In the last basketball game of the season against Morgan Park High School, he took a one-handed set shot to become the first Chicago prep to score more than 50 points in a game.

1933: historical view of the Pier entranceChicago's Century of Progress Exposition opens and draws 48.8 millions of visitors before it closes November 1,1934. Its lakefront composition is inspired by the Burnham Plan. The all-glass House of Tomorrow by Chicago architects Keck & Keck draws much attention. The world's first aerial tramway offers rides at the Exposition and Kraft’s Miracle Whip is introduced as the "new food triumph". Kraft Caramels are also introduced. The Cap Cod Room in the Drake opens, as does the Empire Room supper club in the Palmer House Hotel. Initiated by a major gift from Julius Rosenwald, The Museum of Science and Industry opens, June 19, to the public in the former World's Columbian Exposition Palace of Fine Arts in Jackson Park. The Illinois General Assembly enacts general sales tax of 2 per cent. The evening of June 15, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents an evening of "Negro Music and Musicians," featuring Roland Hayes. On July 6, billed as "The Game of the Century," Comiskey Park hosts the first All-Star Baseball Game. Duke Ellington’s Band performs in the first Bud Billiken Parade. Sally Rand is arrested for public indecency at the Chicago Theatre four time in one day.

1934: Bank robber John Dillinger is killed outside the Biograph Theater after a show of Manhattan Melodrama. African-American composer William Dawson completes his Negro Folk Symphony. Arnold Schoenberg makes his only appearance at Orchestra Hall conducting his Transfigured Night. On July 23 an unofficially temperature of 109° was observed at Midway Airport. Officially Chicago's highest observed temperature is 105° as measured at the University of Chicago on July 24. Raymond Loewy designs the Coldspot Super Six refrigerator for Sears Roebuck & Co. The first College All-Star Game, beginning a football-season-opening tradition between the previous year's NFL champion and a college all-star team that will last until 1976, is held at Soldier Field. Billy Goat Tavern opens. The Japanese Garden is opened on the Wooded Island around the 1893 replica of the Ho-o-den Pavilion as an attraction to visitors attending the Century of Progress World's Fair. The Ho-o-den Pavilion is destroyed by fire in 1944. The garden survives today, having been renovated in 1981, and in 1992 officially renamed the Osaka Garden to honor Chicago’s Sister City.

1935: Katherine Kuh opens the only gallery in Chicago specializing in works by Modern artists. Some local artists form an association called "Neoterics" to designate what is fresh and new in art, and to facilitate exhibitions. The first Heisman Trophy is won by Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago. On July 1, The Chicago Symphony under Eric De Lamarter opens a new municipally sponsored series of summer orchestra concerts at a bandshell in Grant Park. The free lakefront series eventually becomes the Grant Park Music Festival. Chicago has a total of 358 motion-picture theaters; the largest, the Uptown, seats 4,307. Nearly 20,000 people show up at the Chicago Coliseum to witness the world premiere of the Transcontinental Roller Derby. Leo Burnett opens his namesake ad agency. Paul J. King starts the city’s first black-owned produce firm.

1936: The nation's first blood bank is opened in Cook County Hospital. Solo Cup Company begins producing disposable paper cups, containers and straws. Chicagoan Jesse Owens wins a gold medal at the Berlin Olympic games. Formed as the Ravinia Festival Association, Ravinia becomes the summer residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Shaped like a hot dog, Oscar Mayer introduces the first-ever food-themed car — the Wienermobile.

1937:
One third of all radios produced in the United States are made in Chicago. Illinois passes the eight hour workday law for women. Chicago has 3,629 miles of streets and 1,370 street names. On May 30, 10 people are killed during the republic Steel strike when a is thrown and police open fire. An average head of beef cattle weighs 899 pounds and yields 470 pounds of meat.

1938: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the last director of the Bauhaus, arrives in Chicago with the responsibility of directing the school of architecture for Armour Institute of Technology. In the mid-1940s, he starts to design its new campus, named the Illinois Institute of Technology. Paul Hindemith makes his American conducting debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on March 3. The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. Gabby Harnett's "Homer in the Gloamin" occurs during the National League pennant in Wrigley Field. Dad’s Root Beer is named by Ely Klapman for his dad who had experimented with making high quality root beer.

1939: The Proviso Yards near Melrose Park, operated by the Chicago & North Western Railroad, are the world’'s largest. The Yards cover 960 acres and have a daily capacity of 4,000 cars on 59 tracks. Violinist Isaac Stern makes his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performing Sibelius's D minor violin concerto. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is created by Chicagoan Robert L. May, a Montgomery Ward copywriter, as a Christmas giveaway story-book for Montgomery Ward stores. It is an immediate success. Blommer Chocolate begins manufacturing its chocolate for wholesale distribution, becoming the largest commercial chocolate manufacturer in the United States. George Cardinal Mundelein is the first Chicago cardinal to vote in a Papal election.

1940: Motorola Company develops the world's first hand-held, two-way radio, better known as the walkie-talkie. Jack Brickhouse begins to broadcast Cubs and White Sox games, some 5,300 games, until he retires in 1981. On October 24, Frederick Stock conducts the Chicago Symphony in its first performance of the First Symphony by John Alden Carpenter, a native of Park Forest, Illinois. The Orchestra presents the world premier of Igor Stravinsky's Symphony in C, commissioned to celebrate the Orchestra's 50th anniversary. The Society of Contemporary American Art is created at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune syndicates Dale Messick’s Brenda Starr cartoon. The South Side Community Arts Center opens. Richard Wright publishes his novel, Native Son.

1941:
The United States enters World War II following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7. Arturo Toscanini makes his only appearance with the Chicago Symphony. Bela Bartok performs his Second Piano Concerto as soloist with the Chicago Symphony.

1942: Nelson Algren writes Never Come Morning, followed in 1949 by The Man with the Golden Arm, and in 1951 by Chicago: City on the Make. A team of scientists at the University of Chicago led by Enrico Fermi create the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear reaction. Known as the “Father of Gospel”, Thomas A. Dorsey choir director of Pilgrim Baptist Church, is named director of the National Baptist Convention Choir. In 1932 Dorsey had written “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and founded the Ebenezer Baptist Choir. Dorsey wrote many other memorable songs including, “Peace in the Valley”. Dorsey helped launch the careers of Mahalia Jackson and Sallie Martin. Foote, Cone & Belding, an advertising firm, is formed.

1943: In May, McKinley Morgenfield, better known as Muddy Waters, arrives in Chicago from Clarksdale, Mississippi. He came looking for not merely a job but "to be great… I want to be known cross-country, not like an ordinary person who just lives and dies." At the time, jump and jive blues is the dominant Chicago urban sound. Waters' amplified grittier acoustic delta blues sound made him a star, and established Chess Records and Chicago as the center of the postwar urban blues scene. As WBKB-Ch.4, W9XCB, becomes Chicago's first commercial TV station. The first night game is played at Wrigley Field, a benefit all-star contest featuring women from the All-American Girls Professional Ball League. Restaurateur Ric Riccardo and his partner Ike Sewell first introduce and market "deep dish pizza, Chicago Style," at Uno's on East Ohio Street. A Georgia O'Keefe retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago is the first retrospective of a female artist at the museum.

1944:
Saul Bellow publishes his first novel, Dangling Man. Ivan Albright and his brother, Zsissly collaborate on the pictures used in the 1944 movie The Picture of Dorian Gray. Louis Eckstein's widow donates the 36-acre park to the Ravinia Festival Association.

1945: A Street in Bronzeville is published by Gwendolyn Brooks. The first Chicago based record label, Mercury, opens its offices at 35 East Wacker Drive, and produces a string of classic blues, R&B, and jazz hits by the likes of Big Bill Broonzy, Dinah Washington, and Jay McShann. The nation’s three largest steel mills are U. S. Steel's Gary Works, South Works and Inland Steel. Chicago becomes the world's largest producer of steel.

1946: Leonard and Phil Chess, Polish-born brothers and a woman named Evelyn, start Aristocrat Records. As Chess Records, the company becomes the nation's premier outlet for urban blues and early rock'n'roll with hits by Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Howlin' Wolf. The nation's first paid political telecast occurs on WBKB when Alderman Bertram Moss seeks re-election and is interviewed by Bob Elson in a fireside chat. In polka halls along Milwaukee Avenue and in the Southwest side, a "Chicago style" polka is very popular. Li'l Wally (Walter Jagiello) cut his first two Chicago style polka records, "Our Break Up," and "Away From Chicago." Li'l Wally eventually cut seventeen gold and four platinum records. An entire dinner cost only $3.50 at the swank Kungsholm Restaurant.

1947: Avant-garde performance artist Laurie Anderson is born in Chicago. She moves from Chicago to New York in 1967. Vivian Carter becomes the city's first black female disk jockey on station WGES. In 1953 Ms. Carter co-founds VeeJay records. VeeJay records is considered the first successful black-owned record company in the United States, predating Motown by a few years. Kitty Baldwin and Jody Kingrey open Baldwin-Kingrey, the first Chicago store to import furniture from Finnish designer Alvar Aalto. Wrigley Field hosts its first All-Star Baseball Game.

1948: Chicago has four major television stations on the air. In the late 1940s, jazz deejay, Holmes "Daddy-O" Daylie, became one of the nation’s first major African-American radio personalities on stations such as WAIT, WMAQ, and WGN. Daddy-O got the Ramsey Lewis Trio an audition with Chess Records. Preston Tucker (1903-1956), Alex Tremulis and J. Gordon Lippincott and Company design nearly fifty-one identical Tucker automobiles in Chicago before the Tucker Company folded on March 3, 1949 amid allegations of fraud. Eugene Ormandy makes his debut conducting the Chicago Symphony.

1949: Construction begins on 860-880 N. Lake Shore Drive, the world's first structurally expressive high-rise apartment by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Their clean-lined glass-box look influence skylines around the world. WBKB, a Chicago television station (becomes WBBM in 1953), made many firsts, including the first broadcast of any consequence made outside a studio – the Shriner's parade in Chicago, the first full-length dramatic production ever telecast in "its entirety, with costumes and setting", and the first midnight mass from Holy Name Cathedral. University of Chicago law school graduate, Russell Baker teams up with trial lawyer, John McKenzie, to form Baker & McKenzie. In 1987, the firm becomes the first law firm in the world to employ 1,000 attorneys. By 2004, it is the largest law firm in the world with more than 3,200 lawyers in 38 countries.Burr Tillstrom's puppets join Fran Allison on TV as Kukla, Fran and Ollie. "This program came to you from Chicago, where — " is the sign off of NBC's "Galloway at Large", the first "night" show in the U.S. It had a nationwide audience of three and a half million viewers. For 11-years Clifford T. Johnson broadcasts everything that happens in his Oak Park household from 7:30 to 8:15 am as his daily show on WBBM.

1950: Chicago's population peaks at 3,620,962 people, boosted by the post-war economic boom, a new surge of immigration, and the annexation of 41.1 square miles. In 1950 Zenith developed the "Lazy Bones Station Selector", a control module connected via a long cable to the TV. In 1955 Zenith brought out the first wireless remote, a light beam generating device, followed in 1956 by the Zenith Space Commander TV Tuner based on high frequency transmission. Robert O. Burton designs the first lunch box specifically for children - the Hopalong Cassidy lunch box. Aladdin Industries of Chicago manufactures it. It is an immediate success. Many more designs follow. Abbott Laboratories introduces Sucaryl, 30 times sweeter than sugar.

1951: While employed at the Weber Brothers Metal Works, George Stephen decides to combine two spun metal domes already in production to develop a cover and bottom for his grill design that eventually becomes the Weber Grill. Collier's magazine calls Chicago the "Top TV Town". Today, vocal-group aficionados consider the Flamingos, formed in 1951, one of the, if not the, best of their era. I Only Have Eyes For You, is a national hit in 1959. Their style influenced groups such as the Four Tops and the Temptations. On September 25, Rafael Kubelik conducts the Chicago Symphony's first television appearance over WENR Chicago. Ernest Allen opens Allen Studio of Music to teach piano and organ, and provides musicians to black churches across the nation.

1952:
On July 26, Adlai Stevenson accepts the Presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention. He lost. A.J. Liebling writes a series of savage articles about Chicago for the New Yorker Magazine that are subsequently reprinted in a book entitled Chicago: The Second City.

1953: In November the first issue of Hugh Hefner's Playboy appears. Fritz Reiner conducts his first concert as Chicago Symphony music director on November 14. First as gospel singers and then as a soul-pop group, The Staple Singers have several soul and pop hits. In his Chicago's Left Bank, Alson J. Smith describes the city as "Florence to New York's Rome." "Linn Burton for certain!" starts his TV career selling appliances for Polk Bros.

1954: Harold Warp develops skin-packaging, known since 1956 as Jiffy-Wrap. Lyric Theater Chicago (later known as the Lyric Opera) is launched by Carol Fox, ending the city's seven-year operatic drought with its production of Mozart's Don Giovanni on February 5. Andres Segovia makes his Chicago Symphony debut playing Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Guitar Concerto. On November 15, Maria Callas as Lucia performs Lucia di Lammermoor. Founded in 1908 by Salvatore Ferrara of Nola, Italy, Ferrara Pan Candy Co. introduces Atomic Fireballs (by 2003, consumers eat about 15 million fireballs per week).

1955: Richard J. Daley is elected mayor. He serves until 1976, when he suffers a heart attack and dies. Chicago's population is 3,260,962. Almost 15% of the city’s population is foreign born. Chicago has five miles of expressway. O'Hare airport opens and within a decade becomes the world's busiest airport. Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois. On the first day of business, proceeds total $366.12. Nelson Algren's "Man with a Golden Arm" is made into a Frank Sinatra hit. It is shot on soundstages instead of city streets. At 601 feet, the Prudential Building is Chicago’s tallest skyscraper.

1956:
WNBQ, part of the NBC network, became the first TV station in the United States to transmit all of its live programs in color. At the urging of Franklin Park Dr. Gregory J. White, an early proponent of natural child-birth, seven women form the La Leche League. Policewomen are allowed to wear police uniforms, and then restricted to skirts and leather pumps.

1957: Chicago Loop Synagogue is built with a magnificent east wall stained glass window by Abraham Rattner. Chess Records starts recording at 2120 S. Michigan. Landfill of lakefront to Hollywood Avenue is completed. Ardco introduces the glass refrigerator door into supermarkets. Chicago hosts first Lithuanian Folk Dance Festival outside Lithuania. On December 1, folksingers Win Stracke and Frank Hamilton found the Old Town School of Folk Music.

1958: Stan Musial hits his 3,000th hit in Wrigley Field. Fifteen-year-old Daniel Barenboim makes his Orchestra Hall recital debut. Margaret Hillis makes her subscription concert debut conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Honneger’s Christmas Cantata.

1959: Bill Veeck becomes the principal owner of the Chicago White Sox who play in the World Series. Veeck held the reins until 1961 and then again from 1976 to 1980. A serious believer in democracy, Veeck had no door on his office and during games, he sat in the bleachers. Lorraine Hansburry’s play, A Raisin in the Sun, opens on Broadway. Born on the city’s South Side, Hansberry’s play is partially autobiographical. The Second City improvisational theater opens at 1842 N. Wells. It developed out of The Compass Players, founded at the University of Chicago in 1955, by David Shepherd, Paul Sills, Elaine May, Mike Nichols, Barbara Harris, Severen Darden, Shelley Berman, and Bernie Sahlins. Second City alumni include, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, John Candy, Jim Belushi, Betty Thomas, Bill Murray, Joan Rivers, Alan Alda. Chuck Berry cuts his rock'n'roll classic "Johnny B. Goode" and "Reelin' and Rockin'" at Chess Records. Art Shay had won twenty art director awards for his photography before he took Life magazine’s “picture of the year.”

1960: Let There Be Light And There Was Light, a 40 feet long stained glass window designed by Abraham Rattner and fabricated by Barillet Studio, Paris, France, is installed in Chicago Loop Synagogue. Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan's Schiller Building is demolished. Pianist Van Cliburn makes his debut with the Chicago Symphony. After 36 years of broadcasting farm news, WLS goes Rock & Roll.

1961: McCormick Place is completed for the 34th Annual National Housewares Manufacturing Association show in January. On the night before the show opens, the building catches fire and burns in what is the largest fire in the city of Chicago since the Great Fire of 1871. McDonald opens Hamburger University in Elk Grove Village, conferring Bachelor of Hamburgerology degrees. Chicago Symphony Orchestra wins its first Grammy award. WGN-Ch.9’s “Bozo’s Circus” airs on September 11.

1962: The first segment of the Dan Ryan Expressway opens from Congress Expressway (Eisenhower Expressway) to 71st St. The Ferrara Pan Candy Co. introduces Lemonheads (by 2003, 500 million are produced annually).

1963: Botti Studio of Architectural Arts opens in Chicago. The Studio traces its stained glass roots to 17th century Italy. Mike Royko starts his daily column with the Chicago Daily News. June 8, Marilyn Miglin opens her store at 112 East Oak Street. Maria Goeppert Mayer is awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for her work at the University of Chicago. Leontyne Price makes her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut in Berlioz’s Les nuits d'ete and the suite from Falla's El amor brujo. Ronald McDonald makes his debut and McDonald's serves its one billionth hamburger. The 1000-watt AM station WVON, the call letters stand for Voice of the Negro, is founded by Leonard and Phil Chess of Chess Records. The station debuts with a rhythm and blues format and is the first 24-hour radio station aimed at the black community in Chicago. It helps launch a solidify hundreds of black artist’s careers. The Veg-O-Matic is introduced by Popeil Brothers.

1964: The James W. Jardine Water Purification Plant opens just north of Navy Pier. It is the largest purification plant of its kind in the world. Beatlemania dawns in Chicago on September 5, as the Fab Four play the International Amphitheater. They run off 11 songs in 34 minutes for 13,000 screaming fans. Ruth Duckworth, German-born, internationally acclaimed ceramics artist, moves to Chicago to teach at Midway Studios, The University of Chicago. Her first exhibition in America is in 1965 at the Renaissance Society. Seiji Ozawa is named Ravinia’s first Music director.

1965: Ten stained glass windows by Lubomyr Wandzura of Giannini & Hilgart are installed in the Chicago Temple, The First United Methodist Church, 77 West Washington Street. A collection of short stories by Harry Mark Petrakis, Pericles on 31st Street, is a finalist for the National Book Award. Michael Kutza founds the Chicago International Film Festival. On Sunday, April 11, four tornadoes dipp down across north and west portions of Chicago, resulting in six fatalities. While some 50,000 fans scream incessantly, the Beatles play two concerts on August 20. After the concert the Beatles stopped at Margie's Candies in Bucktown for ice cream. On October 28, pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy makes his Chicago Symphony debut. George Solti and Mstislav Rostopovich make their first appearance in Orchestra Hall.

1966: A new basketball team begins playing in Chicago — the Bulls. Spanky and Our Gang, formed by Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane in Chicago, is a key part of the late 1960s folk/pop vocal-group movement, with hits like "Sunday Will Never Be The Same" (1967). Kartemquin Film is founded as a cooperative turned company focusing on social issues. Dr. Vincent J. Collins of Cook County Hospital authors Principles of Anesthesiology, the core textbook in the field. Tootsie Roll Industries moves to Chicago.

1967: The last American passenger vessel operating on the Great Lakes, the South American, is retired. Don Lee, later known as Haki Madhubuti, a black poet from Detroit, starts publishing poems and eventually forms Third World Press, the largest African-American publisher in the country. An untitled monumental sculpture by Pablo Picasso is dedicated August 15, on the Civic Plaza; initially controversial, it eventually becomes as much a symbol of Chicago as the Water Tower. Studs Terkel's Division Street: America is published. The Museum of Contemporary Art opens in a former bakery at 237 E. Ontario Street. The opening shows were, "Pictures to Be Read; Poetry to Be Seen," Alison Knowles' "The Big Book,' Allan Kaprow's "Words," and Claes Oldenburg's drawings, "Projects for Monuments." With five hit singles in 1967 and 1968, the American Breed is one of Chicago's top pop bands. Riverview Park closes. Designed as a "city within a city" by Bertrand Goldberg, Marina Towers are the world's tallest reinforced concrete buildings and immediately become a Chicago icon.

1968: This year the protests, demonstrations, and agitation for social reform reach their peak. After decades of efforts by Blacks to gain equality in civil life, that turn into riots touched off by the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. The result is destruction of 162 buildings by fire April 5-7 on Chicago's West Side and the National Guard being called out. The Democratic National Convention of August 26-29 causes battles between protestors and police. Police again confronted protestors October 8-11. Flaming cheese at tableside, or Saganaki, is invented in the Greek Town restaurant The Parthenon. The first Special Olympics Games are held July 20 at Soldier Field with about 1,000 athletes from the United States and Canada. McDonald adds Big Mac to its menu.

1969: The John Hancock building opens. The Goodman Theatre, after 38 years of student productions, returns to its status as a professional resident company with its inaugural production of "Soldiers", by Rolf Hochhuth. Daniel Barenboim makes his first Chicago Symphony appearance as a pianist (20 February). Sir George Solti directs his first concert as the Chicago Symphony's eighth music director (27 November), beginning a 22-year tenure. Pierre Boulez makes his debut conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim makes his debut with the Orchestra in Orchestra Hall performing Bartok's First Piano Concerto. Christo wraps the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Art Ensemble of Chicago is arguably the most innovative jazz group to emerge in Chicago. The Chicago group, Earth, Wind & Fire, is formed and soon changes the sound of black pop in the 1970s. McDonald's "Billion Served" sign changes to "five billion served."

1970: The band formerly called Chicago Transit Authority, now known as Chicago after pressure was applied by the city, scores its first hit with "Smile." Ernie (Mr. Cub) Banks hits his 500th home run in Wrigley Field. Ruth Page establishes the Ruth Page Foundation and School of Dance, thus continuing to stress and create American themes for dance. Aaron Copland conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in his Appalachian Spring.

1971: Aerial view of McCormick PlaceThe Chicago Stock Yards close, after years of decline. McCormick Place Convention Center opens as the largest in the world. "Grease", a new musical by local boys Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, opens February 11, in the Kingston Mines Theater. A young conductor from Cincinnati named James Levin makes his Ravinia Festival debut on June 24, taking over the Mahler "Resurrection" Symphony on a week's notice at the season-opening gala. He so impresses everyone that he is named Ravinia music director the following year. The Chicago Symphony goes on its first European tour. Alligator Records is formed by Bruce Iglauer to record the single "Hound Dog Taylor and the House Rockers." The Chicago Reader begins publishing. Rich Melman and partner from Lettuce Entertain You with their first restaurant, R.J. Grunts in Lincoln Park where they create the first salad bar ever documented. The Chicago Bears move to Soldier Field after having played at Wrigley Field the 50 previous seasons (1921-1970).

1972: Duck Variations by David Mamet is the first in a series of plays by the Chicago playwright to be produced in Chicago and then New York. Richard Nickel, one of the great American architectural photographers, dies while photographing the demolition of the Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan's Chicago Stock Exchange Building. Mike Royko, Chicago Daily News daily columnist, wins a Pulitzer Prize.

1973: At 1,468 feet, 110 stories, the Sears Tower is declared the tallest building in the world, a title it holds until 1996 when the Petronis Towers open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Amoco Building opens. The Magic Lantern Society receives an $8,000 NEA grant to become the Film Center under the wing of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago Filmmakers is founded. McDonald adds Quarter Pounder to its menu. Lynn Hauldren, The Empire Carpet Guy, creates his TV ad character.

1974: Marc Chagall's outdoor mosaic is unveiled at First National Plaza. Saul Bellow wins a Pulitzer Prize. Larry Edward’s Biograph Theater programs art-house movies for the first time. Chicago Today is the first of the city’s "big four" newspaper to stops publication.

1975: David Mamet's American Buffalo opens. Facets Multi-Media founded.

1976: Mayor Richard J. Daley suffers a heart attack and dies. Saul Bellow receives the Nobel Prize for literature. Louis K. Quarels Lawson becomes the first black woman to head a savings and loan institution, Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association. Ravinia’s sculpture collection is inaugurated by a gift of Music for A While from Trustee Richard Hunt, an internationally acclaimed Chicago sculptor. Roberta Lieberman of the Zolla-Lieberman Gallery initiates the move into the loft district, well west of Michigan Avenue. Other galleries quickly follow. Botti Studio of Architectural Arts moves from Chicago to Evanston. Adapting the idea of William John Bauer, The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District begins construction on the $3 billion Deep Tunnel and Reservoir project. The completion of the 109.4 mile underground system is scheduled for 2007.

1977: Motorola Company begins field tests of its experimental radiotelephone, today known as a cell-phone. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) is founded by Lou Conte, artistic director until his retirement in 2000. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performs the world premiere of Sir Michael Tippett's Fourth Symphony, a CSO commission, under Sir George Solti. Frankie Knuckles takes a job at Warehouse. Here Knuckels soon develops a sound that becomes known as house music, a rawer brand of 70s disco that would go on to influence dance music around the world. "We created our own thing in Chicago, because we did it for ourselves." Knuckles said.

1978: Bally Manufacturing Co. creates a new industry with the introduction of Space Invaders followed by Pac-Man in 1980. After 100 years, The Chicago Daily News suspends publication on March 4. The Hubbard Street Dance Company gives its first public performance at noon, July 7, before a small audience in the theater of the Chicago Public Library (now the Chicago Cultural Center). Y-Me is founded by Ann C. Marcou and Mimi Kaplan. Center for New Television founded. McDonald’s 25 billionth hamburger is served. Rich Uchwat opens Zanies, a stand-up comedy club, on Wells Street. Marilyn Miglin introduces her first fragrance, "Pheromone."

1979: Hair Trigger, an undergraduate literary magazine published by the students of Columbia College, wins first prize for undergraduate literature magazines from the coordinating Council of Literary Magazines.

1980: John Denver opens Poplar Creek Music Theatre in Hoffman Estates on June 6. Who Chicago? a major art exhibit of Chicago Imagists, opens in London. "Blues Brothers" is released. The Pampered Chef, a kitchen tools direct sales company, is founded by Doris Christopher. The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is started by William "Les" Brown. Pen collectors start their own convention, The Chicago Pen Show.

1981: Drehobl Brothers Art Glass Co. fabricate and install the Twelve Tribes of Israel windows designed by Archie Rand for Anshe Emet Synagogue. Daniel Goodwin, dressed as Spiderman, becomes the first person to scale the outside of the Sears Tower. Administrative assistant Ardis Krainik succeeds her boss, deposed Lyric Opera of Chicago co-founder Carol Fox as general manager of the company. Within one season the Krainik led team rescue the company from bankruptcy. Bob Zajdel, the Victory Auto Wreckers guy, starts his one-ad career.

1982: Bluesman Willie Dixon and his daughter, Shirli Dixon-Nelson launch the Blues Heaven Foundation to support budding blues artists. In 1997, the Foundation moves into the former Chess Records offices, 2120 S. Michigan Avenue.

1983: Harold Washington becomes Chicago's first black mayor. He dies in office of a heart attack in 1987. Eleventh Dream Day, an alternative band of wide influence, is formed by Janet Beveridge Bean and Rick Rizzo. Chicago International Children's Film Festival is founded. Test marketed at the first Taste of Chicago in 1979, to see if customers outside Eli’s Place for Steak restaurant would like it, Eli's Cheesecake Company starts national distribution. Thirty-nine four-letter, 10-letter and 12-letter expletives are used by Cubs Manager Lee Elia's in his three-minute, 448-word tirade against booing fans. This may be a major league record for managers. Claudio Abbado, the Chicago Symphony's principal guest conductor from 1982 to 1985, directs a partially staged version of Alban Berg's Wozzeck. The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless host the first national conference on homelessness.
1984: Journalist John Callaway launches Chicago Tonight on WTTW, which becomes the longest –running daily local show in American television history before it ends in 1999. Oprah Winfrey takes over as host of "AM Chicago." David Mamet wins both the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critic's Circle Award for his play Glengarry Glen Ross. Dr. June Singer helps create the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Walgreen’s celebrates the opening of its 1,000th store. Consumers line up to buy Motorola's first cellular phone, the DynaTAC 8000X. Affectionately called "the brick," it weighed 2 pounds, offered half-hour of talk for every recharging and sold for $3,995.

1985: Helmut Jahn's State of Illinois Center (now Thompson Center) opens. Joe Sedelmaier, a Chicago ad film producer, contributes the "Where’s the Beef" TV spot for Wendy's. The Steans Institute for Young Artists is Ravinia’s professional studies program for young artists, and is one of the world’s most sought-after summer study programs.

1986: The Chicago Bears win the Super Bowl. Oprah Winfrey's first syndicated show airs, September 8. In a record smashing, two-hour live television special, Geraldo Rivera entered Al Capone's alleged vault, fired a submachine gun, detonated dynamite, sang "Chicago", and found a few empty bottles. Lifelong Chicagoan, Larry Heinemann wins critical applause with his novel PAC's Story. Charles H. Kerr Company, a socialist publishing house, celebrates its 100th anniversary.

1987: Raya Dunayevskaya dies in Chicago. Dunayevskaya arrived in Chicago in the 1920s after having served for two years as Trotsky’s secretary in Mexico. She wrote the first English translation of Marx's 1844 manuscripts and developed a critique of the totalitarian tendencies of Marxist philosophy known as Marxist humanism. David Hernandez is commissioned to write a poem commemorating the city’s 150th anniversary. Lookingglass Theatre Company is formed and its first production is Through the Looking-Glass. Charlie Trotter opens a fine dining namesake restaurant in a former home on Armitage Avenue that becomes a five-star destination restaurant for diners from around the world.

1988: Lights are installed and the first Cubs home night game is played at Wrigley Field.

1989: Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, is elected mayor. Nine art galleries perish April 15, in a fire that leveled nearly an entire block of historic buildings in the River North gallery district. General Director Ardis Krainik sacks tenor Luciano Pavarotti for canceling 26 of his 41 scheduled appearances with her Lyric Opera of Chicago within nine years. Billy Corgan forms The Smashing Pumpkins in Chicago. With less than $1,000. in hand, Tony Brummel launches Victory, a highly successful independent record label.

1990: Cher opens the World Music Theatre in Tinley Park (Now Tweeter Center). Daniel Barenboim leads the Chicago Symphony in the world premiere of John Corigliano's Symphony no.1, commissioned for the Orchestras centennial. At 311 S. Wacker architects Kohn Pederson Fox, build the world’s tallest concrete framed building.

1991: The Chicago Bulls, with the help of Michael Jordan, win the National Basketball Association championship for the first time. The new Comiskey Park baseball stadium opens on the South Side. Daniel Barenboim is appointed new music director of the Chicago Symphony. The first three weeks of the Symphony season are cancelled because of labor dispute. The 101st season opened on 1 October, three weeks late.

1992: Bettina Richards founds Thrill Jockey, and independent record label. The Chicago Bulls win another NBA Championship.

1993: The Beanie Babies' "Squealer the pig" is born on April 23, followed two days later by "Legs the frog", and "Chocolate the moose" on April 27, in Oakbrook, Illinois. Nan Warshaw founds Bloodshot Records, an independent record label. Columbia College’s Hair Trigger receives the Gold Crown award from the Columbia University Scholastic Press Association. The Chicago Bulls win their third NBA Championship. The series of three championships is coined “Three Peat.” The AIA Guide to Chicago Architecture is published. Median planters are constructed as part of North Michigan Avenue’s streetscape improvement project with plantings designed by Douglas Hoerr.

1994: When "Bump N’ Grind" hit No.1 on February 19, South Sider R. Kelly affirms that he has become the dominant rhythm and blues performer of the decade. Punk Planet begins to track the local and international punk scene. Ana Castillo writes her acclaimed book, My Father was a Toltec. Lee Godie, the city's most famous outsider artist dies. Kartemquin Films releases "Hoop Dreams." Christoph Eschenbach is named Ravinia’s music director, a post he hold until 2003.

1995: Navy Pier reopens after an extended restoration. On October 26, Daniel Barenboim conducts the Chicago Symphony in Shulamit Ran's Pulitzer Prize -winning symphony. Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Symphony join with trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe, a jazz quartet, and African drummers for a concert version of Lokumbe's African Portraits.

1996: The Chicago Bulls win their fourth NBA title. On the summer solstice, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a 24-hour preview of its new building designed by Berlin architect Josef Paul Kleihues on the site of the former U.S. National Guard Armory at 220 E. Chicago Avenue. Lisel Mueller wins the Pulitzer Prize for poetry with Alive Together. Claudia Cassidy, fabled 1904s to 1970s Chicago Tribune theater, dance and music critic dies. For a cooling unit at 400 S. Franklin, Exelon Thermal Technologies builds the world"s largest reinforced cast-in-place ice tank, measuring 110x100x40 feet high.

1997: Daniel Barenboim leads the Chicago Symphony in the opening night of Symphony Center (4 October). Juice, a 24-year old Chicago MC performs against up-and-coming Detroit rapper Eminem at Scribblejam, the annual Midwestern hip-hop festival. Juice wins the battle, but Eminem wins fame. Janet Jagan (Rosenberg) is elected president of Guyana. Born in Chicago in 1920, she marries Cheddi Jagan in 1943. He is elected president of free Guyana in 1992.

1998: Two great Chicago sports announcers die, Harry Caray (1914-1998) and Jack Brickhouse (1916-1998). The Chicago Police Department names its first female deputy superintendent, Jeanne Clark.

1999: Shakespeare Theater at Navy PierThe Chicago Shakespeare Theater opens at Navy Pier. It is designed by VOA Associates. Mayor Daley announces Millennium Park and a bandshell designed by Frank Gehry. Bear's great Walter Payton (1954 – 1999) dies at age 45. Khalid Khannouchi sets a world speed record, 2:05.42, in the Chicago Marathon. Daniel Barenboim conducts the world premiere of Pierre Boulez’s Notations VII for Orchestra, a Chicago Symphony Orchestra commission. James Taylor, a singer-songwriter, performs with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

2000: Smith Museum of Stained Glass WindowsSmith Museum of Stained Glass Windows opens at Navy Pier. It is estimated that some 3.5 million viewers visit the Museum in its first year. The new Goodman Theater opens at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn Streets. It is designed by the Toronto, Canada based firm of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg. Barbara McDonald becomes the Chicago Police Department's director of administrative services, the city’s highest ranking Police Department woman. Renowned tenor Placido Domingo, joined by Daniel Barenboim, performs his first American solo recital.

2001: The Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass opens at Navy Pier. Amy Schroeder begins publishing Venus Zine in Chicago.

2002: It takes 13 days, 12 hours, 16 minutes for Chicagoan Steve Fossett to circumnavigate the globe solo in a balloon.

2003: The Smith Museum opens its new Victorian and Louis Comfort Tiffany galleries.

2004: July, Millennium Park is completed and open to the public. Chicago police officers are equipped with Segways to cover greater distance than on foot.

2005: Ball Horticultural Co. is awarded patents for a Verbena plant named "Balazgagic", a Nemesia plant named "Balartublue", and Double Impatiens named "Balfiesink." Margaret James introduces the first Twike, a three-wheeled vehicle that runs on both human power and an electric motor, to Chicago. It is a curiosity. After 10 years in nearby Evanston, Kendall College moves its Culinary School to Chicago and becomes the largest professional school in the city. Jimmy Buffet and his entourage play Wrigley Field, the first show at the legendary baseball stadium – ever. The Chicago White Sox win the World Series.

2006: The warmest May 28-30 period in 135 years of official weather observation is recorded. Chicago born singer Lou Rawls dies at age 72. The 100th anniversary of Sox over Cubs in the 1906 World Series, results in a score of Sox 4 - Cubs 2. "Agora," an installation of 106 metal sculptures by Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, opens November 16.

2007: Barack Obama announces his run for President. Chicago is selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the United States Bid city for the 2016 Olympic Games.

2008: The World Premier of Toyota Motor Corporation's personal mobility concept vehicle, i-REAL, and its conceptual collaboration with Chicago fashion designers Agga B., Anna Fong, Melissa Serpico and Lidia Wachowska is launched. On June 3, Barack Obama wins the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, becoming the first major party African American candidate for president. Chicago records its wettest year on record, 50.86 inches.

2009: Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States. Sunday, 1 March, The Beethoven Project Trio, Sang Mee Lee, violin, Wendy Warner, Cello and George Lepauw, piano presented the world premier of Beethoven's newly discovered Piano Trio in E Flat Major, Hess 47 in the newly restored John B. Murphy Auditorium. Koko Taylor, born Cora Walton, 28 September 1928, dies age 80 in Chicago, 4 June. Norman Pellegrini, program director of WFMT from 1953-1996, dies 2 July. With 42,887 minutes out of a possible 80,626, Chicago experiences the cloudiest June, July and August in 115 years.