Musician biographies

If you’re like me, you know that summertime presents great opportunities to go to outdoor music concerts in this beautiful city. Since I’m a little long in the tooth now, I prefer sitting in the pavilion area as opposed to kicking back with a blanket on the grass, but the overall experience of an outdoor concert still […]

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Elvis Releases First Single

Source: rbglasson, Flickr

On the evening of July 5, 1954, Elvis was in Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, recording some tracks. During a recording break, he began playing around with the tune “That’s All Right (Mama)” on his guitar, a song written by blues artist Arthur Crudup. Elvis’ fast version of the song caught the attention of Sun […]

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Technology that Changed Chicago: Piggly Wiggly

Picture of a food store

Perhaps when you go to the supermarket, you run from aisle to aisle with preplanned precision, picking up only those items you need and finish shopping in the 10 minutes you have allocated. Perhaps you are a more typical shopper. You let your eyes roam from brightly colored box to brightly colored box. Childlike, you […]

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Grand Canyon or Bust!

Grand Canyon daisy
Source: Moyan_Brenn Flickr.com

My family and I drove the 3,200 miles to the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona and back in eight days. Almost four days were spent in a rented Chevy SUV because we wanted to see the West from a car window. We planned our trip using the Chicago Public Library’s rich collection of Southwest U.S. travel books such […]

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Long Distance Relationship, 19th Century Style

The heading to one of the letters, dated June 12, 1893.

It’s 1891. Albert Hafner is about to move from Florida to Chicago for business. Before he leaves, he meets Bessie Chandler, and they become engaged. Albert moves to Chicago, leaving Bessie behind, and they write letters back and forth. Albert’s letters to Bessie have survived for over 100 years to tell the story of their relationship and what it was like […]

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Play Is For Big Kids Too

One of the many great things about having kids is the opportunity to experience “play” again.  Admittedly, I am not, nor ever have been, a great athlete. I mean, I was the last to be picked on anyone’s team and unknowingly showed up to a volleyball practice with makeup on in high school. Play was never for me, as […]

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Negotiation Tips from the Undersecretary for Thugs

Bill Richardson

Whatever you make of Bill Richardson’s politics, he can tell a good story and seems to enjoy it immensely. In fact, How to Sweet-talk A Shark seems to be less the book on negotiating techniques it claims to be and more an excuse to tell some hilarious and hair-raising tales from Richardson’s time in public service. That said, […]

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Teen Summer Challenge: Create!

Source: nsalt, Flickr

Hey guys! After reading, discovering and exploring what peaks your curiosity this summer as part of Rahm’s Reader’s Teen Summer Challenge, Make Your Imprint, why not start creating some pieces to showcase what you’ve learned and share your newfound knowledge with other teens, or perhaps make a difference in animals’ lives? Here are some ideas […]

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Animals at Work

honey bee on a flower

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Animals work hard to find food, build their homes and care for their young. Sometimes the work that animals do affects humans, too. Did you know that the actions of bees help produce many foods humans eat, such as chocolate, apples and watermelons? As bees search for nectar, […]

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Modern Art

I don’t get art. I’m not even sure that I know what I like, which is all the more reason for me to mess around with art books and see if I can learn something. The Success and Failure of Picasso had a bit of controversy when it came out, probably because it suggested that the […]

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