Amusement Park Fun

Ferris wheel

This is the time of year when I start thinking about packing up the family and heading to an amusement park. The lure of funnel cakes, roller coasters and log flume rides beckons me. Amusement parks have been around for centuries, with the oldest one, Dyrehausbakken—Bakken for short—located near Copenhagen in Denmark. Bakken began in […]

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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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Happy Birthday, Chicago!

Mayor Harold Washington cutting a birthday cake for Chicago. Cake is elaborately detailed with a large city seal on top. Smiling man with a chef's hat is in the background.

177 years ago Chicago was officially incorporated as a city. Chicago’s newspapers are a wonderful primary source for descriptions of the city’s birthday, no matter which date Chicago chose to celebrate. For example, the March 4 charter was printed by the Chicago Democrat newspaper. In September 1903 Chicago marked the centennial of the 1803 establishment of […]

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