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Historical Chicago Newspapers

How's your Chicago History Fair project going? Did you know that the Chicago Public Library has lots of historical Chicago newspapers on microfilm? Some of them go way back, to 1833. That's the Chicago Democrat, the first Chicago newspaper. Back in the 1800's and 1900's, Chicago had more than just two or three newspapers. For…
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Happy Birthday, Chicago!

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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70 Years Later: V-E Day

May 8 is the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, when the Germans surrendered to the Allies, ending World War II in Europe. Not many veterans are still around to celebrate, but it is still important. Here are some titles that help us remember. The Day the War Ended by Martin Gilbert follows the last…
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Health Advice During 1918 Flu Pandemic: Chicago’s A. Wilberforce Williams

Drinking bleach or adding hot peppers to your soup will not protect you from COVID-19: So says the World Health Organization in its lengthy Coronavirus Disease Advice for the Public: Mythbusters. Unfortunately, during the 1918-19 flu pandemic, we didn't have the WHO to warn us against bogus cures. Fortunately, Chicago had Dr. A. Wilberforce Williams…
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Chance the Snapper Isn’t Chicago’s First Notorious Gator

With news of Humboldt Park’s newest notorious (and likely temporary) lagoon resident -- alligator Chance the Snapper -- I was curious if other gators had made headlines in Chicago. A quick search of the early 20th century newspaper Chicago Examiner uncovered more than 300 alligator articles.  Chicago may be in the midst of #gatorwatch2019, but…
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