Wheatless Mondays: The 100-Year Anniversary of WWI

Before gluten-free and soy milk became common at the grocery store, Americans needed a bit of coaxing to embrace wheatless Mondays, meatless Tuesdays, porkless Saturdays and ice cream made without sugar or cream. Like our One Book, One Chicago selection, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, World War I or the "Great War" urgently required citizens to […]

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Chicago’s South Loop Before the Library

It's hard work to keep State Street "that great street," as the lyrics to Frank Sinatra's "Chicago" go. Before Sinatra's 1956 hit song, Chicago's South Loop was dark at night, colorful by day, and its southern edges vexed the best intentions of developers, urban planners and local organizations. As the Harold Washington Library Center celebrates […]

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Examining Chicago’s Role in Political Conventions

Abraham Lincoln campaign ribbon from 1860

Even before the groundhog looks for his shadow, the first political contest for 2016 begins. Starting with the Iowa caucus on February 1, the primary season ushers in a year of non-stop television ads and lots of opinions. Thomas Dyja, the author of this year's One Book, One Chicago selection, describes our city’s impact on […]

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Seven Degrees of Chicago, 1938

State Stree Subway

Although massive in scale, Chicago is a city with remarkably few degrees of separation. Just as the year's One Book, One Chicago selection connects diverse readers across the city to threads of history, the book, Thomas Dyja’s The Third Coast, opens its first chapter by stitching together the overlapping paths shared by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and future Illinois […]

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