Spooky-ooky Greetings: Historical Halloween Cards from Chicago

My best friend, Jenny, and I met on October 31 almost four decades ago as toddlers in costumes. Our older siblings were marching the halls of the local elementary school for a Halloween parade that families were invited to attend. For years, Jenny and I spent almost every Halloween together. As children we went trick-or-treating…
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Quiz: How Well Do You Know Harold Washington?

April 15 marks the birthday of Chicago’s beloved 51st mayor Harold Washington. Test your knowledge of Chicago’s first African American mayor with our quiz. Then learn more about Washington's legacy with resources from the Special Collections Division at Harold Washington Library Center, including Harold Washington archives; the digital exhibit Remembering Harold Washington and blog posts…
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The Second City Turns 60

If you were looking for something to do on December 16, 1959, you might have snagged a ticket to see The Music Man at the Shubert or West Side Story at the Erlanger. If a movie was more your style, Porgy and Bess, The Best of Everything, The Tingler and The Mouse That Roared were playing…
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Thanksgiving Greetings: Historical Cards from Chicago

Growing up, my favorite holiday was always Thanksgiving. Most of my family’s Turkey Day traditions were the same as many other Americans—visiting family, eating too much turkey and pie, napping and watching a little football. A few of our traditions may have been more unique to us—teasing Grandma about always bringing two cans of cranberry…
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Banned Books on Stage: Celebrate Banned Books Week and the Year of Chicago Theatre

During the last week of September, libraries, schools, bookstores and readers across the nation celebrate Banned Books Week by standing up and speaking out for the freedom to read. In Chicago, our theaters are known for standing up and speaking out. In fact, the tagline for 2019's Year of Chicago Theatre claims the stage is…
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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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