Playbill, July 2017 — Arts agencies consume a microscopic fraction of the $4 trillion U.S. budget. And yet government funding for the arts is controversial; calls to eliminate it never fully subside. But there was a time when the government did more than just provide grants. For a few years, the government actually had its own… Continue reading How a Government Agency Ended Up Responsible for Swing Mikado, Among Others
In a divided Chicago, one thing we all agree on: A damn fine flag
The Story of Chicago’s Four-Star City Flag
Medium.com, April 4, 2017 — Wallace Rice covered the floor of his living room with colorful rectangles. He’d spent six weeks combining shapes and symbols, trying to find just the right image to represent the city where he lived. He’d come up with hundreds of possibilities for a city flag design, and now he displayed his… Continue reading The Story of Chicago’s Four-Star City Flag
Chicago police were condemned in 1904 for drinking, slouching, ignoring crime
Chicago Tribune, January 29, 2017 — Too many of Chicago’s cops weren’t doing their jobs. Slouching in unkempt uniforms, they drank whiskey in saloons when they should have been walking their beats. And they ignored crimes happening right in front of their eyes. These were the findings of an investigation in 1904 called the Piper Report. “Chicago’s police… Continue reading Chicago police were condemned in 1904 for drinking, slouching, ignoring crime
When the Cubs were the Microbes
Displaced: When the Eisenhower Expressway Moved in, Who Was Forced Out?
Long before iPhones, cops battled phone use in fight against gambling
Chicago Tribune, March 6, 2016 — In 1904, Chicago got an early taste of how the competing interests of security and privacy would start to play out for law enforcement and the telecom industry — in an episode with echoes of today’s dispute between Apple and the FBI, over information that might be gleaned about the… Continue reading Long before iPhones, cops battled phone use in fight against gambling
If you toured Chicago in 1910, what would you do?
A History of the Society of Midland Authors, Part 2
Society of Midland Authors Books Blog, April 10, 2015 — The authors who gathered at the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago on November 28, 1914, didn’t expect a free dinner. But they were somewhat stunned when the writer who’d invited them, John M. Stahl, picked up the tab for everyone… Read my post at the Society of Midland Authors… Continue reading A History of the Society of Midland Authors, Part 2
A History of the Society of Midland Authors, Part 1
Society of Midland Authors Books Blog, April 2, 2015 — As the Society of Midland Authors celebrates its 100th birthday, we present a history of the organization, starting with this look at its origins. In 1914, Carl Sandburg called Chicago “Hog Butcher for the World.” Edgar Lee Masters, a Chicago lawyer born in Kansas, was giving voice to the common… Continue reading A History of the Society of Midland Authors, Part 1