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Dark Side of History Explores Chicago’s Underbelly


The Chicago History Museum Presents Spine-Tingling Events this Fall Season

Join the Chicago History Museum this fall for a full lineup of spine-tingling events that explore Chicago’s historic underbelly. Events and tours around the city explore the city’s infamous incidents, devilish disturbances and cherished cemeteries.

Al Capone’s Beer Wars
Tuesday, October 10; 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. program
$25, $20 members | Cash bar available

Join us for a lively conversation at the Chicago History Museum with John Russick, vice president of education and interpretation at the Chicago History Museum and John J. Binder, author of “Al Capone’s Beer Wars: A Complete History of Organized Crime in Chicago during Prohibition.” Grab a beer while discovering the history of the mob in Chicago and the bootlegging gangs that occupied the city from 1920 to 1933. Hear about the myths and misconceptions related to the Capone gang, the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and other criminal groups that made up Chicago’s historic underworld.

Prohibition Era Bus Tour
Saturday, October 14; 1 p.m.
$55, $45 members

Author & Historian John J. Binder leads this in-depth tour of Chicago’s Prohibition and related crime history. Visit notorious sights associated with Al Capone, his North Side rivals, other bootlegging mobs and John Dillinger, including where gang hits such as the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre took place. Highlights include the Lexington Hotel, the site of Colosimo’s Café and more.

Devil in the White City Bus Tour
Saturdays, September 30 and October 21; 1 p.m.
$55, $45 members

Inspired by Erik Larson’s best-selling book, go back to 1893 with historian Al Walavich to follow the trails of Daniel Burnham and the devilish doings of H.H. Holmes. Visit the site of the historic fairgrounds, the Garden of the Phoenix in Jackson Park and discover what has become an iconic Chicago story.

Chicago Crimes of the Past Bus Tour
Saturday, November 4; 1 p.m.
$55, $45 members

Join author and crime historian Richard Lindberg to discover the stories of infamous incidents and heinous crime scenes throughout history. As you venture downtown and Chicago’s north side, examine historical locations that were once areas of crime.

After Hours at Bohemian National Cemetery Tour
Sundays, October 22 and November 5; 4 p.m.
$25, $20 members

Walk the grounds after the gates are locked with historian Al Walavich. Established in 1877, this cemetery features a historic gatehouse, magnificent mausoleums and emblematic treestone grave markers.

Graceland Cemetery Tour
Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29; 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Tuesday, October 31, 1 p.m.
$25, $20 members

Discover the remarkable stories of the Chicago elite buried in this famous cemetery, including Marshall Field, Louis Sullivan, George Pullman and Potter and Bertha Palmer, with historian Al Walavich.  

Leopold and Loeb Walking Tour
Sundays, October 22 and 29; 2 p.m.
$25, $20 members

On May 21, 1924, a young boy went missing. The next morning his father received a call informing him that his son was beaten to death. This gruesome, senseless murder stained Chicago history and still leaves many baffled. Return to the scene of the crime and track clues with author and historian Paul Durica in the Kenwood neighborhood by visiting sites relevant to the murder of Bobby Franks.

Garden of the Dead Walking Tour
Tuesdays, October 17 and 24; 8 p.m.
$35, $30 members

The city’s early dead were trafficked into and out of its first municipal graveyard, the Chicago City Cemetery. Pamela Bannos of the Hidden Truths Project shares stories of grave robbers, improper burials and the confusion that led to the creation of Lincoln Park.

History Fit: Ride Like the Devil Bike Tour
Sunday, September 17; 9:30 a.m.
$25, $20 members

Cycle back to 1893 with Greg Borzo, author of “Where to Bike Chicago.” Pedal past sites related to the World’s Fair and discover its lasting influence on Chicago. Uncover Daniel Burnham’s grand plans and the devilish doings of H.H. Holmes. The tour includes 20 miles of biking and ends at Midway Plaisance Park in Hyde Park.


The Chicago History Museum is situated on ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi people, who cared for the land until forced out by non-Native settlers. Established in 1856, the Museum is now at 1601 N. Clark Street in Lincoln Park, its third location. As a major museum and research center for Chicago and U.S. history, the Chicago History Museum strives to be a destination for learning, inspiration and civic engagement. Through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming, the Museum connects people to Chicago’s history and to each other. To share Chicago stories, the Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents, images and other items that are relevant to the city’s history. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. 

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories