Blog, Historic Events, People, and Milestones

108 Changes since 1908

By: Esther D. Wang and Emily H. Nordstrom
Oct 28 2016

It is a well-known fact that the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series title in 1908.

The 1908 Chicago Cubs team at West Side Grounds after winning the World Series. Photograph by the Chicago Daily News, SDN-006934A

In the 108 years since, a lot has happened. Here are a few highlights:

  1. William Howard Taft became the first president to throw a ceremonial first pitch (1910).
  2. Maxwell Street Market opened (1912).
  3. The RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage (1912).
  4. Oreo sandwich cookies were introduced (1912).
  5. The Qing dynasty ended (1912).
  6. New Mexico and Arizona became US states (1912).
  7. Harriet Monroe launched Poetry: A Magazine of Verse (1912).
  8. Chicago hosted seven Republican National Conventions (1912, 1916, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1952, and 1960).
  9. The Great Migration began (1915).
  10. The Edgewater Beach Hotel opened (1916).
  11. The Chicago Cubs moved from West Side Grounds to Weeghman Park, now known as Wrigley Field (1916).
  12. The National Park Service was founded (1916).
  13. Navy Pier was constructed (1916). After being used as a shipping terminal, wartime training center, and college campus, it reopened as an entertainment destination in 1995.
  14. Denali National Park and Preserve was established (1917).
  15. The Austro-Hungarian Empire fell (1918).
  16. John Lloyd Wright invented Lincoln Logs (1918).
  17. The Volstead Act enforcing the prohibition of alcohol sales was passed (1919) and repealed (1933).
  18. Weeghman Park was renamed Cubs Park (1920).
  19. Women won the right to vote (1920).
  20. The Curtiss Candy Company started making Baby Ruth bars (1921).
  21. The first baseball game was broadcast on radio: Pittsburgh Pirates versus Philadelphia Phillies (1921).
  22. The Chicago Bears played at Cubs Park/Wrigley Field from 1921 to 1970.
  23. The Ottoman Empire ended (1922).
  24. The William Wrigley Jr. Building was completed (1924).
  25. The Tribune Tower was completed (1925).
  26. Aviator Charles Lindbergh began daily mail delivery flights between Chicago and St. Louis (1926).
  27. Cubs Park was renamed Wrigley Field (1927).
  28. Mount Rushmore National Memorial was constructed (1927–41).
  29. Walter Diemer invented bubble gum (1928).
  30. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin (1928).
  31. The Chicago Board of Trade Building was completed (1930).
  32. Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto (1930).
  33. Jane Addams won the Nobel Peace Prize (1931).
  34. Thomas Andrew Dorsey invented gospel music (1932).
  35. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean (1932).
  36. Wrigley witnessed Babe Ruth’s famous “called shot” during Game 3 of the World Series between the Cubs and the New York Yankees  (1932).
  37. Chicago hosted seven Democratic National Conventions (1932, 1940, 1944, 1952, 1956, 1968, and 1996).
  38. The Chicago History Museum moved to a new home (1932), expanded it (1971), and renovated it twice (1988 and 2006).
  39. Comiskey Park hosted the first Major League All-Star game (1933).
  40. Chicago hosted the A Century of Progress International Exposition (193334).
  41. Pablo Picasso created Guernica (1937).
  42. Bill Veeck planted ivy in Wrigley’s outfield and oversaw the construction of the scoreboard and bleachers (1937).
  43. Al Pacelli opened Chicago’s first Italian beef joint, Al’s Italian Beef (1938).
  44. Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett hit his famous “Homer in the Gloamin’ ” off of Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher Mace Brown (1938).
  45. Author Richard Wright published Native Son, the first major novel about the black experience in America (1939).
  46. The first televised Major League baseball game was broadcasted: Cincinnati Reds vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers (1939).
  47. America entered two world wars (1917 and 1941).
  48. Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Oscar (1940).
  49. Velcro was invented (1941).
  50. University of Chicago scientists, led by Enrico Fermi, achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (1942).
  51. Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley launched the All-American Girls Professional Ball League in an effort to keep baseball alive during World War II (1942–43).
  52. The National Basketball Association was founded (1946). Chicago has a long basketball history.
  53. Baseball became an integrated sport with Jackie Robinson joining the LA Dodgers (1947).
  54. Chicago and much of Chicagoland got 312 as their area code (1947).
  55. Garrett’s Popcorn opened (1949).
  56. The Eisenhower Expressway was built (1949–60).
  57. The first issue of Playboy was published (1953).
  58. Ernie Banks joined the Cubs, becoming the first African American to play for the club (1953).
  59. The first McDonald’s opened in Des Plaines, Illinois (1954).
  60. Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile (1954).
  61. The first Illinois Toll Road opened, running from O’Hare Airport to the Wisconsin border (1958).
  62. Alaska and Hawaii became US states (1959).
  63. Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun debuted (1959).
  64. Queen Elizabeth II visited Chicago, the first reigning British monarch to do so (1959).
  65. D. Searle & Company introduced the birth control pill (1960).
  66. The Berlin Wall was built (1961) and demolished (1990–92).
  67. Ed Reulbach, the last surviving member of the 1908 Cubs team, passed away (1961).
  68. The Dan Ryan Expressway was built (1961–62).
  69. Carl Sandburg became the first poet laureate of Illinois (1962).
  70. The Lava Lite was invented (1964).
  71. The Civil Rights Act was enacted (1964).
  72. Interracial marriage was legalized (1967).
  73. Marina City, designed by Bertrand Goldberg, opened (1967).
  74. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant (1967).
  75. Americans landed on the moon (1969).
  76. The John Hancock Center was completed (1969).
  77. Chicago’s Union Stock Yard closed (1971).
  78. The first mobile phone call was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola (1973).
  79. The Sears Tower, now the Willis Tower, opened (1974).
  80. Apple Inc. was founded (1976).
  81. The “Cheezborger, Cheezborger” sketch, a tribute to the Billy Goat Tavern, debuted on Saturday Night Live (1978).
  82. The US ice hockey team defeated Russia en route to winning Olympic gold (1980).
  83. Elwood Blues falsified his driver’s license renewal, giving his address as 1060 W. Addison (Wrigley Field) (1980).
  84. The Taste of Chicago festival opened in Grant Park (1980).
  85. Jack Brickhouse retired after broadcasting more than five thousand Chicago Cubs and White Sox games (1981).
  86. Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female US Supreme Court Justice (1981).
  87. IBM released the first personal computer (1981).
  88. Chicago saw fifteen mayors pass through office, including the first female mayor (Jane Byrne, 1979–83) and the first African American mayor (Harold Washington, 1983–87).
  89. Hermès released the iconic Birkin bag, named after actress and singer Jane Birkin (1984).
  90. The Chicago Bears released the Superbowl Shuffle three months prior to their win in Super Bowl XX (1985).
  91. Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a federal holiday (1986).
  92. Ferris Bueller spent part of his day off at Wrigley Field (1986).
  93. Wrigley hosted its first night game (1988).
  94. The Simpsons first aired on television (1989).
  95. Marty McFly brought hope to Cubs fans everywhere when he time traveled to 2015 and saw news coverage of Chicago sweeping Miami, 5–0, in a fictional best-of-nine World Series (1989).
  96. President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990).
  97. Chicagoan Carol Moseley-Braun became the first African American woman elected to the US Senate (1992).
  98. Dolly the sheep was cloned (1997).
  99. Millennium Park opened (2004).
  100. The Chicago History Museum celebrated its 150th anniversary (2006).
  101. Western Union sent its last telegram (2006).
  102. Chicago instituted a ban on foie gras (2006) and repealed it (2008).
  103. The US saw nineteen presidents pass through the White House, including the first African American president (Barack Obama, 2009–17).
  104. Wrigley welcomed Lord Stanley during a Crosstown Classic game as part of the Chicago Blackhawks’ victory celebration (2010).
  105. Wrigley Field turned 100 (2014).
  106. Same-sex marriage was legalized in the US (2015).
  107. Lennie Merullo, the last surviving member of the 1945 Cubs team, passed away (2015).
  108. The Chicago Cubs captured the National League pennant and the World Series came to Wrigley (2016).

Compiled by CHM editors Esther D. Wang and Emily H. Nordstrom

Additional Resources

Take a look at images from our Chicago Cubs archive

Read more about the history of baseball in Chicago 


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