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Legendary Coach Dorothy Gaters

To kick off March Madness and Women’s History Month, CHM content manager & editor Heidi Samuelson writes about Dorothy Gaters, a history-making basketball coach. Coach Dorothy Gaters, c. 1992. STM-034072572/Chicago Sun-Times The 2023 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) girls’ basketball 4A, 3A, 2A, and 1A state final tournaments are being held March 2-4 in CEFCU More

The Trianon Ballroom: What Would Have Been 100 Years

Chicago has had more than its fair share of big band and jazz dance halls across the city to accommodate nearly everyone’s musical taste. On December 6, 1922—100 years ago—at 62nd Street and Cottage Grove, in the Woodlawn neighborhood, the Trianon Ballroom opened its doors and counted itself among the city’s nightlife destinations. An undated More

Fashions of the Hour: The Axis of Art and Industry

This post is from Marissa Croft, CHM’s research and insights analyst and author of our Fashion and Costume Research Guide. As a PhD candidate at Northwestern University, she also researches the clothing of the French Revolution and women’s clothing reform movements of the 19th century. As December dawns, many Chicagoans may find themselves fondly reminiscing More

Resurrection Mary, The Hitchhiking Ghost of Archer Avenue

This ghostly image was taken at the Electric Theater night club at 4812 North Clark St., Chicago, April 5, 1968. ST-10003431-0024, Chicago Sun-Times Collection, CHM Chicagoland has a lot of ghost stories, but none are as well-known as the infamous Resurrection Mary, the hitchhiking ghost who haunts the roadsides of Archer Avenue. Mary has different More

The Sanctuary Movement in Chicago

This blog post has been adapted from an essay by CHM intern Megha Khemka, based on her work in the summer of 2022 focused on Chicago’s history with immigration. Whatever your current picture of undocumented individuals, it’s probably incomplete. I know mine was. Immigration was a topic I thought I knew well; my parents were More

Chicago Sings! (In Many Voices)

This blog post has been adapted from an essay by CHM intern Bella Santos, based on her work in the summer of 2022 around the printmaker Carlos Cortéz and the work of student activists at the Chicago History Museum. In September 2019, Anton Miglietta, a history teacher at Instituto Justice and Leadership Academy (ILJA) in More

The Chicago Tylenol Murders

Forty years ago today, a series of grim deaths in the Chicago metropolitan area gripped the nation, changing how American consumers buy over-the-counter medicine and the way public health officials respond to crisis situations. The Chicago Tylenol murders, as they’ve come to be known, began in the morning hours of September 28, 1982, with a More

The Chicago 7 Trial

September 24, 1969, marked the beginning of one of the most infamous trials in U.S. history for eight (later seven) activists linked to the protests that took place in response to the 1968 Democratic National Convention, held in Chicago at the International Amphitheatre on August 26‒29. Eight defendants, Rennie Davis, David Dellinger, John Froines, Tom More

Sidney Lens: The Unrepentant Radical

For Labor Day, we’re highlighting the work of labor leader, antiwar activist, and author Sidney Lens, whose papers are archived at CHM. Ask about them on your next visit to the Abakanowicz Research Center. Staughton Lynd, Rev. James Bevel, Sidney Lens (second from left), and Richard Flacks of the Chicago Area Draft Resisters speak at More

Montgomery Ward’s First Catalog

August 18 is National Mail Order Catalog Day. This year, the Chicago History Museum is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the company responsible for that designation: Montgomery Ward. Portrait of Aaron Montgomery Ward. CHM, ICHi-062410 The well-known company was founded by Aaron Montgomery Ward in 1872, with a mission to make its products more available More