This morning I was on WFLD-TV in Chicago, plugging my book–and I even got to tell a bowling story. Here’s the link–
Archive for January, 2014
As most of you know, I’m a historian by training. My latest history book is now in print, so prepare yourself for some advertising–
Think you know Chicago? If you’re thinking of Al Capone, the ‘L’, the Cubs, Barack Obama, or the Great Fire of 1871, then you are only remembering the highlights from the tour bus. Here’s the rest of the story, day by day.
Chicago opened the first blood bank, invented the vacuum cleaner, and sent a bowling ball around the world. A single high school football game drew over 120,000 people. Chicagoans fought nineteen years over the name of a street. For fifty years they saved a gallows for an escaped killer. And those are just some of the stories.
You’ve just been reading the back cover blurb from my new book, On This Day in Chicago History. It’s not a grand overview of Chicago history. Rather, it’s 366 snapshots, taken at different times. Put them together, and you have a portrait of Chicago.
Like my blog, there’s a bit of everything in the book. Because this is Chicago, you’ll find politics. Crime, too. Read some stories, and you’ll marvel at how things have changed—can you imagine anyone in 2014 trying to protect possessions by inscribing them with a social security number? You’ll also find that Chicagoans of a century ago had many of the same issues as the people of today.
Of course, the 366 stories don’t all carry the same weight. Some are more historically important than others. Because of the format, certain events had to be left out. On August 15, 1812, Fort Dearborn was destroyed. Exactly 155 years later, the Picasso sculpture was unveiled in the Loop. One of these stories had to go. You’ll have to get a copy of the book to see which one I decided to keep.
The publication date is January 21. However, the book is available now for pre-order at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the usual places. Buy several–they’re great gifts to send to Chicago expats who wish they were still here.
And for those of you who clicked on today expecting to find a bowling post, never fear! On This Day in Chicago History has two bowling stories.