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A Commoner's Map of Chicago


Chicago, like ancient Troy, lives on top of its own history and is unaware of its existence. Historical sites are inexorably covered by freeways, rusty plaques fall off and are forgotten, street names change and highrises are built. The places on this map are mostly scenes of racial or labor strife, political scandals, disasters of one kind or another—but that's how it goes in Chicago. The grand and mighty have built their own monuments (visit Graceland or Rosehill cemeteries—or the Loop, for that matter). They can afford the upkeep.

1) At the intersection of Rogers, Kilbourn and Caldwell Avenues—the last Indian gatherings in Chicago, the Potawatomi "pow-wow" of 1835 took place here. An "Old Treaty Elm" stood until 1933.

2) Belden Ave., and Clark St., NE corner —House of Dr. John Foster, the last building burned in the Fire.

3) Garibaldi Statue, Lincoln Park—gathering point for the Weathermen on their first "day of rage," Oct. 8, 1969.

4) 2122 N. Clark St.—In the S.M.C. Cartage Company (no longer in existence), seven gangsters were machine-gunned to death on St. Valentine's Day, 1929.

5) 2433 N. Lincoln—At the Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934, John Dillinger was done in by "the Lady in Red."

6) State Parkway, vicinity of Lincoln Park—Hugh Hefner was whacked on the rear by a policeman's club, August 26, 1968. The next day he announced that he would commit all the forces of the Playboy Empire to "develop a new politics," thereby changing the course of Western Civilization.

7) Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr.—The original Fort Dearborn.

8) Dearborn and Water Streets (approx.)—the cabin of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, Chicago's first non-Indian resident and a black man.

9) Michigan and Balbo—site of the televised "massacre" during the Democratic convention, Wednesday evening, August 28, 1968.

10) 401 N. Michigan—The Equitable Life building, once the front yard of Chicago's first white resident (and a good friend of the Indians), John H. Kinzie.

11) Randolph St., between Desplaines and Halsted—Haymarket Square, once a long oblong open space where seven policemen (and nobody knows how many workingmen) died on May 4, 1886. Seven anarchists were convicted of conspiracy and sentenced to hang; four were executed. The original statue commemorated the event was bombed on Oct. 6, 1969, an act Mayor Daley called "an attack on all the citizens of Chicago."

12) 2337 W. Monroe—The Chicago Police raid Black Panther party, December 4, 1969.

13) 800 S. Halsted—original site of Hull House, founded 1889.

14) 219 S. Dearborn—Federal Building, site of the Chicago 7 conspiracy trail and other aberrations of justice.

15)Under 100 W. Monroe St.—A passageway 177 feet long, reserved forever as a cow path by terms of a deed signed by Willard Jones in 1844. After 1871, when the City Council outlawed driving cattle downtown, the path was used for many years as a short-cut by neighborhood residents.

16) 35th and Wabash—Focus of violence during the race riot of 1919. On Monday,July 29, 100 policemen faced 1,500 blacks on this corner, and four black men were shot to death. The riot's final toll was 38 dead, 537 injured.

17) Corner of Adams & LaSalle—the last wild bear was killed in Chicago, 1834.

18) Illinois Central tracks, Kensington Station—The first violence of the Pullman Strike, July 5, 1894.

19) 558 DeKoven Street—Mrs. O'Leary's, start of the Great Fire of 1871.

20) Vicinity of 55th and Pulaski (Gage Park neighborhood)—Rev. Martin Luther King was hit by a brick during a civil rights march, 1966.

21) 18th St. and Calumet Ave—The Fort Dearborn massacre, 1812.

22) 33rd St. and Cottage Grove—Camp Douglas, prisoner of war camp. At least 4,000 Confederate soldiers died here.

23) 3536 S. Lowe Ave.—Libby Prison,a Civil War prison camp reconstructed in Chicago as an amusement park! in 1890, later incorporated into the Coliseum; site of Hinky Dink's famous First Ward Balls.

25) Stony Island, between 56th and 58th Sts.—The South Side "bohemia," home of artists and intelligensia during the 1920s and 30s.

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