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Friday 7/6 - Thursday 7/12

JULY

By Cara Jepsen

6 FRIDAY During World War II, FDR nearly sent the marines to shut down the Tribune after a story on the Battle of Midway suggested that the U.S. had broken the Japanese navy's code--a strategic advantage that until then had been one of the war's best-kept secrets. Luckily, the enemy didn't read the Trib, and a grand jury declined to indict the reporter, his editor, or publisher Robert McCormick for treason. In the course of the war, bombers flew out of Glenview Naval Air Station, aircraft carriers cruised Lake Michigan, submarines traveled the Chicago River, and the city produced over 600 warplanes, 11,000 armored cars and transports, and 70,000 aircraft engines. The local effort is the focus of this week's free Spirit of '41: World War II Remembered exhibit, which includes artifacts, memoirs, model aircraft, and more. It's open today from 11 to 3 (and runs through next Friday) at the Grove National Historic Landmark, 1421 Milwaukee in Glenview. Call 847-299-6096.

7 SATURDAY When he worked at the old Water Tower visitor's center, Herman Schell was often bombarded with questions about the Chicago Fire. So he researched the topic, brought in some maps, and learned to enthrall visitors with stories about the blaze. Now he manages the state's visitor information center and hosts the city's Great Chicago Fire Tour, which covers everything from the site of the O'Leary residence to the most famous survivor of the 1871 conflagration, the Water Tower. Today's tour runs from 10:30 to 2:30 and departs from the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Tickets are $50 and include lunch. Call 312-742-1190.

The attractions at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's brand-new visitor's center include a counterfeit quiz (where folks can try to spot fake greenbacks) and an interactive computer game in which the players take on the role of Alan Greenspan and set monetary policy. The free grand opening takes place today from 11 to 5 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 S. LaSalle (312-322-5112).

"The thing I was after was a strong sense of isolation, of being trapped, trapped by the place, time, and religion and sex roles," says local filmmaker Catherine Crouch about her new "southern gothic" film, Stray Dogs. Set in rural Appalachia and shot in Stockton, Illinois (near Galena), and on a soundstage in Chicago, the film concerns a pregnant woman who must decide whether or not to leave her abusive husband, and is adapted from an award-winning play by Julie Jensen. It'll be screened tonight at 6 and 8:30 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State (312-846-2800); a discussion follows with Crouch and producers Dawn Gray and Yvonne Welbon. Tickets are $8.

8 SUNDAY "Our ride was conceived to complement the Boulevard Lakefront Tour and highlight our favorite north-side neighborhoods," says the Chicago Cycling Club of its Ultimate Neighborhood Ride, a tour that covers Rogers Park, Old Town, Wicker Park, Albany Park, and several other areas. Unlike June's B.L.T., the five-year-old U.N.R. is geared toward hundreds, rather than thousands, of cyclists, which "gives us more flexibility to select smaller and more scenic side streets." The 30-mile ride starts in waves between 7 and 9 at North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski, and takes between three and five hours. (There's also a shorter 20-mile option.) It's $17 to register; guided rides cost an additional $1. Registration is limited to 350 participants; call 773-509-8093.

In addition to the 50 fruit, vegetable, flower, and water gardens on display along the Edgewater Glen Association Garden Walk, visitors can also take a gander at the north-side neighborhood's diverse housing stock, which includes Victorian, Craftsman, and American four-square homes in addition to bungalows and traditional two-, three-, and four-flats. The $2 walk takes place today from noon to 4; its starting point is at 1420 W. Glenlake. Call 773-533-2795.

9 MONDAY Sun-Times columnist, Ebert & Roeper and the Movies cohost, frequent talk show guest, People magazine-anointed eligible bachelor, and author, Richard Roeper must be one of the hardest-working men in showbiz. He's just released his third book, Hollywood Urban Legends: The Truth Behind All Those Delightfully Persistent Myths of Film, Television, and Music, a weighty tome that covers everything from John Wayne's alleged World War II military experience to Marilyn Monroe's dress size. Roeper will read and sign copies tonight at 7 at Borders Books & Music, 830 N. Michigan. It's free; call 312-573-0564.

10 TUESDAY For 110 years, the Illinois House was selected by a cumulative voting system, in which each citizen had three votes. One could devote all three votes to one candidate, or split them among two or three. Each district wound up with three representatives, including both a Democrat and a Republican; the system also made it easier for independents to get elected. Cumulative voting ended in 1980 when voters decided to limit districts to one rep. The members of Illinois Citizens for Proportional Representation are hoping to revive the practice through an amendment on the November 2002 ballot. A thank you dinner for the bill's supporters in the House--who included sponsor Sara Feigenholtz and executive committee chair Dan Burke--takes place tonight from 5 to 7 at Leona's, 646 N. Franklin. Attendance is free, but a food or drink purchase is required. To RSVP, call 312-587-7060.

11 WEDNESDAY Many of the contributors to The Heat: Steelworker Lives & Legends are second- and third-generation steelworkers whose stories and poems reflect how life in the mills has changed over the past 75 years. The stories "are grounded in lived experience and painstakingly crafted," says poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, who edited the book. He and several contributors, including Kathi Wellington Dukes, Joe Guiterrez, and Gary Markley, will be joined by Robert Bruno, author of Steelworker Alley, and Jack Metzger, author of Striking Steel, for a reading tonight at 7:30 at the Guild Complex at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Admission is $5 ($3 for students and seniors). Call 773-227-6117.

Given the success of the Human Genome Project, the world of the 1997 sci-fi thriller Gattaca, in which a person's DNA determines his or her social position, doesn't seem too far off. Tonight at 8 a panel of experts will discuss the impact that the project's findings may have on everyday life, touching on the implications for health care, insurance, privacy, discrimination, and the legal system. Panelists include attorney Lynn D. Fleisher, law and medical ethics professor Pilar Ossorio, Northwestern University Medical School reproductive genetics program director Eugene Pergament, and Field Museum curator of anthropology John Edward Terrell. The discussion will be moderated by journalist Mara Tapp and takes place at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, 9501 Skokie Boulevard in Skokie (847-459-1300, ext. 7136). It's free.

12 THURSDAY One of the largest collections of pamphlets from the French Revolution outside France--some 26,000 items--is housed in the special collections section of the Newberry Library. The collection also includes money and a certificate of "non-noblesse," which the French displayed to prove they should not be targeted by revolutionaries. The pamphlets provide a stepping-off point for today's free panel discussion, Revolution and Changing Identities in France, 1787-1799. It's at 6 at the Alliance Francaise de Chicago, 54 W. Chicago (312-337-1070).

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