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100 Years Ago: Chicago's 75th Birthday

Chicago celebrates its 175th birthday today and news of the festivities reminds me of--well, actually, it reminds me of Valentine Smith, my husband's 1st cousin 3 times removed. In January of 1912, she urged the city fathers to create a public holiday and fund a 75th birthday party for the city but they chose, instead, to read the incorporation documents in a city council meeting.

Twenty-five years later, though, they threw a party and invited the world to stop by. Chicago celebrated its centennial with the Century of Progress Exposition. Unfortunately, by that time Valentine was living at the Kankakee State Hospital. Even if she caught word of the world's fair, I think it's unlikely that she was able to attend. If she had gone, though, she would have liked it. A lot.

The Chicago Tribune, January 22, 1912, p. 11 (obtained from Fold3.com)

Chicago Tribune, March 4, 1912, p. 1 (obtained from Fold3.com)

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