Friday, February 12, 2016

Charles Weeghman-- Part 2: Weeghman Park Became Wrigley Field

He also had a great interest in baseball.  In 1911, he tried to purchase controlling interest in the St. louis Cardinals, but failed.  He then founded the Chicago Whales in the new Federal League and built a new steel and concrete stadium he named Weeghman Park.  He chose the site specifically because it was by the "L" tracks.

After the federal league folded, he merged the Whales with the Chicago Cubs and became the majority owner and moved the Cubs into his new park which is now known better as Wrigley Field.

On August 16, 1921, he sponsored the first statewide rally of the KKK on his property in Lake Zurich, Illinois.  It was estimated that some 12,000 attended and another 2,000 were initiated into the organization.

His lunch counter business lost favor with the public and he had to sell more and more of the Cubs to chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr.  he was completely out of the Cubs by 1918.


Charles Weeghman-- Part 1, Chicago Entrepreneur and Cubs Owner

From Wikipedia.

I have been writing about the KKK in the Chicago area in the 1920s and their big initiation ceremony at the farm of millionaire Charles Weeghman in Lake Zurich, Illinois.

March 12, 1874-November 1, 1938

A founder of the short-lived Federal league (1914-1915).  made a fortune running a type of early fast food franchise in the Chicago area..  he worked for Charlie King in his restaurant and came up the idea of serving only cold sandwiches and cramming his diners together at one-armed school desks so that he could fit more chairs into his stores.

He eventually owned 15 stores in the Chicago area.  It was reported that his place at Madison and Dearborn in Chicago served 35,000 people a day.  At one time his net worth was put at $8 million.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

KKK in Chicago in the 1920s-- Part 3: Newspaper Reactions

The city's black newspaper, the Chicago defender editorialized:  "The Ku Klux Klan has reached Chicago:  Full page ads in the papers, followed by the announcement that 12,000 of them had met at Charles Weeghman's farm thirty miles out of town, and in the pouring rain initiated nearly 3,000 more, ought to jar us off our do-nothing stools."

The Chicago tribune also decried the coming of the KKK, but said it went against the goals of the original KKK saying:  "The first Ku Klux Klan grew out of intolerable conditions in the south and passed away when the danger of Negro domination and the plague of carpetbagger were lifted.

"It was born in an emergency and, while evils were committed in its name, it served an important end, while contributing one of the romantic episodes of our history."

Imagine any newspaper saying this today?


KKK in Chicago in the 1920s-- Part 2: On the Farm of Charles Weeghman

"The restored KKK's membership wasn't limited to the lower middle class, the traditional breeding ground of xenophobic political movements.  The mass initiation ceremony was held on a farm near Lake Zurich owned by Charles Weeghman, whose string of cheap Loop restaurants had made him a millionaire.

Weeghman built the North Side ballpark subsequently known as Wrigley Field and owned the Cubs from 1916-1918.

"Perhaps he was one of the business leaders attracted to the KKK by its hostility to the union movement, which the Klan equated with the Bolsheviks who recently seized power in Russia, a powerful argument during a wave of bitter strikes in America."

I looked up the location of Weeghman's farm and saw that it wasa 250-acre farm at the intersection of today's US-12 and Old Rand Road between Lake Zurich and Barrington.  Old Rand Road was the name of US-12 before the byopass was built and still exists.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

KKK in Chicago in the 1920s-- Part 1

From the Jan. 25, 2015, Chicago Tribune Flashback "Chicago and the KKK" by Ron Grossman.

In the 1920s, the Klan found fertile recruiting ground in the North.

They gathered August 16, 1921, at Central Park Avenue, just south of Foster Avenue in Chicago and then formed a car caravan to a destination in the suburbs near today's US-12 and Old Rand Road.

There they held a mass initiation ceremony called "naturalization."

The Tribune reported the next day: "A huge bonfire had been lighted.  Thousands of members of the order, each bearing aloft a torch, took position in the form of a blazing cross.  The blindfolded initiates were herded inside.  Upon the weird assemblage the searchlights of the automobiles drawn about in a great assembly shone with white intensity.

"Pickets patrolled beyond the pale, terrifying the curious citizens of the countryside by their grotesque appearances."


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

10 Everyday Words With Unsuspected Origins-- Part 2: Quarrel

5.  VILLAIN (N)--  Person  guilty or capable of a crime. Origin:  farm workers

4.  POOP  (N)--  Well, you know.  Origin:  An abrupt sound from a wind instrument.

3.  QUARREL  (N)--  Angry argument or disagreement. Origin:  A square-headed crossbow bolt.

2.  SWASTIKA  (N)--  Symbol of the Nazi Party or Third Reich.  Origin:  Well-being and good luck.

1.  SABOTAGE  (N)--  Deliberately destroy, damage or obstruct.  Origin:  To walk noisily wearing wooden shoes.

Women in High Heels Sure Sabotage.  CootStompStomper

10 Everyday Words With Unsuspected Origins-- Part 1: Ostracize

From the June 10, 2013, Listverse by Andrew Handley.

10.  BLATANT (N) Completely lacking in subtlety, very obvious  Origin:  a thousand-tongued beast from hell.

9.  GEEK (N)  An unfashionable or socially inept person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest (computer geek).  Origin:  AQ circus sideshow freak.

8.  HAZARD  (N)  Danger or risk  Origin:  Gambling game played with dice.

7.  OSTRACIZE  (N)   To exclude someone from a society or group.  Origin:  A government procedure to literally  ban a person from Athens B.C. for ten years.

6.  TOXIC  (N)  Poisonous  Origin:  Greek archery


10 Topics Guaranteed to Start an Argument

From the June 10, 2013, Listverse by Morris M. June.

And, he has his reasons.  Check them out.

10.  The existence of God
9.  The Israel/Palestine Question
8.  Taxation

7.  Feminism
6.  Circumcision
5.  Islam
4.  Freedom of speech

3.  Climate change
2.  Holocaust
1.  Abortion


Monday, February 8, 2016

10 Historically Significant Sites Destroyed for Awful Reasons-- Part 2

Continued from Jan. 25, 2016.

5.  And Most of China which has a really staggering lack of preservation because of land development.  Large portions of the Great Wall are gone.

4.  Buddha Statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2001.

3.  Mayan pyramid, 2,300 years old in Belize.  used for gravel.

2.  The Berlin Wall.  Some of it still sands, but not much.

1.  Mecca  Holiest Muslim site.  A victim of urbanization and capitalism.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Looking Back 100 Years Ago: Kishwaukee River Rampage

Feb. 1916, 100 years ago.  "The old Kishwaukee (actually more of a creek than river) was on the rampage last Friday and Saturday.  The ice went out and considerable damage was threatened for a time.  Both Kirkland bridges escaped serious injury, but one of the abutments of the Cottrell Bridge was undermines, causing serious damage."


Looking Back: 100 Years Ago in DeKalb County, Illinois: An Old-Time Dance and Chief Shabbona

From the February 3, 2016, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Ill.)

1916, 100 years ago:  "An old-time dance will be given at Pierre Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 2, under the floor management of August T. Peterson.  The Van Dresser Orchestra will furnish the music.  All are invited.  Tickets 50 cents."  I have to sort of wonder what old-time music 100 years ago would be.

Also Feb. 1916  "Chief Shabbona's grandson, John Shabbona, visited this area to obtain a certified copy of the deed by which 'Shab-eh-nay' conveyed for $600, 320 acres of land in this county reserved for him by the government."  Was this what the chief got for giving up claims for the land?  Was there some question as to the deed's legitimacy?


Thursday, February 4, 2016

100 Movies to See Before You Die-- Part 5: "To Kill a Mocking Bird"

Singing in the Rain  (1952)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  (1937)
Some Like It Hot  (1959)
The Sound of Music  (1965)
Star Wars:  Episode IV: A New Hope  (1977)

Sunset Boulevard  (1950)
Terminator 2:  Judgement Day  (1991)
The Third Man  (1949)
This Is Spinal Tap  (1984)
Titanic  (1997)

To Kill a Mocking Bird  (1962)
Toy Story  (1995)
The Usual Suspects  (1995)
Vertigo  (1958)
When Harry Met Sally  (1989)

Wild Strawberries  (1957)
Wings of Desire  (1987)
The Wizard of Oz  (1839)
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown  (1988)
The World of Apu  (1959)


100 Movies to See Before You Die-- Part 4 "Psycho"

On the Waterfront  (1954)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest  (1975)
Paths of Glory  (1958)
Princess Mononoke  (1999)  Never heard of this one.
Psycho  (1960)

Pulp Fiction  (1994)
Raging Bull  (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark  (1981)
Raise the Red Lantern  (1992)  Never heard of this one either.
Roshomon  (1951)  Like the above.

Rear Window  (1994)
Rebel Without a Cause  (1955)
Rocky  (1976)
Roman Holiday  (1953)
Saving Private Ryan  (1998)

Schindler's List  (1993)
The Searchers  (1956)
Seven Samurai  (1954)
The Shawshank Redemption  (1994)
The Silence of the Lambs  (1991)


100 Movies to See Before You Die-- Part 3: "Groundhog Day"

Grand Illusion  (1938)
Groundhog Day  (1993)
A Hard Day's Night  (1964)
In the Mood for Love  (2001)
It Happened One Night  (1934)

It's a Wonderful Life  (1946)
Jaws  (1975)
King Kong  (1932)
The Lady Eve  (1941)
Lawrence of Arabia  (1962)

The Lord of the Rings  (2001)
M  (1931
M*A*S*H  (1970)
The Maltese Falcon  (1941)
The Matrix  (1999)

Modern Times  (1936)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail  (1975)
National lampoon's Animal House  (1978)
Network  (1976)
Nosferatu  (1922)


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

100 Movies to See Before You Die-- Part 2: "Citizen Kane"

Casablanca  (1941)
Chinatown  (1974)
Citizen Kane  (1941)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (2000)
Die Hard  (1988)

Do the Right Thing  (1989)
Double Indemnity  (1944)
Dr. Strangelove  (1964)
Duck Soup  (1933)
E.T. The Extra-terrestrial (1982)

Enter the Dragon  (1973)
The Exorcist  (1973)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High  (1982)
The French Connection  (1971)
The Godfather  (1972)

The Godfather- Part 2  (1974)
Goldfinger  (1964)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly  (1968)
Goodfellas  (1990)
The Graduate  (1967)


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

100 Movies to See Before You Die-- Part 1: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

From Yahoo! Movies.

12 Angry Men (1957)
2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)
The 400 Blows  (1959)
8 1/2  (1963)
The African Queen  (1952)

The Bicycle Thief  (1948)
Alien  (1979)
All About Eve  (1950)
Annie Hall  (1977)
Apocalypse Now  (1979)

The Battle of Algiers  (1967)
Blade Runner
Blazing Saddles  (1974)
Blow Up  (1966)
Blue Velvet  (1986)

Bonnie and Clyde  (1967)
Breathless  (1960)
The Bridge Over the River Kwai  (1957)
Bringing Up Baby  (1938)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid  (1969)

Cue It Up.  --DaCoot

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Sweaters-- Part 4: Wall Street's Sweater Girl and Ugly Christmas Sweaters

9.  For a short time in late 1968, Francine Gottfried was famous.  Dubbed "WALL STREET'S SWEATER GIRL," the 21-year-old bank data processing worker took the same route to work every day, and large crowds of men began gathering near the New York Stock Exchange to ogle her tight sweaters.

Before the furor subsided, 10,000 gawkers showed up one day.  "These people in Wall Street have the responsibility of handling millions of dollars and they act like they are out of their minds," said Gottfried, who moved on to work somewhere else.  Her treatment inspired feminists to stage an "Ogle-In" on June 9, 1970, leering at male passers-by and commenting loudly about their body parts.

10.  UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATERS used to be what made your grandmother special.  Now they are a thing, a meme, a point of (ironic) hipster pride-- and big business.  There are a 21-event 5K charity race series and numerous pub crawls, and the so-called National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is the second Friday of September.

People hold ugly-sweater-themed parties, and if you can't figure out how to do it by yourself, there's a book.  Major retailers claim to have have THE ugliest sweater.

I feel that I Missed Out in 1968.  --Cootleer