Suggested Topics - Chicago Metro History

By Stanley Robertson,2014-06-17 15:52
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Suggested Topics - Chicago Metro History ...

    Chicago History Fair

    Suggested Topics for

    “Innovation in History: Impact & Change”

    These are only some topic ideas it is up to YOU, the historian, to find the

    information and sources that will make the story come alive. Once your

    subject is determined and research begins, you will have to move from the

    narrow topic to a HISTORICAL QUESTION.

    Every field has a history… Using a basic biographical source or other quick reference tool you can

    determine if the person or the issue is intriguing enough to investigate further

    or sparks another idea. These topics also may inspire you to seek personal

    stories connected to your own lives and communities.

? 911: A New Way to Meet Emergencies

    ? AACM Innovations in Jazz

    ? American Little Theater Movement

    ? Architecturesteel structured building, Sears, Mies, Wright, Sullivan, bungalows ? Art Institute and art for the public

    ? Auditorium Building: A History of Innovations

    ? Balaban and Katz and Movie Palaces

    ? Bill Veeck: legendary owner of the Chicago White Sox - responsible for many

    innovations that changed the character of major league baseball

    ? Burnham Plan

    ? Case of Dorothy Gautreaux vs. Patricia Harris, Secretary of the Dept. of Health

    and Human Services and the Chicago Housing Authority: tacked discriminatory

    practices in the housing market

    ? Chicago and Early Film Industry

    ? Chicago Area Project’s Study of Neighborhoods

    ? Chicago balloon-frame houses

    ? Chicago Blues in 1950s

    ? Chicago Board of Trade

    ? Chicago Doctors and innovation in heart surgery

    ? Chicago Jazz, 1910-1930: New Forms, New Sounds

    ? Chicago River: reversing the flow improved the health of Chicago residents with

    cleaner drinking water, but what occurred downstate where the diverted water


    ? Chicago School of Literature

    ? Chicago School of Sociology

    ? Chicago Tract Society and moral reform

    ? Chicago Vice Commission

    ? CIO's "Negro and White Unite"

    ? Claude Barnett and the Associated Negro Press

    ? Combating VD: The Institute of Sex Hygiene

    ? Creation of the Juvenile Court System

    ? DePaul University’s Black Student Union: May 1969 held a strike to call attention

    to conditions for Black and minority students

    ? Dr. Berry and his Gastroendoscope

    ? Early Chicago Architecture and the Skyscraper

? Effect of industrialism…pollution, poverty, need for culture, naturalism writing

    ? Enrico Fermi and Splitting the Atom

    ? Ferris Wheel at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago: engineering


    ? From Military to Civilian: the Creation of the Urban Trauma Units ? Gospel Music and a New Way to Pray

    ? Harlem Globetrotters & Segregated Basketball

    ? Harriet Monroe & the Creation of Modern Poetry

    ? HERS: Feminism and the Protection of Women

    ? Housing is a Right - the Introduction of Public Housing ? Illinois and Michigan Canal: Connecting Chicago to the World ? Immigrant Protective League

    ? Innovations from World’s Fairs that Changed Society

    ? Introduction of Bicycles: From Elite to Mass

    ? Invention of the cafeteria

    ? James Watson and DNA

    ? John Johnson’s Innovations in Publishing

    ? La Leche League: formed in 1956 by a group of seven mothers who wanted to

    provide breastfeeding support to interested women (breastfeeding was not

    encouraged by doctors at that time)

    ? Lakefront as public space

    ? Let there be light! How street lighting changed the city ? Madeline Morgan and the Making of the First Black Studies Curriculum ? Mail-Order Catalogs: Bringing the Store to the Home

    ? Making the City Healthy: Chicago's Struggle Against Sewage ? Mary Alice McWhinnie first female scientist to join the U.S. Antarctica

    Research Program

    ? Meatpacking and the "disassembly line"

    ? Moving the City People: Electric Interurban Railways

    ? New Thinking on Education: John Dewey and Francis Parker ? Paul Galvin Changes the Way We Communicate

    ? Pioneer Zephyr and the Modern Train

    ? Police Crowd Control following DNC

    ? Preston Tucker: designed and built automobiles with new safety features ? Public Health Innovations: Epidemics, Pasteurization, Baby Tents, Pediatrics ? Pullman Cars and Luxury Train Travel

    ? Pullman: A Model Town for Workers

    ? Rand McNally and the mass production of maps

    ? Ray Kroc and fast food

    ? Refrigerated rail car

    ? Reversal of the River

    ? Rise of hospital birth movement, Joseph Bolivar DeLee and Chicago Lying-In ? Robert Taylor Homes and Large-Scale Public Housing

    ? Saul Alinsky and Community organizing

    ? Second City and improvisational comedy

    ? Segregated Medicine and the ―Restraint of Trade‖ Innovative Lawsuit

    ? Sheppard-Towner Act and Maternal Welfare

    ? Special Olympics

    ? Studs Terkel’s Books: influenced generations of documentarians and changed the

    face of oral history

    ? The ―Untrammeled Liberty‖ of Margaret Anderson

? The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters: African Americans in the Labor


    ? The Chicago Black Renaissance: Identity and Expression

    ? The Chicago Freedom Movement: Bringing the Civil Rights Movement


    ? The Chicago Woman's Club: Influencing Politics through Other Means

    ? The Conservation Movement

    ? The Development of animal cruelty legislation and ISPCA

    ? The Development of City Parks

    ? The Eight-Hour Movement: New Labor Activism

    ? The Golden Apple Scholarship Program: revolutionary idea on how to improve

    education in Chicago Public Schools

    ? The Industrial Workers of the World as a Radical Labor Union

    ? The Juvenile Protective Association

    ? The Marriage of Industrial Production and Art: Arts and Crafts Society

    ? The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Avant-Garde

    ? The Negro National League as a Response to Segregated Baseball

    ? The Playground Movement

    ? The Race to Patent the Telephone

    ? The South Side Community Art Center and Making Arts Available to All

    ? The Union Stock Yard: Feeding a Country

    ? Title 9

    ? Washing machines and modern appliances change the home

    ? When Privatization Didn’t Work: Creating CTA ? Women's World Fairs

    ? Worshipping ―Up South‖ with Elder Lucy Smith ? WTTW and public broadcasting

    Separating the Men from the Boys: Juvenile Courts The first juvenile court in the United States was established in Chicago in 1899 but not everyone

    was satisfied with separating boys and girls from older criminals (in the courts or in jail). This

    innovative way of thinking about rehabilitation, understanding childhood, and protecting children

    eventually spawned a nationwide effort to reform the court system.

    Brightening Up the Room: Art in Public Schools Is school just about reading, writing, and arithmetic? Not according to several social workers and

    educators at Hull House. They successfully introduced an art curriculum into the public schools

    (after decades of work) and made educators, administrators, and teachers rethink how children learn

    and how art may inspire students.

Breakthroughs in Surgical Care

    In 1952, Chicago was the site of the first surgical separation of twins conjoined at the head in which at least one child survived. The surgery was performed on Rodney and Roger Brodie by

    neurosurgeon Dr. Oscar Sugar. This groundbreaking surgery attracted national attention, and the

    Brodie twins were the subjects of many newspaper and magazine articles.

    Save the Lake! Environmental Activism and Education After decades of neglect and public apathy, by the 1970s, environmentalists and lawmakers

    recognized the need to clean up the Great Lakes. But how can you get the public involved? What

    laws were most helpful? Last, what groundbreaking ways of treating and regulating raw sewage

    and industrial pollution were used to clean up the lake and Chicago River?

Fight the Power: Urban Reformers and Your Vote

    New voting machines, sweeping voter registration drives, and election education that used different

    and innovative types of media transformed how citizens learned of candidates and understood

    elections. How could you know if your vote was counted when the ―machine,‖ its committeemen, politicians, and neighborhood groups had an interest in getting their candidate elected? With the

    creation of the League of Women Voters and the election of reform candidates to city and county The Cancer “Cure” and Improvements to Scientific Peer Review government, your chances improved. What happens when an ―innovation‖ turns out to be a hoax? In the early 1950s, Dr. Andrew C. Ivy of

    the University of Illinois at Chicago became convinced that the drug Krebiozen could cure cancer. He

    promoted the drug vigorously, but studies soon showed that the drug had no effect on cancer. A

    major scandal erupted at the University and in the medical community over this pseudo-innovation.

Reforming Youth Gangs

    Programs like CAPS and DARE are not new ideas. In fact, at the turn of the twentieth century and well

    into the 1950s and 1960s, police departments, sociologists, and criminologists pioneered several tactics

    to keep kids out of gangs, train them for jobs, and, in some cases, co-opt the gangs into pursuing recreational outlets like forming baseball, basketball, and other sports teams. These new ways of

    approaching gang members, involving the community, and increasing mentorship opportunities formed

    the basis for today’s anti-gang programs.

    A New Concept or a Throwback? Midwives of the 1970s In the 1970s, as the women’s movement grew in strength, debates over childbirth raged. Should

    mothers have their babies in a hospital or at home? Who was qualified to deliver babies? Lillian

    Runnerstom helped to found a pioneering program in nurse-midwifery at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1972. While midwives had been delivering babies for centuries, the nurse-midwifery program provided a new level of professional training, helped promote the role of midwives in childbirth, and provided new opportunities for women in medicine.

Reforming Blue Mondays

    Jessie Cartwright received a degree in home economics in the early 20th century, at a time when

    the field focused on the reform potential of homemaking. She began her career, however, in the

    1940s when corporations began employing home economists to improve and promote their

    products. An inventor of aids to improve laundry machine efficiency, Cartwright’s work to relieve

    the backbreaking labor of Blue Monday (laundry day) reflected both its Progressive Era reform

    origins and its corporate support.

    Public Safety and Sanitation Helping the Animals in Our Midst The ASPCA chapter in Chicago during the nineteenth century used new state and local laws to protect

    horses and other animals from abusive and negligent owners. Animal abuse forced city leaders to

    create new public policies aimed at providing food, protection, and water to horses and other beasts of

    burden. But who is responsible for providing the animals water during the hot summer or protection

    from the cold in winter? What if a horse died on a public street? Who was responsible for the humane

    treatment of animals the city or the citizen?

    Challenging Higher Education New Programs and Initiatives: “Negro History” How ―history‖ is taught and interpreted changes from year to year. In the late 1960s, the University

    of Illinois at Chicago ran a program to train high school teachers how to teach ―Negro history.‖ The

    program showed teachers how to cover topics that might not be given much attention in traditional

    lesson plans, like slavery and life in urban ghettos. The program only lasted a few years, but it was

    innovative in its attempt to include African-American experiences in history lessons.

The Importance of Play

    Neva Boyd was a proponent of the modern play movement, which emphasized the importance of

    recreation in socializing individuals. Boyd founded the Recreational Training School which met at

    the Hull-House settlement house and taught group games, gymnastics, dancing, dramatic arts, and

    play theory as a method of solving social problems.

Friends in High Places: The Citizens Association of Chicago

    Three years after the 1871 fire, the Chicago fire department was still unable to meet the needs of most Chicagoans. Enter the Citizens Association of Chicago. They not only called for and lobbied

    for new and better fire equipment, but for the wholesale modernization of city services. Other

    questions of urban governance and the use of technology (i.e. police relays, fire calls, sewer

    systems, water delivery methods, streamlining metropolitan government) received quite a bit of

    attention from the Association. The Association used the latest methods and studies to support their

    claims on how to improve the quality of life for city residents.

    Challenging Higher Education New Programs and Initiatives: Black Studies In the 1970s, a Black Studies department was founded at the University of Illinois at Chicago,

    bringing a new academic field to the university. Grace Holt was an important figure in the

    creation and early years of the department. She is also known for her groundbreaking approach to

    teaching reading; she believed that African-American dialect (sometimes known as Ebonics)

    could be used in the classroom to help teach young African-American children to read.

    Bulldozing Blight: New Approaches to Urban Planning and Slum Clearance Public housing has been on the agenda of local, state, and national leaders since the First World

    War. In Chicago, the 1940s and 1950s saw the bulldozing of hundreds of square miles of

    dilapidated housing and the building of high-rise ―projects‖. Seen as the most innovative designs

    to date, the city, along with private developers in several cases, built thousands of homes for lower and middle class families. How did these innovations in housing transform our

    understanding of urban planning?

Challenging Higher Education New Programs and Initiatives: Minorities in the Health


    In the 1970s, despite the gains of the civil rights movement, African-Americans and other minorities were underrepresented in the field of medicine. The University of Illinois at Chicago

    created a new program called the Urban Health Program to recruit minorities into the health professions. The program provided new opportunities for African Americans, Latinos, and others

    to become doctors, nurses, and other health care workers.

Sex Education for Young People?

    According to early efforts by the Institute For Sex Education, sex education should be used to stop the spread of venereal disease. Over time, the institute was able to introduce innovative ways of

    teaching sexuality to young adults. They changed the way parents and educators saw their role in

    teaching the ―Birds and the Bees.‖ Over a period of sixty years, and with the help of the sexual

    revolution of the 1960s, sex education eventually received endorsements from hundreds of high

    school administrators in Chicago and across the country.

    Challenging Higher Education New Programs and Initiatives: LGBT at UIC In the late 1980s, a student group called the Pink Triangle Association for Gays and Lesbians at UIC

    was formed at the University of Illinois of Chicago to provide programs for students and foster a

    diverse learning environment. The group later changed its name to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance at

    UIC. At around the same time that the student group was founded, University administrators formed

    a Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues. These innovative steps reflect a new awareness of LGBT identities and issues at the university.

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