October 9, 2021
150 years ago, the Great Fire of 1871 left Chicago in ruins. An estimated 300 people died, 17,000 buildings were destroyed, and 100,000 Chicagoans were left homeless. Yet on Wednesday October 11, 1871 Chicagoans found hope on the front page of the Chicago Tribune which declared, “CHEER UP. In the midst of a calamity without parallel in the world’s history, looking upon the ashes of thirty years’ accumulations, the people of this once beautiful city have resolved that CHICAGO SHALL RISE AGAIN.”
Please join our staff as we discuss the circumstances surrounding the fire and the devastation it left behind. Hear firsthand accounts and recollections of the fire from the staff of the Chicago Tribune. We will also discuss the unprecedented reconstruction project that was rebuilding Chicago and the role of the Chicago Tribune’s Joseph Medill as Chicago’s rebuilding mayor.