Monday, July 24, 2017

The Second Worlds Fair In Chicago

Since the first fair in 1893 made famous in the book Devil in the White City people assume the Colombian Exposition was it. But forty years later there was another fair in 1933. This time the fair was during the worst year of the Great Depression and while there was no mass murderer like Dr. Holmes there was Al Capone. Arguably Capone was more of a mass killer than Holmes could ever hope to be and this presented a problem for Chicago. How do you have a Worlds Fair when everyone thinks Chicago is out of control?

The truth was Chicago was out of control. Capone had a lock down on the cops, the judges, the mayor, witnesses...basically the city. It is hard to believed a major American city could come under the control of one man but that was the situation. The St. Valentines Day Massacre confirmed to the world that Chicago was under the thumb of gangsters. Worse, the city was due to have a Worlds Fair in 1933 which would turn out to be the worst year of the Great Depression with the city literally broke.

tt would take Six Millionaires banning  together to get rid of Capone while the Worlds Fair was built with private funds from corporations and some very creative financing. Judy Garland would sing, Sally Rand would dance, the Zephyr would a record with a run from Denver to Chicago, people would see an image from a device called television, make a long distance call, and go on the Sky Ride which would take people higher than they had ever been before.

How Chicago pulled off  A Century of Progress and rid the city of AL Capone is the story of the Worlds Fair  of 1933...the Second Worlds Fair in Chicago.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Books by William Hazelgrove