Illinois Printers — A Printer’s Paradise
THE CITY of Chicago gets a bad rap and, as a result, the state of Illinois gets tagged as a troublemaker. And it all started, depending upon which legend you believe, with Kate O’Leary’s cow.
It’s a sad city that blames a cow on its misfortunes, but that’s Chi-town’s issue. Fact of the matter is, on October 9, 1871, a fire tore through the Windy City that may have been started by Daisy, Gwendolyn, Bessy, Ryno or whatever the bovine’s moniker. The cow booted a lantern and, a few hundred alarms later, Chicago was engulfed—so badly, in fact, that they named it the Great Chicago Fire. A little lacking in creativity, sure, but you know it’s one heck of a fire when they capitalize its name.
The fire didn’t appear to have the moral cleansing effect such an event would conjure, like a flood or an ice age. Chicago quickly turned crooked before the roaring ’20s could make any noise. The South Side’s White Sox, champions of baseball in 1917, got fed up with owner Charles Commisky’s penny-pinching, miserly ways and allegedly agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds for $10,000 or $20,000 per player (depending upon who you believe).
It was an amateurish scheme: innocent players like Joe Jackson were implicated, while the guilty players avoided jail time because the jury was filled with baseball fans. In the end, eight players were kicked out of baseball for life and beyond. Jackson, one of the top 10 players in history, is still ineligible for the baseball Hall of Fame.
Home of the Infamous
Alphonse Capone’s emergence as Public Enemy No. 1 among mobsters certainly didn’t do anything for the city’s image, either, turning Prohibition into his own money-making playground. Sure, he might have been Brooklyn born, but his reputation was forged in the Windy City.