Presentation Slide 1 - Historic U.S. 66
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Lincoln Slide 1 - Postcard of Lincoln Billboard
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Bunyon Giant in Atlanta Illinois from Route 66 on a Tank of Gas
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Proposed Highways from Burnham's Plan of Chicago
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Slide 32-Illinois-Buckingham Fountain
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Lincoln Presentation-Larger than Life Lincoln driving a wagon
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1916 Auto Trails Map from Route 66 on a Tank of Gas
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Lake Shore Drive in 1906, a prototypical highway as proposed by the Plan of Chicago
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Slide 45-Kansas-Eisler Bros. & Rainbow Bridge
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Lincoln Presentation-site of Final Lincoln-Douglas Debate
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Henry's Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, Illinois from Route 66 on a Tank of Gas
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Lake Shore Drive from the 1940s, beyond the scope of the highways of the Plan of Chicago
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Slide 55-Texas-Tower Service & U Drop Inn
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Lincoln Presentation--Lincoln on bench in Bloomington
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Slide 66-Arizona-Wig Wam Motel
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Lincoln Presentation--Inside Lincoln Presidential Museum
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Windy City Road Warrior Presentations--
Bringing the Highways of History to YOU!

If you are looking for interesting presentations for your museum, library, social group, or any other type of organization, please consider tapping into the informational and visual resources available from Windy City Road Warrior.com! Our current PowerPoint Presentations include:

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Route 66 Programs--

Chicago History & Architecture--

Illinois History--

Various Subjects--

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Intro Slide for our Standard Presentation

Route 66: A Journey Through History

The Historic Route 66 presentation begins with a video montage of contemporary Route 66 scenes. Next, a short discussion of the history of road building in the United States notes that many of our current highways (including Route 66) follow trails first blazed by Native American footpaths, 19th century canals, and railroad trunk lines. We explore why Route 66 "winds from Chicago to L.A.," and we look at the historic biography of the local thoroughfares that carried the highway's traffic in the Chicago area.

Next, a video slide show of images depicts the damage done to Route 66 cities and towns by the passing of time and the migration of through traffic onto the Interstates. From the west side of Chicago, through neglected areas of otherwise thriving communities and through ghost towns like Glen Rio and Goffs, the photos show desolation caused by the bypass of previously-thriving corridors of travel. However, these images do not spell the "End of Route 66."

The final section of the presentation is a "virtual tour" of Route 66 today. Through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, the images show the vibrant life still lived along the highway corridor, despite the fact of Route 66's "official" de-commissioning in the 1980s. Amidst the decay caused by the interstates, thrifty and industrious business owners and highway enthusiasts continue to breath life and longevity into America's Main Street, the Mother Road, Route 66.

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The Bunyon Giant in Atlanta, Illinois

Route 66 on a Tank of Gas: The Mother Road in Illinois

Many travelers believe that Route 66 in Illinois has more attractions per mile than any other state. With our high price of gasoline, people are deciding to remain closer to home on their vacations. Route 66 on a Tank of Gas shows the many Mother Road attractions in the Land of Lincoln, within 300 miles of Chicago.

The program begins with an overview of road building in Illinois, from our dependence upon the railroad to our early efforts to create “good roads” with county-wide programs and privately-marked Auto Trails. In 1918, the State legislature passed “An Act to Build Hard Surfaces upon the Public Highways in the State,” which gives the Illinois Division of Highways jurisdiction to improve and maintain a network of primary trunk roads. Financed by $160 million in road bonds backed by automobile license fees, the state builds roads at a record-breaking pace, pulling Illinois “out of the mud” on modern ribbons of concrete.

In the second half of the presentation, we take a virtual tour of Route 66 in Illinois from Chicago to the Mississippi River near St. Louis. Along the way, we stop at the restaurants, museums, and historic sites that give Illinois Route 66 its special personality and character. We stop at such iconic Route 66 treasures the Del Rhea Chicken Basket, Funk’s Grove Maple Sirup, the Cozy Dog Drive-In, and Henry’s Rabbit Ranch.

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Al Capone in a U.S. Highway Shield

Al Capone & The Route 66 Connection

Al Capone came to Chicago in 1921 at age 22, summoned to be Johnny Torrio’s chief lieutenant. Together they reaped millions from prostitution, gambling, and bootlegging. Capone would take over in 1924, overseeing a bloody era of wars with rival gangs.

Many businesses on or near Route 66 had ties to Capone, including breweries, race tracks, roadhouses, brothels, and speakeasies. It was on US 66 where Capone bought his Cadillacs and had them armor-plated. And when Eliott Ness drove the convicted Capone from Cook County Jail to the train bound for the Federal prison, they used 66 for that final journey. These and many more stories are covered in Al Capone and the Route 66 Connection.

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Frank Lloyd and Ogilvanna Wright in Arizona

Motoring West the Wright Way: Frank Lloyd Wright & Route 66

Starting in 1934, Frank Lloyd Wright and an entourage of architecture students headed south from Wisconsin through Illinois, then west using portions of Route 66, on a journey that would become an annual event. The destination was Taliesen West, Wright’s home and architectural school in Scottsdale, AZ. These trips were led by Wright driving one of his various automobiles, most of which were painted Cherokee Red.

Wright’s active professional career would span 71 years, and his journeys on the highways of the country including Route 66 would become a metaphor for the growth of a nation and the growth of an architectural legend. This program looks at Wright’s annual pilgramage, his prized automobiles with which he led each journey, and the Wright structures along the route that travelers can visit today as they “travel west on the highway that’s the best!”

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Campbell's 66 Express, their Camel logo and the motto <i>Humpin' To Please</i> were common sights on the highways of the Midwest.

Diners, Snake Pits, and Long-Haul Truckers: The Commerce of Route 66

For the modern-day Route 66 enthusiast, the commerce most associated with the highway is tourism. However, when the US Highway system debuted in 1926, the planners had more in mind than encouraging pleasure travel. Route 66 followed a path blazed by railroads on its run from Chicago to LA. As muddy trails gave way to the numbered hard roads, commerce along the route flourished in a uniquely democratic way. What followed were unique ma-and-pa attractions, the emergence of long-distance trucking, and new populations spreading to suburbs and rural towns. This program looks at how Route 66 transformed the spread of wealth and opportunity from the big cities to the countryside in ways that the railroads could not.

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In Glenrio Texas, a Ghost Town near the New Mexico border

The Ghosts of Route 66

This program explores the Ghost Stories and the Ghost Towns found along Route 66. We cover ghostly legends and supernatural phenomena in each of the eight Route 66 states. Included are the ghost of Joliet’s Rialto Square Theater, the mysterious Spook Light of Kansas, and the spirit of the former owner that haunts the Museum Club in Flagstaff, AZ.

Where 66 once brought countless travelers right down the main street of towns such as Funks Grove, Amboy, and Glenrio, the building of the Interstates left these places to decay as Ghost Towns. Through Ghost Stories and Ghost Towns, the Ghosts of Route 66 live on.

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Chicago Water Tower after Fire and now

Chicago Turns 180: From Frontier Outpost to World-Class City

The year 2017 is Chicago’s 180th birthday as a city. Notable in all those years is how many times Chicago has had to literally take 180-degree turns and change its direction. In 1837, the city of 4000 people was created to be the transfer point for water transport between the Great Lakes and the new Illinois & Michigan Canal then under construction. By 1850, Chicago was emerging as the railroad hub of the North American Continent. The city burned down in 1871 and rose from its ashes to become the greatest city of the 19th Century. It then polished its image in the eyes of the world with the wonders of two world’s fairs. It was both the center of industry and of the rise of labor unions, the headquarters for the Temperance Movement and the battleground of Prohibition. This program looks at all of the changes the city has gone through, and the challenges that it faces now and in the future

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Here is the video that is shown at the program--

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A Beer Riot in Chicago

The Prohibition Era in Chicago

It is well known that the Prohibition Era in Chicago saw the rise and fall of Al Capone. At the same time, the city was home to progressives Clarence Darrow and Jane Addams; crooked politicians “Big Bill” Thompson and “Hinky-Dink” Kenna; and reform Mayor William Dever and the muckraking Chicago Crime Commission.

Chicago has always been the nation’s hub for transportation, and the railroads brought African Americans to the city during the prohibition era in the great migration. Among them were “King” Oliver and Louis Armstrong. Amid flappers and temperance leaders, tea rooms and speakeasies, life in Chicago was a microcosm of the United States—a crossroads where everything new came to terms with deep-rooted traditions. We take a look at all this and more in The Prohibition Era in Chicago.

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Chicago's Union Station 1885-1924

Terminal City: Chicago's Passenger Stations in the Golden Era of Rail

Stations in the Golden Era of Rail From after the Civil War until the rise of commercial jet travel in the early 1960s, anyone wishing to travel long distances across the North American continent likely did so via passenger rail. It is also likely that these folks passed through Chicago’s passenger rail stations on their journeys.

Chicago was the gateway between east and west and home to six large stations serving the needs of a majority of the long-haul rail companies. This program will give us a glimpse of the experiences of the passengers who passed through those terminals–each of which had its own unique look and “personality.” We will see that Chicago was indeed the Gateway City for anyone traveling across the country in the era of travel by rail.

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Here is the video that is part of the Terminal City Presentation. It shows all of the stations, some uses of those stations for Hollywood TV and movie productions, and some of the famous folks who passed through them:Terminal City Video

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Chicago's Illinois Central Station

Traveling to the Chicago Fairs: 1893 & 1933

The Chicago World’s Fairs of 1893 and 1933-34 attracted an astounding number of visitors to the city. In each case the attendance numbers were equal to over 40% of the country’s population. This program answers two questions: what did they come to see, and how did they get here?

If the fairs were held today, most visitors would arrive by air. In both 1893 and 1933, the journey to Chicago was far more problematic. Most arrived by train, some came by lake steamers, and international visitors took Ocean Liners to the US. In 1933, adventurous motorists could travel on the still-primitive US Highways. The reward for a difficult journey were expositions that showed the promise of a better future.

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Skyline of Chicago from Grant Park

Chicago by Design: Architectural Vistas for a Visitor’s Eyes

This program highlights the builders who created the architectural vistas seen by millions of visitors to Chicago throughout the city’s history. We concentrate on the structures seen along Jackson Boulevard from its time as a central thoroughfare for railroad era travelers through its designation as Route 66.

Chicago by Design: Architectural Vistas for a Visitor’s Eyes explores the architecture of this important travel corridor. Included are views and discussions of W. W. Boyington’s Grand Pacific and Stratford Hotels, William Le Baron Jenney’s Fair Store, the Rookery and Monadnock buildings of Burnham and Root, and the Marquette Building of Holabird and Roche. The information and images in this program are based upon an award-winning series of articles that has appeared in the quarterly publication of the National Historic Route 66 Federation since 2007.

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Map showing the highways envisioned in the Plan of Chicago

No Little Plans: The Roads of Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago

The 1909 Plan of Chicago influenced the development of Chicagoland as we know it today: the lakefront parks, double-decked Wacker Drive, and the Michigan Avenue Bridge were among the features of the Plan.

In our presentation No Little Plans, we look at the Plan’s concepts for road building that included a system of highways throughout the region. They wrote, “While good highways are of great value to the terminal cities, they are of even greater value to the outlying towns, and of greatest value to the farming communities..."

The presentation looks at the highways proposed by the Plan, and how they differed from our current expressways. The Plan proposed a system that would add to the surface transportation already in place. We see how different Chicagoland might be if we had not dismantled our streetcar and rail system in favor of near-complete dependence on cars and trucks.

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Christmas Tree in Daley Plaza with Chicago Temple Building behind

Christmas in Chicago

In Christmas in Chicago we re-live the traditions of the holiday and how they have evolved over the years to our current experience. In the early 20th century the annual Chicago Christmas parade held on Thanksgiving began. The many department stores on State Street competed to outdo each other with their elaborate displays in their windows. There would be caroling under the Marshall Field clock and the enjoyment of a special Christmas meal under the Walnut Room Christmas tree.

Competing with Field's were Sears, Wards, Wieboldt, Rothschild, and the Fair--among the many huge department stores along the Street. We also learn the story of how Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer started as a promotional coloring book given away to get people to visit the State Street Ward's store. These days we have Chriskindlmarket and ice skating at Millennium Park--and Caroling to the Animals at Lincoln Park Zoo. This and more will be included in the program "Christmas in Chicago."

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Lebanon Road, the Collinsville Gateway to Hell? / The Bates Experimental Road

Ghost Roads of Illinois

Throughout Illinois, legends abound of haunted happenings and eerie occurrences along the thoroughfares of the state. In the first part of Ghost Roads of Illinois we discuss some of the stories of unexplained phenomena residents have encountered while traveling along the highways and bi-ways. In Collinsville, locals speak in hushed tones of the seven railroad crossings of Lebanon Road. An abandoned house near one of the crossings is said to be occupied by the spirits of Satanists who guard the area at night. If a vehicle crosses the railroad tracks on all seven places along Lebanon, and encounters the last at the stroke of midnight, it is said that the gates of Hell open and transport the car and its occupants to the underworld, never to be seen again.

While some may suspend disbelief for these stories and others remain skeptical, there is no doubting the reality of the dead end roads and abandoned alignments we discuss in the second part of the program. Some roads in the state were built for only short-term use, and other remain as testament to places that were left behind as time and people moved on. In Bates, Illinois there is no motel by that name, but there is a section of old Highway 54 that served as an experimental road for the state highway department in the early 1920s. In a 2-mile stretch, 63 different materials and thicknesses were tested as pavement types for automobile highways. “Liberty trucks,” surplus vehicles obtained from the federal government following the Great War, drove repeatedly over these test pavements to see how the different types held up to use and abuse in all types of weather over a two-year period. This test set standards that were then used for the state’s early highways and served as a scientific model copied throughout the nation. It made Illinois a leader in highway design in the early auto era.

In Ghost Roads of Illinois we revisit the Bates Road, Lebanon Road, and more as we tour through the forgotten and haunted thoroughfares of the state.

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Rod Blagojevich, 1 of 4 IL Governors sent to jail

The Illinois Rogue’s Gallery: Our Infamous Politicians

The stories of now-jailed former Governors George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich are familiar, but public corruption in Illinois is nothing new. Chicago is considered the most corrupt city in the United States and Illinois ranks third among states.

Since 1976, Federal prosecutors secured over 1,800 convictions of public officials statewide. Others evaded punishment through devious means. Four governors have been found guilty of corruption and one other was acquitted under suspicious circumstances.

Chicago Aldermen Hinky-Dink Kenna and Bathouse John Coughlin treated every City Council vote as an opportunity for graft. Alderman Paddy Bauler famously stated “Chicago ain’t ready for reform.” Dixon, Illinois learned corruption was not limited to Chicago as their city comptroller Rita Crundwell pled guilty to embezzling over $30 million.This program looks at these stories and more and explores whether Chicago and Illinois will ever be “ready for reform.”

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Lincoln Highway sign on the Illinois Scenic Byway

The Lincoln Highway across Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa

Automobiles were the playthings of the rich until 1909, when Henry Ford produced the Model T-the first car that the average working family could afford. The number of cars manufactured and owned began to take off, but unfortunately there were few good places to drive them! For over half a century, long-distance travel in the United States had been accomplished by rail, and few roads suitable for the new horseless carriages existed. If the early cars did not break down on their own, it was very likely they would get stuck in mud on the dirt roads outside of cities and towns.

A grass-roots effort began, backed by car companies and related industries, to pull the country out of the mud. The Good Roads Movement championed named auto trails on the best available roads and advocated for government involvement in building hard surfaces on the public highways of the country. The first named auto trail to be marked from coast-to-coast was the Lincoln Highway.

Auto parts entrepreneur Carl Fisher was the guiding force behind marking a trail across the country from New York's Time Square to Lincoln Park in San Francisco. He would go on to found the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the city of Miami Beach, and he would also begin the Dixie Highway. In each state along the way, the Lincoln Highway Association sponsored the creation of a seedling mile, one mile of hard road that would show the traveler the advantages to be had if good roads could become a governmental mandate.

The Lincoln Highway's story includes such luminaries as Dwight Eisenhower and Emily Post, who wrote a series of articles during her trip across the country. Today, the traveler in the Midwest is taken back in time. In Indiana from Fort Wayne to Dyer by way of Valparaiso and Merrillville; in Illinois from Chicago Heights to Fulton through Dixon and DeKalb; and in Iowa from Clinton to Council Bluffs, we end the program with a virtual tour full of nostalgia and history.

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Lock 14 on the I&M Canal at LaSalle IL

The Illinois & Michigan Canal--Past and Present

Long before highways and railroads turned Chicago into the transportation hub of the U.S., it was the Illinois & Michigan Canal that literally put the city on the map. In 1673, the French-Canadian explorers Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette were the first non-Native Americans to travel from the Illinois River to Lake Michigan via the Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers. They noted in their journals that a canal could be built to connect these waterways to allow for a navigable channel of travel stretching from the Great Lakes to the vast Mississippi River system.

The promise of a canals future potential for spreading commerce from the settled east to the western frontier led to the founding of Fort Dearborn to protect the Chicago River harbor. The potential also led to treaties with Native Americans and the creation by the state of Illinois of a canal commission that would build and operate the waterway. Chicago was founded to be the commercial transfer point between Lake Michigan vessels and canal barges. When the canal opened in 1848, the flow of commerce across the continent changed forever.

In this PowerPoint presentation, we will explore the story of the building of the Illinois & Michigan Canal and its eventual replacement by newer canals, railroads, and expressways. We will take a virtual tour of its surviving structures from Bridgeport in Chicago to its terminus in Peru, Illinois 96 miles to the southwest.

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Intro Slide for our Lincoln Presentation

The Roads that Lead to Lincoln:
Honest Abe on the Historic Highways of Illinois

In this presentation, we begin with a whimsical look at the impact that Lincoln has made on our culture, from businesses such as Lincoln Towing and Lincoln Insurance, to cars such as the Lincoln Continental. Next, we trace the major events of Lincoln's life from his arrival in Illinois in 1830 until he left for Washington as President-elect in 1861.

From New Salem to Springfield and on the trail of the Eighth Judicial Circuit through central Illinois, we follow Lincoln as he sets out as a young man to work as a store clerk, postmaster, surveyor, and then as a lawyer. He is elected to the Illinois General Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives. He runs for U.S. Senate, and then he is elected as the nation's 16th President. When the Civil War is all but over, he is assassinated, and his funeral train makes a somber journey into Illinois at Chicago, then southwest to Springfield.

In the final section of the presentation, we take a virtual tour along Route 66, the 8th Judicial Circuit, the Great River Road, and the Lincoln Highway in search of sites related to the life of Abraham Lincoln. The tour includes images of the places visited by Lincoln, as well as monuments and museums dedicated to remembering and interpreting his legacy. The tour includes the well-known sites, such as New Salem State Park; but also included are unmarked historic locations, such as the places where Mary Todd Lincoln lived in Chicago. The emphasis is on the places that travelers can visit to better understand Lincoln while enjoying the historic highways of Illinois.

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I Did not Raise My Boy to be a Soldier

World War I: Homefront and Consequences

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson successfully won election to a second term. His campaign slogan “He Kept Us Out of War, ” was in keeping with the majority sentiment of the country. However, less than a month after his second inauguration Wilson requested a declaration of war on Germany. This program begins with an overview of the reasons for the country’s changing attitudes and the consequences of the decision to join in the conflict.

The entry into war led to many changes on the homefront. The government took over the railroads to mobilize troops and supplies to the east coast. Civilians endured rationing of such products as wheat that were needed to feed the troops. The same rationale led to passage of Wartime Prohibition of the manufacture of intoxicating beverages.

Finally, we look at conditions as the veterans returned. Many soldiers endured the long-term effects of exposure to mustard gas, while the able-bodied were able to enjoy the benefits of an era of economic uplift and positive outlook. The country had been victorious in battle in the “War to end all wars.”

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The sinking of the Titanic is one of the events that still resonates 100 years later

Centennial 1911-1920: Past Events that Shaped the Present

The decade of 1911-1920 saw the first production of Chevrolet vehicles. A man named Chrysler is hired by General Motors to take over the Buick Division, and Ford sells 3 times as many cars as any other brand. Consumers are able to enjoy the country’s first self-serve grocery stores and the first standalone automobile gas station. The first offshore oil wells begin production off the coast of Southern California. Labor strife is everywhere with strikes, violence, and debates about worker’s rights.

The Titanic, then the world’s largest Ocean Liner, sank on its maiden voyage. The horrific event and its aftermath led to the 1915 Seaman’s Act requiring additional lifeboats on board passenger vessels and possibly caused unforseen consequences in other mishaps including Chicago’s Eastland disaster.

Woodrow Wilson won the Presidency against a split Republican Party: William Howard Taft, the incumbent, and former President Teddy Roosevelt. All three would claim to be progressives in a period of anti-conservatism. Wilson campaigns for a second term under the slogan “He kept us out of War,” only to lead the country into joining World War I, “The War to end all Wars.” After the war, Wilson wants to have the U.S. join the new League of Nations, only to be thwarted by partisan politics.

The mayor of Chicago, whose father of the same name previously served five terms as mayor, finishes the last of his own five terms in City Hall. The Illinois Governor testifies concerning the curious shenanigans that anointed a corrupt Chicago politician as U.S. Senator. Plans are announced for great public works amid allegations that government programs only lead to greater opportunities for graft, fraud, and cronyism.

We see that times and technology change, but people and their decisions resonate over time. This program brings us back to that time so long ago that sheds light on our current culture, in both our progress and our continued challenges.

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Original Steak \'n\' Shake design featuring the slogan--In Sight It Must Be Right.

Good Food Fast: The 20th Century Dining Revolution

When traveling across the United States, one of the most memorable discoveries in any locality is the one-of-a-kind diner or drive-in, serving food at once familiar but with a unique flair. Hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, and country-fried steaks all get a different treatment depending on whether you are in Kansas or Memphis, Santa Fe or Atlanta, New Orleans or Cincinnati.

However, the local specialties are served in eateries welcoming and familiar. Many feature a kitchen visible to the patrons, where the food is prepared in sight, so it must be right! The similarity of restaurants stem from their common ancestry of a type of eatery developed around the turn of the 19th century. From railroad dining cars, lunch counters, and breakfast served all day, a new type of dining emerged to serve travelers, workers on a short lunch break, and people in need of a meal around the clock.

Good Food Fast: The 20th Century Dining Revolution tells the story through words, photos, and music, of how our favorite dining establishments evolved from Fred Harvey railroad dining cars and urban lunch counters. We look at the serious concerns in the early 1900s with food safety that led to establishments marketing their open kitchens, use of popular and trusted brand-name ingredients, and scrupulous attention to cleanliness. We see how these trends began in urban centers, such as Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago, and how they spread across the country first along the rail lines, and later along the highways. From carhops to cookie-cutter franchises, from familiar foods to unique eats, this program will satisfy a thirst for knowledge although it may leave you hungry for more!

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Original Steak \'n\' Shake design featuring the slogan--In Sight It Must Be Right.

Good Food Fast: The 20th Century Dining Revolution

When traveling across the United States, one of the most memorable discoveries in any locality is the one-of-a-kind diner or drive-in, serving food at once familiar but with a unique flair. Hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, and country-fried steaks all get a different treatment depending on whether you are in Kansas or Memphis, Santa Fe or Atlanta, New Orleans or Cincinnati.

However, the local specialties are served in eateries welcoming and familiar. Many feature a kitchen visible to the patrons, where the food is prepared in sight, so it must be right! The similarity of restaurants stem from their common ancestry of a type of eatery developed around the turn of the 19th century. From railroad dining cars, lunch counters, and breakfast served all day, a new type of dining emerged to serve travelers, workers on a short lunch break, and people in need of a meal around the clock.

Good Food Fast: The 20th Century Dining Revolution tells the story through words, photos, and music, of how our favorite dining establishments evolved from Fred Harvey railroad dining cars and urban lunch counters. We look at the serious concerns in the early 1900s with food safety that led to establishments marketing their open kitchens, use of popular and trusted brand-name ingredients, and scrupulous attention to cleanliness. We see how these trends began in urban centers, such as Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago, and how they spread across the country first along the rail lines, and later along the highways. From carhops to cookie-cutter franchises, from familiar foods to unique eats, this program will satisfy a thirst for knowledge although it may leave you hungry for more!

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Wedding Picture of the Presenter\'s parents, 1948.

Bringing Family History to Life: The Stories We Could Tell

Every family has its stories. Beyond basic genealogical facts, the events in the lives of our ancestors can amuse or entertain, showcase traditions or cultural values, or provide insights into the shared society and culture. Writing the unique stories of a persons family can preserve the facts and provide a record for future generations. This presentation will help people interested in telling their family stories to overcome their fears of writing and commit the oral traditions to the written word.

Through images and music, Bringing Family History to Life: The Stories We Could Tell is designed to help motivate those who have an interest in their genealogy to take the next step and create a written record of their unique family stories. We discuss how a collection of family images, documents, and heirlooms remain incomplete without the contextual information that can only be provided with a written explanation. We see how organizing our historic objects can be accomplished through simple handwritten methods or through the use of computers, scanners, and digital cameras.

To overcome the fears of writing, we show how getting started with brief biographical sketches can be easy. We cover simple methods for organizing short pieces that can stand alone or later be combined into a larger project. Copyrights and fair use of research materials is also discussed. We end with the message that anyone CAN write the stories of their families-and if they do not, who will?

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Recent Presentation at Park Ridge Library

Standard Presentation Details

Our PowerPoint presentations last 45-60 minutes and involve as much audience interaction as practical. We encourage and prefer time to be set aside at the end of the presentation for Q & A and discussion. We provide the PowerPoint files and can use our own laptop computer. We can supply other audio/video equipment (LCD projector, screen audio, microphone) if unavailable at the venue.

All of our current presentation offerings include archival postcard views and photographs as well as current views. Musical segments are included with video slideshow accompaniment. We strive to entertain as well as enlighten, and to give the patrons an in-depth experience with information they can use for their own explorations.

Custom Presentation-North Lawndale

Presentations Customized for YOU!

With sufficient lead-time, we can customize our presentations to the specifications of the customer. Our resources include information that can be used to create programs for any specific segment of highway and transportation history relating to Chicago, or to Illinois, or to the corridors of transportation and commerce for which the city and state serve as hubs. We stand ready to meet any challenge within the scope of our archival resources.

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Contact Us for more information on Windy City Road Warrior Presentations!

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© 2007 by David G. Clark. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the author/webmaster. All photos and graphics by David G. Clark unless otherwise credited. The contents of this website are believed to be correct at the time of posting. Nevertheless, the Author/Webmaster cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions, or for changes in details provided here.