The Second City cast with producer Bernard Sahlins (left) and director Paul Sills in the foreground, c. 1965. Fast-paced and funny, the Second City attracted a young, well-educated audience that enjoyed the troupe’s biting satire and daring improvs about formerly taboo subjects such as sex and politics. Photograph by Arthur Siegel

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Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmet Till

Simeon Wright & Herb Boys

No modern tragedy has had a greater impact on race relations in America than the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till. A 14-year-old black boy from Chicago visiting relatives in Mississippi in 1955, Till was taken from his uncle’s home by two white men; several days later, his body was found in the Tallahatchie River. This grotesque crime became the catalyst for the civil rights movement.

At age 12, author Simeon Wright saw and heard his cousin Emmett whistle at a white woman at a grocery store; he was sleeping in the same bed with him when Emmett was taken; and he was at the sensational trial. This is his gripping coming-of-age memoir.


One of the city’s first amusement rides, “The Roller Coaster” was constructed in 1883 at State St. and 22nd (now called Cermak Rd.). 

The ride was something new  - so new, that the inventor filed for a patent after it’s construction.

Passengers rode sideways, were propelled by their own weight and it only lasted 18 seconds. You could get three rides for 5 cents.

As the September 30, 1883 Tribune article states, “…the effect is so exciting and pleasurable that the rider fairly loses himself, forgetting even who he is, where he lives, or what he is doing.” Sounds really exciting.