A quiz on centennial anniversaries being celebrated in 2012 | WBEZ
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A quiz on centennial anniversaries being celebrated in 2012

MacCormac College is the oldest court reporting school in the country and it celebrates its centennial anniversary this year. We'll be talking about that with program director Peg Sokalski-Dorchack, but WBEZ history blogger John Schmidt will also quiz listeners about other centennial anniversaries happening this year. (Don't scroll down too far, unless you want the full answers to these pressing historic quandaries.)


1. (B) The Bull Moose Party. When he lost the 1912 Republican nomination to William Howard Taft, Roosevelt started the Progressive Party. He told reporters “I feel as fit as a bull moose,” and soon everyone was calling Roosevelt’s party the Bull Moose Party. The three-way split in the vote gave the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.  

2. (B) Studs Terkel. Louis Terkel was born in New York on May 16, 1912, but moved to Chicago as a boy. His nickname came from Studs Lonigan, the principal character in James T. Farrell’s famous trilogy. 

3. (C) The Rouse was Chicago’s Christmas Tree Ship. Each year, various lake ships brought Christmas trees from the north woods to Chicago, and people bought the trees right off the docked ship. The Rouse was the most famous. For more on the Christmas Tree Ship—including a short video of its submerged wreck—check out my post for November 22, 2011.

4. (A) the elimination of railroad grade crossings The Kedzie Avenue streetcar was hit broadside by a railroad freight car at the grade level crossing. There were hundreds of these crossings in Chicago, and the city was pressuring the railroads to elevate them. Though viaducts were eventually built for most of them, grade crossings still remain on the city’s outskirts—and on the last mile of the Brown Line.

5(C) 2.3 million. This is the estimate published in the 1913 Chicago Daily News Almanac. The 1910 census had counted 2,185,283.  

6. (A) Harriet Monroe. With the backing of 100 prominent Chicagoans, Monroe put out the first issue of the magazine on September 23, 1912. Still published in Chicago, Poetry is currently celebrating its centennial.

7. (D) He wrote a best-selling expose of Chicago crime. Stead’s 1893 book was titled If Christ Came to Chicago, and detailed much of the city’s seamy underside. Its success led to a movement for social and political reform in the city.

8. (D) Chicago Coliseum. The Coliseum was located on Wabash Avenue near 15th Street, and was then the city’s largest auditorium. The building façade included part of a Civil war military prison. As mentioned before, the Republican nominee was William Howard Taft, who lost the election to Woodrow Wilson.

9. (B) Edward Dunne.  Dunne, a reform Democrat, was elected mayor in 1905, but lost his bid for re-election two years later. He had no better luck as governor—when he ran for re-election in 1916, he lost then, too.

10. (A) an elementary school. The building at 2850 West 24th Boulevard is now the Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy. It’s named for a West Side teacher and activist who died in 1981. 

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