The Robert R. McCormick House at Cantigny Park announced a new online lecture series, “Headlines from History,” beginning next month with a look at the Great Chicago Fire on its 150th anniversary. The lectures, presented via Zoom, will focus on major events or issues reported on by the Chicago Tribune. Robert McCormick was the longtime editor and publisher of the newspaper, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Joseph Medill. Both once lived at Cantigny.

“Headlines from History” presentations are free but advance registration is required at Cantigny.org.

Three one-hour lectures are currently planned:


The Great Chicago Fire
Saturday, October 9 ● 7 pm
Speakers: Jeffrey Anderson and Kyle Mathers, Museums at Cantigny Park
150 years ago, the Great Fire left Chicago in ruins. An estimated 300 people died; 17,000 buildings were destroyed; and 100,000 were left homeless. Yet on Wednesday, October 11, 1871, citizens found hope on the front page of the Chicago Tribune which declared, “Chicago shall rise again.” Join a discussion about the circumstances surrounding the fire and the devastation it left behind, informed with reporting by the Tribune staff. Also learn about the unprecedented reconstruction and the role of the Tribune’s Joseph Medill as Chicago’s rebuilding mayor.

“Dewey Defeats Truman”
Wednesday, November 17 ● 7 pm
Speaker: Sam Rushay, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Few headlines in history are as iconic and memorable as “Dewey Defeats Truman,” a Chicago Daily Tribune front-page screamer on November 3, 1948. Those familiar know it was horribly mistaken. What’s less known is the fascinating story behind the headline. Rushay will discuss its origins and lasting impact—a tale about politics and polls, certainly, but also a compelling human-interest story that still captures our imaginations.

Prohibition in Chicago
Wednesday, December 1 ● 7 pm
Speaker: Jonathan Knotek, Chicago Prohibition Tours
In January 1919, ratification of the 18th Amendment made prohibition the law of the land. Nine months later, passage of the Volstead Act provided for its enforcement. This lecture will examine how prohibition came to be; supported it; who opposed it; and the many unintended and yet predictable consequences prohibition delivered on our society.

Cantigny Park is open daily from 7 am to sunset. Parking is free on the first Wednesday of the month. The Robert R. McCormick House, a historic house museum, is currently closed for renovation and will reopen to the public in 2022. More information and a calendar of events is online at Cantigny.org.


About Cantigny Park
Cantigny Park, part of the Chicago-based Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is the 500-acre Wheaton estate of Robert R. McCormick (1880-1955), long-time editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. It is home to the McCormick House, First Division Museum, display gardens, picnic grounds, walking trails and a Visitors Center with retail shop, banquet, and dining facilities. More information, including hours, directions and upcoming events is online at Cantigny.org. Cantigny Golf, adjacent to the park, features a 27-hole championship golf course, full-service clubhouse, Cantigny Golf Academy and the 9-hole Cantigny Youth Links. For more information, visit CantignyGolf.com.


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Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce
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