The Eastland Disaster, Illinois (Images of America Series)

Overview

More than 7,000 people living in the Chicago area and Michigan City, Indiana, eagerly anticipated Saturday morning, July 24, 1915. This particular Saturday was going to be anything but a routine summer day. Plans had been carefully made for it to be the social and entertainment event of the year, and for some, a lifetime. The fifth annual midsummer excursion and picnic had been organized by the employees of the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne Works. Thousands of carefree merrymakers would enjoy a festive day...

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The Eastland Disaster

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Overview

More than 7,000 people living in the Chicago area and Michigan City, Indiana, eagerly anticipated Saturday morning, July 24, 1915. This particular Saturday was going to be anything but a routine summer day. Plans had been carefully made for it to be the social and entertainment event of the year, and for some, a lifetime. The fifth annual midsummer excursion and picnic had been organized by the employees of the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne Works. Thousands of carefree merrymakers would enjoy a festive day including a lovely cruise across Lake Michigan to an awaiting parade and day-long picnic. The day would conclude with an evening cruise back to Chicago. For thousands of hard-working immigrant laborers and their families and friends, it was going to be a day to remember. Instead, the day's scheduled event turned into a tragedy unlike any other. The SS Eastland, while still tied to the wharf, rolled into the Chicago River with more than 2,500 passengers on board. Nearly 850 people lost their lives, including 22 entire families. The ensuing struggle for survival, and the resulting death, heroism, cowardice, greed, and scandal gripped the city of Chicago.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738534411
  • Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
  • Publication date: 8/17/2005
  • Series: Images of America Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 497,309
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Author Ted Wachholz is the executive director of the Eastland Disaster Historical Society. Through his work with the society and in association with the Chicago Historical Society, Wachholz combines captivating images with compelling narrative taken from firsthand accounts from families of survivors, victims, and others directly affected by the Eastland Disaster.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 6
Introduction 7
1 The Early 1900s 9
2 The Bell System 15
3 The Western Electric Company 19
4 The Hawthorne Works 23
5 The Annual Excursion and Picnic 27
6 The Eastland Disaster 45
7 The Rescue, Recovery, and Relief 63
8 The Cause and the End 109
9 Fate or Faith 115
10 Out of Obscurity 125
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