90 die in Chicago school fire, December 2, 1958


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Anybody like me who grew up in the 1950s in Chicago remembers the Our Lady of the Angels fire, and as terrible as it seemed when I was a kid, it’s even worse now that I’m a parent. I well remember the Chicago Tribune’s coverage of the blaze.

Here’s the Tribune’s look back at the tragedy. And here’s the video.

1958_1202_page15 1958_1202_sports

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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2 Responses to 90 die in Chicago school fire, December 2, 1958

  1. ChrisK says:

    I think that the only good thing that came out of this fire is that school construction standards were changed across the country. Too bad it took such a loss of life to get things like fire escapes added at the end of blind hallways. May it never happen again.


  2. Arye Michael Bender says:

    Most of the Chicago public schools were built by ‘Bill-the-Builder’ Thompson. He was the highly corrupt mayor who lived inside Al Capone’s pocket. Thompson made millions in 1920’s era money on the building contracts he let out for schools. There was a certain irony in seeing a class full of fellow students, like myself, absorbed by Tribune story while held inside a Bill Thompson building. Of course there were no fire escapes.


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