It’s a busy day in history, Chicago.
Yes, today marks 37 years since the Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX.
It’s also the 56th anniversary of the “Blizzard of 1967,” which dropped 23 inches of snow on Chicago and stands as the largest snowfall on record here.
But we’ve already covered those monumental events in previous editions of the Vintage Chicago Tribune newsletter.
My co-curator Marianne Mather had a fantastic idea when she suggested we revisit wintry outdoor activities that Chicagoans have loved for generations. She found these beautiful photos in the Tribune’s archives. And, since we finally have a little snow on the ground and below-freezing temperatures waiting for us next week, then let’s get outside!
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Thanks for reading!
— Kori Rumore, visual reporter
Chicago history | More newsletters | Puzzles & Games | Today’s eNewspaper edition
In a long, low Washington Park building around the turn of the last century, the sport of curling arrived in Chicago. The popularity of the Scotland import grew, and the Chicago Curling Club formed and continues to operate today. See more photos.
Whether it’s on a pond, lagoon or formal ice rink, Chicagoans have always loved this winter activity. See more photos.
In the early 1920s and 1930s, ski jump contests and ski culture were thriving in the Midwest. See more photos.
- At the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove, growing Olympic ski jumpers starts young.
- From 2018: So you want to try ski jumping? Are you nuts?
- Chicago’s Soldier Field: A timeline of events since 1924, including hosting the world’s athletes, congregations, politicians and performers
The first international skating competition in Chicago was held in 1918, the Tribune reported, and it came as skating was booming in popularity. Speedskating was a relatively young sport — the first world championship was organized in 1893 — but drew large crowds in Chicago for local races as early as 1904.
About 30,000 saw Arthur Staff win the inaugural Tribune-sponsored Silver Skates tournament at the Humboldt Park Lagoon in January 1917, according to the Tribune. The Silver Skates Derbies, a Tribune-sponsored race, grew rapidly during this time. A boys division was added in 1919. Women first raced in 1921, and a girls division followed in 1922. The Silver Skates competition continues today. See more photos.
Winter Olympics: 4 Illinois athletes who won GOLD
How many local athletes have won gold medals in the Olympics? Really, it’s difficult to know. It’s tricky to track since the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee only keeps tabs on an athlete’s birthplace and hometown.
That said, here are four stories of triumph in the Tribune’s archives spanning from 1932′s Winter Games to an iconic race by Chicago-raised and Evanston-trained speedskater Shani Davis in 2006. Read more.
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Have an idea for Vintage Chicago Tribune? Share it with Ron Grossman and Marianne Mather at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.