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Second Friday Lecture: Chicago’s Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City

October 13, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Friday, October 13  |  12:00pm – 1:00pm |  Speaker: Carl Smith

The Great Chicago Fire of October 8-10, 1871 which destroyed the heart of the country’s rising inland metropolis and left a third of its population homeless, is one of history’s great disasters. If anything, the city’s rapid recovery was even more remarkable, revealing both Chicago’s resilience but also the world’s generosity. But both the city’s destruction and resurrection are a far more complicated–and interesting–story than this. This richly illustrated talk by the leading historian of the fire tells that story.

Carl Smith is Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English and American Studies and Professor of History, Emeritus, at Northwestern University. His books include Chicago and the American Literary Imagination, 1880-1920; Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman; The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City; and City, Water, City Life; Water and the Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago.


October 13, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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