v28-4 Edgewater and WWI

Vol. XXVIII No. 4 - FALL 2017

By Kathy Gemperle

At a recent gathering of the Chicago History book club, the group discussed the book “Chicago Transformed: WWI and the Windy City.” As it is the 100th anniversary of the United States participation in “the war to end all wars” we all found this book a great survey of the implications of participation in this global event. As for the Edgewater portion, a notation was made that the Edgewater Catholic Women’s club hosted an event prior to the war commitment. We are curious to know more about this event that was held at the Armory.

In Chicago the factions of the European conflict were present and active in both supporting the war and calling for peace. Pacifist Jane Addams lead the Women’s International League for Peace and Justice The war brought about many social changes including women in the work place, African American migration, and unionization. The expansion of jazz and blues in Chicago also had local implications, as Jazz clubs opened in Uptown and Edgewater.

After the Armistice was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, even more change occurred. In memory of all those who fought in WWI, a monument was constructed at the intersection of Clark and Ashland across from Gethsemane Garden Center.

The book club recommends this book for the far reaching survey of events in Chicago during this period and the hint of implications for later history.

To join the book club you just have to show up. You can come to listen or you can participate by reading the book in advance of the gathering which is held at the Edgewater Library usually at 10 am on the second Saturday of every other month.