1955 A Milestone Year

Westworld Telegraph

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Back again folks on some local history about Chicago related to this week’s episode.

I thought it was interesting that they referred to 1955 in the opening sequence.1955 saw the election of Richard J Daley, who was mayor of Chicago for the next 21 years. Daley is a controversial and polarizing figure in the city. On one hand, he is credited with preventing Chicago going the way of Detroit and Cleveland in terms of urban and economic decline. On the other hand, he is seen as the person whose policies resulted in Chicago continuing to be one of the most racially and economically segregated cities in the country. To this day, the south and west sides of the city are the most economically challenged, with predominantly African American and Hispanic residents.

The latest illustration of the racial & economic inequity that still exists in the city, is when it comes to COVID. Chicago is a city of neighborhoods (77 in all) and the top 5 neighborhoods for COVID deaths are:

* South Shore
* Englewood
* Auburn Gresham
* Chatham
* Austin (next to where I live – Oak Park)

The common factor here is that at least 88% of the residents of these neighborhoods are African American. Overall, African Americans account for 60% of COVID deaths, while being 30% of the total city population.

Please don’t get me wrong I LOVE Chicago – we have so much to offer in terms of culture, architecture, sports, entertainment, awesome & unique neighborhoods plus a downtown/lakefront to die for. Also, one must not forget the people, who are some of the nicest, kindest and most helpful folks you will meet. That being said, unfortunately the ghost of 1955 is still with us to some regard in the Windy City.

Sadly but hopefully yours,
Tom from Chicago

P.S. on a lighter note, I love love love these opening scenes to each episode!!!

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