Illinois History Minutes

December 30 Illinois History Minute


It’s December 30, and the new year is approaching. On New Year’s Day in 1886, Chicago department store magnate Marshall Field held a Japanese-themed Mikado ball, inspired by the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, for his teen-aged son and daughter and about 400 of their young friends. Cost: a reported 75-thousand dollars.

For New Year’s in 1908, the Sidney Times in Champaign County asked residents for their New Year’s resolutions and found many who said they had no bad habits, so they didn’t need to resolve to change them. The Times concluded that --- according to their reporting at least --- “Sidney is a model little town with an abundance of perfect citizens”.

As 1912 gave way to 1913, Chicago firefighters fought a fire on the 11th floor of the Powers Building in the Loop. The firefighters’ main obstacle, New Year’s revelers, who blocked their way on the street outside. Inside the building, youg