Illinois History Minutes

January 21 Illinois History Minute


It’s January 21st, and William A. Wrigley the Third was born this day in 1933. He took the reins of the Chicago-based Wrigley chewing gum company in 1961, introducing such brands as sugarless Orbit and Extra, Hubba Bubba bubble gum, and cinnamon-flavored Big Red. William Wrigley inherited the Chicago Cubs in 1977 when his father, P.K. Wrigley died. He sold the team to the Chicago Tribune four years later to pay off the tax bill. 

Sammy was one of the biggest hits from Chicagoan L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” --- not the movie with Judy Garland, but the musical that opened at New York’s Majestic Theatre on this day in 1902. All but forgotten today, this first “Wizard of Oz” musical ran for years on Broadway and on the road.