March 17 Illinois History Minute
Today is Saint Patrick’s Day, and on this day in 1843, the small but fast-growing city of Chicago held its first Saint Patrick’s Day parade, with a brass band and an Irish-American volunteer militia.
That’s music by the Smashing Pumpkins, co-founded by Irish-American rock musician Billy Corgan, born in Chicago on this day in 1967. Smashing Pumpkins enjoyed a string of hits in the 1990s.
On this day in 1929, civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois argued for cultural equality for African-Americans, in a public debate with white Supremacist Lothrop Stoddard in Chicago. Stoddard argued that southern whites genuinely wanted separate accommodations for Blacks to be equal to that of whites, drawing laughter from the largely Black audience.
I’m Jim Meadows. Illinois Public Media.