CHICAGOClarence Darrow aficionados will gather at the Darrow Bridge in Jackson Park Tuesday, March 13, at 10 a.m. for the annual ceremony commemorating Darrow's death in Chicago on March 13, 1938. Darrow is remembered for his crusading role as "attorney for the damned" in such controversial cases as the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Leopold and Loeb murder case, and the pardoning of the Haymarket anarchists.
After the ritual outdoor wreath-tossing ceremony, guests will move inside to the Museum of Science and Industry's New Columbia Room for a lecture and discussion on the Haymarket case, "Absolving Anarchy: John P. Altgeld and the Pardon that Shook Gilded Age America," to be given by Heath W. Carter.
The talk delves into the precipitous rise and fall of one of Illinois' most progressive governors. On June 26, 1893, Illinois Gov. John P. Altgeld pardoned the three surviving prisoners who had originally been sentenced to death for Chicago's Haymarket bombing. He was widely vilified for this decision and his political career was never the same, but upon his death in 1902 Darrow praised him in a famous eulogy as "a soldier in the everlasting struggle of the human race for liberty and justice on the earth."
Heath W. Carter is a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. history at the University of Notre Dame. He has broad interests in the social history of modern industrial society, and has published articles on race, religion, and labor in a variety of academic and popular journals. He is writing a book entitled Union Made: Working People and the Rise of Social Christianity in Chicago, which tells the story of how wage-earning believers innovated a fierce critique of both the captains of industry and the churches that underwrote their rule. He has taught courses at the University of Illinois (Chicago), Loyola University Chicago, and the Newberry Library. In the summer of 2012, he will assume a new post as the assistant professor of modern United States history at Valparaiso University.
Loyola Law Professor Anita Weinberg, daughter of the late Arthur and Lila Weinberg, will preside over the indoor program. Tracy Baim, daughter of the late Joy Darrow, will preside at the bridge. Other Darrow committee members are event co-founder Herb Kraus, Bill Campbell, Nina Helstein and Nina Barrett.
Darrow, who was born in 1857 in Farmdale, Ohio, practiced in Chicago, repeatedly represented underdog clients and vigorously opposed capital punishment. None of his many clients was sentenced to death.
Darrow's death on March 13, 1938, was memorialized throughout the world. His ashes, and later the ashes of his wife Ruby and his son Paul, were scattered from the Darrow Bridge which was dedicated to his memory by the Chicago Park District in 1957.
For more details, see www.darrowbridge.org .
By Carrie Maxwell
The Chicago chapter of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA/Chicago) held its annual Excellence in Care Grants presentation at the Chase Auditorium in downtown Chicago Feb. 28.
About 150 people attended the event, in which 27 organizations representing various granting categories received unrestricted grant awards.
The AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, Center on Halsted, Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN), Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago House, Vital Bridges and VIDA/SIDA were among the 27 grant awardees that night.
DIFFA/Chicago, according to its website, "is a not-for-profit fundraising and grant making foundation that distributes funds to Chicago area HIV/AIDS service agencies that provide direct service, preventative education and outreach to people who are HIV positive, living with AIDS or at risk for infection. DIFFA was founded in 1984 by volunteers from the fashion industry, interior design, furnishings and architecture with supporters of DIFFA coming from every field associated with fine design. The foundation has granted more than 38 million dollars to hundreds of community-based organizations."
Other cities with chapters include Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Kansas City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
The annual gala, regarded as the social kickoff to the NeoCon tradeshow, will take place June 9. The DIFFA/Chicago Believe 2012 Garden Gala will focus on meals and nutrition, one of the granting categories. This is the second in the series of galas dedicated to the chapter's grantees.
For more information, visit www.diffachicago.org .
criticize tour of
BY KATE SOSIN
In the two decades since the Walker's Point neighborhood in Milwaukee became known as the stalking grounds of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, the neighborhood has slowly rebuilt itself. Most of the old bars frequented by Dahmer, who killed at least 17 young men, are now gone.
However, a new commercial tour of the area threatens to open old wounds, say residents.
On March 3, Bam Marketing and Media hosted its first tour of Dahmer's old stomping grounds, amid outcry from victims' families and area residents.
Victor Ray, president of the Walker's Point Association, said the tour is too soon for victims' families, many of whom still live in the neighborhood.
"It's been less than 20 years," said Ray. "I think this is absolutely horrible. ... We're elevating a very very sick individual."
Bam is not the first company to offer tours on the lives of serial killers. Ray himself attended a tour on "Jack the Ripper," the unknown London serial killer from the late 1800s.
The difference between the two, Ray said, is that the victims' immediate families are not still alive to watch it go by.
Amanda Morden, head of marketing for Bam, said the tour does not dramatize the life of Dahmer. Rather, she said, it aims to dispel myths surrounding the murders and give a historical perspective of the neighborhood.
"It's part of the city's history," Morden said. "It's simply informational, not sensational."
The tour, offered at three different times on Saturdays through September, covers a one mile area where Dahmer stalked seven of his 17 victims, said Morden.
Morden said the tour offers a different historical perspective than one can get from a book or documentary. As for arguments that the tour comes too soon for the community, Morden said that is a matter of perspective.
"We still have accurate information on this," said Morden, adding that decades down the line the Dahmer story would likely become more legend than history.
Not everyone agrees. The first tour was met with quiet protest from victim's families.
It received so much bad press leading up to the event that Groupon cancelled a deal promotion on the tour and released a statement saying that no offense was intended. The deal was pulled after 15 people purchased tickets.
Morden said that with the bad press, many people on the tour backed out or rescheduled.
"There was actually more media on the tour than there were patrons," she said.