Dates in History

People say you need to know where you come from to know who you are. In 2011 we published and sold 2,000 calendars with dates of local history imbedded into the monthly date grid. We researched the dates from a variety of local sources. Our confidence level in the accuracy of the dates is generally high. The Dates in History are fairly enjoyable to read. Some are surprising. Contact us with other prominent dates in local history. We will add them to our list.

Revised List of memorable events for Project Pride 2011 Calendar

Approx. 215,  arranged by month

January

1838

  • Will County first Courthouse built.
  • Will County first brewery, Betz & Erhard, built in Joliet
  • Druggist J.D. Brown opened Joliet’s 1st pharmacy
  • Joliet True Democrat Newspaper founded
  • Will County Second Courthouse built.
  • Joliet 1st Volunteer Fire Department formed

1858

  • Work started on Collins St. Prison in Joliet College of Francis founded

1933

  • DeLasalle Christian Brothers founded Lewis University

1938

  • US Rte. 66 connects Joliet with Los Angeles

1964

  • New St. Joseph Hospital opened

1998

  • College of St. Francis became University

February

1843

  • Sir Wm. C. Van Horn KCMG, Canadian Rail Builder born here
  • Name officially changed to Joliet
  • Martin Van Buren visited Joliet  

1874

  • Joliet Opera House opened. Cost $60,000, featuring burlesque and religious revivals
  • Leech Windmills patented in Joliet
  • Mule-drawn streetcars began service in Joliet
  • Scutt Barbwire and Fence began in Joliet
  • Joliet Public Library opened in Bank Building

1877

  • Joliet News newspaper founded

1880

  • Joliet’s first telephone exchange created

1925

  • Stateville Correctional Center opened

1937

  • Famous National Hotel built in Joliet

1967

  • New Joliet City Hall opened

1984

  • Olando Tucker, NBA star born in Lockport

1996

  • Medewin Tallgrass Prairie/ Lincoln Natl.Cemetery created

March            

1834  

Joliet’s founder Chas Reed sold cabin & mill to James McKee

Joliet Republican Newspaper founded

Joliet Produced corn shelling machines in Joliet

Moore stoves made in Joliet by Solar Stove Works

Chicago River reversal for higher water level on I&M Canal

Hiram Scutt built Hanna Harwood Home

Civil War Monument erected at Joliet Courthouse plaza

Bates Machine Co. farm equip. nails and fencing

1902   

Ill. Gov. John Altgeld died at Monroe Hotel Joliet

1916   

Actress Mercedes McCambridge born in Joliet

1917   

Decorated Vet Paratrooper, Frank Perconte born, featured in the story, The Band of  Brothers

Joliet DeLasalle IHSA basketball champs

First “talkie” movie in Joliet starred Jack Benny

1929   

Bishop MacNamara visits St. Raymond

1933   

“Illinois Waterway “ Ship & Sanitary Canal re-open

1933   

Jackson St. bridge opens

1937   

Joliet Twnship High School wins State Basketball title.

Bill Sudakis major league 3rd basemen born

1950   

Caterpillar opened Plant on Route. 6, employed 3000

1967   

John Barrowman, TV actor born

2001  

USX buys Elgin Joliet and Eastern RR

 April

1839   

Courier, Joliet’s first newspaper founded

 1843   

Joliet Signal Newspaper founded

1848   

I & M Canal opened

1861   

1st Illinois Regiment formed, McCallister’s Battery

St Johns Universalist Church built at Chicago. and Clinton Streets

Joliet Opera House destroyed by fire

1898   

3rd Regiment Company B formed for Spanish War

1901   

Joliet Twnshp HS Central campus dedicated

Gerlak formed Joliet Calendar Co.

Star-Peerless Wallpaper Co. to Joliet

1908   

Barrett Hardware Building destroyed by fire

1908   

Boston Store destroyed by fire

1919   

Space scientist John C Houbolt born

Old Jackson bridge blown up

1963   

Marl Leiter major league pitcher born

1939   

Morton Kondrake, political commentator, journalist, born

1971   

Amtrak service started in Joliet

1979   

NFL Receiver, Eric Parker born

1983   

Joliet Area Community Hospice began operations

1989   

Joliet Public Library main branch, firebombed

              

May    

1832   

Black Hawk Indian War started

1854   

Joliet and Northern Indiana rail line opened

Joliet Fire Dept. acquired hand-pumper vehicle

Lincoln’s funeral train stopped in Joliet for one hour

1889   

Boston Store built at Jefferson and Ottawa

1893   

Phoenix Horseshoe Co. founded in Joliet

1897   

3rd Will County Courthouse constructed

1900   

David Oliver Oat Co. built

1907   

Tornado kills three in Joliet

1908   

Ground breaking for Joliet Union Station

1917   

EJ&E rail yard begins operation

1918   

Local News debates Babe Ruth as pitcher or batter

1st radio broadcast (WJBI) in Joliet

1926   

Rialto opened,1st play, The Evo.of Joliet,  and 1st movie, Mlle.Modiste

1954   

Charlie Adams, drummer born

Holiday Inn opened in Joliet on Route 66

1993

Harrah’s Casino opened in Joliet

2002  

1st pro baseball game at Silver Cross Field

2009   

Fire damaged Empress Casino

 

June                

1673   

Louis Joliet and Pere Marquette passed thru Joliet Area

Mound Joliet appeared on first map

1834   

James B, Campbell laid out first Joliet boundaries

Joliet’s 1st Church and School established.

1861   

20th Illinois Infantry Co. formed in Joliet

1880  

1st American blast furnace built in Joliet

1902   

Rainfall flooded East side, 3 die

1903   

Scott Streett Post Office opened

1904   

Don Murray, jazz clarinet &sax, born

1907   

Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show plays in Joliet

1908    

Three killed when train collides w/streetcar west of town.

1915   

Herald & News daily papers merge into Joliet Herald-News

1924   

George Mikan , NBA Hall of Famer born here

1925   

WJBI Radio becomes WCLI locally

Sisters of SFMI open Guardian Angel Home

1926   

Woodruff Municipal Golf Course opens

Dancer, Anthropologist Kathryn Dunham born

1940   

Dairy Queen opened 1st store in America in Joliet

1942   

Elwood Ammunition Plant explosion, killed 48

1943   

Ann Nesby, R&B, gospel singer born

1958   

Adam Rapp, writer, film maker, musician born

1964   

Jimmy Chamberlin, Smashing Pumpkins drummer born

Lionel Ritchie graduated from Joliet East High School

1986  

Islamic Hostage Father Lawrence Jenco of Joliet released by extremists in Iran

 

July                

1826   

Rev. Jesse Walker, Methodist circuit rider, founded mission

Jedediah Wooley Jr. started 1st mill in Troy Township

First settlers arrived in Wilmington and Forked Creek

1836   

Construction started on the I&M Canal

1852   

Joliet incorporated

 1859   

Chief Shabbona of Pottawatomie died

 1870   

Illinois Steel produced first iron rail in Joliet

1880   

Will County Pioneers Association founded

1903   

Main Joliet Library opened on Ottawa Street, Joliet

1927   

Will Cty. Forest Preserve Dist. Formed

Joliet hosted 45th Reunion of Civil War Vets

“Niagara” Last I&M Canal boat from La Salle to Chicago retired as Canal closes

1916   

Construction completed on Stateville Pen.

1951   

Joliet Memorial Stadium built

1953   

Joliet’s 1st shopping center, “West Side” built at Jefferson and Reed Streets

2001   

Chicagoland NASCAR track opened in Joliet

 

August

1882   

First patient at St. Joseph Hospital on North Broadway

 1911   

Joliet Aviation Show at Dellwood Park

 1913   

Princess Theatre opened on Chicago St.

Stefanik Restaurant and Tavern opened

1927    

Lois Delander became Miss Illinois and First Miss America

1927   

Joliet Bishop Roger Kaffer born

College of Francis opened

Rennaisance Center built, Burnham design   

1927   

Louis Joliet Hotel opened

1933   

DeLasalle re-named Joliet Catholic High School

1948   

“Rudy Ruettinger” Noter Dame, born

1955   

Joliet selected an “All American City”

1956   

St. Francis Academy becomes co-ed

1960   

Jodi Carlisle, actress born

City of Crest Hill incorporated

Joliet East HS campus opened (closed in 1983)

1969  

Will County 4th (and current) Courthouse opened on Jefferson Street, Joliet

Joliet West HS completed

1957   

Groundbreaking for Joliet National Guard Armory

1961  

Chicago Bear lineman, Tom Thayer born

1982   

Adrianne Curry, model born

1892   

September

Sanitary and Ship Canal Expansion

Joliet Jr. College founded, America’s first Community College

1930   

Grand Opening of Joliet Municipal Airport

1931  

Bob Novak, columnist, TV person, born in Joliet

1932   

Ann Bannon (Ann Weldy), writer , born

1950   

Doug Pinnick, guitarist (King’s X) born in Braidwood

Joliet Masons moved new Temple to Midland Ave.

Essington Rd., first paved

1976  

Will Joliet Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park theatre/bandshell built

1978   

Louis Joliet Mall built and opened

1979   

Galowich YMCA opened on Houbolt Rd.

 1981  

Cultural Arts Assoc. reopened Rialto

1990   

JCHS and SFA merged to form Joliet Catholic Academy

1992   

Empress Casino opened

1993   

Harrah’s Casino opened in downtown Joliet

1996   Joliet Area Historical Museum opened in Ottawa St. Methodist

 

October          

1830   

Armsted Runyon was first Lockport resident

1833   

Romeo Post Office established

George Woodruff. Merchant, historian, came to Joliet

First school established in Lockport

Thomas Cox built 1st mill in Wilmington

1852   

Chicago & Rock Island Railroad steam locomotive arrived in Joliet

1869   

Union Coal, Iron & Trans. Co established in Joliet

Joliet Fire Dept. acquired first steam pumper

1880   

Nora Bayes, actress, singer born in Joliet

1900  

 Presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt visited Joliet

1908   

Cubs win World Series

1912   

Re-routed and elevated downtown raileroad tracks featured in debut of Union Station

 1918   

Spanish flu epidemic hits Joliet

 1926, 1927 and 1928 

JTHS National Championship Band begins long term competition domination

1929   

Woodlawn Memorial Park opened

 1938   

“War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. Joliet part of audience.

  1959  

Jesse Barfield, OUtfielder for  Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees born

1960   

John F. Kennedy campaign stop in Joliet

1963    Mark Grant, Major League Baseball pitcher born in Joliet

1974 to 1978

Joliet CAtholic Academy wins 4 consecutive IHSA 4A State football championships

1981   

Cultural Arts Association announced the reopening of the restored Rialto Square Theater

1984   

Will County government acquired Sears store on Chicago Street  for headquarters and offices

Jefferson Square Shopping Mall opened

 

November

1832   

Charles Reed, founder of Joliet, built cabin on Bluff Street

Merlin Demmond opened Joliet’s first quarry

1895   

Silver Cross 53 bed Hospital opens in Joliet

1908   

Economy Motor Buggy automobiles manufctd in Joliet

1910   

Ottawa Street Methodist Church dedicated

1920  

Women vote for first time in Joliet

Forest Preserve District of Will County acquired Messenger Woods

1932   

Herbert Hoover campaign for President stopped at Union Station Joliet  

1934   

Two Joliet banks close due to Depression

WCLS became WJOL Radio

1947    

Major League pitcher Larry Gura born

1965   

Tornado hits Joliet

1970   

Vince Vieluf, TV and film actor born

1980   

Janina Zione Gavankar, actress, musician born

Joliet Black Road Library opened

 

December

1853  

City Council establishes Joliet Fire Deptartment

Franciscan Sisters establish Joliet’s first hospital

1888   

EJ&E railroad operations commence

1948   

Lynn Thigpin, TV actress born                          

1954   

First masses at St. Raymonds

1956   

McDonalds opens in Joliet on West Jefferson

National Hotel burned

1972   

Tyler Christopher (Baker) born, TV actor

1973   

Mike Alstott, All-Pro Fullback, Joliet Catholic High School standout, born

1979   

Kevin Cameron, Major Leaguer, born