Tracking suburban history with 150 big stories

  • Elgin's first electric streetcars began carrying passengers in 1890. Pictured here is Fountain Square around 1892.

    Elgin's first electric streetcars began carrying passengers in 1890. Pictured here is Fountain Square around 1892. Courtesy of Elgin History Museum

  • When Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald's franchise restaurant in Des Plaines in 1955, a full meal consisting of a hamburger, fries and soft drink cost only 35 cents. The Des Plaines location was dedicated as a museum in 1985.

    When Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald's franchise restaurant in Des Plaines in 1955, a full meal consisting of a hamburger, fries and soft drink cost only 35 cents. The Des Plaines location was dedicated as a museum in 1985. Daily Herald file Photo, 1985

  • Cars block the intersection of Kennicott Avenue and Oakton Street in Arlington Heights while a person drags a wooden sled in the snow.

    Cars block the intersection of Kennicott Avenue and Oakton Street in Arlington Heights while a person drags a wooden sled in the snow. Daily Herald file Photo. January 1967

  • Grand opening ceremonies take place at center court of Woodfield Mall on Sept. 9, 1971.

    Grand opening ceremonies take place at center court of Woodfield Mall on Sept. 9, 1971. Daily Herald File Photo, 1971

  • American Airlines Flight 191 crashed in Des Plaines seconds after takeoff, killing all 275 people on board in 1979.

    American Airlines Flight 191 crashed in Des Plaines seconds after takeoff, killing all 275 people on board in 1979. Daily Herald file Photo, 1979

  • The Aug. 28, 1990, tornado destroyed Plainfield High School.

      The Aug. 28, 1990, tornado destroyed Plainfield High School. Jeff Knox | Staff Photographer, 1990

  • Police investigators climb onto the roof of Brown's Chicken and Pasta in Palatine after seven people were murdered inside on Jan. 8, 1993.

    Police investigators climb onto the roof of Brown's Chicken and Pasta in Palatine after seven people were murdered inside on Jan. 8, 1993. Daily Herald file Photo, 1993

  • The Chicago White Sox celebrate with a victory parade in Chicago after winning the 2005 World Series.

      The Chicago White Sox celebrate with a victory parade in Chicago after winning the 2005 World Series. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2005

  • The Chicago Cubs celebrate their win during Game 7 of baseball's World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

      The Chicago Cubs celebrate their win during Game 7 of baseball's World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland. John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2016

  • Members of the United Parish of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and St. James Catholic Church prayed the Rosary at the site of a memorial to victims of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park.

      Members of the United Parish of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and St. James Catholic Church prayed the Rosary at the site of a memorial to victims of the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, July 2022

  • DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTOThe legendary racehorse Secretariat visits Arlington Park for the Arlington Invitational on June 30, 1973

    DAILY HERALD FILE PHOTOThe legendary racehorse Secretariat visits Arlington Park for the Arlington Invitational on June 30, 1973

 
 
Updated 10/5/2022 12:34 PM

From plank roads to toll roads, and one-room school houses to flourishing universities, the suburbs and the Daily Herald have grown up since the newspaper's founding in 1872.

Along the way, the region has made history with discoveries such as the top quark at Fermilab, endured tragedies such as the Tylenol murders, and produced heroes including Todd Beamer.

 

To mark our sesquicentennial anniversary, here's a look at 150 major news stories from the past 150 years.

1870s

May 20, 1875 -- Mary Todd Lincoln, widow of President Abraham Lincoln, is checked into Bellevue Place, an institution for the mentally ill in Batavia. She was committed by her eldest son, Robert, who was concerned about his mother's unhinged behavior, but attorneys secure her release in September.

1879 -- Maggie Oats becomes the first Black student to graduate from Elgin High School. She is valedictorian of her class.

1880s

1886 -- Marshall Field and members of the Chicago Commerce Club raise money to buy land south of Waukegan and persuade the federal government to station troops at what becomes Fort Sheridan.

1887 -- Wheaton bans the sale of alcoholic beverages at the behest of Warren Wheaton, a longtime temperance worker.

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1889 -- Asa Joice is the first Black resident to be elected to a public office in Lake County -- town constable in Fremont Township.

1890s

1890 -- Elgin establishes a streetcar system.

November 1891 -- A calamitous fire in Glen Ellyn burns all the stores on the west side of Main Street except Fleming's Grocery. It starts around 4 p.m. when a baker drops a lighted lamp.

1893 -- Henry Babson, a founder of Naperville's Babson Bros. Co., runs into Thomas Edison at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Babson later distributes Edison's latest invention, the Victor Talking Machine.

1895 -- Downtown Libertyville is destroyed by fire. In a related disaster that year, a lamp explodes in Algonquin and burns down nearly half the west side of the main street.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

1896 -- A tornado rips through Elgin on May 25, tearing through the state mental asylum and the southeast side of town.

1899 -- Arlington Heights dispenses with the position of night watchmen.

1900s

1901 -- The Chicago & North Western railway runs 22 trains each weekend to the Picnic Grove in Fox River Grove, with its restaurant, six bars, dance floor, shooting gallery and large picnic pavilion.

1901 -- St. Procopius College, now Benedictine University, moves to Lisle.

Dec. 30, 1903 -- A fast-spreading fire at the newly opened Iroquois Theatre in Chicago results in 602 deaths. Among the victims were Bartlett and Naperville residents.

1904 -- Lombard passes an ordinance prohibiting wooden sidewalks and requiring future sidewalks be made of concrete.

1909 -- John H. Schierding wins the Palatine mayoral election by only 20 votes.

1910s

1911 -- An explosion at a gunpowder mill in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, is so powerful windows shatter in downtown Barrington.

1914 -- Voters say yes in a referendum authorizing the formation of High School District 214. Furious opponents take the outcome to court, resulting in an almost eight-year delay.

1916 -- An outbreak of scarlet fever in Palatine closes all schools, churches and shows.

1917 -- The population of Mount Prospect reaches the magic number of 300 on Jan. 31, when Norman W. Pohlman is born. The next day the incorporation papers are sent to Springfield.

Sept. 6, 1919 -- Arlington Heights holds a "Welcome Home" celebration for World War I soldiers. It features a parade of more than 100 men in uniform, escorted by veterans of the Civil War. The guest of honor was Col. J.V. Clinnin, who "was driven up with a flourish from the depot in the official buzz wagon" and gave an address that paid tribute "to the boys of German parentage and their services in the war," according to Herald archives.

1920s

March 28, 1920 -- Midday tornadoes strike, killing 28 people in Cook, Kane, Lake and Will counties and injuring roughly 400 more. Elgin and Wauconda sustain significant damage.

June 24, 1921 -- Herman W. Freise, president of Schaumburg State Bank, is shot in the right wrist by one of five men who attempt to hold up the bank. "The men obtained no money, and, moreover, left a dollar in the attempt. There was $3,000 in cash in the bank," Herald archives state.

1922 -- Lottie Homan O'Neill of Downers Grove is the first woman elected to the Illinois legislature. Except for two years, she serves until 1963.

Oct. 18, 1924 -- The "Wheaton Iceman," Red Grange, scores four touchdowns in the first 12 minutes in the Illini's 39-14 victory over the Michigan.

1925 -- Gauthier's Flying Field opens in the Wheeling area. The facility is renamed Palwaukee Airport in 1928 and expanded in the 1930s. In 1986, Wheeling and Prospect Heights purchased the facility and it was later renamed Chicago Executive Airport.

Oct. 14, 1927 -- Under heavy cloud cover and biting northwest winds, Arlington Park, destined to be America's premier racecourse, opens before thousands of race fans and socialites.

Sept. 3, 1929 -- The El Tovar Theater in Crystal Lake, completed just a month before, is bombed. The blast blows out the door, plate glass and some of the bricks in front of the building, and smashes the big sign.

Sept. 17, 1929 -- Major illegal distilleries are seized by Prohibition agents in Arlington Heights, Palatine and Itasca. "Evidently Chicago bootleg kings have been driven out by the concerted action of the national, county and city enforcement agencies, to try to conceal their operations on isolated farms," Herald archives state.

1930s

1930 -- After the stock market crash, Mount Prospect claims to be the only city in Cook County not broke as of January 1930.

Jan. 31, 1930 -- Fred Kellum and "Hud" Price of Arlington Heights are charged with stealing calves from farmers in Cook and DuPage counties and hiding them in abandoned barns near Elk Grove, then selling them to Chicago dealers. "Many chickens were also missing about this time," archives indicate.

June 1, 1930 -- Members of Al Capone's and George "Bugs" Moran's gangs are gunned down on the porch of the popular Manning's resort in Fox Lake as they dine.

May 29, 1931 -- An extension of Route 53 is planned. "The hamlet of Long Grove is going to have a paved road," archives state. The 10-mile extension will run "north from Lake Street, through Palatine over Hicks Road and verge toward the northeast," then use Long Grove Road through the village center to McHenry Road.

1932 -- Amid the Depression, a Works Project Administration camp is built near Des Plaines along the east branch of the Des Plaines River. Camp Pine is later used to house German POWs during World War II.

March 25, 1932 -- Ralph Peck, former First National Bank of Palatine president, is convicted of embezzling money from the bank. Peck is charged with pocketing up to $30,000 collected in loan payments to the bank. In his defense, he said the bank owed him money.

Oct. 14, 1932 -- Wheeling voter registration reaches a new high -- 3,265. There are 1,000 women who are entitled to vote.

Aug. 25, 1933 -- Arlington Heights asks the federal government for $50,000 in National Recovery Act funds to improve the local water works system, including the erection of a new reservoir with a capacity of 250,000 gallons.

Nov. 27, 1934 -- Mobster "Baby Face" Nelson engages in a shootout with federal agents in Barrington. Later, he is shot to death in Niles Center (now Skokie) by Inspector Samuel P. Cowley and Special Agent Herman E. Hollis. Both die in the gunbattle. The body of Nelson, 25, considered Public Enemy No. 1 after the death of John Dillinger, is found in a ditch wearing only underclothing.

May 1936 -- Construction begins on the widening of Rand Road from Euclid Avenue to the county line.

1937 -- Electrical engineer Grote Reber builds the first radio telescope from his backyard in Wheaton. The amateur astronomer revolutionizes how outer space is explored using radio waves.

1940s

Dec. 7, 1941 -- Japanese forces bomb Pearl Harbor, and the United States officially enters World War II. Among those stationed on Pearl Harbor during the attack is Arthur Miller Jr. of Wheeling. About three weeks later, his parents receive word that he is "safe, sound and happy."

June 5, 1942 -- Officials announce a $20 million Douglas Aircraft assembly plant will be built near Bensenville. The Army is purchasing 1,347 acres between Higgins Road and Bryn Mawr. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy takes over 360 acres southwest of Arlington Heights for a training airport.

March 1943 -- The DuPage Airport officially opens. Originally, a grass landing strip for aviation enthusiasts, it's used by the U.S. Navy in World War II. This August a U.S. Customers facility is opened there.

Dec. 2, 1944 -- The Palatine National Bank opens for business.

April 27, 1945 -- Marine Pfc. Harold "Boots" Bauer, a wounded veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima, returns to his Arlington Heights home. His left arm had been struck by shell fragments.

Aug. 15, 1947 -- Plans are announced to build a new Lions Park in Mount Prospect. The park will serve as a memorial to veterans of World War II.

1948 -- Dundee Unit District 300 is formed with Harry Jacobs as superintendent. This marks the closing of the last one-room schoolhouse in the area.

1949 -- O'Hare International Airport is named after Edward Henry "Butch" O'Hare, a skilled World War II naval aviator who lost his life during the Battle of Midway.

1950s

Oct. 23, 1952 -- Auto collisions involving teenage drivers over the past six months account for over 12% of fatal crashes in suburban Cook County, board President William Erickson says. "It is difficult for a boy of 16 to appreciate that an automobile traveling 50 miles an hour is a deadly missile," he is quoted as saying.

April 15, 1955 -- Ray Kroc opens his first McDonald's franchise in Des Plaines. The new restaurant touts its "speedee service" and "plenty of free parking." Its menu includes 15-cent hamburgers, 19-cent cheeseburgers, 20-cent shakes and 10-cent sodas. The first day's sales under the golden arches amount to $366.12.

July 10, 1956 -- Elk Grove Village is incorporated in a special election. On Sept. 6, citizens of the newly incorporated village go to the polls to elect village officials.

1958 -- The Tri-State Tollway, stretching 22 miles between the Indiana and Wisconsin borders, opens in stages. It not only connects the suburbs but becomes a major route for trucks.

Aug. 20, 1958 -- The Northwest Tollway, a 77-mile corridor between the Kennedy Expressway and Wisconsin, officially opens. A year later, a Fred Harvey sit-down restaurant opens at the Des Plaines Oasis. In 2007 the road is renamed the Jane Addams Tollway.

1959 -- Roselle Field, a small airport near Schaumburg, opens. In 1994, the village purchases the facility at the prompting of the Federal Aviation Administration. It's now known as Schaumburg Regional Airport.

March 1, 1959 -- The commercial jet age makes its Midwestern debut at O'Hare International Airport, when American Airlines inaugurated daily 707 Jet Flagship service between O'Hare and San Francisco and New York.

1960s

Oct. 25, 1960 -- Campaigning for president, Sen. John F. Kennedy visits York High School in Elmhurst. He warns the crowd about Russia. "We face a dangerous and powerful enemy. We do not want to face him alone," Kennedy says.

Sept. 1, 1961 -- Just minutes after takeoff from Midway International Airport, a TWA jet experiences a malfunction and crashes into a field near Clarendon Hills, killing all 76 people on board.

March 5, 1962 -- The posh Oakbrook Center opens, occupying a 110-acre site. The new mall includes more than 60 stores, specialty shops, restaurants and businesses, including Marshall Field and Co. and Sears Roebuck and Co.

Aug. 16, 1962 -- Randhurst, billed as the world's largest shopping center under one roof, welcomes customers. It is the only shopping center in America to offer three full-line department stores: Carson Pirie Scott, Wieboldt's and The Fair.

1963 -- While draining a pond in Glen Ellyn, a man uncovers a massive bone. Excavation reveals the skeleton of an Ice Age mastodon, dubbed "Perry" after the judge who owned the land where it was found.

March 12, 1964 -- A chartered airplane with 30 passengers crashes into a Hoffman Estates home. One person is killed, co-pilot Daniel Jordan, 22, of Gary, Indiana. His coolheaded decision to switch off the gas and lights just before the crash may have saved the lives of 35 others.

June 2, 1966 -- William Rainey Harper College, serving the townships of Schaumburg, Wheeling, Elk Grove and Palatine, decides to ask voters to approve a $7.4 million bond issue to construct a campus.

October 1966 -- Workers use dynamite to bring down the Elgin National Watch Factory's iconic tower. The famous timepiece plant had been in Elgin since the 1800s.

Jan. 27, 1967 -- A massive snowstorm buries the region. In Addison, police borrow toboggans as substitutes for squad cars and ambulances. In Mount Prospect, snow plows serve as escorts for ambulances. Elmhurst's police department beds down a busload of army prisoners bound for Fort Sheridan, along with 600 other stranded people.

April 21, 1967 -- Tornadoes sweep through the region, killing 33 Cook County residents near Oak Lawn and Palos Hills, and 24 more people near Belvidere. More than 1,000 others are injured.

1970s

Sept. 9, 1971 -- Woodfield Mall begins serving customers. Thousands watch opening ceremonies, which include Conant High School's marching band. Schaumburg Mayor Robert Atcher calls the world's largest enclosed climate controlled retail center "a dream come true."

July 17, 1972 -- Burglars break into the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate hotel in Washington, D.C. Wheaton native Bob Woodward's reporting with Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein helps link the crime to Republican President Richard Nixon.

Feb. 23, 1973 -- Three volunteer Palatine firefighters die battling a blaze that destroys the Ben Franklin variety store downtown. The victims include the store's owner, 40-year-old John Wilson.

July 1974 -- The House Judiciary Committee approves three articles of impeachment against President Nixon. Lake County Republican Congressman Robert McClory votes for two articles. "The essential question we must answer is not what is best for our party, but what is best for our nation," he says.

Sept. 30, 1976 -- DuPage County Republican Congressman Henry Hyde's amendment to Medicaid funding that banned using federal dollars for abortions passes the House.

January 1979 -- Efforts by Des Plaines police lead to the arrest of John Wayne Gacy for the killing of 15-year-old Robert Piest of Des Plaines. A search of Gacy's crawl space reveals 26 skeletal remains.

May 25, 1979 -- American Airlines Flight 191, en route from O'Hare Airport to Los Angeles, crashes in Des Plaines seconds after takeoff, killing all 275 people on board.

1980s

May 14, 1980 -- The Rosemont Horizon opens. A crowd of 12,000 fans gathers for a Fleetwood Mac concert. The opening is tempered by grim reminders of a partial roof collapse the previous August that killed five construction workers.

Aug. 30, 1981 -- The first "Arlington Million" runs at Arlington International Racecourse. Jockey Willie Shoemaker guides John Henry to victory in a photo finish over The Bart. "This is probably the greatest race I've ever ridden in," Shoemaker says.

1982 -- The nation is stunned and frightened when seven people in the suburbs die from poisoned capsules of Tylenol. The victims include Stanley and Theresa Janus of Lisle and Stanley's brother Adam of Arlington Heights.

1982 -- The Northeast Illinois Commuter Rail Corporation, also known as Metra, is created. The combination of smaller defunct railroads in partnership with major freight carriers now conveys millions of riders across the region.



March 5, 1982 -- Wheaton native John Belushi dies as the result of a drug overdose in Los Angeles. The beloved comedian starred in "Saturday Night Live," "Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers."

May 15, 1982 -- Lorraine Borowski, 21, is grabbed on her way to work in Elmhurst and carried away in a van. She is one of a number of women killed in 1981 and 1982 by the vicious Ripper Crew who prowled Chicago and suburban DuPage County kidnapping and sexually assaulting young women.

1983 -- Arlington Heights, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove and Palatine gain access to Lake Michigan water through a 42-mile pipeline from the Evanston Water Department. The Northwest Water Commission project carries an $80 million price tag.

July 1, 1984 -- Pace bus debuts after various suburban agencies are consolidated. It now numbers 810 fixed routes and removes an estimated 100,000 cars from the roads each day.

1985 -- The Water Commission Act of 1985 gives the DuPage Water Commission permission to build a pipeline to Lake Michigan, sparking a growth spurt in the Western suburbs.

June 14, 1985 -- A TWA jetliner is hijacked after takeoff from Athens. On board are groups from St. Margaret Mary Church in Algonquin and St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva.

July 31, 1985 -- A fire destroys Arlington Park Race Track. More than 150 firefighters from 25 communities fight in vain to conquer the blaze. The fire, which destroyed the clubhouse, grandstand, racing and exposition center complex, did not spread to the stable area that house 1,900 animals.

January 1986 -- The Chicago Bears win their only Super Bowl when they trounce the New England Patriots 46-10 in New Orleans. Renowned running back Walter "Sweetness" Payton who lived in South Barrington, had a favorite training hill in Arlington Heights.

March 1986 -- The movie "Lucas" is filmed mostly at Glenbard West High School. Football coaches and players and school officials play bit roles in the film. In the film, Glen Ellyn was portrayed as Deer Park, Illinois. The movie receives its world premiere at the Glen Theater, which also appeared on camera.

Jan. 16, 1987 -- The Chicago White Sox put the proposed site for a new stadium on 140 acres of wetlands in Addison up for sale. Addison voters rejected the stadium proposal in a November advisory referendum.

Aug. 14, 1987 -- Rain swamps the region, causing widespread flooding in the suburbs. A record 9.2 inches is recorded at O'Hare, wiping away the previous 1957 record of 6.24 inches. At least 300 cars are stranded as water levels reach 6 feet on expressways. Police use boats to rescue motorists from the tops of their cars and thousands lose power.

December 1989 -- The North-South Tollway (I-355) opens and becomes so popular, planners realize it needs to be longer. The original toll road, renamed Veterans Memorial Tollway, originally reaches from Bolingbrook to Army Trail Road.

1990s

Aug. 29, 1990 -- A devastating F5 tornado -- the only one to strike the Chicago area -- with winds as high as 300 mph touches down in Plainfield, killing 29 and injuring more than 350 others in its path from Oswego to Joliet. It causes the National Weather Service to change how alerts are issued.

April 13, 1991 -- The Kane County Cougars play their first game at their new Geneva home, Elfstrom Stadium. The Cougars fall to the South Bend White Sox 13-0.

Jan. 24, 1992 -- Buffalo Grove atheist Rob Sherman argues before the U.S. Court of Appeals that an Illinois law requiring students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance forces his 9-year-old son Ricky, a student at Riley School in Arlington Heights, to acknowledge "one nation under God."

Jan. 8, 1993 -- Seven people are found slain at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta restaurant in Palatine, including the owners of the restaurant, Richard and Lynn Ehlenfeldt of Arlington Heights.

Oct. 6, 1994 -- Elgin's Grand Victoria Casino opens. The riverboat, expected to generate $14 million annually for the city, is the last of 10 casino licenses approved in Illinois and becomes the most profitable boat in the state.

Oct. 14, 1994 -- The Chicago Wolves play the first hockey game in franchise history at the Rosemont Horizon. About 13,000 people come to see the Wolves, including former Blackhawk Al Secord, face off against the Detroit Vipers.

Nov. 8, 1994 -- Republicans win the Illinois House and Elmhurst state Rep. Lee Daniels takes over from Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan. It's a suburban duo at the top with Wood Dale Republican James "Pate" Philip serving as Senate president.

Nov. 16, 1994 -- A trio of criminals shoot a pregnant Debra Evans and cut the unborn child out of her body in Addison. Evan's daughter, Samantha, 10, is also murdered and her 7-year-old son Joshua is kidnapped and later killed.

1995 -- A Metra train hits a school bus on the railroad tracks in Fox River Grove, killing seven Cary-Grove High School students and injuring more. The tragedy devastates the community and sparks safety reforms.

March 3, 1995 -- Scientists at Fermilab in Batavia announce they have discovered the top quark, a tiny subatomic particle that can help explain the creation of the universe.

Nov. 3, 1995 -- A judge clears Rolando Cruz of the 1983 murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico of Naperville. Prosecutors soon drop charges against co-defendant Alejandro Hernandez.

April 3, 1996 -- Unabomber and former Lombard resident, Theodore John Kaczynski, is arrested in a Montana cabin after mailing letter bombs over a 20-year period.

July 18, 1996 -- Mother Nature unleashes in DuPage with unprecedented storms, dumping nearly 17 inches of rainfall in portions of Aurora, Lisle, Naperville and Warrenville. Parts of I-88 were covered in water as was downtown Naperville.

August 1996 -- When a Buffalo Grove toddler falls into an indoor exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo, Binti Jua, a female gorilla, picks the boy up and cradles him until rescuers arrive. The 3-year-old recovers quickly after being hospitalized, and the story draws national attention.

August 1996 -- Numerous suburban delegates cheer on President Bill Clinton for a second term at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. "I believe the convention will give a boost to the party in DuPage," Lombard resident Camille Dowdney says, according to archives.

Dec. 19, 1998 -- The House of Representatives votes to impeach Clinton for lying under oath about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Leading the prosecution is House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde.

March 19, 1999 -- Marilyn Lemak, a Naperville nurse, laces peanut butter sandwiches with medication to make her three children fall asleep and then suffocates Nicholas, 7, Emily, 6, and Thomas, 3, to punish her husband who was seeking a divorce.

May 1999 -- Alexian Field debuts in Schaumburg. The stadium is later renamed Boomers Stadium with the advent of the Schaumburg Boomers and now is known as Wintrust Field.

2000s

Sept. 5, 2000 -- Gov. George W. Bush stops at Naperville's Last Fling event while campaigning for president. Unaware his microphone is on, Bush calls a political reporter an obscenity that garners headlines over the insult, not his speech.

Sept. 11, 2001 -- Terrorists hijack four United and American airplanes, piloting them on a disastrous course into New York's Twin Towers and the Pentagon, where Naperville native U.S. Navy Cmdr. Dan Shanower is killed. Passengers on the fourth jet, including Wheaton's Todd Beamer, fight back and it crashes into a Pennsylvania field, avoiding a major target like the Capitol.

April 2002 -- The Chicago Fire begin the first of two soccer seasons at North Central College in Naperville.

May 2002 -- Former Fremd High School students Juan Luna and James Degorski are arrested in connection with the Brown's Chicken & Pasta massacre.

Dec. 13, 2003 -- Naperville residents Anne Marie and James Hickey Sr. wake up to astounding news about son, U.S. Army Col. James Hickey Jr. "'They captured Saddam Hussein -- Jimmy and his crew,'" the couple's third son Kenneth announces. Hussein was unearthed in Tikrit, Iraq, by the 4th Infantry Division.

2005 -- The Chicago White Sox win their first World Series since 1917. Unwittingly, Buffalo Grove native Josh Paul plays a role, when an umpire rules he dropped a third strike against the Sox' A.J. Pierzynski during the ALCS against the California Angels, allowing Pierzynski to reach base and turn the tide of a series the Angels were leading 1-0.

2006 -- Several suburbs, including Buffalo Grove, Lincolnshire, Libertyville and Vernon Hills pass public smoking bans.

2006 -- President George W. Bush names Barrington Hills resident Henry Paulson, a 1964 graduate of Barrington High School, treasury secretary.

September 2006 -- Teeth and tusk fragments from a prehistoric woolly mammoth are uncovered in West Chicago.

November 2006 -- The Sears Centre opens in Hoffman Estates and features concerts by Bob Dylan, Lionel Richie and Duran Duran in its first week.

April 18, 2007 -- Longtime Rosemont Mayor Donald Stephens dies. He served for 51 years, making him the longest serving incumbent mayor in U.S. history.

May 2007 -- A host of periodical cicadas emerge in the suburbs and take over backyards with their piercing shrieks. The insects appear every 17 years to mate, lay eggs and die after a brief and noisy sojourn.

Feb. 15, 2009 -- Work on the long-awaited Levee 37 project is set to begin. The $23 million flood control project along the Des Plaines River is expected to protect about 600 homes in Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights.

Feb. 14, 2008 -- A mass shooting unfolds at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Five students are killed.

April 2, 2009 -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich is indicted on federal corruption charges. Playing a key role is whistleblower and Edward Hospital CEO Pam Davis, who wore an FBI wire to catch Blagojevich associates attempting a shakedown.

Nov. 16, 2009 -- Leaders from the Chicago Department of Aviation and Bensenville announce the city will give the village $16 million in exchange for dropping its lawsuits against the city, paving the way for O'Hare expansion after years of legal battles.

2010s

2010 -- Figure skater Evan Lysacek of Naperville wins the men's gold medal in the Winter Olympics.

2010 -- Chicago begins razing Bensenville properties to make way for O'Hare Airport expansion.

May 26, 2010 -- Lee DeWyze, a 24-year-old paint salesperson from Mount Prospect, wins the American Idol competition.

July 18, 2011 -- After nearly 10 years of vying for the state's 10th riverboat casino license, Des Plaines officials finally realize the fruits of their labors with the opening of the Rivers Casino.

April 2012 -- Rosemont opens MB Financial Park at Rosemont, a 200,000-square-foot entertainment district situated just west of River Road and north of Balmoral Avenue. It features entertainment, dining and festival space for year-round events.

Sept. 26, 2014 -- An aviation meltdown occurs after sabotage at Chicago Center, the long-distance air traffic control center in Aurora. A suicidal contract employee starts fires in the basement and cuts vital radar and communications lines, causing thousands of flights to be canceled.

Sept. 1, 2015 -- Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph "G.I. Joe" Gliniewicz stages his own death, first radioing he's chasing suspects, then taking his own life. A massive manhunt follows to find the killers of the supposed hero who embezzled thousands from an Explorer youth program.

May 2016 -- The suburban fight against the opioid crisis receives a boost in May with the passage of a law that provides $10.8 million in federal grants to help states make an overdose-treatment drug called naloxone available at pharmacies.

July 26, 2016 -- Park Ridge native Hillary Clinton is the first woman to win her party's nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

August 15, 2016 -- Motorola Solutions decides to move its global headquarters from Schaumburg to Chicago. Unused land on the company's 277-acre campus will be sold for redevelopment, officials say.

Oct. 11, 2016 -- 101-year-old Cubs fan Virginia Wood, a resident of the Luther Village retirement community in Arlington Heights, hopes she can celebrate her 102nd birthday as the first with the Cubs as world champions. The Cubs fulfill her wish by defeating the Cleveland Indians.

May 13, 2017 -- A Kane County jail inmate being treated at Delnor Hospital in Geneva escapes from his guard and takes two nurses hostage before being shot to death by a SWAT team. Two nurses later sue a guard, Kane County and the hospital's security firm, arguing they failed to monitor and secure Salters, and that he tortured and raped one of the nurses.

March 2018 -- Elgin has its first fatal police shooting in 19 years when resident Decynthia Clements is killed by a police officer. The 34-year-old woman had an hourlong standoff with police, during which she started a fire in her car and exited holding a knife before she was shot by Lt. Christian Jensen.

Feb. 15, 2019 -- a disgruntled employee walks into the Henry Pratt Co. factory in Aurora and guns down five co-workers. He is fatally wounded in an intense firefight with police.

April 24, 2019 -- The body of missing Crystal Lake 5-year-old A.J. Freund is recovered from a field near Woodstock less than a week after his parents, JoAnn Cunningham and Andrew Freund Sr., report his disappearance. Video evidence and testimony shows the little boy had suffered extensive abuse.

May 2019 -- The Arlington Heights village board approves 8-0 the largest development in some two decades in the downtown. The $150 million Arlington 425 project will transform the face of downtown Arlington Heights with a three-building residential and commercial campus.

Aug. 29, 2019 -- Illinois awards its first five recreational marijuana licenses to suburbs including Naperville and Mundelein.

November 2019 -- After four years of debate, protests and lawsuits, the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board votes 5-2 to lift a requirement that trans students use privacy stalls. While privacy stalls have been made available for all students in locker rooms at the district's five high schools, only transgender students have been required to use them. But when second semester classes begin after the holidays, no such rule will be in effect.

June 2019 -- Waves of marchers hoisting rainbow-colored flags, carrying balloons and sporting shirts with LGBTQ-friendly messages wash over Buffalo Grove's Checker Drive as the village hosts its first Pride Parade.

2020s

Feb. 23, 2020 -- Palatine residents Bob Dix and his wife, Regina, contract the suburbs' first cases of COVID-19 and the state's third and fourth.

March 20, 2020 -- With 585 COVID-19 infections and five people dead, Gov. J.B. Pritzker imposes a stay-at-home order.

May 25, 2020 -- The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police leads to protests across the suburbs.

Sept. 29, 2021 -- The Chicago Bears announce a $197 million purchase agreement with Churchill Downs Inc. that would move the football franchise to Arlington Park.

June 20, 2021 -- A tornado rips through the Naperville area just after 11 p.m. In 20 minutes, the twister that towers 19,000 feet, damages about 230 homes, causes at least 11 injuries and takes the life of an unborn child in Woodridge.

Jan. 6, 2021 -- U.S. Reps. Brad Schneider of Highland Park and Mike Quigley, who grew up in Carol Stream, shelter on the floor of the U.S. House chamber as a violent mob of insurrectionists seeking to overthrow the 2020 election try to break in.

October 2021 -- Elk Grove Village mother Yasmina Blackburn's hope of having American Doll include Muslims in its product line succeeds. The company launches an Eid al-Fitr doll after Blackburn advocates on behalf of her daughter, Aliya.

May 21, 2022 -- Fire breaks out at the shuttered Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. The blaze burns into the night, sending huge plumes of smoke into the sky, destroying the property.

July 4, 2022 -- A gunman opens fire during the Highland Park July Fourth parade, killing seven and wounding three dozen including children. He is caught later that day and faces 117 criminal charges.

So much has happened across Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties, it can't all be packed into 150 items.

So if there's a major news story you think should be included, email us at youcandobetter@dailyherald.com.

• Daily Herald Staff Writers Jake Griffin and Dave Oberhelman contributed to this report.

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