Forty Years Ago

Not everyone will remember Howard Sammon; maybe some Q-Tips.* Editor Claude Walker Jr. called him a two-town dynamo”Springfield and Forest Park. In 1965 he was president of the Forest Park National Bank and, back then, had everything to do with the fact that the state of Illinois didn’t have branch banking. “The large Chicago banks would like to have branches,” wrote Walker. “But this would have to be legalized by the State Legislature.” Sammon believed, and worked hard to ensure, that banks should be strictly local, people-oriented and community-owned.

*Your white-haired folk.

What a Grandpa! What a future heirloom! Granddaughter Patti Jo was the beneficiary of both. This home-made, perfectly scaled dollhouse was built and wired with loving care by John MacGregor. Even the furniture and pictures on the walls were crafted in fine detail. Wife Nora even crocheted the rugs.

From the Feb. 1965 issues of the Forest Park Review

Thirty Years Ago

Having fallen behind on some past REVIEW copies I neglected the story covering the opening of the “new” Howard Mohr Community Center. It took place on Nov. 25, 1974. Many hundreds of locals were on hand including, of course, its namesake, Howard Mohr, who announced he would run for a third term as mayor. Mohr, who had championed the center, said that “it was the result of the unified efforts of the community and not tax dollars.” Built on the site of the former waterworks garage, the place was jammed before the 2 p.m. opening. Colors were posted by the VFW Post 7181 and the American Legion Post 414. Congressman Henry J. Hyde, first-time Director Jim McCoy and Village Clerk Bill MacKenzie were also on hand.

The same eventful week marked the first “turning on” of a section of lights in the new street lighting project. The new lights”sodium vapor lamps”replaced obsolete units installed in the 1920s. They proved to be instrumental in increasing public safety, reducing crimes and minimizing traffic accidents.

From the Nov. 1974 issues of the Forest Park Review

Twenty Years Ago

Humor, Bob Haeger style: A downstate chamber of commerce ordered a lavish floral display for the grand opening of a new store on Main Street. When it arrived the card read, ‘In Deepest Sympathy.’ The chamber secretary complained bitterly about the mistake. “You think you got problems?” said the florist. “I sent an arrangement to O’Leary’s Funeral Home that said, ‘Congratulations on Your New Location.'”

A car was stolen at 8 p.m. in River Forest. Three passengers and a driver were riding in it. Radio dispatches were sent to the Oak Park and Forest Park police. Officers McNally and Tagliola tracked the offenders south on the Circle Avenue overpass. A quick left east onto Harrison Street and all three vehicles cross Harlem Avenue (lead car running a red light) and down Garfield Street ” formerly Harrison Street. Lead car broadsides an Oak Park police car blocking entry to Oak Park Avenue, injuring an officer. Police bullets fatally strike the 17 year-old driver and wound one other. The other two are slightly hurt in the crash impact. All four identified as
gang members from the Northwest Side.
Was it worth it all?

From the Jan. 1985 issue of the Forest Park Review

Ten Years Ago

Do you remember? The other Jack Johnson (1960s warden, Cook County Jail) … Sydney J. Harris … Bernie Epton … comedians Sam Levenson … Robert Klein … Steve Landesberg … David Steinberg … David Brenner … Kelly Montieth … Charley Manna … Joey Bishop … Kevin Meany … Phil Foster … Phil Ford and Mimi Hines (troupers) … Foster Brooks … and no comedian at all, Glenn “Doc” Rivers, NBA great and Proviso East’s best-ever basketball player.

The Haymarket monument in Forest Home Cemetery”probably the village’s most famous piece of statuary”has been ravaged, scarred and defaced over the years both in reprehension and reverence. Ten years ago, vandals removed the bronze plaque that carried the names of the 1886 striker-victims along with a quote from Governor John Altgeld. Valued at $3,000, it had been one of several bronze items stolen from the cemetery. Police said it was likely sold to a scrap metal company for cash.

The monument was erected in 1893 and belonged to the Labor History Society. The Haymarket riot marked both the beginning of the 8-hour working day and a probable rush to judgment against the workers charged with its incitement.

From the February 1995 issues of the Forest Park Review