40 Years Ago

In Claude Walker Sr.’s Personal Observations column, the subject was the Chicago police’s handling or mishandling of the August 1968 demonstrations in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel. Ye Olde Editor expressed some interesting thoughts, using some interesting words:

“I believe the rioting in Chicago was planned many months ago by Communistically directed leaders who used these smelly, frustrated, stupid Hippies as tools in carrying on their dirty work. The motive behind these actions is to belittle the image of this country to peoples all over the world. This is powerful propaganda, and when the showdown comes, the Commies will have built up a great antipathy by other nations to our country.

“The big question now is, was too much force used by law enforcers to quell this outbreak? The answer to me is quite apparent. Policemen are supposed to enforce the laws and use as much force as is necessary to carry out their duty. If it means cracking a skull, I’m all for it.”

Interesting how word choice and attitudes can change over the years.

From the Sept. 12, 1968, Forest Park Review

30 Years Ago

The Acme Resin chemical spill reported last week that made refugees out of neighbors, appeared a week later to be a human error. The mix of overheated formaldehyde, phenol and ortho-cesol that caused a 4,000-gallon spill was improperly monitored. As a result, virtually all residents on the south side of town had to be evacuated from the 12-square-block area.

With the exception of those affected the relationship between the village and the manufacturer seemed stronger as a result. At a meeting between the two bodies, both sides agreed firmly that new safety practices had to be put in place. Acme agreed to pay all hospital and medical bills resulting from exposure to the toxic fumes.

From the Sept, 25, 1978, Forest Park Review

20 Years Ago

Bizarre. How else to describe a motorcycle fatality like this? Joseph McDonough, 83, of Oak Park, was sitting and relaxing on the memorial bench at the northwest corner of Madison and Circle. Tim Murphy, 26, was traveling northbound on Circle making a left turn onto Madison. The yellow signal was on and Murphy had signaled a left hand turn. When a westbound auto moved forward suddenly, he tried to avoid the vehicle and lost control of his bike, which jumped a curb and slammed McDonough against a brick wall behind the bench. The elderly man died of his injuries nine hours later at Oak Park Hospital.

From the Sept. 20, 1988, Forest Park Review

10 Years Ago

“As Rev. Phillip Nelson, a Lisle-based pastor, delivered the eulogy Saturday morning to an overflow crowd at Zimmerman-Ehringer Funeral Home, those who could not get into the chapel stood along Madison listening to Cindy Lyon’s funeral service through loudspeakers.”

Reporter Brett McNiel’s opening paragraph failed to capture the care, closeness, love and personal loss that Forest Park felt for its community center director of 14 years.

Seldom had a public figure here given so much of herself in so personal a manner. A family on food stamps coming to her would always be treated with respect, dignity and equality. At her death from melanoma on Aug. 18, 1998, outpourings of words and feelings were so great that 10 years later one could see why reporter McNiel had a tough assignment.

From the Aug. 26, 1998, Forest Park Review