40 years ago

The name Ziggy won’t ring a bell if you’re 40 years old or under. Ziggy was a rogue male elephant that had been confined indoors at the Brookfield Zoo since 1941 when he attacked his keeper. A “Free Ziggy” fund had begun to get him a new “Home in the Sun.” Sympathetic slogans favored The Zigger – “Anybody can have a bad day” … “Free Ziggy!” … “Even elephants need love.” Zoo Director Peter Crowcroft called Ziggy a magnificent creature who deserved his place in the sun. He got his own home.

He was purchased as a two year old by show biz entrepreneur Flo Ziegfeld (hence his name) and later sold to Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey. He drifted from circus to circus until purchased by Brookfield Zoo, where he was immensely popular before and after his misconduct. Ol’ Zig – all ten feet tall, six tons and 58 years of him – ate his last peanut in l975.


“Dead man’s curve,” where Harvard St. and Desplaines Ave. join, was the site of a fatal accident that took the life of 20-year-old Joseph Matias of N. Riverside. His motorcycle collided with a car driven by a Forest Park woman. Matias died en route to Oak Park Hospital. The woman was treated there for facial injuries.

From the Sept. 2, 1970 Forest Park Review

30 years ago

Could this be the Review’s Most Unusual Letter to the Editor?

“My bother underwent major surgery and also suffered a minor stroke some weeks ago. When he was released from the hospital the doctors told me he would need constant care at home, but I was unable to get more time off from work as I would lose my job.

Mr. Dominick Margentina, who is our landlord and who also operates his own place of business, came to our rescue. Every morning and noon he comes in to give my brother his medication, and also fixes breakfast and lunch for him.

In every sense of the word this man is a Good Samaritan. People complain about their landlords, but we say ours is the greatest. May God bless him always. Without him we would have been lost.”

– Lillian Foote

From the Sept. 3, 1980 Forest Park Review

20 years ago

If census workers thought counting live people was hard work, they ought to tally the dead. Estimates range from 800,000 to 1.4 million bodies buried in our five cemeteries beginning in the mid-l870s. The figuring had been done and showed that 40 people a day would have had to die for the high-end figure to be correct. The numbers per cemetery: Jewish Waldheim, 800,000 … Forest Home, 100,000 … Waldheim, 90,000 … Concordia, 70,000 … and Woodlawn, 22,000.

A confirmation call made by Editor Claudia Lenart 20 years ago revealed that at one time in our ignorant past, Jewish people were denied burial in Chicago, hence the disproportionately high number of burials in Jewish Waldheim. A second call was made to Irwin Lapping, then Executive Director of that cemetery who assured Lenart that the 1.4 million figure was grossly exaggerated by 6,000 bodies, lowering the overall final count to 800,000.

Other bodies of information were “dug up.” However, space is tighter than a crowded graveyard.

From the September 19, 1990 Forest Park Review

10 years ago

A man was reportedly found locked in the trunk of a car at 4 a.m. on the 900 block of Elgin Ave. Police reportedly heard a male voice coming from the trunk and used the interior trunk release to open it. The 25-year-old man had been checking on his disabled vehicle on the 7900 block of Bishop in Chicago when he was approached by five males at gunpoint. The men took his wallet, keys and $200 before punching him in the head, rendering him unconscious and putting him in the trunk. The victim believes he was there for four hours.

From the Sept. 6, 2000 Forest Park Review

Bob was born in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1932. His family encouraged him to join the Air Force (ours) during the Korean War. There, he fell into the clutches of Barbara Miles. They still have two world-class daughters, Jill and Cara. “Each of the four of us likes the other three of us,” says Bob.