Jane Gets Her Day
After 75 years, Jane Addams is finally getting her due. On December 10, the Jane Addams Hull House Museum will hold an event to honor the newly declared Illinois holiday celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of Addams’ reception of the Nobel Peace Prize. The concept of the holiday began as a civics project executed by a group of young women at Dongola School, who lobbied their state legislators in order to establish a day in honor of the activist. Jane Addams, the founder of the Hull House, worked to improve social conditions by getting involved in everything from children’s rights to the peace movement. For her efforts, she received the first Nobel Peace Prize ever awarded to an American woman. Jane Addams Day will be celebrated at the Hull House Museum with performances by singer Jon Langford and the Chicago Children’s Theatre, along with scavenger hunts and role-playing activities. The event is designed for children and their families, according to museum director Lisa Jun Lee. “We feel like there’s no one more relevant than Jane Addams today… That’s why we’re having a family day. My hope is that more people will be thinking and talking about Addams and her work.”
A half-century ago, on December 28, 1956, two young teenage sisters, Barbara and Patricia Grimes, went to see Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” for the eleventh time and never returned home. Twenty-five days later their bodies were discovered frozen and beaten on the side of a road in Burr Ridge. To this day, the murder remains unsolved, making it one of the most mysterious crimes in Illinois history. Chicago writer Tamara Shaffer was intrigued by the mystery of the case and began researching the subject in 1990 for a book. “Something reminded me of them, so I began to research. The book would sit for a couple years and then I would go back,” she says. “Murder Gone Cold: The Mysteries of the Grimes Sisters,” contains interviews as well as “a section on what eventually happened to all those involved in the case,” Shaffer says. “I lived near those girls. I felt the impact of the murders.” Shaffer will discuss her book at Borders in Lakeview on December 10, 2006.