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This week in history: Chicago teens 'all shook up' for Elvis + Nixon remembered on his birthday

Welcome to the “This week in history” newsletter! Every Saturday we take a break from recapping the d
Chicago Sun-Times Afternoon Edition
Welcome to the “This week in history” newsletter! Every Saturday we take a break from recapping the day’s news to bring you a deep dive into Chicago’s rocking, heroic and occasionally merry history. For more historic photos, follow us at @CSTphotovault on Facebook and Instagram.
— Alison Martin (@miss_alison_m, follow for extra history plus rants and dogs throughout the week)

This week in history: Chicago teens ‘all shook up’ for Elvis
Elvis Presley was born Jan. 8, 1935. Here he is performing at the Chicago Stadium in 1972. | Jack Lenahan/Chicago Sun-Times.
Elvis Presley was born Jan. 8, 1935. Here he is performing at the Chicago Stadium in 1972. | Jack Lenahan/Chicago Sun-Times.
As published in the Chicago Daily News, sister publication to the Chicago Sun-Times:
Mobsters have body counts in Chicago, but so does Elvis Presley… kind of.
In March 1957, the prolific singer — whose birthday is Jan. 8 — arrived in Chicago for his first concert. Over 12,000 fans, mostly teenaged girls, packed the International Amphitheater to hear Elvis sing 14 songs. Many girls fainted that night. One fainted twice.
A Chicago Daily News reporter — one who hopefully had some earplugs handy due to all the screaming fans — came for the singer, but stayed for the drama.
Before the King came out, manager Tom Parker tried to quiet the audience and push Elvis’ latest record, the paper said. But the crowd wasn’t having it. They chanted “WE WANT ELVIS! WE WANT ELVIS!”
Near the reporter, a girl squealed: “If he don’t come soon, I’ll have a nervous breakdown.”
Snapshot
Complaining about the cold? This week’s temperatures were nothing compared to what we experienced seven years ago.
On Jan. 6, 2014, Chicagoans awoke to a record-breaking day as temperatures plummeted to -16 degrees at O'Hare Airport. That day, the city earned the nickname “Chiberia.”
Despite the bitter cold, Chicago does look pretty all covered in ice and snow. Enjoy these snapshots of the frozen city from Sun-Times photographers — preferably at home and under a blanket.
As a polar vortex moved south in the midwest, Chicago experienced record lows January 6, 2014.  | Jessica Koscielniak/Sun-Times
As a polar vortex moved south in the midwest, Chicago experienced record lows January 6, 2014. | Jessica Koscielniak/Sun-Times
A pair of seagulls, lower left corner, rest on the iced over Chicago River at Wolf Point. | Craig Newman/Sun-Times
A pair of seagulls, lower left corner, rest on the iced over Chicago River at Wolf Point. | Craig Newman/Sun-Times
A few hearty souls made it to the lakefront Monday morning in Chicago. | Craig Newman/Sun-Times
A few hearty souls made it to the lakefront Monday morning in Chicago. | Craig Newman/Sun-Times
Talk of the town
The Aug. 9, 1974 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Aug. 9, 1974 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.
For now at least, Richard Nixon holds the distinction of being the only sitting American president to resign, rather than face impeachment.
Tom “Fitz” Fitzgerald served as a Washington correspondent for the Chicago Sun-Times on the day the 37th president — born Jan. 9, 1913 — resigned. At a bar called Nick and Dottie’s, Fitz found the room packed with over 75 people glued to the TV as Nixon formally announced his resignation on Aug. 9, 1974.
“The bartender stopped ringing up sales,” Fitz wrote. “For the entire time that Mr. Nixon talked, not a single person in the room lifted a glass.” Just one person lit a match.
After the speech ended, a man at the bar stood up and raised his glass: “A toast to America. We’ve weathered another storm.” From the other side of the room, Fitz heard another man shout, “I wonder who the liberal press is going to get next?” No one answered either man.
Fitz left Nick and Dottie’s and walked two blocks down to the White House where some 3,000 people gathered on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue. A group of 10 people held a sign that said, “Happy Days Are Here Again. No More Tricks from Dick.” Some chanted and sang. No one smiled.
“It wasn’t an angry crowd,” Fitz noted. “They were curious, of course. Many had flown in from all parts of the country. Strange, isn’t it. They had come here just so they could say they stood in front of the White House the night Richard Nixon stepped down.”
The crowd carried on, and Fitz noticed daughter Tricia Nixon gazing down at the crowd from a second-story window. A man in the center of the crowd lifted a male companion wearing a dark blue suit and a rubber Nixon mask onto his shoulders.
“The man in the Nixon mask could see that Tricia was looking at him,” Fitz wrote. “He reveled in his moment of glory. He raised one hand to Tricia in an obscene gesture. The crowd roared its approval.
"Tricia’s mouth opened in shock. Quickly, she drew the curtains shut. The crowd roared with triumph.”
For Fitz, the question hanging in the air after the culmination of the events of the day was simply: What next? It was obvious, he said, that the group hated Nixon, but their slogans indicated that they had very little use for Gerald Ford either.
“They seemed to have lost trust in everyone. Perhaps even themselves.”
Thanks for reading! Want to share your thoughts? Your favorite moment in Chicago history? Your complaints? Send them to amartin@suntimes.com.
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