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This week in history: Frank Sinatra, honorary Chicagoan

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 intriguing, civic-minded and too-often tragic history. For more historic photos, follow us at @CSTphotovault on Facebook and Instagram.
— Alison Martin (@miss_alison_m, follow for extra history plus plants and dogs throughout the week)

This week in history: Frank Sinatra, honorary Chicagoan
Frank Sinatra visits Mayor Richard Daley’s office. Sinatra was made an honorary citizen of Chicago on Sept. 24, 1975 and presented with a gold medallion. John Tweedle/Chicago Sun-Times
Frank Sinatra visits Mayor Richard Daley’s office. Sinatra was made an honorary citizen of Chicago on Sept. 24, 1975 and presented with a gold medallion. John Tweedle/Chicago Sun-Times
As reported in the Chicago Sun-Times:
New York may have been the city Frank Sinatra wanted to wake up in, but Chicago would always be his kind of town.
And in 1975, it became his town officially. Mayor Richard Daley made Ol’ Blue Eyes, who was born Dec. 12, an honorary Chicago citizen on Sept. 24, 1975, bestowing upon him a gold medallion and a framed proclamation naming him an “ambassador of good will for our city” for popularizing the the Second City with “My Kind of Town.”
Talk of the town
Comedian and actor Redd Foxx entertains inmates at the Cook County Jail on May 5, 1972. From the Sun-Times archives.2
Comedian and actor Redd Foxx entertains inmates at the Cook County Jail on May 5, 1972. From the Sun-Times archives.2
Inmates of the Cook County Jail got a rare treat when comedian Redd Foxx stopped by May 5, 1972 to entertain them.
The “Sanford and Son” star, who was born Dec. 9, 1922, played to a packed gymnasium along with co-star Desmond Wilson and other comedians. A Sun-Times photographer was there, and captured this photo of Foxx onstage in front of seated rows of smiling inmates.
Foxx and Wilson may have been joined by another co-star, fellow comedian Slappy White, assuming the trio stopped by the jail in between shows at Mill Run in Niles; the Kup’s Column that appeared in the paper that day mentioned all three in a review of the public show at the now-closed theater.
Redd Foxx lived in Chicago for a few years, but he left for New York with his band. It was there he formed a friendship with a certain Malcom “Detroit Red” Little. Read more about Foxx’s life here and check out this Chicago Reader story about Foxx and other entertainers’ shows at the Cook County Jail.
Snapshot
The exterior of the Art Institute of Chicago, taken in 1906. From the Sun-Times archives.
The exterior of the Art Institute of Chicago, taken in 1906. From the Sun-Times archives.
The Art Institute of Chicago celebrated its 127th anniversary on Dec. 9. The famed museum held an opening gala on the night of Dec. 8, 1893, according to a clipping from the Chicago Daily News.
The next day, the doors opened and welcomed the museum’s first guests.
The photo above shows the Art Institute just 13 years after it opened. It’s the oldest photo of the museum in our archives.
Holidays in Chicago
Hanukkah began Dec. 10 at sundown, and though nightly celebrations may be smaller this year, candles on menorahs will still be lit and dreidels will be spun.
Here’s a look Chicago Hanukkahs of years past.
This Chicago Daily News photo, taken on Dec. 15, 1952, shows the candle-lighting ceremony at the 16th annual Hanukkah breakfast of the Chicago Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress. From left to right, Mrs. David Lerman, Mrs. Sam Field, Mrs. Maurice H. Blumenthal, vice-presidents; Mrs. Oscar Hollander, chairman of the breakfast; and Mrs. Arnold R. Sternberg, president, light the candles in the Morrison Hotel grand ballroom. From the Sun-Times archives.
This Chicago Daily News photo, taken on Dec. 15, 1952, shows the candle-lighting ceremony at the 16th annual Hanukkah breakfast of the Chicago Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress. From left to right, Mrs. David Lerman, Mrs. Sam Field, Mrs. Maurice H. Blumenthal, vice-presidents; Mrs. Oscar Hollander, chairman of the breakfast; and Mrs. Arnold R. Sternberg, president, light the candles in the Morrison Hotel grand ballroom. From the Sun-Times archives.
Mayor Richard J. Daley assists the lighting of Hanukkah candle in the Civic Center on Dec. 9, 1974. From the Sun-Times archives.
Mayor Richard J. Daley assists the lighting of Hanukkah candle in the Civic Center on Dec. 9, 1974. From the Sun-Times archives.
A menorah is lit for Hanukkah in the lobby of the Garland Building on Dec. 26, 1967. From the Sun-Times archives.
A menorah is lit for Hanukkah in the lobby of the Garland Building on Dec. 26, 1967. From the Sun-Times archives.
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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