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Fire breaks out in Chicago theater

Fire breaks out in Chicago theater


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A fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, Illinois, kills more than 600 people on December 30, 1903. Blocked fire exits and the lack of a fire-safety plan caused most of the deaths.

The Iroquois Theater, designed by Benjamin Marshall in a Renaissance style, was highly luxurious and had been deemed fireproof upon its opening in 1903. In fact, George Williams, Chicago’s building commissioner, and fire inspector Ed Laughlin looked over the theater in November 1903 and declared that it was “fireproof beyond all doubt.” They also noted its 30 exits, 27 of which were double doors. However, at the same time, William Clendenin, the editor of Fireproof magazine, also inspected the Iroquois and wrote a scathing editorial about its fire dangers, pointing out that there was a great deal of wood trim, no fire alarm and no sprinkler system over the stage.

During the matinee performance of December 30, while a full house was watching Eddie Foy star in Mr. Bluebeard, 27 of the theater’s 30 exits were locked. In addition, stage manager Bill Carlton went out front to watch the show with the 2,000 patrons while the other stage hands left the theater and went out for a drink. It was a spotlight operator who first noticed that one of the calcium lights seemed to have sparked a fire backstage. The cluttered area was full of fire fuel–wooden stage props and oily rags.

When the actors became aware of the fire, they scattered backstage; Foy later returned and tried to calm the audience, telling them to stay seated. An asbestos curtain was to be lowered that would confine the fire but when it wouldn’t come fully down, a panic began. It later turned out to be made of paper so it wouldn’t have helped in any case. Soon, all the lights inside the theater went out and there were stampedes near the open exits. When the back door was opened, the shift of air caused a fireball to roar through the backstage area.

The teenage ushers working the theater fled immediately, forgetting to open the locked emergency exit doors. The few doors that were able to be forced open were four feet above the sidewalk, which slowed down the exiting process. Most of the 591 people who died were seated in the balconies. There were no fire escapes or ladders to assist them and some took their chances and jumped. The bodies were piled six deep near the narrow balcony exits. In fact, some people were knocked down by the falling bodies and were eventually pulled out alive from under burned victims.

In the aftermath of the disaster, Williams was later charged and convicted of misfeasance. Chicago’s mayor was also indicted, though the charges didn’t stick. The theater owner was convicted of manslaughter due to the poor safety provisions; the conviction was later appealed and reversed. In fact, the only person to serve any jail time in relation to this disaster was a nearby saloon owner who had robbed the dead bodies while his establishment served as a makeshift morgue following the fire.


The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

How did the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 impact Chicago and its architecture?

October inferno

On the night of October 8, 1871, fire spread across Chicago. While the cause of the blaze is unknown, its origin was at 558 West DeKoven Street&mdashan address that today is home to a Chicago Fire Department training facility. An estimated 300 people died and 100,000 were left homeless by the three-day inferno that erased 2,100 acres of the city. The center of Chicago and the heart of the business district were wiped out. Yet, just 20 years after the fire, the city&rsquos population had grown from 300,000 to 1 million people.

Historians love to debate the impact of the Great Fire on Chicago&rsquos development. Would Chicago have developed in the same way without the fire? As author and Chicago historian Neal Samors told CAF and WBEZ&rsquos Curious City, had the fire not occurred, &ldquoChicago would probably have been a much smaller metropolis and not the second largest city in the United States.&rdquo

While many wooden houses and businesses were leveled by the fire (plus 500 miles of wooden sidewalk!), some multi-unit residential and institutional buildings were already being built using solid masonry construction. And because much of the city&rsquos major industries were not destroyed in the fire, those economic engines continued to fuel the city&rsquos growth and rebuilding. Booming industries such as the Union Stockyards and lumberyards were located outside of the burn zone, which was roughly Halsted Street east to Lake Michigan and Roosevelt Avenue north to Fullerton Parkway.

Timing is everything. By 1871, Chicago had already claimed a central role in the U.S. economy. It was the most important processing point for raw materials heading east from the frontier and the biggest interchange in the new national railroad system. Timber and paper industries took hold first, then came meat packing and steel production. Chicago&rsquos old wooden infrastructure may have slowed industrial growth and the development of lands for residential and commercial use. But within months of the fire, a land rush began. Following another destructive fire in 1874, new building codes were written to ensure that most new construction contained more fire-resistant brick and stone.

Slow rise of skyscrapers

The myth is often told that the fire cleared the city&mdashwiping the slate clean so tall new skyscrapers could be designed and built. But in reality, a different story unfolded. Immediately after the fire, both downtown and in the neighborhoods, new construction looked very similar to what was built before the fire. With time and money at stake, as often happens after a natural disaster, business owners quickly rebuilt what they knew. Typical four-story downtown commercial buildings were often a hybrid of brick, stone and iron construction. It would be another 10-15 years before the earliest skyscrapers&mdash8 to 10 stories, with structural steel frames, elevators and innovative foundations&mdashwould come to replace those first post-fire buildings.

Old Town gives us a glimpse of what pre-fire Chicago looked like. Although the neighborhood was nearly leveled in the fire, it was immediately rebuilt in a similar style and scale. Old Town avoided (through a strong-arm political deal) the new boundaries that dictated fireproof construction. As a result, the two-story wood-frame cottages in the area resemble the Italianate homes and humbler two-story worker&rsquos cottages found throughout the city prior to the fire.

Still more questions remain. How many of the 18,000 structures vanquished in the fire would have outlasted the twin threats of growth and neglect to reach the present day? Would the mansions along Monroe Street, Michigan Avenue and Wabash Avenue have survived the early skyscraper boom? Would creative new skyscrapers have been designed as early without a push from skyrocketing land values downtown?

A phoenix from the ashes

It&rsquos interesting to speculate on how the city would be different without the Great Fire of 1871. Many historians agree that the city that rose like a phoenix from the ashes would likely have kept growing without the fire. Perhaps it would have done so without the grand plans and large population boom that fueled commerce, construction and innovation into the 20th century.

Nearly 150 years later, few people can doubt the significance of the fire in Chicagoans&rsquo minds. Today, it&rsquos remembered as the second of four stars on the Chicago flag. The next time you see the flag fluttering on the side of a building, you may recall the story of a windy day in 1871 when Chicago changed forever.


Facts & Statistics

Welcome to Chicago, the third largest city in the United States, with a population of nearly three million people.

Chicago is home to.

  • 2,716,450 residents
  • 50 wards
  • 77 community areas
  • 100 neighborhoods
  • 8 major league sports teams, including two MLB teams
  • United States President Barack Obama

Chicago is a celebrated melting pot.

  • 36 annual parades
  • 40 annual film festivals
  • 74 music festivals
  • 200 professional dance companies
  • More than 200 theaters
  • 250 live music venues
  • 40+ annual film festivals
  • 20+ film and filmmaker nonprofit organizations
  • 12+ art house and independent cinemas
  • 13,000 film and TV production jobs
  • 400+ individual film and TV productions

(Sources: DCASE, Choose Chicago)

Chicago is a city in a garden.

  • 600 parks
  • 500 playgrounds
  • 70 nature and bird sanctuaries
  • 307 fields for soccer, football, lacrosse and more
  • 250 field houses
  • 534 tennis courts and 6 indoor courts
  • 80 swimming pools
  • 29 beaches
  • 26 miles of open lakefront

Chicago is a biking city.

  • Chicago has the second-highest percentage of commuters riding their bikes to work
  • Bicycle commute times in the region average only 23 minutes
  • 303 miles of bike lanes
  • 19 miles of lakefront bicycle paths along Lake Michigan
  • 303 miles of bike lanes
  • 13,000+ bike racks
  • A 40-acre bike path for BMX and trail-riding

Chicago is a foodie destination.

  • More than 7,300 restaurants
  • 7 AAA Diamond-rated restaurants
  • 26 Michelin-starred restaurants
  • 40 James Beard Award-winning restaurants, and host of the annual James Beard Awards
  • 54 Bib Gourmand winners
  • 144 dog-friendly restaurants

Sports: A City for Sports Fans

As much as Chicagoans like to play sports, we also love to watch the pros do it. Chicago has been named the Best Sports City by Sporting News three times and has made TSE&rsquos international Ranking of Sport Cities every year since 2012.

Greatest Chicago Sport Moments

1837: The Invention of Softball

1906: Chicago White Sox win World Series

1907: Chicago Cubs win World Series

1908: Chicago Cubs win World Series

1917: Chicago White Sox win World Series

1935: Chicago Cubs secure a record as the third-longest unbeaten MLB game streak with 21 consecutive wins.

1935: Chicago native, Jay Berwanger was the first recipient of the Heisman Trophy.

1977: Walter Payton Sets Record

1986: Chicago Bears win Super Bowl

1991-1993 Chicago Bulls, 3peat

1996-1998 Chicago Bulls, 3peat

1998: Chicago Fire wins MLS Cup

2005: The Chicago White Sox win the World Series and break 88-year title drought

2010: Chicago Blackhawks win Stanley Cup Championship

2012: Chicago Red Stars win National Women's Open

2013: Chicago Blackhawks win Stanley Cup Championship

2015: Chicago Blackhawks win Stanley Cup Championship

2016: The Chicago Cubs win World Series break 108-year title drought and broke the &ldquoCurse of the Billy Goat&rdquo

Sports Locations

  • Wrigley Field - Lake View
  • GuaranteedRate Field (Formerly Comiskey Park) - Bridgeport
  • Soldier Field - South Loop
  • United Center &ndash Near West Side
  • Wintrust Arena &ndash Near South Side
  • Toyota Park &ndash McKinley Park

Major League

  • Chicago Cubs - baseball
  • Chicago Bears - football
  • Chicago Bulls - basketball
  • Chicago White Sox - baseball
  • Chicago Blackhawks - hockey
  • Chicago Fire - soccer
  • Chicago Sky - basketball
  • Chicago Red Stars &ndash soccer
  • DePaul Blue Demons
  • Loyola Ramblers
  • Chicago State Cougars
  • UIC Flames

A Melting Pot of Arts & Culture

Home to more than 200 professional dance companies including the Joffrey Ballet and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Chicago delivers a packed calendar of performances on downtown stages and in neighborhood venues and parks. The city is the site of an influential hip-hop scene, and it has launched new music and dance styles such as Chicago juke and footwork. For more than two decades, Chicago has hosted Chicago SummerDance, the largest annual outdoor dancing series in the U.S. Don&rsquot forget, every April is &lsquoChicago Dance Month&rsquo across the city.

Affordability, top notch crew and talent, and state-of-the-art facilities and vendors have made Chicago a hotbed for film and television dating back to The Blues Brother. Notable studios include Cinespace Studios, the largest North American soundstage outside of L.A and Music Box Films, one of the leading distributors of foreign language films documentaries in the U.S. For film fans, there&rsquos the free Millennium Park Summer Film Series and film festivals year-round like the Chicago International Film Festival, the Latino, Black Harvest, Reeling (LGBTQ), Underground, Midwest Independent, and Children&rsquos International film fest.

  • 40+ annual film festivals
  • 20+ film and filmmaker nonprofit organizations
  • 12+ art house and independent cinemas

Chicago is the birthplace of gospel, electric blues, house, juke, footwork, and drill. The unique sounds born in Chicago continue to resonate around the world. We&rsquore also the home of renowned artists including Louis Armstrong, Jennifer Hudson, Earth, Wind and Fire, Chance the Rapper, Common Smashing Pumpkins, Rise Against, Muddy Waters, and Kanye West. Chicago is a city music of festivals, celebrating every music genre. Experience Chicago&rsquos most notable music festivals including the Chicago Blues Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Music Festival and Riot Fest.

  • 250 live music venues including the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera, and Joffrey Ballet.
  • 74 music festivals the Chicago Blues Festival, Pitchfork, and Lollapalooza
  • Thalia Hall - Pilsen
  • Vic Theater - Lakeview
  • Riviera Theater - Uptown
  • House of Blues - River North
  • Green Mill - Uptown
  • Aragon Ballroom - Uptown
  • Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Downtown
  • Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz
  • Ravinia Festival
  • Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
  • The Metro &ndash Lakeview

(Sources, DCASE. ChooseChicago)

Theatre

Chicago is the theatre capital of the U.S.&mdash birthplace of storefront theatre and improv comedy, home to long-running Broadway hits and boasting more world premieres than any other city in the country. Chicago&rsquos 250-plus theatre companies take the stage at more than 200 theatres to perform work as varied and diverse as their audiences. Theatre-goers can choose from thousands of performances annually, featuring everything from Shakespeare to variety, in many languages. From the grand historic downtown theatres to those tucked away in a neighborhood storefront or church basement, audiences will find theatre of the highest quality throughout the city. Explore from one of the 150-plus buildings with behind-the-scenes tours.

(Sources, DCASE, ChooseChicago)

Long Standing Chicago Theaters

  • Second City - Old Town
  • Music Box Theater - Lake View
  • Goodman Theater - Loop
  • Chicago Theater - Loop
  • Mayne Stage - Rogers Park
  • Lifeline Theater - Rogers Park
  • Blue Man Group at Briar Street Theater - Boystown
  • Apollo 2000 (Formerly Marshal Square Theater) - Little Village
  • Gateway Theater - Jefferson Park
  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company
  • Victory Gardens Theatre
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
  • Lookingglass Theatre Company

A City in a Garden

The beauty of Chicago lies not only in its magnificent architecture, but also in the city's vast preserved green and open spaces. Chicagoans have over 580 parks and 8,300 acres of green spaces at their disposal. With beaches, ice rinks and bike paths, there's no shortage of outdoor recreation for Chicagoans.

(Sources: DPD, Park District)

606/Bloomingdale Trail

A $95 million conversion of a former rail line to a 2.7-mile elevated park that extends through four vibrant, Chicago neighborhoods. An expansion will include 32 acres of linear park space along the Chicago River, 10 acres of sports and recreational fields and 17 acres of wetland park.

Chicago Riverwalk

An award-winning $108 million, 1.25-mile promenade along the south bank of the Chicago River downtown. Future expansion will extend the Riverwalk south an additional 1.8 miles from Lake Street to Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park, on Chicago&rsquos North Side, attracts 20 million visitors annually. They come to see the nation&rsquos oldest zoo to explore exotic plants at the grand Victorian glass conservatory, enjoy plays at the outdoor theater, row along the canal, stroll through the North Pond Nature Sanctuary and Butterfly conservatory, picnic on the playing fields, and frolic on North Avenue Beach.

Millennium Park

The top tourist destination in Chicago and the Midwest in 2017, Millennium Park offers 25 acres of exuberant architecture, serene gardens, grand pavilions, and dazzling fountains that sculpt light and water, walking paths. The park is home to a constantly rotating schedule of free cultural events for all ages, all year long.

Jackson Park

Jackson Park offers more than 500 acres of mature parkland along the lakefront, containing flower gardens, watercourses to wooded isles, sports facilities, stocked fish ponds, 18 miles of walking and biking paths&mdashand it's the future site of the Barack Obama Presidential Center.

Best Bike City in America

Chicago was named America&rsquos Best Bike City by Bicycling Magazine in 2016. Chicago's dedication to invest in better bike infrastructure made biking it safer and more comfortable for everyone in Chicago, regardless of age or ability.


Plan Ahead

Check out your seats

View our seat map to see where you'll be taking in the action as you enjoy our unforgettable entertainment events.

Grab a bite before the show

From snacks to soft drinks, stop by our concession stands with friends and family for pre-theatre fare and drinks.

Plan your stay near The Chicago Theatre

Choose from over 90 hotels in the Chicagoland area perfect for any occasion. Expect better with Hilton!


7. Chicago Lawn

As the eighth most dangerous neighborhood, Chicago Lawn has a high population of 54,000 that is crammed into a relatively small space. The crime index is set at the 8th worst and the median income is $36,000. Homes are only valued at $146,000 as a result of the crime but, on the bright side, only 10-percent of residents are unemployed. Although this is double the national average, it is still considered excellent for a south side Chicago neighborhood.


Fire breaks out in Chicago theater - HISTORY

The Great Fire of London began on the night of September 2, 1666, as a small fire on Pudding Lane, in the bakeshop of Thomas Farynor, baker to King Charles II. At one o'clock in the morning, a servant woke to find the house aflame, and the baker and his family escaped, but a fear-struck maid perished in the blaze.

At this time, most London houses were of wood and pitch construction, dangerously flammable, and it did not take long for the fire to expand. The fire leapt to the hay and feed piles on the yard of the Star Inn at Fish Street Hill, and spread to the Inn. The strong wind that blew that night sent sparks that next ignited the Church of St. Margaret, and then spread to Thames Street, with its riverside warehouses and wharves filled with food for the flames: hemp, oil, tallow, hay, timber, coal and spirits along with other combustibles. The citizen firefighting brigades had little success in containing the fire with their buckets of water from the river. By eight o'clock in the morning, the fire had spread halfway across London Bridge. The only thing that stopped the fire from spreading to Southwark, on the other side of the river, was the gap that had been caused by the fire of 1633.

The standard procedure to stop a fire from spreading had always been to destroy the houses on the path of the flames, creating “fire-breaks”, to deprive a fire from fuel. Lord Mayor Bludworth, however, was hesitant, worrying about the cost of rebuilding. By the time a Royal command came down, carried by Samuel Pepys, the fire was too out of control to stop. The Trained Bands of London were called in to demolish houses by gunpowder, but often the rubble was too much to be cleared before the fire was at hand, and only eased the fire's way onward. The fire blazed unchecked for another three days, until it halted near Temple Church. Then, it suddenly sprang to life again, continuing towards Westminster. The Duke of York (later King James II) had the presence of mind to order the Paper House demolished to create a fire break, and the fire finally died down.


From The Times History of London . London: Times Books, 1999. Courtesy of The Millwall History Files website.

Although the loss of life was minimal (some sources say only sixteen perished), the magnitude of the property loss was staggering. Some 430 acres, as much as 80% of the city proper was destroyed, including 13,000 houses, 89 churches, and 52 Guild Halls. Thousands of citizens found themselves homeless and financially ruined. The Great Fire, and the fire of 1676, which destroyed over 600 houses south of the river, changed the face of London forever. The one positive effect of the Great Fire of London was that the plague, which had ravished London since 1665, diminished greatly, due to the mass death of the plague-carrying rats in the blaze.

Charles II appointed six Commissioners to redesign the city. The plan provided for wider streets and buildings of brick, rather than timber. By 1671, 9000 houses and public buildings had been completed. Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to design and oversee the construction of nearly 50 churches, not least of them a new St. Paul's Cathedral, construction of which began in 1675. The King also had Wren design a monument to the Great Fire, which stands still today at the site of the bakery which started it all, on a street now named Monument Street.

Bell, Walter G. The Great Fire of London in 1666.
Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1971.

Clout, Hugh, ed. The Times History of London.
London: Times Books, 1999.

Ellis, Peter Berresford. The Great Fire of London : An Illustrated Account.
London: New English Library, 1986.

Lang, Jane. Rebuilding St. Paul's after the Great Fire of London.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956.

Porter, Stephen. The Great Fire of London.
Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing 1996.

Weiss, David A. The Great Fire of London. Illustrated by Joseph Papin.
New York: Crown Publishers, 1968.


Other Web Sites of Interest:

Jokinen, Anniina. “The Great Fire of London, 1666.” Luminarium .
23 Mar 2012. [Date when you accessed the page].



to Early 17th Century English Literature


Site copyright ©1996-2012 Anniina Jokinen. All Rights Reserved.
Created by Anniina Jokinen on October 26, 2001. Last updated March 23, 2012.


Character of the city

A drive across Chicago’s lively immigrant neighbourhoods is a trip around the world: the cultures of virtually every country can be found in food stores, restaurants, clothing shops, music and video dealers, places of worship, and street-corner conversations. Chicago’s dizzying growth in the 19th century led to a reputation not only for disorder and political corruption but also for creativity in the arts, architecture, and business. The resulting economic opportunities also contributed to the diversity of the city’s population.

Chicago never fulfilled its dream of becoming the largest American city, but between 1890 and 1982 it was second only to New York City. That fact has contributed much to the city’s reputed personality. In the 19th century it had the image of being aggressive and self-promoting, stealing population and businesses from the East. Chicago’s “Windy City” nickname, in fact, came not from lake breezes but from its braggadocio—exhibited most dramatically in the 1890s, when it pushed aside New York and St. Louis, Mo., in the competition to become the site of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. Poet Carl Sandburg hailed it as the “city of the big shoulders,” cunning and cruel, yet creative and strangely attractive. It was the “toddlin’ town” of the 1920s tune, and Frank Sinatra famously proclaimed it “my kind of town.” New York writer A.J. Liebling belittled its provinciality in a stinging series of magazine articles, collected in the 1952 book Chicago: The Second City. Chicagoans eventually forgot the book, but the adopted epithet stuck. Under the regime of the late mayor Richard J. Daley, efficient municipal services made it the “city that works.” Chicagoans still like to refer to it as the “city of neighbourhoods,” even though that description can carry connotations of segregation by race, ethnicity, and social class.

Few cities evoke as many contrasting pairs of images as Chicago. During the 19th century it was regarded as exceptional for the speed of its growth and the diversity of its population, yet its interior location supposedly made it a much more “typically American” city than New York. One-third of Chicago lay in ashes in the wake of the Great Fire of 1871, but it was rebuilt in record speed during the onset of an economic depression. It was the city of the humble immigrant and the new millionaire, the home of brazen criminals such as Al Capone and of great humanitarians such as settlement-house pioneer Jane Addams and child-welfare crusader Lucy Flower. There were raucous saloons under the watchful eye of temperance leader Frances Willard. Fetid wooden slums and horrific public housing high-rises have coexisted cheek by jowl with a uniquely innovative architectural tradition and the beautiful Gold Coast lakefront neighbourhood just north of the river. Chicago traditionally has been a shot-and-a-beer town whose best-known culinary inventions include a deep-dish pizza and a hot dog elaborately overloaded with garnishes. At the same time, it has long enjoyed a reputation for cutting-edge innovation in the arts, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has maintained a high level of international renown.

Chicago has been a stranger’s town throughout its history. Its position as a hub for rail and air travel has always meant that at any one time a large portion of the people in the city are out-of-towners. Over the years its location has fostered a lively convention trade—a fact that has led hundreds of organizations and corporations to call it home. As the metropolis of the country’s midsection, from the southern Great Plains to Canada and as far west as the Rocky Mountains, Chicago ranks among the country’s top tourist destinations. On any given day, the parking lots of its museums are filled with cars from dozens of surrounding states, while its varied retailers and wholesalers have long been an interstate and international magnet for shoppers.


Fire breaks out in Chicago theater - HISTORY

Wieboldt's State Street Store, acquired from
Mandel Bros. in 1961. The portion facing

State Street was built in 1911.
/>
Wieboldt's Wabash Avenue building was older,
having been erected in 1905 as an addition to
Mandel Brothers ancient quarters on State Street.


The east side of State Street from Randolph to
Madison, with (left to right) the long-gone
Columbus Memorial Building, Chas. A. Stevens,
and Wieboldt's.

Wieboldt's - Where you buy with confidence

W. A. Wieboldt Co. (Wieboldt’s)

180 comments:

On the either the 8th or 9th floor, was a major S&H Green Stamps redemption center. It was acutally 1960 when Wieboldt's acquired Mandel Bros. on State Street and Lincoln Village. Harlem-Irving opened in 1957, Meadowdale in 1959, and Jefferson Square in 1974. Plus two more in 1981, Stratford Square in Bloomingdale, and Orland Court (later Orland Park Place) in Orland Park. Well done and keep up the dept. store history!

My first job was at the Wieboldt's store at the HIP. I worked on the 3rd floor in the S & H department. What a great memory!

The S&H Green Stamps Redemption Center was on the 9th floor. According to their ad, it was the largest in the world at the time!

My mother, Virginia Cleek, was the credit manager on the 5th Floor Credit office for years and years, until the store closed (State Street). My siblings and I have wonderful memories of meeting her for lunch in the Travertine Room and shopping the store while she went back to work. Christmas Holidays were the best!

I worked at the Wieboldts Store at 1 N. State Street in Chicago back in 1983-1984. It was a great experience, my first job that I got on my own without my dad's assistance! I was happy to be part of the last of the Glory Days of State Street! I started in the bargain basement where pants were 1.97 a pair, and then moved up to the Wabash Ave side in the men's department selling Lee, Levi's and Dungaree pants. Christmas was still magical back then and most stores didn't unveil their windows until the day after Thanksgiving! -That's a long lost tradition! We had a decent toy department, although it was waning from the heydays of the 30's through the 60's. People's tastes changed. the candy department in the middle of the second floor was still decent, and they did have great prices! Alas, all good things come to a bungled end. how come this store could survive the depression, but not the stupid 1980's? Bad Management should have been fired and the store could have survived!
James M.

My dad was the men’s wear buyer. Bad management , for sure. Drug parties at Lake Point Tower.That was not my dad’ and my grandmother’s Wieboldts. They ran a Chicago classic into the ground.

Hi Rudy,
My partner, Stephen, and I were men's wear buyers for Wieboldt's in the mid-80's and can confirm the LPT parties at TT's apartment. We did not partake in the drug scene either!
Regards, Ben

Wish i saw your comment earlier. My dad was the men’s wear buyer- dress shirts and ties. Loved his job because the employees were all class.

I remember the store at Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland. On the day after Thanksgiving we would stand on the corner of Lincoln-Marshfield and School Street to watch the Lakeview Christmas Parade. We would marvel at the mechanical display window on that corner. Then, after the parade, it was downstairs to see Santa Claus in the toy department. If we were especially good we could get a Coke at the Snack Shop under the stairs! I miss those good old days!

of all the stores that are now gone this was my absolute favorite. i bought the most beautiful clothes there when i was a young woman. and they had "lay-away".

I have a picture of my mother cutting the grand opening ribbon of the Harlem and Irving store when she was about 7 y.o. She was the daughter of Williams brother Elmer Wieboldt. That is about all I know. The family was not close as I remember.

"how come this store could survive the depression, but not the stupid 1980's?" James, they did not have the corporate raiders back then.

But I remember that store at Harlem Iriving Plaza (the HIP). When I was growing up my family and I went there a lot. I also remember the State Street Store. After awhile, the HIP became an indoor mall. The store is now a Carson Pirie Scott.

Wiebold'ts went out of business when I was about 18 or 19 y/o. Around 1985 or so, Wieboldt's began selling junk merchandise that you would then find at Kmart. Then they closed all of their stores except for Yorktown, the HIP, and a couple of others. They of course said it was the big reorganization. Brand names came back and Wieboldt's assured us improvements were coming.

But in reality they were just selling off what they had left in the warehouse. The third floor of the HIP store was vacated, except for the credit office. The DuPage sheriff seized the Yorktown store. Wieboldt's didn't make it to the 1987 Christmas season. In fact the HIP store became an outlet to sell seasonal goods. I remember a sign saying, "We are no longer Wieboldt's".

Sure it wasn't the only one that did and went under later on.

Are you familiar with a candy that they made called "Rose Jellies". My mother and I thought they were such a wonderful treat! I would love to know if I can buy them somewhere or is there a recipe book in the museum? Oh please!

@Anonymous from Dec. 16, Wieboldt's closed in 1987. They filed bankruptcy in Sept. 1986, a month after they closed the Lakehurst store. The following March, they closed all stores except State Street, Ford City, HIP, and Randhurst. The first two closed in either June or July, HIP in October, and Randhurst, the last one to close, in December. All three of the above suburban branches are now Carsons.

I'm sure the Wieboldt's store in Evanston, Illinois was there long past 1950. We didn't move to Evanston until 1950 and I used to go there on the bus when I was a teenager!

@Lynnie, the original Evanston store was called Rosenberg's, and was acquired by Wieboldt's in 1929. You can see more info on the "Jazz Age Chicago" website. They moved to the Church & Oak St. store the same year you moved to Evanston. It was remodeled in 1967 and closed in 1982.

The suburban stores apparently all had supermarkets in the late 1950s (source: Billboard, 1958). Did the downtown flagship have a supermarket?

I am not aware if the downtown store had a grocery in the basement I do know that it did have a budget store on the lower level. Though I visited the store a number of times, I don't recall, nor do I have any evidence of a supermarket there. Perhaps a Chicagoan could clarify.

There was a Hillman's in the basement. Used to go there with my grandmother in the 60's.

Slightly off topic: Does anyone remember the name of the jewelry store at Lincoln Village in the 70's? I feel like it was someone's name, but it will not come to me! Help!

we lived in Palatine in the 70's and I remember the "wonderful" cream puffs they made in their bakery at Randhurst. Does anyone have a clue how I can find the recipe?
Carol in Harrisburg PA
[email protected]

I never remember a grocery store at the hip wieboldts or randhurst.. wish this site had some decent photos

At Evanston and oak park they had Hillmans

I grew up in Berwyn and my mom used to take me shopping at Wieboldt's in River Forest. They had a Hillman's grocery store that, if I remember correctly, was the first part of the store we entered from the parking lot. It was kitty-corner from Marshall Field's on Lake and Harlem.

My mother worked for Wieboldts in Randhurst, saw this site it brought back floods of memories..thanks for keeping memories alive.
Denise Thorsen Maxwell
now living in Ireland

I'm looking for a historical photo of the Lakeview Wieboldt's Dept store. Any chance you could tell me where I could order a print or drawing of the building? Thanks!

Hi! Did you find a good pic?! I have a few

I am sorry it took so long to respond. The illustration that I have of the Lakeview Wieboldt tore is from an old ad in The Chicago Tribune. I enhanced it for use in The Department Store Museum. You could check with the Chicago Historical Society, the Public Library, or the Chicago Postcard Museum. If you have no luck, I could print my version for you.

Post a comment with your contact information, and I will not publish it.

Bruce, can you tell me if you happen to have the employment records for Weibolt's for Milwaukee and Division in Chicago?

What exactly happened to bring down Wieboldt's? I remember it vaguely from my childhood it seemed to just fade away and leave a lot of stores sitting empty for years.

Somebody on another site claimed that the acquisition of the Mandel Bros. store broke them financially is that true?

I worked for Wieboldt's from 1971-1981. Wieboldt's was sold by the family to a corporation known for buying, bankrupting & using it's acquisitions as a tax write-off and that's exactly what they did with Wieboldt's. Wieboldt's closed in 1987. I loved working there.

What was the final location in Evanston, Illinois? Was it on Davis Street

The Evanston store was at the northeast corner of Oak Street and Church Street. They had a parking lot/garage on the west side of Oak Street

Yes. They had multi tier lot west of Oak. They delivered your groceries over to you from the basement. They also had an auto center in the lot.

I don't really remember a Wiebolt's in Lincoln Village because I didn't really go there at that time, but the address you give for Lincoln Village is not correct. Lincoln Village is on Lincoln Avenue between Peterson and Devon at 6103 N Lincoln Ave in Lincolnwood. 4041 N Milwaukee Ave is in Chicago at Milwaukee, Irving Park Rd and Cicero.

Lincoln village had a wieboldt's and a Polk Brothers store Davidsins Bakery. Other stores.

I grew up in Chicago and lived there from my birth in 1946 until 2008 and am most familiar with the Wieboldt's stores in downtown Chicago and in Lakeview at School Street, Ashland and Lincoln Avenues north of Belmont which was walking distance from where we lived. The Lakeview store had a grocery department including fresh produce which faced onto Lincoln Ave. at the south end of the store. I don't remember a grocery in the downtown store.

@Anita, the Lincoln Village Wieboldt's was a small soft-goods only store which was originally Mandel Bros. that Wieboldt's bought in 1960 along with their State Street flagship. I've seen in their ads in the Chicago Tribune that the State Street Wieboldt's did not have a grocery department.

My first job after college was at Wieboldt's State street store, as the staff assistant to the controller, in 1974 and 1975. The company was still doing well, and the State Street store was the jewel of the chain. But, it was clear to us on the inside that the company was already starting to falter competitively as an increasingly distant second to Marshall Fields. Wieboldt's was an important part of Chicago history, and the corner of State and Madison seemed like the heart and soul of Chicago.

My mother was the buyer of women's dresses (worked at the State Street store) in the very early 40's.
She loved her work, but at the time suddenly the war dept. said that if she kept working my father would have not been able to finish his medical residency in surgery and would have been drafted (not the only bread winner) into the war, so she quit and became a volunteer Red Cross helper. Of course, my father was drafted after he finished the residency, but she went back to Cleveland to live with her parents. But she often talked about her job at Wieboldts with fond memories.

A friend of mine just bought a clock that was supposed to have hung outside of Weiboldts State st. Does anyone know if and when that clock was sold ? How about a picture? Thank you

I know I'm in slightly the wrong place but my lateral thinking isn't at best just now and anyway someone out there might just know the answer to my question. In the 1960s (and before) (and for a while after) there was a sheet music/record store on Wabash Avenue where one could go to listen to records in booths. Anyone know the name of it? It was a famous Chicago music publisher I think.

I think with the sheet music he maybe referring to Lyon and Healy also on Wabash

No worries . . . is the shop you are speaking of Rose Records? I used to buy classical music there when visiting Chicago they had a good selection on an upper floor, as well as one of my favorites, Gramophone magazine from the UK.

Hi Bak, I just found your website as I am preparing for a lecture I will be giving, "Mannequin Mystique," on Feb 12, 2012 at The University of Chicago. One of the images I am using is of an ad featuring W.A. Wieboldt & Co from 1923. It is actually promoting window display: "Colorlighted using X-Ray Jove Reflectors, Color-Ray Portable Window Flood LIghts & Spot Light for each Figure" dated 1923. I am excited to find your website. I have been researching the history of mannequins since 1978. I can't wait to study your website. Thanks for your contribution in this area! Marsha Bentley Hale

Does anyone know the name of the candies that came in black and lavender at Wieboldt's? They were little squares, very chalky almost like Newcomers candies. I would love to find these. The black ones would really turn your tongue black.

THEY WERE CALLED "LAVENDER ANISE, AND LICORICE ANISE". IF YOU FIND THEM, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

I worked at the Milwaukee ave store when I was in high school 1971--and thru college and it was a second job after college. after they closed the Milwaukee ave store I was transferred to the state street store. That was a very fun time in my life I worked stock and on the docks and distributing the goods to the various dept's. I remember that in the beginning of each year we would have to do inventory and that was a big job to do over the weekend esp at the state street store, working thru the night.but that was a nice check for a high school/college job. also there was a grocery store in the milwaukee ave store off paulina entrance, I want to say it was named Hillmen's ??

I have a friend buying a condo in the former milwaukee Ave.store. Any chance you have a picture of/in/around that store?

I have some genuine alligator shoes from this store that are Galliano. Anyone know how much they are worth?

Like most commentors I got my first job as a stock boy at the "Downtown" store", 1 No. Sate st., in 1962, taking the "L" and getting off at the "State St. Station" located at the basement door of Weiboldt's. I started during my sophomore of H.S in the shipping and receiving department on the 13th floor under the supervision of Mr. Thomas. He was a wonderful guy and took in many youngsters giving them a positive start in the work field. I have nothing but fond memories of gaining my financial independence for $1.25 an hr. It enabled me to buy my first car and I've been making car payments ever since, thanks, Mr. Thomas. (I really mean that, thanks Mr. Thomas wherever you are)

response to the question published by anonymous on Feb. 8th 2012. The name of the store was "Carl Fisher".

Who was Hillmen's Grogery store own by. And what was the name of the Grocery Store in the basemant of Sears at 63rd and Halsted, could it have been Hillmen's. Wieboldt's at 63rd and Green had a Hillmen's in the basement which was only a block away from Sears, two grocery store's with the same name only a block away.

I can answer these questions.
Hillmans was in basement of Sears State Street. Our family bought The Hillmans Nakery plant and continued making Hillmans and later Davidsons bakery product. We are Heinemamm's Bakeries. Hillmans was family owned and they decided to get out of the ever decreasing profit and competition of the super market world. They also owned the famous Stop and Shop.

Do you know of any way to find out what stores were at harlem and irving in 1984?

I found a "wom pum" coin in my old bungalow. Anyone know what this is or how old it is?

My mother recently passed away and in cleaning out her house I found a River City bowl in a Wieboldt's box. Having never heard of it, I looked it up and found this site. If anyone would like to have it, it is 9 1/2 inch square and in very nice condition. I don't know if it has any value, but before I dispose of it, I thought I would ask. If you are interested, you can reach me at [email protected]

i did the wigs and blended hair pieces at ford city and harlem and irving ,1967,68.

Anonymous commented above about not remembering a grocery store at the HIP Wieboldt's.

YES, it most definitely DID have a grocery store, on the first floor, towards the north end of the building.

Regarding Randhurst, the mall had three anchors when it opened - Carson's, Wieboldt's and Montgomery Ward's. When Wieboldt's closed, Carson's moved from their original location to the Wieboldt's store.

The HIP Wiebolt's also had a section to buy Cub Scout uniforms and accessories.

So right, and I recall on the same floor as green stamp redemption. I paid for my cub scout stuff with moms green stamps ( as the took the stamps directly on merchandise). Been nearly 60 years, but brings back good memories.

The Lincoln Village address is wrong. It's in Chicago and is at McCormick and Lincoln. The Office Depot that occupies the space now lists 6165 N. Lincoln as the address.

the ford city store had a grocery when i worked there 1968,they would hold my groceries in the cooler until i got off work.i did the wigs and hairpieces there and at harlem and irving.

I remember the Wieboldts at the HIP quite well. S&H green stamps redemption was on the 2nd floor at the north end, and you could walk thru the store, out to the south end onto a parking lot which was above all of the stores in that part of the plaza. the ramp up and down was a little scary, especially when we drove those big land barges in the 60s and 70s!

This comment has been removed by the author.

This comment has been removed by the author.

@Carnivore, when Wieboldt's closed their Randhurst store Bergner's took over the space. After Bergner's bought Carson, Pirie, Scott the Bergner's became Carson's and JCPenney moved into the former Carson's building.

This is correct. Bergners bought Carsons and so they moved into hemore recently remodeled store.

Wasn't the grocery store associated with Wieboldts Hellman's? Not Hillman's?

My 102-year-old Mother was the transportation department secretary from 1927 to 1937. She edited their house organ "Wieboldt Window." At some point, several years ago, she gave her copies to their archives. Does anyhone know where they are now? If so, please email me at [email protected] and put "Wieboldt Window" in the subject line. Thank you.

I thought there was a Wieboldt's at Stratford Square Mall in the late 70s or early 1980s. Wikipedia (faint ammunition) seems to back me up on this.

Yes there was a Wieboldts at Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale. Bought a Christmas Tree their. Suddenly all the merchandise was disappearing. I knew something was wrong. They never gave me their credit card until they were gonna go out of business. Used it once.

Fields
Sears
Wieboldt's were all at Stratford along with others

Thanks so much for this web site. I was fortunate to grow up in Oak Park Ill during the 50s, 60s and 70s. Must say having Weiboldts on here is extrodinary. It was actually located in River Forest since it is on the South West corner of Harlem and Lake. I never realized how visionary the architecture was since it was built in 1937. For the most part we shopped Marshall Fields and Wieboldt's for us was considered a 'step down'. But in hind sight it was an incredible store with the parking ramp which my dad would park on which seemed fun to do for all of us. There is another department store you might want to research that was in Oak Park on the corner of Forest and Lake called Lyttons (?). It was high end like Fields with a 4 story parking lot behind it (adjacent to Austin Gardens). Hope this helps do you even read this stuff?? Joe

The name of the grocery store was HILLMANS FINER FOODS, along with STOP & SHOP as well as Gaper's Caterers located in the downtown building. My father Daniel Schultz and his co-worker Claude were the sign painters, silk screen artists , that made the signs for all three of these food concerns and their many stores throughout the Chicagoland area. My father left Hillman's in 1974 after a series of heart attacks, leaving Claude to handle all of the signage. My father died in 2008 in Marcellus, MI.
Josephine Schultz

Does anyone know where I might find the little international dolls that were sold at Weiboldt's during the late 60s, early 70s? I've tried Craigslist but no replies. I want to add to my current collection. Thanks.

It might be the Madame Alexander International doll collection.
By any chance, do you remember the name of the dining restaurant inside the Weiboldt deaprtment store on State Street, Chicago?

Wieboldt's had the Travertine Room on the ninth floor, Wabash Street side.

Yes, I do read each and every legitimate comment, and review them before publishing to make sure that the comments are appropriate. There has been a delay for the last few weeks because I have been out of the country on vacation. I can only say that the Mediterranean Sea was very relaxing and I can now say that I have been to Rome and the Vatican.

Lytton's was a large, nice clothing store, the likes of which we don't have anymore. Until the newer store was built in 1956, the store had beeen located since 1927 at 1033 Lake Street it was originally known as The Hub. The downtown Chicago one was quite remarkable, and is pictured in one of the Arcadia Books about Chicago retailers.

Also, in Oak Park, there was a department store at Lake and Oak Park called Gilmore's. The beautiful Prairie Style building still exists and is known as Scoville Square.

I wish I had time to respond like this to each comment, but in reality, I can only do so when I have some free time. I do know that the many lovely comments about historical department stores are one of this site's great attractions for many people who enjoy reading them.

Hi. How did you come to
Appreciate this store so much ? How did you acquire all the info of all the stores? It's really great to read all the memories. Do you remember or know what stores, if any , were next to kotz shoes( and Chinese take out) before they were demolished? I read that 3 other building were razed. Curious if they were residential or commercial . Thank you

I thought that there was a Department Store owned by two Jewish Brothers in Evanston I cannot recall the name if anyone could help me remember, I would appreciate it.

Roger Plafkin
Plafkin Farms-View on Photobucket.com and Webshots.com
2150 Buttrick
Ada, Michigan
49301
1-616-676-0590
[email protected]

I sure loved the River Forest, IL Wieboldt's Christmas windows back in the 1950's & 1960's.

In 1978 when I got married I purchased 3 sets of percale sheets from them. The top sheets & pillowcases are still in great shape. Wish things would last that long now a days.

The Meadowdale Wieboldt's was the best, and it was where my Mom brought me to see Santa. There were two outside displays and every Christmas there would be a scene in one and Santa in the other. Great memories in the 60's.
My Dad had a part-time job there clearing out the cash registers after closing and he brought me a couple of times. I had the run of the store, what a dream-come-true!

My father was President of Weibolts in the 1955 -1965. I remember doing the grocery shopping for my mother in the Oak Park store. I remember shopping in the store and getting a discount. My family had a wonderful life in Chicago because of Weibolts.
Monica

@Anonymous from Sept 11, 2012, the Stratford Square store in Bloomingdale (not shown in this exhibit) opened on March 9, 1981, followed by Orland Court (later Orland Park Place, adjacent to Orland Square) on August 13 of that year. These were the last two Wieboldt's stores ever to open. Stratford Square held the distinction to be the only indoor mall shared by Wieboldt's and Field's, as well as Carson's. JCPenney now operated in the Stratford store, and the Orland store is shared by Nordstrom Rack and Marshalls.

I worked for Wieboldt's State Street in the early 70's from junior year in high school until after entering college. For about four years. I started in the work clothes area of the basement men's ware and then moved to men's suits shortly after starting. It was an experience I have never forgotten and I am late fifties now. In those days you were actually trained in the job before going to the floor. They wanted expert service even from a 16 year old kid. It’s interesting every Christmas because I am probably the only guy for miles around that actually knows how to wrap a package, check the fit of a suit and how to pack it. When you purchased a suit it had to be folded properly, stuffed with tissue to retain its shape, the box lined with tissue and then everything placed correctly in the box. The box had to then be tied with cord and a wooden handle attached for easy carrying. This Christmas even the high end stores just place a flattened box (won't fit what you just bought)in the bag along with the wadded up merchandise you just purchased. I was also trained on the proper fit of a suit and how to mark it up for tailoring which was done in house. Funny asking a clerk now about the fit of a suit they look at you like you are crazy.

Boy how service has changed and become inefficient. There is no training, no proper way to treat a customer and they can’t even use the registers, just a warm body at a counter. We had to know the price of everything in our department we were tested on it and how to apply a sales discount “manually” to the total. People in stores now can’t make change if the register doesn’t tell them how much to give back.

All of this really points to a decline in our society as a whole. It’s a pity because it will never come back. I write this especially after going through this last Christmas shopping season. I have never encountered such non-caring unintelligent people who represent the company they are working for. I wish you could travel back in time at least to shop at the great stores that once existed. The stores of the past such as Field’s, Carson’s (old stores not the current renditions owned by Bon-Ton which are trying to be a Kohl’s) and Wieboldt’s were an experience not just a place to shop. The service always impeccable.

The State Street store did sell candies, bakery goods, their Napoleons were my favorite and packaged goods from places like England and Europe but they didn’t have a full grocery service. Stop and Shop was on State Street but was a free standing store.

Reading all the comments here brought back many memories even after forty plus years. Thank you for that. Pete

Wonderful memories, I worked at the State St Store the last five years befor they closed. I met a lot of great people there, I started as a clerk in the buyers office on the 10th. floor and was promoted after one year to assistant buyer for bed linens.
I was wondering if you ever heard of a "Lehman" department store in the Chicago, Il downtown area. I believe it would hae been there in the 1920-1930's. i'm not sure, my mother told me she went downtown to "Lehmans department store to pay a bill for my grandmother and the clerk asked her if she was related to the "Lehman" owners of the store. My mother said no..the name could also be spelled with (2) n's!

My dad was the Men’s Wear buyer. Every once in a while he would bring me up to the buyers floor on a work day. I never met a happier or nicer office staff even though they were not earning as much as buyers from other stores like Carson’s.

Ernst Johann Lehmann was the founder of The Fair department store in downtown Chicago. The store was eventually purchased by Montgomery Ward, which gave that Chicago-based chain store an outlet on State Street. Before that, it was a part (since 1925)of the Kresge chain of department stores which had affiliates in Newark, NJ and Washington, DC. (Note that these were complete department stores, not the Kresge's many of us remember.

I plan to add The Fair to the exhibits in The Department Store Museum when I can.

If you have any access to the historical Chicago Tribune, such as through ProQuest Historical Newspapers from your library, you can do a search and learn a lot more. Or, a simple Google search for "E. J. Lehmann" will turn up a great deal of information.

The Fair store was a famous piece of Chicago-Style commercial architecture, which was first brutalized with a new front in the 1960s, and finally demolished, only to be replaced with something which can only be described as a detriment to State Street.

I am sure it was "The Fair" your mom talked about.

My mother worked at The Fair before I was born . It was probably around the early 30s


Early Crimes and Conviction

Having been involved in illicit nighttime activity during his work trips, matters reached a head on July 21, 1923, when a young Dillinger stole a sedan outside of a church, perhaps reacting to a failed romantic relationship. He was later found roaming aimlessly through Indianapolis streets by two police officers, who, after questioning Dillinger and becoming suspicious of his vague explanations, placed him under arrest. Dillinger managed to slip loose from the officers, however, and ran. Knowing that he couldn&apost go back home, he joined the United States Navy the next day.

While Dillinger made it through basic training, he quickly realized that the regimented life of military service was not for him. While assigned to the U.S.S. Utah — the same U.S.S. Utah that was sunk at Pearl Harbor in 1941 — he jumped ship, ending his five-month military career. He was eventually dishonorably discharged.

Upon his return to Mooresville in April 1924, Dillinger met and married teenager Beryl Ethel Hovious in nearby Martinsville and attempted to settle down. With no job or income, the newlyweds stayed both at the Dillinger farmhouse and the home of Hovious&apos parents. Dillinger eventually got a job in an upholstery shop.

During the summer of 1924, Dillinger played shortstop on the Martinsville baseball team, where he met and befriended Edgar Singleton. He told Dillinger about a local grocer who would be carrying his daily receipts on his way from work to the barbershop. The plan was that Dillinger could easily rob the elderly grocer for the cash he would be carrying while Singleton waited in a getaway car down the street.

Dillinger was allegedly armed with a .32 caliber pistol and a large bolt wrapped in a handkerchief, with some conflicting reports on whether he or Singleton initiated the attack. Dillinger is said to have come up behind the grocer and clubbed him with the bolt, but the grocer turned and grabbed his attacker and the gun, forcing it to discharge. Believing that he had shot the grocer, Dillinger took off running down the street toward Singleton&aposs getaway car. Singleton wasn&apost there, however, and Dillinger was soon caught by police.

The local prosecutor convinced Dillinger&aposs father that if his son pleaded guilty to the armed robbery charges, the court would be lenient. That was the extent of his legal assistance, however. Dillinger appeared in court without a lawyer and without his father, and the court threw the book at him: He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison, even though it was his first conviction. Singleton, who had a prison record, was also caught, but would serve less than two years of his two- to 14-year sentence due to legal representation.


ZZ Top Concerts 1970s

May ?, 1970  Played Beaumont French High School Senior Prom.

May ?, 1970  Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School, Orange, TX

? ?, 1970 (opened shows on a blues tour with Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf & Muddy Waters)

June 10, 1970 Will Rogers Coliseum, Ft Worth, TX ('KFJZ Rock Out', Panther Boys’ Club benefit, with The Courtship, The Mixed Emotions, The Differents, The Sole Purpose & The Cobras. Admission was 50 cents or a can of food)

June ?, 1970 Arthur's, Dallas, TX (between sets at a Liberation gig, featuring Stevie Ray Vaughan- Stevie & Billy jam together)

July 14, 1970 Texas A&M University Student Center Ballroom, College Station, TX

July 17, 1970 Albuquerque, NM (unconfirmed, supporting Janis Joplin)

July 19, 1970 Almeda Speedway, Houston, TX ('Day of Joy', with Albert King, Alive and Kicking, Buttermilk Bottom, Children, Flash Cadillac & The Continental Kids, Ginger Valley, Leon Russell, Mott The Hoople, Pacific Gas & Electric, Rare Earth & Zephyr)

August 7, 1970 Panther Hall, Ft. Worth, TX (with Israfel)

August 8, 1970 The Circus, Ft. Worth, TX (with Fancy Space)

August 15, 1970 Jam Factory, San Antonio, TX (2 shows supporting Fats Domino. ZZ played after the headliner Fats due to equipment problems)

August 18, 1970 Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX (with Wet Willie)

September 25, 1970 Stardust Roller Rink Ballroom, Corpus Christi, TX (With Sweet Smoke. Possibly the date was the 11th or 18th)

November 16, 1970 Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX (unconfirmed, supporting Ten Years After)

November 17, 1970 Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX (unconfirmed, supporting Ten Years After)

November 18, 1970 Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX (unconfirmed, supporting Ten Years After)

December 6, 1970 The Promised Land, Houston, TX (Mother’s Free Concert, with St. Laufren & Big Sweet South)

xx/xx/71?        Miss Irene’s, Houston, TX

(Billy played harmonica with other bands under the name Mellow Larry)

xx/xx/71          Nacogdoches, TX - My husband played just before ZZ Top

02/06/71         Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX

[Royal Jesters/Wildfire/ZZ Tops (sic)/Sir Douglas Quintet]

02/10/71         The Jam Factory, San Antonio, TX

02/20/71         The Warehouse, New Orleans, LA [ZZ Top/Canned Heat]

02/21/71         The Warehouse, New Orleans, LA [ZZ Top/Canned Heat]

03/21/71         Of Our Own, Houston, TX (Space City Benefit)

[Denim Lone Star/Bruiser Barton & The Dry Heaves/Texas La Paz/ZZ Top]

xx/xx/71          Overton Park Shell, Memphis, TN (Memphis Country Blues Festival)

05/06/71         Liberty Hall, Houston, TX

[Bloontz All-Star Band/Texas All-Star Blues Revue/ZZ Top/Willie Dixon & The Chicago All-Stars]

06/04/71         Unknown Location [ZZ Top/Chase/Quicksilver Messenger Service]

06/05/71         The Warehouse, New Orleans, LA

[ZZ Top/Chase/Allman Brothers Band/Quicksilver Messenger Service]

06/06/71         Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX

[ZZ Top/Allman Brothers/Quicksilver Messenger Service]

06/07/71         Unknown Location [ZZ Top/Allman Brothers/Quicksilver Messenger Service]

06/24-28/71    Cypress Pointe Plantation, McCrea, Louisiana (Celebration Of Life Festival)

(The 4-day event was scheduled to run 8 days, but was delayed by authorities,

Pink Floyd were cancelled, Ted Nugent and others did play ZZ Top attended but never got to play) (Stephen Stills closed the festival others included Country Joe McDonald, Melanie, War, John Sebastian, It's a Beautiful Day, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Witherspoon, Bloodrock,Stoneground, & Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes)

07/24/71         Memorial Auditorium, Dallas TX (ZZ may have opened for Ten Years After – unverified)

09/12/71         Lake Spivey Park, Jonesboro, GA [ZZ Top/ Ike & Tina Turner]

(ZZ Top were the unannounced warmup act)

09/17/71         Mid-South Coliseum Memphis, TN

(Allman Brothers Band headlined, Wet Willie also opened)

(Billy’s stage outfit this night was informed by the Ike Turner performance)

09/18/71         The Warehouse, New Orleans, LA

09/27/71         Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX [ZZ Top/Black Sabbath/Mountain] (Mountain seems unlikely as they were in Detroit the night before, but not impossible)

(9/27 date is from Sabbath site with no ZZ mention)

10/23/71         New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM (free concert on the grass)

11/09/71         Coliseum, El Paso, TX [ZZ Top/Ten Years After] (their first El Paso appearance)

11/14/71         Liberty Hall, Houston, TX [Rufus/ZZ Top]

12/31/71         Poncho’s Mexeteria, Tyler, TX (The band played until 2:00am)

xx/xx/72          Quonset Hut, Espanola, NM

(Winter show in an unheated Quonset hut, with local warmup act)

xx/xx/72          Park Center Arena, Charlotte, NC (free concert, possibly 6/4/72)

January 15, 1972 Abilene High School Auditorium, Abilene, TX (Admission was $1.50, 50% of proceeds went to the West Texas Rehabilitation Center)

February 15, 1972 Coliseum, El Paso, TX (Red Bone & Cheech & Chong)

February 18, 1972 Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin, TX

February 19, 1972 Ector County Coliseum, Odessa, TX

February 25, 1972 Tarrant County Convention Center Amphitheatre, Fort Worth, TX

March 18, 1972 Municipal Auditorium, Lubbock, TX (With Jay Boy Adams)

March ?, 1972 Municipal Civic Auditorium, Big Spring, TX

06/03/72         Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh, NC

06/04/72         Park Center Auditorium, Charlotte, NC

06/05/72         War Memorial Auditorium, Greensboro, NC

06/09/72         Memorial Auditorium, Chattanooga, TN

06/10/72         War Memorial Auditorium, Nashville, TN

06/12/72         Coliseum, Jackson, MS

06/14/72         Memorial Auditorium, Fort Smith, AR

06/15/72         Mobile Municipal Theatre, Mobile, AL

06/16/72         The Warehouse, New Orleans, LA (with Uncle Jam Band & Wishbone Ash)

06/17/72         Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, LA

06/19/72         Municipal Auditorium, Pensacola, FL

06/25/72         Music Hall, Oklahoma City, OK (with Freddie King)

07/21/72         Dallas Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX (With Jay Boy Adams)

07/28/72         Atlanta, GA (with Jay Boy Adams) (date may be 07/29/72)

08/18/72         Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX (with Wet Willie)

08/24/72         Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO (with Ramatan & Humble Pie)

08/25/72         Assembly Center, Tulsa, OK (with Humble Pie)

08/26/72         Municipal Auditorium, Lubbock, TX (With Jay Boy Adams)

October 27, 1972 Municipal Auditorium, Birmingham, AL (with Quicksilver Messenger Service)

November 18, 1972 Myriad Convention Center Arena, Oklahoma City, OK (with Wild Turkey & Ten Years After)

November 21, 1972 Century II Performing Arts Center, Wichita, KS (with Wild Turkey & Ten Years After)

November 23, 1972 Independence Hall, Baton Rouge, LA (with Foghat)

December 1-2, 1972 Winterland, San Francisco, CA (with Wild Turkey & Ten Years After)

December ?, 1972 Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX

December 15, 1972 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL (with Richie Havens & T. S. Henry)

01/06/73         The Warehouse, New Orleans, LA

[Jay Boy Adams/Brownsville Station/ZZ Top]

01/15/73         Civic Center, Abilene, TX [Jay Boy Adams/ZZ Top]

01/21/73         International Center, Honolulu, HI [ZZ Top/Rolling Stones]

01/22/73         International Center, Honolulu, HI [ZZ Top/Rolling Stones]

03/06/73         Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium, Chattanooga, TN

03/08/73         Kentucky National Guard Armory, Hopkinsville, KY

04/21/73         American Legion Memorial Stadium, Charlotte, NC

[Goose Creek Symphony/Brownsville Station/Wet Willie/Marshall Tucker/

ZZ Top/Mahavishnu Orchestra/Allman Brothers Band]

05/01/73         Unknown Location

05/xx/73          Auditorium, Asheville, NC

05/19/73         East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

[unknown local performer/Rory Gallagher/ZZ Top]

05/21/73         Gadsden Convention Hall, Gadsden, AL

06/02/73         Mid-South Coliseum Memphis, TN [Bo Diddley/ZZ Top]

06/10/73         Mecca Arena, Milwaukee, WI [ZZ Top/Deep Purple]

(ZZ joined the Deep Purple tour on this date after Billy Preston’s band “disintegrated”)

06/11/73         Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI [ZZ Top/Deep Purple]

06/12/73         Schoellkopf Stadium, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Scheduled: [ZZ Top/Elf/Deep Purple] (only ZZ Top played)

(ZZ Top played only three songs due to a deluge. Deep Purple then refused to play

due to heavy rain, and the stage and Purple gear were smashed)

06/15/73         Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, FL [BOC/ZZ Top/Deep Purple]

06/16/73         Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL

[Blue Oyster Cult/Family/ZZ Top/Savoy Brown/Deep Purple]

06/17/73         International Raceway, West Palm Beach, FL

[Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top/Savoy Brown/Deep Purple]

06/19/73         Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, GA

06/30/73         Charlie B's, Seneca, SC

[White Witch/Bertha/Brownsville Station/ZZ Top]

07/4-6/73        Sheridan, AR (Rebel Springs Rock Festival)

(ZZ headlined one night of this three day festival)

(also Bloodrock, Ace Trucking Company, River City)

07/08/73         Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA

[ZZ Top/Mike Bloomfield/Doobie Brothers]

07/12/73         Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ w/Doobies (not verified- Doobies site sez “Skylark” opened)

07/13/73         Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA w/Doobies, Savoy Brown

07/14/73         Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, CA [ZZ Top/Doobie Brothers]

07/15/73         Long Beach Auditorium, Long Beach, CA (ZZ Top/Frampton’s Camel/Savoy Brown/Quicksilver Messenger Service)

07/17/73         Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA

[Hard Stuff/ZZ Top/Savoy Brown]

07/21/73         Pungo Airfield, Virginia Beach, Virginia ("Concert By The Sea")

(order unsure: New Cactus Band/Bloodrock/Dr. Hook/John Sebastian/

Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top/Savoy Brown)

(Dusty passed out due to extreme heat, was revived, and kept playing)

07/30/73         Ford Auditorium, Detroit, MI (supported by Savoy Brown)

08/04/73         Coliseum, Denver, CO [Savoy Brown/Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top]

August 10, 1973 Warehouse, New Orleans, LA (supported by Spooky Tooth & Jay Boy Adams)

August 12, 1973 University Of Houston Jeppesen Stadium, Houston, TX (supported by Doobie Brothers, Blue Oyster Cult (who did not play) Wishbone Ash, Savoy Brown (who refused to play after a disagreement about who should warm up for whom) & Willie Nelson)

August 16, 1973 Rochester Fairgrounds, Rochester, NY

08/18/73         The Auditorium, Bangor, ME [ZZ Top/Earth, Wind & Fire/Uriah Heep]

08/19/73         Exposition Building, Portland, ME (With Uriah Heep)

08/20/73         Suffolk Downs, East Boston, MA (With Uriah Heep)

08/21/73         Dome Arena, Monroe County Fairgrounds, Henrietta, NY [ZZ Top/Uriah Heep]

08/23/73         War Memorial, Johnstown, PA (With Uriah Heep)

08/24/73         Tiger Stadium, Massillon, OH (with Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

Aug 24(?) - Public Hall, Cleveland, OH (with Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

August 26, 1973 Allentown Fairgrounds, Allentown, PA (Rory Gallagher cancelled, with ZZ Top & Uriah Heep)

08/25/73         Charlie B's, Seneca, SC (Robert Shoun, Foghat Website) (conflicts with Buffalo) (w/Foghat, Savoy Brown, James Gang, Bloodrock)

08/30/73         Julia Sanderson Theatre, Springfield, MA (with Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

(moved from the Springfield Civic Center)

08/31/73         Onondaga County War Memorial Auditorium, Syracuse, NY (with Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

09/01/73         Cape Cod Coliseum, South Yarmouth, MA [ZZ Top/Earth, Wind & Fire/Uriah Heep]

x09/02/73       Midwest Monster Peace Jubilee & Music Fest, Benton, TN  ZZ Top was scheduled with:

(Black Oak Arkansas, Canned Heat, Beck, Bogert & Appice, Roberta Flack, Edgar

Winter, Joe Walsh, Dr. Hook, Iggy Pop, Spirit, Muddy Waters, T Rex, Dr. John

This festival was scheduled and promoted, but did not occur!

(Cancellation verified in "Jeff's Book")

September 7, 1973 Broome County Coliseum, Binghamton, NY (with Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

September 8, 1973 Civic Center, Baltimore, MD (with Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

September 9, 1973 Civic Center, Salem, VA (with Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

September 11, 1973 The Scope, Norfolk, VA (cancelled appearance, supporting Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

September 12, 1973 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC (with Uriah Heep & Earth, Wind & Fire)

09/13/73         Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, GA

09/14/73         West Palm Beach Speedway, West Palm Beach, FL

09/15/73         Speedway, Orlando, FL

09/16/73         Independence Coliseum, Charlotte, NC [ZZ Top/Uriah Heep]

09/18/73         Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN

[Tucky Buzzard/ZZ Top/Uriah Heep]

09/21/73         Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson, MS

09/22/73         Tarrant County Convention Center Arena, Ft. Worth, TX

09/28/73         Municipal Auditorium, Birmingham, AL [BTO/ZZ Top]

09/29/73         Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta, GA

10/06/73         Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, FL

[Aerosmith/Nazareth/ZZ Top/Mott The Hoople]

10/10/73         Georgia Southern College, Statesboro, GA

10/12/73         Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL (w/Fleetwood Mac, Nazareth)

10/13/73         Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KS

[Bachman Turner Overdrive/ZZ Top]

10/14/73         Roberts Municipal Stadium, Evansville, IN [Fleetwood Mac/ZZ Top]

10/19/73         Park Center, Charlotte, NC [Marshall Tucker/ZZ Top]

(Lynyrd Skynyrd were scheduled but did not play per Greg)

10/20/73         Armory, Rockford, IL

10/21/73         North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND (Homecoming) (date is a guess)

10/27/73         Academy of Music, New York, NY

[Flash Cadillac/ZZ Top/John Mayall] (1st show ever in New York City)

10/31/73         Civic Center, Hammond, IN [Heartsfield/ZZ Top]

11/03/73         UW Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Seattle, WA [ZZ Top/Rare Earth]

11/04/73         Coliseum, Spokane, WA [ZZ Top/Rare Earth]

11/07/73         Municipal Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA [Wishbone Ash/ZZ Top]

11/08/73         Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA [Robin Trower/ZZ Top/Wishbone Ash]

(this date is a guess- the billboard listing does not specify a date)

x11/13/73       Music Hall, Boston, MA [Osibisa/ZZ Top/Billy Preston] (BP) – show cancelled

11/18/73         Feyline Field, Tempe, AZ (promoted as “Sounds for a Sunday Afternoon”)

[Hans Olson/Blue Oyster Cult/ELO/ZZ Top/War]

(Paul Butterfield’s Better Days were scheduled, but they cancelled)

(Three Dog Night were ready to close the show, but were cancelled due to weather)

11/20/73         Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC (needs verification)

11/21/73         Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL [Osibisa/ZZ Top]

(10:30pm start time due to an earlier show in the same venue)

11/23/73         Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX

11/24/73         T. H. Barton Coliseum, Little Rock, AR

11/29/73         Civic Center, Knoxville, TN [Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top]

11/30/73         Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO (w/Doobie Brothers)

December 2, 1973 Fort Wayne Armory, Fort Wayne, IN

December 5, 1973 UW Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Seattle, WA (supporting Leon Russell)

December 8, 1973 Academy Of Music, New York City, NY (supporting BB King & Average White Band) December 9, 1973 Greensboro Coliseum, Greenboro, NC (supporting Alice Cooper) December 11, 1973 Dane County Memorial Coliseum, Madison, WI (supporting Alice Cooper) December 12, 1973 University Of Michigan Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI (supporting Alice Cooper) December 13, 1973 Sports Arena, Toledo, OH (supporting Alice Cooper. Alice Cooper only played a short set due to firecrackers being thrown on stage) December 14, 1973 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON (supporting Alice Cooper) December 15, 1973 Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY (supporting Alice Cooper) December 16, 1973 The Scope, Norfolk, NY (supporting Alice Cooper) December 19, 1973 Capital Center, Landover, MD (supporting Alice Cooper) December 22, 1973 Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL (supporting Alice Cooper) (cancelled?) December 26, 1973 Veterans Memorial Coliseum, New Haven, CT (cancelled appearance supporting Alice Cooper. ZZ Top did not fly in for the show due to a snowstorm and were replaced by Jett Black) December 27, 1973 Forum, Montréal, QC (supporting Alice Cooper) December 28, 1973 Convention Center, Louisville, KY December 29, 1973 Memorial Auditorium, Utica, NY (supporting Alice Cooper. Moved from Broome County Coliseum in Binghamton after city officials refused to let them play) December 30, 1973 Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ (supporting Mountain) December 31, 1973 Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY (supporting Alice Cooper)

01/03/74         Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, CA [ZZ Top/Steve Miller Band]

01/04/74         Winterland, San Francisco, CA [Climax Blues Band/ZZ Top/Steve Miller Band]

01/05/74         Winterland, San Francisco, CA [Climax Blues Band/ZZ Top/Steve Miller Band]

02/22/74         Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY

04/07/74         Sam S. Shubert Theater, Philadelphia, PA [Nazareth/ZZ Top]

04/10/74         Coliseum, Macon, GA

04/12/74         The Warehouse, 1820 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA [Jay Boy Adams/ZZ Top]

04/13/74         The Warehouse, 1820 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA [Jay Boy Adams/ZZ Top] (WNO)

04/18/74         Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, NY

04/19/74         International Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY

04/20/74         Civic Center Coliseum, Charleston, WV [Frampton’s Camel/ZZ Top]

04/21/74         Memorial Auditorium, Baltimore, MD

04/24/74         Kellogg Auditorium, Battle Creek, MI

04/26/74         Syria Mosque, Pittsburgh, PA

04/27/74         Hampton Roads Coliseum, Hampton, VA

04/28/74         Warner Theatre, Washington, D.C. [Ted Nugent & Amboy Dukes/ZZ Top]

05/03/74         Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ

05/04/74         Palace Theatre, Providence, RI

05/11/74         Williamsport Area Community College, Williamsport PA

05/13/74         Madison Square Garden, New York, NY [ZZ Top/Ten Years After]

05/16/74         Ford Auditorium, Detroit, MI

05/17/74         Civic Center, Hammond, IN [Heartsfield/ZZ Top]

05/19/74         Civic Center, Baltimore, MD  [ZZ Top/Ten Years After]

05/25/74         Bush Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

(Billy Cobham/Muddy Waters/Roy Buchanan/Renaissance/Larry Coryell/

05/26/74         Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, IA

(Pelican Peach Band/Blue Oyster Cult/Brownsville Station/Boz Scaggs/ZZ Top)

(cancelled due to crowd unrest)

05/27/74         Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL

05/30/74         Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque, NM

05/31/74         Civic Center, El Paso, TX [El Chicano/ZZ Top]

06/01/74         Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ

06/09/74         Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN [ZZ Top/Lynyrd Skynyrd]

06/15/74         Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO

06/19/74         St. Paul Civic Auditorium, St. Paul, MN [Maggie Bell/ZZ Top]

06/21/74         Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA

06/26/74         RKO Orpheum Theatre, Davenport, IA [Heartsfield/ZZ Top]

06/27/74         Civic Center Arena, Bakersfield, CA

06/28/74         Allen Theater, Cleveland, OH [Locomotive GT/Rush/ZZ Top]

06/29/74         Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA

06/30/74         Selland Arena, Fresno, CA

07/04/74         Rickwood Field, Birmingham, AL

07/05/74         Municipal Auditorium, Mobile, AL

07/06/74         Cotton Bowl, State Fair Grounds, Dallas, TX "Soul Festival '74" 5th on bill

(Arkansas Gazette) Richard Jackson says 7/6/74 no way, but display ad lists "ZZ Tops"

07/08/74         Schaefer Music Festival, New York, NY [Brownsville Station/ZZ Top]

07/10/74         Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI [Spooky Tooth/ZZ Top/Edgar Winter] (DFP)

07/12/74         Casino Arena, Asbury Park, NJ [Weather Report/ZZ Top]

07/13/74         Memorial Stadium, Charlotte, NC

[Rare Earth/Elvin Bishop/Billy Preston/Lynyrd Skynyrd/Leon Russell/ZZ Top]

(A police officer was shot in the parking lot at this all-day festival)


July 15-16, 1974 Performance Center, Cambridge, MA (supported by Rocket)

July 18, 1974 Auditorium, West Palm Beach, FL (supported by Brownsville Station & Chris Jagger)

July 19, 1974 Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, FL

July 20, 1974 Civic Center, Savannah, GA (supported by Brownsville Station & Chris Jagger)

July 21, 1974 Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa, FL

July 23-24, 1974 Jai Lai Fronton, Orlando, FL

07/26/74         Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

07/27/74         Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

07/28/74         Wichita State University Cessna Stadium, Wichita, KS

[Brownsville Station/Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top]

07/31/74         Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, Shreveport, LA

08/01/74         T. H. Barton Coliseum, Little Rock, AR

08/02/74         T. H. Barton Coliseum, Little Rock, AR (conflicts)

08/02/74         Cook Convention Center, Memphis, TN

08/04/74         Christian Herter Park, Allston, MA [Orphan/ZZ Top]

(Free afternoon concert at 1:30pm by the Charles River, presented by WBCN)

August 6, 1974 Riverside Theatre, Milwaukee, WI

08/09/74         Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA [Dr. John/Brownsville Station/ZZ Top]

08/10/74         Coliseum, Portland, OR [Dr. John/Brownsville Station/ZZ Top]

August 11, 1974 Coliseum, Spokane, WA

August 14, 1974 Terrace Ballroom, Salt Lake City, UT

August 17, 1974 Golden Hall, San Diego, CA

August 18, 1974 International Ice Palace, Las Vegas, NV

August 21, 1974 Neal S. Blaisdell Arena, Honolulu, HI

August 23, 1974 Civic Auditorium, Bakersfield, CA (Brownsville Station & Flash Cadillac)

August 24, 1974 Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA (Summer Boogie ’74, supported by Elvin Bishop & Brownsville Station)


August 25, 1974 Selland Arena, Fresno, CA

August 30, 1974 Omni, Atlanta, GA (with Atlanta Rhythm Section)

September 1, 1974 University Of Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX (“First Annual Texas Sized Rompin' Stompin' Barn Dance and Bar B.Q.", with Santana, Joe Cocker, Bad Company (with Jimmy Page sitting in) & Jay Boy Adams)

09/15/74         Winterland, San Francisco, CA (with Eric Burdon & Fanny)

10/25/74         Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

11/01/74         Hersheypark Arena, Hershey, PA

11/03/74         Erie County Fieldhouse, Erie, PA (Point Blank/ZZ Top)

11/17/74         Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY [Elvin Bishop Group/ZZ Top]

11/24/74         Utica War Memorial, Utica, NY [Orleans/ZZ Top]

11/26/74         Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT

12/05/74         Veterans Memorial, Columbus, OH [Atlanta Rhythm Section/ZZ Top]

12/06/74         Gardens, Cincinnati, OH [JJ Cale/Manfred Mann/ZZ Top]

12/08/74         Roberts Municipal Stadium, Evansville, IN [Kiss/ZZ Top]

12/09/74         Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Ft. Wayne, IN

12/10/74         Palmer Alumni Auditorium, Davenport, IA (KISS/Point Blank/ZZ Top)

12/11/74         Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Cedar Rapids, IA [Hydra/ZZ Top]

12/12/74         I.M.A. Sports Arena, Flint, MI [Kiss/ZZ Top]

12/20/74         Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO [Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top]

12/22/74         Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL

12/31/74         Coliseum, Denver, CO

01/09/75         Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario

01/18/75         Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA (w/Kiss)

01/24/75         Community Center Arena, Tucson, AZ [Flash Cadillac/ZZ Top]

01/26/75         Selland Arena, Fresno, CA [Kiss/ZZ Top]

02/24/75         Brown County Arena, Green Bay, WI (w/Amboy Dukes)

03/01/75         Industrial Building, Casper, WY [April Wine/ZZ Top]

03/02/75         Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba [Steel/ZZ Top]

03/05/75         Stampede Corral, Stampede Grounds, Calgary, Alberta [Chilliwack/ZZ Top]

March 28, 1975 Sports Arena, Toledo, OH (cancelled appearance, replaced by James Gang, supported by Kiss)

03/29/75         Hara Arena, Dayton, OH [JJ Cale/ZZ Top]

03/31/75         Welsh Auditorium, Grand Rapids, MI [ZZ Top/Thin Lizzy]

04/18/75         Memorial Fieldhouse, Marshall University, Huntington, WV

04/19/75         Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City, TN [Status Quo/ZZ Top]

04/23/75         Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

04/26/75         Minneapolis, MN [JJ Cale/ZZ Top]

04/27/75         Rockford Armory, Rockford, IL

05/10/75         Capital Centre, Landover, MD [Kiss/Brian Auger/ZZ Top]

05/11/75         Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY

05/17/75         Central Maine Youth Center, Lewiston, ME

05/21/75         Music Hall, Boston, MA [The Strawbs/ZZ Top]

05/22/75         International Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY

05/23/75         Felt Forum, New York, NY [Brian Auger/ZZ Top]

05/30/75         Erie County Fieldhouse, Erie, PA [Brian Auger/ZZ Top]

06/08/75         Cow Palace, Daly City, CA [Kansas/Leslie West/ZZ Top] (TSM)

[Sammy Hagar & Dustcloud/Commander Cody/ZZ Top] (BGP)

(there are conflicting reports about the lineup of the above show)

06/12/75         Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR

06/15/75         Coliseum, Spokane, WA [REO Speedwagon/ZZ Top]

06/17/75         Sahara Space Center, Las Vegas, NV (LAS) (WIKI says Winchester, NV)

06/xx/75          Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque, NM (their 4th visit here)

06/19/75         L.A. Forum, Inglewood, CA [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

06/20/75         Sports Arena, San Diego, CA [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

06/21/75         Diablo Stadium, Tempe, AZ (Summer Festival of Rock)

(with REO Speedwagon, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Johnny Winter, and Aerosmith)

06/22/75         Long Beach Auditorium, Long Beach, CA

06/27/75         Pershing Auditorium, Lincoln, NE [Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top]

06/28/75         Municipal Auditorium, Sioux City, IA [Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top]

06/29/75         Red River Valley Stockyard Arena, Fargo, ND

[Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top] (Dusty passes out from the heat)

07/05/75         Plant Field, Tampa Fairgrounds, Tampa, FL (Florida Jam)

(Atlanta Rhythm Section, Pure Prairie League, Kiss, War, Ozark Mountain Daredevils,

Marshall Tucker Band, Johnny Winter, ZZ Top– order uncertain)

07/11/75         Johnstown War Memorial, Johnstown, PA [Kansas/ZZ Top]

07/13/75         Civic Center Coliseum, Charleston, WV [REO Speedwagon/ZZ Top]

07/15/75         Freedom Hall, Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, KY

07/16/75         Independence Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

07/19/75         Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

07/20/75         Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

07/20/75         Civic Auditorium, San Jose, CA [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

07/23/75         Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

07/24/75         Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, TX [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

07/25/75         Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio, TX [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

07/26/75         Tad Gormley Stadium, New Orleans City Park, New Orleans, LA

(listed on WIKI as The Warehouse, but the Stadium is the correct venue)

(Jay Boy Adams/Jeff Beck/Fleetwood Mac/Trooper/Aerosmith/ZZ Top)

07/27/75         Tulsa Pavilion, Tulsa, OK [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

07/28/75         Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KS [ZZ Top/Aerosmith]

07/30/75         Mecca Arena, Milwaukee, WI [Slade/ZZ Top]

07/31/75         Market Hall, Dallas, TX [Aerosmith/ZZ Top]

08/07/75         Calderone Concert Hall, Hempstead, NY

08/08/75         State Farm Show Arena, Harrisburg, PA

08/09/75         Convention Hall, Asbury Park, NJ [Slade/ZZ Top]

08/10/75         Civic Center, Baltimore, MD  [Slade/ZZ Top]

08/11/75         Ellis Auditorium North Hall, Memphis, TN

08/22/75         Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA [Marshall Tucker Band/ZZ Top]

08/27/75         McNichols Arena, Denver, CO (first rock concert ever in this venue)

08/28/75         McNichols Arena, Denver, CO

08/29/75         Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

09/13/75         Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, GA

09/20/75         Speedway Grandstand, Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN [Atlanta Rhythm Section/J. Geils Band/ZZ Top]

09/24/75         Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI [Mahogany Rush/ZZ Top]

09/25/75         Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY [Slade/ZZ Top]

09/27/75         Palace Theatre, Albany, NY

10/02/75         Civic Center, Springfield, MA [Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top]

10/03/75         Boston Garden, Boston, MA [Duke and the Drivers/Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top](Skynyrd cancelled off bill)

11/01/75         Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Ludwigshafen, GER

[Chapman & Whitney's Streetwalkers/ZZ Top/Black Sabbath]

11/02/75         Philipshalle, Dusseldorf, GER

[Chapman & Whitney's Streetwalkers/ZZ Top/Black Sabbath]

11/13/75         Rochester’s Dome Arena, Henrietta, NY

11/15/75         Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ (with Slade)

11/19/75         Public Hall, Cleveland, OH (ZZ Top, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Poco)

11/20/75         Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, OH (with Wet Willie)

11/22/75         Felt Forum, New York City, NY (with Slade)

11/26/75         Convention Center Arena, San Antonio, TX [Ramiro Ceverra/ZZ Top]

11/27/75         The Summit, Houston, TX [REO Speedwagon/ZZ Top]

11/28/75         Tarrant County Convention Center Arena, Fort Worth, TX

11/29/75         Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX

11/30/75         Municipal Coliseum, Lubbock, TX

01/09/76         Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON

x01/12/76       Yellowstone Metra, Billings, MT (cancelled due to snow and travel troubles)

01/13/76         Arena, Winnipeg, Manitoba [Mott/ZZ Top]

01/23/76         Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, Des Moines, IA [Styx/ZZ Top]

02/20/76         Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN (Styx & Starz warm up)

02/23/76         Brown County Arena, Green Bay, WI [Ozark Mountain Daredevils/ZZ Top]

05/xx/76          Astroarena, Houston, TX (Band and crew take up a one week residence in the arena to construct and tweak the stage and set for the upcoming World Wide Texas Tour)

xx/xx/76          Assembly Center, Tulsa, OK (after May, probably October or November)

05/29/76         Groves Stadium, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC (First night of tour, featuring hail storms & tornado warnings)

[Point Blank/Elvin Bishop/Lynyrd Skynyrd/ZZ Top]

06/02/76         Scope, Norfolk, VA [Wet Willie/ZZ Top]

06/03/76         Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA

06/05/76         Fulton County (Braves) Stadium, Atlanta, GA

[Point Blank/Elvin Bishop/Marshall Tucker Band/ZZ Top]

06/06/76         James White Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, TN

06/07/76         Freedom Hall, Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, KY

06/xx/76          Auto Show, North Carolina (not a gig, Billy meets Pete Chapouris to begin The Eliminator car)

x06/9/76         Capital Centre, Landover, MD (postponed - This date not played)

06/12/76         Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA

[Point Blank/Aerosmith/ZZ Top] (The buffalo got loose at this show – BFG)


06/20/76         Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, FL

06/23/76         Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY [Starz/BOC/ZZ Top]

06/24/76         Veteran's Memorial Arena, Binghamton, NY

06/25/76         Cape Cod Coliseum, South Yarmouth, MA [Starz/BOC/ZZ Top]

06/26/76         Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA [Ted Nugent/Blue Oyster Cult/ZZ Top]

06/28/76         Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, OH [Bob Seger/ZZ Top/Blue Oyster Cult] (Note: BOC did play the closing slot)


June 29-30, 1976 Civic Center Coliseum, Charleston, WV

07/01/76         Coliseum, Columbia, SC

07/04/76         Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN

(with Blue Oyster Cult, The Outlaws, & Lynyrd Skynyrd)

07/07/76         Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MO

07/09/76         Ak-sar-ben Coliseum, Omaha, NE

07/11/76         Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO (supported by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)

07/16/76         Setup day only, Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA (Buffalo Breaks free) (SDM)

07/17/76         Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, LA(Skynyrd cancels)

(CRC shows incorrect date of 06/20, venue also called Sugar Bowl Stadium)

07/21/76         Duluth Arena, Duluth, MN [J. Geils Band/ZZ Top]

07/22/76         Sports Coliseum, Minneapolis, MN (WIKI lists Metropolitan Stadium)

07/23/76         Mecca Arena, Milwaukee, WI [J. Geils Band/ZZ Top]

07/25/76         Soldier Field, Chicago, IL

07/26/76         Pine Knob Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI (supported by REO Speedwagon)

08/01/76         McNichols Arena, Denver, CO (rescheduled from Mile Hi Stadium) [Rory Gallagher/Tommy Bolin/Outlaws/ZZ Top]

(Blue Oyster Cult scheduled, but did not appear - BOCW)

08/04/76         Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, NM

August 7, 1976 Anaheim Stadium, Los Angeles, CA (supported by Blue Oyster Cult, Johnny & Edgar Winter, Point Blank (who replaced Rory Gallagher)& (host) Cal Worthington and his dog spot)

August 8, 1976 Sports Arena, San Diego, CA

08/09/76         San Diego Stadium, San Diego, CA [Johnny and Edgar Winter/BOC/ZZ Top]

08/10/76         Selland Arena, Fresno, CA

08/14/76         Cow Palace, Daly City, CA (supported by Ted Nugent)

09/09/76         Capital Centre, Landover, MD

09/10/76         Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY

09/11/76         Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

09/12/76         Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI

09/17/76         Civic Center, Bismarck, ND (supported by REO Speedwagon)

09/18/76         Yellowstone Metra, Billings, MT (supported by REO Speedwagon)

09/19/76         University of Wyoming Field House, Laramie, WY (supported by REO Speedwagon)


09/21/76         Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, UT [Roadwork/ZZ Top]

09/xx/76          Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV (WIKI sez 9/21)

09/24/76         Community Center Arena, Tucson, AZ

09/25/76         Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, AZ (date conflicts with Nashville)

09/25/76         Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN

[J Boy Adams/Cate Brothers/The Band/ZZ Top] (date conflicts with Phoenix)

(At Nashville the longhorn steer breaks loose and takes 3 hours to capture)

September 30, 1976 Civic Center, Lakeland, FL (supported by Point Blank)

October 2, 1976 Hollywood Sportatorium, Pembroke Pines, FL (supported by Point Blank)

October 8, 1976 Florida State University Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL

October 14, 1976 University Of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH

October 16, 1976 Independence Coliseum, Charlotte, NC (supported by Styx)

October 17, 1976 University Of South Carolina Coliseum, Columbia, SC

October 21, 1976 Coliseum, Portland, OR

October 22, 1976 Coliseum, Spokane, WA

October 23, 1976 Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA (supported by Elvin Bishop)

October 28, 1976 Idaho State University Mimidome, Pocatello, ID

October 31, 1976 Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, MO (supported by Rory Gallagher)

November 2, 1976 Fairgrounds Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

November 4, 1976 Levitt Arena, Wichita, KS

November 7, 1976 Roberts Municipal Stadium, Evansville, IN (supported by Fools)

November 11, 76 Capital Centre, Landover, MD (supported by Styx & Elvin Bishop)

November 14, 76 Augusta, ME (Cancelled)

November 17, 76 Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ

November 19, 1976 Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY

November 23, 1976 La Marque, TX

November 25-26, 1976 Summit, Houston, TX (2 shows, Supported by Rory Gallagher)

January 28 & 30, 1977 Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, OH (postponed until February 23rd)

February 10, 1977 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

February 16, 1977 Dane County Coliseum, Madison, WI

February 19, 1977 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, IL (supported by Atlanta Rhythm Section)

February 22, 1977 Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Ft. Wayne, IN

February 23, 1977 Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, OH (Rescheduled from January 28th & 30th, supported by Cate Brothers)

February 24, 1977 Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI

March 3, 1977, Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME (supported by The Blend)

March 8, 1977 Broome County Arena, Binghamton, NY

March 16-17, 1977 Boston Garden, MA (supported by Santana)

March 19, 1977 Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson, MS

March 23, 1977 Civic Center, Lake Charles, LA (supported by Point Blank)

April 1, 1977 Civic Center, Savannah, GA

April 3, 1977 Coliseum, Birmingham, AL (supported by Point Blank)

April 15, 1977 Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City, TN (supported by Blackfoot)

April 21, 1977 War Memorial, Rochester, NY

April 23, 1977 JFK Memorial Coliseum, Manchester, NH

April 24, 1977 Palace Theatre, Waterbury, CT (supported by Piper)

April 30, 1977 Civic Center, Providence, RI

May1, 1977 Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY (Cancelled)

May 6, 1977 Fort Hays State University Gross Memorial Coliseum, Hays, KS

May 7, 1977 University Of Kansas Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS (supported by Foreigner)

June 7, 1977 Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque, NM (supported by Climax Blues Band & Pure Prairie League)

June 8, 1977 Community Center Arena, Tucson, AZ (supported by Climax Blues Band & Pure Prairie League)

June 9, 1977 ASU Activity Center, Tempe, AZ (supported by Climax Blues Band & Pure Prairie League)

June 11, 1977 Forum, Los Angeles, CA (supported by Elvin Bishop)

June 15, 1977 Sports Arena, San Diego, CA (supported by Elvin Bishop)

June 18, 1977 Coliseum, El Paso, TX

June 21, 1977 Selland Arena, Fresno, CA

June 24, 1977 Cow Palace, Daly City, CA (supported by Elvin Bishop)

July 1-2, 1977 Blaisdell Arena, Honolulu HI (supported by Yellow Rose Band)

July 8, 1977 Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, Shreveport, LA

July 9, 1977 North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND

July 30, 1977 Birmingham, AL

1977 UK, Europe, Japan, Australia?

December 28, 1977 Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, Shreveport, LA

December 29, 1977 Taylor County Coliseum, Abilene, TX (supported by Muddy Waters & Jay Boy Adams)

December 30, 1977 Joe Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, TX (supported by Muddy Waters & Fools) (Stub says Joe Freeman Coliseum, but may have been Convention Center Arena)

? ?, 1978 Little Bar, French Riviera, FRA (Billy & Dusty played at a small bar, just bass & guitar, for an unknown period of time. Frank sat in with them for two nights, again, date unknown)

November 20, 1979 Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, Shreveport, LA (supported by Point Blank)

November 21, 1979 Little Rock, AR

November 22, 1979 Riverside Centroplex, Baton Rouge, LA (supported by Point Blank)

November 23, 1979 Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN (supported by Point Blank)

November 24, 1979 Mississippi Coliseum, Jackson, MS (supported by Point Blank)

November 25, 1979 Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN (supported by Point Blank)

November 27, 1979 Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, IN (supported by Point Blank)

November 28, 1979 Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY (supported by Point Blank)

November 29, 1979 Hara Arena, Dayton, OH (supported by Point Blank)

November 30, 1979 Welsh Auditorium, Grand Rapids, MI (supported by Point Blank)

December 1, 1979 Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI (supported by Point Blank)

December 2, 1979 Civic Center, Lansing, MI (supported by Point Blank)

December 5, 1979 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC (supported by Point Blank)

December 9, 1979 Carolina Coliseum, Columbia, SC (supported by Point Blank)

December 13, 1979 Scope, Norfolk, VA (supported by Henry Paul Band)

December 14, 1979 Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City, TN (supported by Henry Paul Band)

December 15, 1979 Civic Center, Salem, VA (supported by Henry Paul Band)

December 19, 1979 Civic Auditorium, Omaha, NE (supported by Point Blank)

December 20, 1979 Kansas Coliseum, Britt Brown Arena, Wichita, KS

December 22, 1979 Community Center Arena, Tucson, AZ (supported by Eric Johnson Band)

December 23, 1979 County Coliseum, El Paso, TX

December 27, 1979 Checkerdome, St. Louis, MO (supported by Point Blank)

December 29, 1979 Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Arena, Oklahoma City, OK ?

December 29, 1979 Tarrant County Convention Center Arena, Ft. Worth, TX

December 30, 1979 Warehouse, New Orleans, LA (supported by Jay Boy Adams)


10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the Great Fire of London

One of the most famous disasters in London's history, the Great Fire of 1666 devastated the heart of England's capital, destroying more than 13,000 houses and badly damaging landmarks including St Paul's Cathedral and the Royal Exchange. But how much do you really know about the blaze? We bring you the facts.

This competition is now closed

Published: September 2, 2019 at 10:00 am

Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire, shares 10 lesser-known facts about the Great Fire of London…

On 5 September 1666, the 33-year-old Samuel Pepys climbed the steeple of the ancient church of All Hallows-by-the-Tower and was met with the “the saddest sight of desolation that I ever saw everywhere great fires, oyle-cellars, and brimstone, and other things burning”. Leaving the church, he wandered along Gracechurch Street, Fenchurch Street and Lombard Street towards the Royal Exchange, which he found to be “a sad sight” with all the pillars and statues (except one of Sir Thomas Gresham) destroyed. The ground scorched his feet and he found nothing but dust, ash and ruins. It was the fourth day of the Great Fire of London and, though some parts of the city would continue to burn for months, the worst of the destruction was finally over.

Thanks in part to Pepys’s vivid diary entries, the story of the Great Fire is well known. Alongside the fortunes of Henry VIII’s wives, the Battle of Britain and the fate of Guy Fawkes, it forms part of a scattering of familiar islands in the muddy quagmire of British history. We all know, roughly speaking, what happened: during the early hours of 2 September 1666, a fire broke out in Thomas Farriner’s bakehouse on Pudding Lane, which blazed and spread with such ferocity and speed that within a few days the old City of London was reduced to a charred ruin. More than 13,000 houses, 87 churches and 44 livery halls were destroyed, the historic city gates were wrecked, and the Guildhall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Baynard’s Castle and the Royal Exchange were severely damaged – in some cases, beyond repair.

Those with more than a passing knowledge of the crucial facts might be aware of accounts of King Charles II fighting the fire alongside his brother, the Duke of York of Samuel Pepys taking pains to bury his prized parmesan cheese or of the French watchmaker Robert Hubert meeting his death at Tyburn after (falsely) claiming to have started the blaze. Here are 10 more facts you may not know about the Great Fire of London…

The Great Fire of London did not start on Pudding Lane

Thomas Farriner’s bakehouse was not located on Pudding Lane proper. Hearth Tax records created just before the fire place Farriner’s bakehouse on Fish Yard, a small enclave off Pudding Lane. His immediate neighbours included a waterbearer named Henry More, a sexton [a person who looks after a church and churchyard] named Thomas Birt, the parish ‘clearke’, a plasterer named George Porter, one Alice Spencer, a widow named Mrs Mary Whittacre, and a turner named John Bibie.

The Great Fire of London was not Thomas Farriner’s first brush with trouble

In 1627, the then 10- or 11-year-old Thomas Farriner was discovered by a city constable wandering alone within the city walls, having run away from his master [it is not known why he had a master at this time]. He was detained at Bridewell Prison, where the incident was recorded in the book of minutes.

During the 17th century, Bridewell (a former Tudor palace) was a kind of proto-correctional facility where young waifs and strays would often be sent to receive a rudimentary education, many of them then cherry-picked to become apprentices to the prison’s patrons.

During the boy’s hearing, it transpired that he had attempted to run away from his master three or four times previously. Farriner was released, only to be detained once more in 1628 for the same reason. A year later he was apprenticed as a baker under one Thomas Dodson.

Far from levelling the city, the Great Fire of London scorched the skin and flesh from the city’s buildings – but their skeletons remained

The ruins of many of London’s buildings had to be demolished before rebuilding work could begin. A sketch from 1673 by Thomas Wyck shows the extent of the ruins of St Paul’s Cathedral that remained. John Evelyn described the remaining stones as standing upright, fragile and “calcined”.

What’s more, the burning lasted months, not days: Pepys recorded that cellars were still burning in March of the following year. With plenty of nooks and crannies to commandeer, gangs operated among the ruins, pretending to offer travellers a ‘link’ (escorted passage) – only to rob them blind and leave them for dead. Many of those who lost their homes and livelihood to the fire built temporary shacks on the ruins of their former homes and shops until this was prohibited.

At the time of the Great Fire, England was engaged in a costly war with the Dutch Republic and was gearing up for one last battle

The conflict, known as the Second Anglo-Dutch War, was the second of three 17th-century maritime wars to be fought between the English and the Dutch over transatlantic trade supremacy. By September 1666 there had already been five major engagements: the battle of Lowestoft (1665) the battle of Vågen (1665) the Four Days’ Battle (1666) St James’s Day Battle (1666) and Holmes’s Bonfire (1666).

In the confusion of the blaze, some believed that the Great Fire of London had been started by Dutch merchants in retaliation for the last of these engagements – a vicious raid on the Dutch islands of Vlieland and Terschelling – which had occurred barely a month earlier. That attack had been orchestrated by Sir Robert Holmes (renowned for his short fuse and unpredictable nature) and resulted in the destruction of an estimated 150 Dutch merchant ships and, crucially, the torching of the town of West-Terschelling.

While the attack was celebrated with bonfires and bells in London, it appalled the Dutch, and there was rioting in Amsterdam. Aphra Behn – at that time an English spy stationed in Antwerp – wrote how she had seen a letter from a merchant’s wife “that desires her husband to com [sic] to Amsterdam home for that theare [sic] never was so great a desolation & mourning”. Behn was supposed to travel to Dort to continue her espionage, but declared that she “dare as well be hang’d as go”.

Listen: Alexander Larman and Nicholas Kenyon discuss the events and legacy of the 1666 blaze

Though we do not know exactly how many people died as a result of the Great Fire of London, it was almost certainly more than commonly accepted figures

In the traditional telling of the Great Fire story, the human cost is negligible. Indeed, only a few years after the blaze, Edward Chamberlayne claimed that “not above six or eight persons were burnt,” and an Essex vicar named Ralph Josselin noted that “few perished in the flames.” There was undoubtedly enough warning to ensure that a large proportion of London’s population vacated hazardous areas, but for every sick person helped out of their house, there must have been others with no one to aid them. What’s more, parish records hint at a far greater death toll than previously supposed.

At the parish of St Giles Cripplegate, for example, the number of burials increased by a third (presumably a result of citizens from destroyed parishes using this surviving church). Interestingly, there was a disproportionate rise (by two-thirds) in the number of deaths due to being “aged” and an increase in deaths attributed to “fright”. Likewise, the parish records of St Boltoph Bishopsgate show that the mean age at the time of death rose by an astonishing 12 years, from 18.3 to 31.3. This suggests either that older people were more likely to die in the month of September or that, in an age in which infanticide was rife, the deaths of young infants were not being recorded – perhaps even both.

The diarist John Evelyn certainly believed that the foul smell in the air at the time of the fire was caused by the bodies, beds and other combustible goods of “some poor creatures”, and the poet John Dryden – who, it must be said, was out of London at the time – wrote of “helpless infants left amidst the fire”. When reports reached France, a substantial loss of life was implied: “The letters from London speak of the terrible sights of persons burned to death and calcined limbs, making it easy to believe the terror though it cannot be exactly described. The old, tender children and many sick and helpless persons were all burned in their beds and served as fuel for the flames.”

Test your knowledge of the Great Fire of London with our history quiz

Louis XIV of France offered to help

It took more than a week for news of the fire to reach the French royal court in Paris, but when it did there was talk of little else. The Venetian ambassador in the French capital declared that “this accident… will be memorable through all the centuries.”

Privately, Louis XIV must have been thrilled. It was wrongly believed that the fire had destroyed England’s magazine stores and that the English navy would be forced to retire. Because of a 1662 treaty with the Dutch Republic, France had been obliged to enter the Anglo-Dutch War on the side of the Dutch, but the French king had neither the appetite nor the navy to play an active role.

Louis XIV publicly ordered that he would not tolerate “any rejoicings about it [the Great Fire], being such a deplorable accident involving injury to so many unhappy people”, and offered to send aid in the shape of food provisions and anything else that might be required to relieve the suffering of those left destitute.

There had been a genuine plot to burn the City of London

In April 1666, a group of parliamentarians led by John Rathbone and William Saunders were tried at the Old Bailey and found guilty of conspiring to assassinate Charles II, overthrow government and fire the City of London, letting down the portcullis to keep out assistance. The trial was recorded in the London Gazette, which revealed that the plotters purportedly had the support of a conspirator in Holland and had planned to execute their “Hellish design” on the anniversary of Oliver Cromwell’s death, 3 September.

People let their imaginations run away with them

By 6 September, news of the fire had travelled as far as Berwick, where local soldiers claimed that they had seen visions of “ships in the air”. Reporting the phenomenon back to Whitehall, one Mr Scott assured his contact that he believed it to have just been their imaginations. As he travelled across Wiltshire to gather more information about the fire, Bulstrode Whitelocke bumped into his friend Sir Seymour Pyle who had “had too much wine”. Pyle claimed that there had been a huge fight between 60,000 Presbyterians and the militia, which had resulted in the death and imprisonment of 30,000 rebels. Whitelocke soon discovered that Pyle had been “drunke & swearing & lying att almost every word”.

The Great Fire of London was predicted

A few weeks before the fire, one Mr Light claimed to have been asked by a “zealous Papist”: “You expect great things in ’66, and think that Rome will be destroyed, but what if it be London?”

Meanwhile, five months before the fire Elizabeth Styles claimed to have been told by a Frenchman that at some point between June and October there would not be “a house left between Temple Bar and London Bridge”.

In 1651, an astrologer named William Lilly created a pamphlet entitled Monarchy or No Monarchy that contained illustrative predictions of the future state of England. The images depicted not only a city blazing with fire, but scenes of naval warfare, infestations of rodents, mass death and starvation. Unsurprisingly, Lilly was called in for questioning following the fire of 1666.

Watch: Dan Jones talks to HistoryExtra about walking the route of the fire street by street, following its four-day trail of devastation as it raged through the city

The Great Fire wasn’t the only blaze in London in 1666

London was thrown into a panic during the evening of 9 November when a fire broke out in the Horse Guard House, next to Whitehall Palace. It was believed that the blaze had been caused by a candle falling into some straw. According to Samuel Pepys, the whole city was put on alarm by the “horrid great fire” and a lady even fell into fits of fear. With drums beating and guards running up and down the streets, by 10pm the fire was extinguished, with little damage caused.

A big day in history

Dominic Sandbrook describes the events of 2 September 1666 – the date that the City of London was engulfed by “an infinite great fire”…

Samuel Pepys was fast asleep when, at three in the morning of Sunday 2 September 1666, one of his maids, Jane Birch, banged on the door with the news that there was a “great fire” in the City of London. “So I rose and slipped on my nightgowne,” Pepys wrote later, “and went to her window.” There he saw the telltale tinge of red in the distance. In fact, the fire had already been blazing for a couple of hours, having broken out in Thomas Farriner’s bakery in Pudding Lane. The parish constables thought they should demolish the neighbouring houses to stop it spreading, but the lord mayor of London, Sir Thomas Bloodworth, was not convinced. “Pish!” he famously remarked. “A woman could piss it out.” To be fair, he was not alone in his view that the fire would soon be contained. From his window in Seething Lane, Pepys thought little of it, “and so went to bed again and to sleep”.

By seven in the morning, when Pepys woke again, it seemed that the worst must be over from his window, he “saw the fire not so much as it was and further off”. But then Jane reappeared with bad news. Almost 300 houses, she said, had burned down already now the fire had reached Fish Street, near London Bridge. Alarmed, Pepys pulled on his clothes and walked to the Tower, where he went up to get a better view. “And there,” he recorded, “I did see the houses at that end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge.”

His heart overflowing with worry, he scurried down to the waterside and called for a boat, and now the full scale of the disaster became clear. The Thames presented a spectacle of calamity, “everybody endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging into the river or bringing them into lighters that layoff poor people staying in their houses as long as till the very fire touched them, and then running into boats, or clambering from one pair of stairs by the waterside to another.” Even the pigeons, he noticed, seemed transfixed by the catastrophe: “loth to leave their houses,” they “hovered about the windows” until their wings caught fire and they fell to earth.

By now it was mid-morning. Whipped up by the eastern wind, the flames were leaping from house to house, consuming all in their path. Built from wood and straw, clustered together in tight alleys, London’s tenements were the perfect tinderbox, their overhanging jetties making it easier for the fire to move from street to street. At Whitehall, a frightened Pepys warned Charles II that “unless his majesty did command houses to be pulled down nothing could stop the fire”. Clearly much troubled, the king ordered him to find the lord mayor, and to tell him “to spare no houses, but to pull down before the fire every way”.

But when Pepys caught up with Sir Thomas Bloodworth in Canning Street, the mayor was like “a fainting woman”, with a handkerchief tied around his face to protect him from the smoke. “Lord! what can I do?” Bloodworth cried. “I am spent: people will not obey me. I have been pulling down houses but the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it.”

And so the fire burned on. In Thames Street, stores of pitch and tar were ablaze in neighbouring streets, warehouses of oil, brandy and wine were up in flames. Pepys himself went off for dinner, which, he recorded, was “extraordinarily good”. But when he emerged, it was to scenes of utter chaos, the streets full of weeping families and soot-stained refugees. That night, he and his wife went for a drink on the South Bank, the City glowing red in the night. “It made me weep to see it,” Pepys wrote. “The churches, houses, and all on fire and flaming at once and a horrid noise the flames made, and the cracking of houses at their ruins.”

The inferno blazed on, all Monday and all Tuesday, only dying down when the wind fell on Wednesday. In the long run, it was the making of modern London: without the fire, there would be no St Paul’s and far fewer Wren churches. But at the time, there seemed no consolation. The smouldering city seemed like a vision of the Apocalypse, wrote the diarist John Evelyn. “London was, but is no more.”

Dominic Sandbrook is the author of State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970–1974 (Allen Lane)

Rebecca Rideal is a specialist factual television producer and writer whose credits include The Adventurers’ Guide to Britain, Bloody Tales of the Tower and David Attenborough’s First Life. She runs the online magazine The History Vault and is currently studying for her PhD on Restoration London during the Great Plague and the Great Fire at University College London.

This article was first published on History Extra in September 2016



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