If you are a fan of Eli’s Cheesecake, you know our pride in and love for Chicago , our hometown.
My dad, Eli, was a Chicago Original, who taught me about the rich history of our city, its neighborhoods and its people. My dad would frequently take his customers at Eli’s the Place for Steak for a ride around Chicago to see the west side where
he opened his first restaurant in 1940.
My dad’s interest in Chicago inspired me to have an avid interest in Chicago history, architecture and the great events of Chicago and Illinois history, particularly Abraham Lincoln, Henry Horner and the Century of Progress.
Last night I had the privilege of attending the rally for President Elect Obama in Grant Park. It was a great day for Chicago and for our nation as several hundred thousand people came together to celebrate the election of the first Chicagoan ever to be elected President.
It was most fitting to be in Grant Park as Ulysses S. Grant, our 16th President, was the last President from Illinois serving as President from 1869 to 1877. It was also in Grant Park that the Henry Horner Monument was dedicated 60 years ago in 1948 in memory of Governor Henry Horner, the first Jewish Governor in Illinois History, and later to be moved to Horner Park just down Montrose from our Bakery.
Governor Horner held office in Illinois for 1933 to 1940 right in the heart of the Depression. It was under his leadership that the State passed its first state sales tax to fund much needed welfare programs to help get the State and country out of the
It was just blocks from the site of President Elect Obama’s speech that the Century of Progress opened in May of 1933. As we support Chicago’s Olympic Bid for 2016, it is most informative to learn from the profitable operation of the Century of Progress which attracted over 39 million visitors in its two year run.
On February 12th of 2009, we will celebrate the 200th Birthday of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. How exciting that it will come just weeks after the inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama, who started his run for the Presidency at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.
My dad would be most excited about the achievements in Chicago and the potential for the future. I also thought of another great Chicagoan, John H. Johnson, the Founder of Johnson Publishing and Ebony and Jet Magazine. The election night rally was set up so President Elect Obama was looking west to the national media. As you looked west to Michigan Avenue, you saw the bright lights of the headquarter of Johnson Publishing. Although Mr. Johnson passed away in 2005, you could sense that the speech and all the achievements of Mr. Obama were a real tribute to Mr. Johnson’s role in civil rights, justice and the media.
Looking forward to prosperity and peace.
Marc S Schulman
President-The Eli’s Cheesecake Company