1996 | Chicago Reader at Forty | Chicago Reader


The year in Chicago history via the pages of the Reader

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Chicago-style stuffed pizza is an indigestible insult that grumbles in your stomach days after consumption. It's pizza's obese bastard stepson.

—In "What Stinks!" (8/22/1996) Reader writers told delegates to the Democratic Convention which hallowed Chicago institutions they needed to steer clear of

The most unwisely ignored Reader article ever

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So unlikely is it for an air show to be stopped after an accident that the show's continuation can be an offhanded footnote in a press acount. At a '94 air show at Selfridge Air National Guard base in Michigan, a Korean war-era T-33 fighter jet brushed the ground with one wing while coming out of a roll, causing it to crash and explode. The UPI account casually remarked, "The crash temporarily stopped the air show, delaying the performance of the Air Force's Blue Angels." As an Air Force spokesman explained, "It's the code of the west: The show must go on." Though Michigan is rarely considered part of the west.

A particularly disgusting accident happened at a 1993 New Hampshire air show when, during the opening ceremonies, a parachutist was hit by a plane. The parachutist's limp, dead body floated to the ground, forcing airport officials to race out and cover it with the parachute. The plane lost a wing and spiraled to the ground near a Kmart, killing the pilot. The show went on.

From "Plane Stupid: An air show is a disaster waiting to happen. Do we feel lucky?" by Cate Plys. Apparently we do and are: it's been 15 years and counting.

An earlier anniversary

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After 25 years of publication, the Reader decided to celebrate. Not itself, of course—the number (right).

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They're all gone, baby, gone

The city's three major book chains have started to do battle in Lakeview. A new Borders Books & Music opened in late November on Clark, just around the corner from a Barnes & Noble on Diversey and a few hundreds yards away from a Crown Books on Halsted. So far no one is admitting—publicly at least—to feeling the effects of having three superstores in such close proximity. —Lewis Lazare, "Culture Club," Jan. 5.

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