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View Diary: How Regulation came to be: Our Lady of the Angels (79 comments)

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  •  51 Years Later It Doesn't Get Any Easier to Read (10+ / 0-)

    I was 9 at the time too, in the fourth grade, and I'd been reading the Chicago Sun-Times since I was 7, so I read everything about the fire.  And I was traumatized.

    One classroom of fifth graders at Our Lady were taking a spelling test when the fire broke out.  Two of their words that week were ambulance and emergency.  Most of those children died.

    I am grateful that this tragedy brought much-needed reform.  But I still think of those children, those who died and those who survived. And even those who read about the horror and could do nothing but figure out a safe route out of her school if it was ever needed.  

    •  Doesn't get any easier to write, either. (10+ / 0-)

      I did a diary on OLA a couple of years ago when they finally put up a plaque commemorating the fire around the time of its 49th anniversary in 2007.  I think I had a harder time with this one that I did then.  It's just an event that brings out the emotions.

      I remember reading the newspapers for days after as well.  There used to be a site that had scans of some of the old newspaper stories at the time.  It was interesting (and sometimes appalling) to see the evolution of the story, especially in trying to fix the blame for the disaster.  1864 House mentioned above the janitor who was floated as a suspect in starting the fire at one time -- I remember that vividly.  That must have been hell for him to be suspected and accused like that.  

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

      by dsteffen on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 04:44:27 PM PST

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      •  There is now a scholarship fund (8+ / 0-)

        in the janitor's name... the James Raymond Scholarship fund. It was started a few years ago as a way to make clear that he was a hero.

        They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

        by 1864 House on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 05:25:12 PM PST

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        •  I checked the link... (6+ / 0-)

          ...for the news articles in my original OLA diary, and it is actually to the "News Articles of the Day" section under "News and Photos" on OLAfire.org.  I remembered it as being actual scans of the newspapers at the time I wrote the original diary, but I must have been mistaken.  It's still rather disturbing to see the amount of misinformation in those early reports.  It's like watching cable news report a breaking story...

          We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Justice Louis D. Brandeis

          by dsteffen on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 07:20:24 PM PST

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