Home|News|Events|Contact Us| Text Size Increase TextDecrease Text
Brought to you by the Park Ridge Public Library
Bookmark Share Print Page

“Spirit of ’45” Celebrated in Library Display

August 3, 2015 03:42 PM
During the month of August, the Park Ridge Public Library will host a special display on "Park Ridge During the War," part of the Spirit of ’45 celebrations taking place in town and around the country during the month of August. The 2nd floor display, which includes images, documents, and memorabilia from the period, sheds a light on efforts made by Park Ridge residents – both in the battlefield and on the home front – to help win the war. Scrapbooks, historical documents, and other items show how many local residents contributed through civilian causes such as the Red Cross, the Civilian Defense, special entertainment events, book drives for troops, and war bond sales. Local artists such as Alfonso Iannelli created posters and patriotic art to rally public sentiment in support of the war.

The display also covers how, in 1942, the Douglas Aircraft Company built a manufacturing plant on the south edge of Park Ridge and Des Plaines (now the site of the present O’Hare International Airport) for the exclusive purpose of producing C-54 Skymaster transport planes. Images of many of the so-called "Douglas homes," which were built in town to accommodate workers at the air plant, are included.

The presence of the Douglas Plant would also play a role in one of the most remarkable local initiatives that took place during the period, when Maine Township High School students responded to a challenge from School Superintendent Frank Holmes in 1944 to raise $500,000 through war bond sales. The specific goal was to fund the production of a C-54 Skymaster. Through a massive effort, the students quickly raised more than $550,000 (roughly $7,000,000 in today’s terms), and the Douglas plant christened their C-54 "Faster and Higher – That’s Maine Flyer!"

The full story of the Maine Flyer can be found in a documentary created this year by Maine East students, which can be viewed at the Park Ridge Historical Society’s website.

For more information on the library display, please contact Amber Ensign at (847) 720 -3233. For more information on the many Spirit of ’45 activities taking place throughout town in August, please visit the official site.

« Back

Park Ridge Library 20 S. Prospect Avenue Park Ridge, IL 60068|Phone: 847-720-3202|Fax: 847-825-0001|Contact Us
Park Ridge Community Network ©2020 Park Ridge Library|Design and development by Americaneagle.com|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions|Site Map Facebook Twitter