Wheeling Historical Society's "Chicago's Poison Banquet"
“Chicago’s Poison Banquet”
Speaker: Tara Cajacob
On February 10, 1916 at the University Club’s banquet for the newly appointed Archbishop of Chicago George William Mundelein, three hundred guests were poisoned with arsenic. In a nation teetering on the brink of war, Chicago was a turbulent microcosm of tensions centering around new immigrants who were quick to adopt radical political ideology in response to long hazardous working conditions and squalid living quarters. Within days of the poisoning, sensational headlines had begun to emerge that the poisoner was a chef, Jean Crones, who had been the ringleader of a nationwide anarchist conspiracy to bring down church, state and industry through an apocalyptic campaign.
Author, historian and storyteller, Tara Cajacob, has worked in public history for five years in museums, archives and libraries. Her work has taken her to archaeological sites overseas and to research facilities from coast to coast. She has received international recognition for her work on a local history column in her home state of Minnesota. Since arriving in Illinois she has immersed herself in Chicagoland’s history. Find out more at taracajacob.com.