National and Local Anniversaries

Back in August, we took a look back on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” and how it still impacts us today.

On August 28 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his monumental speech to more than 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The speech was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement

November held two important national anniversaries. November 19 marked 150 years since president Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln inspired a torn nation in 1863 with the speech, given at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg.

“What he did in two short minutes was really capture all of the history, all of the back-story, all of the sacrifice, and all of the future, because it was a blueprint for forgiveness and for moving on, healing the country and moving forward,” said Curator of Research at Naper Settlement, Bryan Ogg.

The 22nd marked 50 years since the loss of our nation’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy.

Many residents of the Martin Avenue Apartments remember that day in Dallas as if it were yesterday.

“I was a student at North Texas State University and I was there to see the president, and I was on the street about three or four blocks behind him when he got shot. It was a little scary,” said Naperville resident, Anthony Abraham.

Kennedy Junior High marked the anniversary with various projects to inspire hope throughout the school.

“He had so many things that we wanted to follow and since our school is named after him, we are trying to follow him as much as we can, in his footsteps and I think the display kind of shows that,” said student, Julia Cameli.

While these anniversaries impacted us as a nation, Naperville itself marked some milestones of its own.

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated their centennial anniversary in 2013.

Since its start in 1913, the chamber has played a pivotal role in the city, from improving city streets and highways, to making Naperville a great place to live and work.

The chamber celebrated 100 years in the community with a party, back in August.

Naperville’s chamber was also the first in the state to receive a 5 star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Back in July, the Cress Creek subdivision celebrated 50 years in the community.

In 1963, the subdivision was one of a kind in the Naperville area, after Harold Moser, who is credited with building over a third of Naperville homes during that time, saw a market for a golf course within a subdivision.

“In the 1960’s, Naperville had established itself as a suburb community of Chicago and so even though the people worked in Chicago, they worked and played out here, so the golf course amenity would be a big plus to anyone wanting to live out here in Naperville,” said Brian Ogg, Curator of Research for Naper Settlement.

And finally after 25 years in town, the Naperville Men’s Glee Club celebrated with a song.

In October, the group held an anniversary concert, at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall – joining together with the University of Illinois Varsity Men’s Glee Club to sing everything from show tunes to hymns.

The ensemble, started with just 25 voices and has more than doubled today.


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