The Chicago Air and Water Show: A History of Wings above the Waves

The Chicago Air and Water Show: A History of Wings above the Waves

by Gerry Souter, Janet Souter


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The largest such spectacle in the world, the Chicago Air and Water Show draws over three million people to the lakeshore for a weekend of low-key beach leisure and high-powered entertainment. Gerry and Janet Souter climb into the cockpit (and occasionally lean precariously out of it) to log the extravaganza's fascinating history. Even before the event became a beloved annual tradition half a century ago, visitors to the lakeshore had been treated to sights like the International Aviation Meet, attended by the Wright brothers and their daring competitors; World War II training maneuvers executed by pilots like President George H.W. Bush; and an ascension to world seaport status graced by a visit from the royal yacht Britannia. This book is for anyone who has ever participated in the show's glorious tradition and for those who haven't but who still would like to get a glimpse of the gut-thrumming majesty of the planes and learn what convinced comedian Bill Murray to jump out of one of them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596298378
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 07/27/2010
Pages: 168
Sales rank: 753,546
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Gerry has lived in the Chicago area nearly all his life. His background includes over thirty years' involvement with aviation; he has flown in balloons, jet fighters and single-engine planes and has written about Canadian bush pilots, Arizona crop-dusters and Gulf of Mexico helicopter fleets. Janet Souter shares her husband Gerry's interest in history. She is president of their company, Avril 1 Group, Inc., and edits all of their joint copy. Janet has joined Gerry in balloon, helicopter and light aircraft flights. They are authors of over forty books, histories, biographies and young adult nonfiction. Their most recent book, written for The History Press, is titled Arlington Heights: A Brief History.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 9

Chapter 1 A New Century of Beginnings 11

Chapter 2 Aviation Legacy Shines through the Great Depression 31

Chapter 3 1959-1964: Chicago Has Its Ups and Downs...and Ups 41

Chapter 4 Bigger and Better: Creating a Tradition 57

Chapter 5 The Show Endures: New Hands at the Helm 89

Chapter 6 Packing Up and Heading North 109

Chapter 7 The Show Carries On 137

Notes 155

About the Authors 159

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