We should probably call these Ben Hecht's Chicago newspaper stories. He wrote stories daily in his 1001 Afternoons in Chicago column for the Chicago Daily News, writing six days a week in the eaely 1920s. After he was fired over an obscenity suit for his book Fantazius Mallare, he continued the series in his lively Chicago Literary Times, co-edited for a time with Max Bodenheim.
Florice Whyte Kovan has found and copied each of these dated stories, 425.
As one of our 2009 publishing projects, the Snickersnee Press will tell you every day on our Home Page the name of the 1001 Afternoons in Chicago story Hecht wrote on that month and day approximately four score and seven years ago. You may bookmark the page and find the name of the story du jour to the left. If we skip a day it is because that date back in the 1920s fell on a Sunday, when the Chicago Daily News was not published (When occasionally he was off, a popular story of his was rerun). On some dates he wrote more than one published story on the same month and day in more than one year. If you would like to find more information about the story, you might check to see if we annotated it, a one in four chance, since we are one quarter of the way through publishing annotations for all 425 stories. This is our original indexing. Until Kovan watched seemingly miles of microfilm of the defunct Daily News go by to find the stories, they were inaccessible, virtually lost. Our annotations will tell you if it is in print and how to get the full text. The annotations are being released in four online issues. A few are reprinted in toto on this site. To see the whole calendar for this month, click the link on our Home Page.
In publishing the story dates we make it easier for others to participate in Hecht research in his Chicago period of immense productivity and biographical turmoil. By sharing our sources, we abandon our journalistic tendency to protect them; our scholarly associates and relatives look more kindly upon us ("Motherrrr, where are your dates)? Even with the dates of the columns, you may find it hard to locate the full text because so few libraries have the microfilms of the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Literary Times. We are considering how we might help people who want the full text of those stories we have not reprinted. We of course have made copies of them all, but some are fuzzy because the old print had already begun to break up before the issues were microfilmed. That is how we published our books, by dealing with a mix of easy and hard-to-read microfilm copies.
The successor to the Chicago Daily News is today's Chicago Sun Times. The old postcard above shows a chilly winter view of Jackson Park, which is contiguous with Hecht's Hyde Park neighborhood. What would he think that a neighbor, Barack Obama is now President of the United States.