Chicago, Illinois — The early years of Western Electric’s excursion and picnic were tailored to an immediate family affair. Husbands, wives, and their children all attended. But in 1913, promotions for the annual employee picnic began emphasizing the importance of including the extended family.
One 1913 promotion emphasized: “Bring along her mother and her sister and her sister’s youngsters. Make a family party of it. They will all enjoy it. There will be fun enough for everybody all day long and some left over to take in to the neighbors when you get back.”
EDHS's desire is for today's modern family to use this promotion from the early 1900’s and apply it to today. The centennial commemoration weekend from July 24 to 26, 2015 is a unique opportunity to host a personal family reunion in Chicago. “Make a family party of it,” visit the great city of Chicago – and in turn, grow closer together as we remember and honor Chicago’s greatest loss-of-life tragedy.
Family was the first and highest priority for the Western Electric employees. They couldn’t wait to share in the day’s merriments with their loved ones. Family is also the first and highest priority for EDHS. Survivors, victims, heroes and other people from that day all connect many to a unique and special family of the Eastland Disaster.
EDHS estimates that several million people have a friend or family member connected to the Disaster. This special weekend in history is a unique opportunity to come meet others and exchange family stories with those who are also part of the several million. Please mark your calendars and spread the word to your families.