October 10, 2013

They Didn't Know Any Better ~Now We Do

Growing up in North Chicago, a suburb of Chicago, my father read the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers. I liked the Sun-Times newspaper because it was tabloid size and was easier for me to handle, plus they had the comic strip Apartment 3G.

Every October since 1912 the Chicago Tribune, published the story Injun Summer, by John T. McCutcheon. It had become a tradition that young and old look forward to each year.

In the late 1950's, I remember my mother reading me the story as I studied the images. As I got older I would read the story and gaze at the pictures, it was a tradition.

As the 1950's slipped into the 60's and 70's readers, started writing the newspaper with their concerns that the story was insensitive to the Native American culture. I was in high school, and the Tribune published the Injun Summer in October of 1966, and I didn't read it, the tradition was broken, but I believe it was the right thing to do. 

October 25, 1992, was the last time Injun Summer appeared in the Chicago Tribune. The drawings are of a perfect fall day, but the story is offensive to the Native American people.

What amazes me, is that to this day, people are still complaining about the story not being published.


  1. Very interesting. If your from IL you know the issues with the Illini and the mascot. Now it is with the Washington Redskins. Times change don't they, lets hope for the better.

  2. Too many people make being politically correct an issue and forget the charm of old stories. How do you really know if it was offensive to a Native American?

  3. I'm not familiar with the story Paulette but I'm inclined to agree with Ruth.

  4. I couldn't read your photo so I don't know what was said that was insensitive. I think that we should take things in context if they were written not to harm. If we don't know how it was before, we can't measure how far we have come. It is just how things were at that time. I'm glad you have a copy. It was a good memory for you.

  5. I would like to think that things have changed for the better, but there will always be those who claim that people are ' too sensitive'. I'm surprised that the stories were still being published as late as the 1990s.