ILLINOIS STATE ARCHIVES
Hard Times in Illinois, 1930–1940
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives
LETTER FROM SEATTLE, WASHINGTON REQUESTING A PENSION FOR A WAR VETERAN'S WIDOW
October 1, 1933
The Century of Progress was a world's fair held in Chicago over 1933-1934 to mark advances over the last hundred years. More specifically it celebrated the hundred years which had passed since Chicago had been incorporated as a town in 1833. Grounds were located on 427 acres along the lakeshore from 12th Street to Pershing Road. At the heart of the exposition was the Hall of Science, a futuristic structure of some 400,000 square feet filled with hands-on exhibits and helpful interpreters.
Apparently Walter Reichardt had had an exceedingly intense military career. According to this document he had served in nearly all of the active theaters during his enlistment: Spanish American War, mainly in Cuba (1898); Philippine Insurrection, Philippine Islands (1899-1901); Boxer Rebellion, China (1900); Mexican Border, Mexico and the American Southwest (1916-1917); and the Great War, mostly in France (1917-1918).
The governor's secretary responded to this inquiry on October 9. He informed Mrs. Reichardt that Illinois did not pay a soldier's widow's pension and advised her to contact the U.S. Bureau of Pensions in Washington, D.C.
Points to Consider
What was Mrs. Reichardt asking Governor Horner to do?
What was the "Century of Progress"?
What kind of trouble had the U.S. experienced with Mexico during 1916-1917?
In your view was Mrs. Reichardt entitled to a pension?