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Near South Side, Chicago

The Near South Side is a community area of Chicago, United States, just south of the downtown central business district, the Loop. The Near South Side's boundaries are. Along Lake Shore Drive, the Near South Side includes some of Chicago's best-known structures: Soldier Field, home of the NFL's Chicago Bears; the area is undergoing a major residential and mixed-use redevelopment. The Near South Side is one of the most dynamic of Chicago's communities, it has undergone a metamorphosis from a Native American homeland to a blue collar settlement, to an elite socialite residential district, to a center for vice, to a slum, to a public housing and warehouse district, to the home of a newly gentrified residential district. The Near South Side was noted for wagon trails winding through a populated bend of Lake Michigan, it was on one of these trails that the Fort Dearborn Massacre occurred in 1812. This area was first populated by settlers working for the Illinois & Michigan Canal, who subsequently worked in the lumber district.

Proximity to the railroads attracted shops. In 1853, the community was absorbed by the extension of the city limits to 31st Street. In 1859, a South State Street horse-drawn streetcar line, linking the area to downtown, attracted wealthy families to the area. By the time of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, it was home to some of the city's finest mansions and most elite social families, in the 1890s the railroad's Central Station opened at 12th Street. However, by the start of the 20th century, rapid transit evolved and many families moved farther from the Loop business district; the railroads brought light manufacturing. Michigan Avenue between 14th Street and 22nd Street became an auto row; the "Levee" vice district of brothels and gambling dens around Cermak Street and State Street prospered until 1912. Burnham Park and several accompanying institutions were built in the 1920s. World War I and post World War I Great Migration settlers moved in and created the low-rent "Black Belt". Urban renewal and public housing projects replaced some of the slums.

In the 1940s, some of the city's slums were on the Near South Side. The Century of Progress International Exposition was the name of the World's Fair held on the Near South Side lakefront from 1933 to 1934 to celebrate the city's centennial; the theme of the fair was technological innovation over the century since Chicago's founding. More than 40 million people visited the fair, which symbolized for many hope for Chicago and the nation in the midst of the Great Depression. West of Lake Shore Drive, much of the Near South Side, in the middle of the twentieth century, consisted of railroad tracks and interchanges until the 1960s, when middle-class housing developments were built in the community area. In 1977, George Halas surrendered 51 acres of railyards for redevelopment as Dearborn Park apartments and accompanying tree-lined walkways. In 1988, the second phase of Dearborn Park construction began between State St. and Clark St. south of Roosevelt Rd. A housing boom emerged in the 1990s and continues to the present day with the construction of many new condominium and apartment towers.

Construction of the Central Station development commenced in 1990. This was a mixed-use development on 72 acres of former rail yards and air rights east of Indiana Avenue between Roosevelt Road and 18th Street. Loft conversion spread to the warehouses and light manufacturing structures along the major north-south Avenues of Michigan and Wabash, which returned them to residential properties 100 years after the flight of the elite Chicago socialites. Among the prominent buildings are One Museum Park and One Museum Park West along a redeveloped Prairie Avenue. Landfill use created Burnham Northerly Island in the 1920s and 1930s along Lake Michigan; the Field Museum of Natural History, Soldier Field, Adler Planetarium and the John G. Shedd Aquarium were constructed on this newly reclaimed land at this time. Merrill C. Meigs Field Airport was built. Northerly Island connects to the rest of the Museum Campus through a narrow isthmus along Solidarity Drive dominated by Neoclassical sculptures of Kościuszko, Havliček and Nicolaus Copernicus.

The newly developed Central Station area includes three park areas. Mark Twain Park lies between Lake Shore Drive at 15th Place. Daniel Webster Park is bounded by South Indiana Avenue and townhouse developments; the Grant Park Extension lies east of One South of Roosevelt. The developers donated 1.5 acres for one park to the city and developed the other two as part of its approval process. The donated tract protects the northward view of Grant Park. Fairs and exhibitions held on the lakefront sites created demand for an exhibition hall. In 1960, construction was begun on McCormick Place, a huge exposition and convention complex at 23rd Street and Lake Shore Drive named for newspaper magnate Robert R. McCormick; the original building burned in 1967, was rebuilt and reopened in 1971 at the behest of mayor Richard J. Daley. Large expansions were added in

Franklin E. Brooks

Franklin Eli Brooks was a U. S. Representative from Colorado. Born in Sturbridge, Brooks attended the public schools, he was graduated from Southbridge High School in 1879 and from Brown University, Rhode Island, in 1883. He taught school for several years, he attended the law school of Boston University in 1887 and 1888. He commenced practice in Boston, Massachusetts, he moved to Colorado, in 1891, where he continued the practice of law. He served as delegate to the Republican State conventions in 1900 and 1907, serving as chairman the latter year. Brooks was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-ninth Congresses, he was not a candidate for renomination in 1906 to the Sixtieth Congress. He resumed the practice of law in Colorado Springs, but devoted himself principally to land development, being president of the Costilla Estates Development Company, he was appointed a member of the State board of agriculture and trustee of the State agricultural college, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1907. He served as trustee of Brown University.

He died February 7, 1916, in St. Augustine and was interred in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado. United States Congress. "Franklin E. Brooks". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress; this article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov

Ahmad Abu Laban

Ahmad Abu Laban was a Danish-Palestinian imam and the leader of the organization The Islamic Society in Denmark. He was a central figure in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. Ahmad Abu Laban was born in 1946 in Mandatory Palestine. In 1948, his family fled to Cairo, he grew up there. In 1969, he graduated as a mechanical engineer. In 1974, he married his cousin Iman, he studied Islamic theology with scholars in different Muslim countries. He was employed in the Persian Gulf oil industry from 1970 to 1982 and worked for a contracting company in Nigeria from 1982 to 1984, he contributed to Islamic projects in education in different states of Nigeria. He lived there for the rest of his life, he publicly denounced the use of violence to further the Islamic cause. Moreover, he was known to fight for social justice and help alleviate social ills, by preaching that Danish Muslims had a responsibility to better the society in which they were a part. On 19 January 2007, The Islamic Society in Denmark announced that Abu Laban had fast spreading cancer and that it was was lung cancer.

Abu Laban died on 1 February 2007, aged 60. The love and devotion many Danish Muslims had for Abu Laban come to display at his funeral, where thousands of Muslims poured into the streets of Copenhagen to engage in his Islamic funeral ceremony. At the time of his death, Abu Laban worked as a religious advisor with The Islamic Society in Denmark. According to the organization's website, he was a member of the "Co-ordination council of Imams" in Europe. Abu Laban has been declared persona non grata in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt because of his Islamist views, he had been a well-known figure in the Danish media for his radical statements about Islam and the integration of immigrants into the Danish society. Sri Lankan researcher Rohan Gunaratna, author of the book Inside Al Qaeda, has characterised Ahmed Abu Laban as an Islamic extremist. Gunaratna accused Abu Laban of giving political and economic support to the Egyptian Islamist movement al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, considered as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.

Abu Laban became involved in the media crisis which erupted in Denmark after the issue of the Muhammad cartoons in the conservative newspaper Jyllands-Posten. In November 2005, he was one of the leaders of a delegation that toured the Middle East to ask for diplomatic support, one of the factors that sparked the widespread anger in the region in early 2006. Along with Akhmed Akkari, he authored the Akkari-Laban dossier, used on that tour. Three additional images - sent to Abu Laban but never published - were added to the list of cartoons published in the dossier handed out during this tour. Ahmad Akkari has explained that the three drawings had been added to "give an insight in how hateful the atmosphere in Denmark is towards Muslims." In his Friday sermon following the September 11 attacks, he preached that " with dry tears". Responding to Theo van Gogh's murder, his response was publicly to criticise it. Not long after, he criticized the European abuse of free speech for the issue of the controversial film Submission of the murdered Dutch filmmaker.

When Amina Lawal from Nigeria was condemned to stoning, he refused to condemn the sentencing, considering he is not a judge and know not much about the actual episode. After a gang killing in Copenhagen, Abu Laban proposed to deter any vengeance killing by the payment of a sum of "blood money" amounting to DKR. 200,000 – or the equivalent of 100 camels, according to his calculation, in today's currency, to prevent any revenge. "I call these people rats in holes" was his characterisation of the Danish liberal politician Naser Khader. In his Friday prayers on 5 April 2002, Abu Laban called on his congregation to offer their lives in a jihad for the Palestinian cause. Outside the mosque buses were waiting to take the congregants to a demonstration at Parliament Square, where they held up signs equating the Israelis with the nazists, burned the Israeli flag