FLASHBACK: 1938 Police officers rehearse for the first annual Chicago Police and Fire Thrill Show, Soldier Field. On July 17, 1938, the safest place in town--at least for the 70,000 spectators--was Soldier Field, where 1,000 police officers and firefighters assembled to demonstrate some of their more death-defying skills. The show was a risky affair of balancing acts on moving motorcycles, aerial fire rescue demonstrations, even a staged gun battle, complete with tear gas and a "very dead-looking bandit" at the end, according to the Tribune. But lest any crooks or firebugs get any ideas, officials made clear that, thanks to overtime, their departments were fully staffed for the day.
Tribune archive photo